The New Way Companies are Harnessing Data at the Edge for Value Added in Real-Time

Imagine an airport that uses computer vision to track errant luggage in real time, or a commercial kitchen able to detect refrigeration conditions and prevent spoilage. Imagine an amusement park outfitting its rides with sensors that can talk directly to operations for upgraded safety and better guest experiences. Imagine a factory or a chain of retailers reducing energy and cutting equipment downtime. 

These scenarios are not imaginary. They are playing out across industries with the help of edge computing, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and an innovative approach known as Business Outcomes-as-a-Service.[1]

In each case, the company has volumes of streaming data and needs a way to quickly analyze it for outcomes such as greater asset availability, improved site safety and enhanced sustainability. In each case, they are taking strategic advantage of data generated at the edge, using artificial intelligence and cloud architecture. And they’re achieving significant wins.[2]

Here, we explore the demands and opportunities of edge computing and how an approach to Business Outcomes-as-a-Service can provide end-to-end analytics with lowered operational risk.

From the Edge to the Cloud and Back

Computing at the edge and the far edge allows for data to be processed near the point where it’s generated. The speed and volume of data flowing, often in real time, from sensors and other IoT devices, comes with potential for enormous gains in business and operational intelligence. But this advancement also adds complexity. 

Most organizations still need methods for analyzing data at the point of conception so it can be acted upon immediately. Some have managed to derive meaningful, rapid and repeatable business outcomes from their IoT data streams and analytics using Business Outcomes-as-a-Service (Atos BOaaS), developed by Atos, an international leader in digital transformation. Already, Atos customers have reported positive experiences.

“For a retail customer, we’re talking about 66,000 hours saved in maintenance and compliance for maintaining the edge environment, which translates into about 480 metric tons of CO2 saved every year — thanks to automation and end-to-end monitoring,” said Arnaud Langer, Global Edge and IoT Senior Product Director at Atos.

Four Key Benefits of an End-to-End Analytics Service

As many tech and industry leaders are noting,[3] businesses are now prioritizing value and speed to deployment. Outcome-based solutions delivered in an as-a-service model allow companies to realize this rapid time-to-value. 

Those using a turnkey, scalable BOaaS platform are quickly able to manage an entire AI and IoT ecosystem from one dashboard, across the cloud, edge and far edge.[4] The solution allows them to generate value from real-time data using a platform for ingesting, storing and analyzing continuously streaming data. It’s bringing advanced analytics and AI capabilities where they’re needed most – the edge. Already deployed in commercial kitchens and retail chains, on factory floors and at amusement parks, the solution has shown the following benefits.

Value: Increased uptime of critical assets with predictive maintenanceSustainability: Reduced onsite support and carbon footprint with touchless operationsSafety: AI-enhanced computer vision for safer, efficient operationsCost-effectiveness: Full operational expense (OpEx) as-a-service pricing and operational model

For a manufacturer or retailer, for instance, an equipment or IT interruption would typically impact employees, customers and revenue due to the traditionally painful restoration process. But the monitoring BOaaS system reduces downtime by detecting interruptions before they occur so that remediation can happen before the equipment fails, while it is still running, and before any downtime is experienced – and the problem can often be resolved remotely. If immediate remedies are not possible, the system will alert staff then procure and ship a replacement part to arrive on site. Employees can securely connect to the platform and deploy the applications they need via the cloud, minimizing impact to business operations. 

Across industries, data streams often surpass the ability to capture and analyze information. By tapping into hundreds of untapped endpoints and millions of data points that were previously underutilized, the Atos system allows real-time innovations. For example, AI based predictive maintenance and computer vision to monitor all hardware—lowering support costs, decreasing IT complexity and driving decarbonization.

The Technology Behind Business Outcomes

It was a tall order for Atos: Harness the power of data by bringing together hardware, software, and AI in one OpEx solution. 

To most effectively develop BOaaS as a touchless, end-to-end managed service, Atos leveraged the compute and storage power of Dell Technologies. Atos chose Dell Technologies’ Streaming Data Platform[5] for its ability to deliver reliable, fast and secure data pipelines from edge to cloud.

“Using Dell Technologies solutions, we’ve already achieved a 10% reduction in downtime. This can save up to millions of dollars annually,” Langer said. In the future, we expect to triple that to 30% lower downtime, saving untold millions per customer, per location.”

Watch this video to learn more about how Atos and Dell are enabling game-changing innovation at the edge. 






IT Leadership