BillRun joins forces with Friendly Technologies - a leading provider of end-to-end device management systems for IoT/M2M –  offering a comprehensive billing solution for the evolving IoT sphere.  

BillRun joins forces with Friendly Technologies - a leading provider of end-to-end device management systems for IoT/M2M –  offering a comprehensive billing solution for the evolving IoT sphere.  

 

 

Seeing the big picture in a sea of devices

“Most companies in the IoT industry focus on extracting data from sensors, and therefore mainly use messaging protocols,” says Ohad Oman, VP of product management. “At Friendly Technologies we provide comprehensive solutions for both IoT and device management. We offer support for any type of protocol - both standard and non-standard - including integration for existing systems that have their own IoT cloud.”

Headquartered in Israel, Friendly’s solutions are geared towards smart-homes, utilities, healthcare, agriculture, telecom, energy and other industries. “Using Friendly, consumers automatically connect to new devices, and can monitor, configure and update firmware remotely. Service providers using Friendly gain advanced analytical insights when managing multiple devices on a single platform,” he points out.

On red alert for cyber attacks

Many IoT devices are insufficiently equipped with cyber protection, and are therefore vulnerable to hackers - mainly because manufacturers often focus their efforts on protecting the generated data, rather than the actual devices. Consequently, such devices are relatively easy to hack, and launch mass attacks on hundreds of thousands of devices simultaneously.

Friendly’s comprehensive device management platform, offering a full solution for cyber-attacks, not only transmits the collected data, but also controls the configuration of each device and gateway connected to the platform. “To prevent an attack on a single device, system administrators monitor the state of each device, and set active response rules against threats. When handling more sophisticated attacks targeted at numerous devices, the system is able to monitor and identify patterns of dynamic configuration changes on multiple devices. Tracking patterns of malicious activity enables early response to a potential attack, long before it even takes place.

A friendly spot in the IoT

According to Oman, most of the problems in IoT deployments relate to maintenance. “This requires a technician to go out into the field for every small glitch”, he says. “At Friendly, we manage remotely hundreds and even thousands of devices, resolving malfunctions immediately, applying updates, upgrades, and security measures.

IoT devices are often programmed to collect data from all the devices all the time. Using the Friendly platform, active and passive notifications are set, so devices can take action when certain values are reached. Consequently, in water meters, for example, if everything is running normally, readings may be collected once a month, and the system can be programmed to send an alert when an abnormal event occurs, so leaks are detected immediately. This dynamic approach is also applied in agriculture: By implementing smart configuration in places where summers are long and hot, humidity levels of the soil can be transmitted less frequently than in other seasons, which requires low bandwidth connection. Changing these settings for numerous devices is done on the fly, thereby reducing costs significantly”, points out Oman.

“The IoT sphere is currently at a transitional stage, from gadgets to actual businesses. The challenge for IoT service providers will be monetization. Smart billing solutions such as BillRun which can calculate service charges in real time – are already addressing future needs”, says Oman. “I believe that our collaboration with BillRun, who share the same target audience, has great potential in creating added value from IoT, by deploying IoT as a service. Friendly’s platform not only integrates the collected and measured data with billing and charging functionality, such as BillRun’s, but also enables service providers to change, configure, and even stop services based on charging scenarios”, he said.

 

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