Securely connects and protects mission critical assets for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Last week we announced that we’ve raised a $8.4 million round of funding, led by March Capital , GE Ventures, with backing from Juniper Networks, Pankaj Patel, former EVP and CDO of Cisco, OpenSource Venture and The Fabric.

This round of funding will allow us to double-down on our mission: to securely connect and protect mission critical assets for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). 

The beginning

Prior to launching ioTium, I spent four years connecting aluminum smelters and copper tank houses to cloud-based energy efficiency algorithms. Our goal then was to provide a 1% improvement in energy utilization for these industries as they consume an incredible amount of energy as well as waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. We built fabulous sensors that could capture the current on each anode in the smelter as well a robust cloud-based analytics platform that could predict certain events based on trending this current measurement value. This is where the problem presented itself squarely in my face. While the sensors and the cloud platform did their respective duties very well, the biggest problem was connecting the two i.e. securely transporting the data from the sensors to the cloud in a near-real-time manner. We spent the most time trying to solve this connectivity. That’s when it became blatantly obvious that connecting legacy mission critical brownfield assets to greenfield applications residing in public, private or hybrid clouds and data centers was not as simple and easy as connecting a computer to the internet.

The problems

The two fundamental issues that are unique to connecting legacy Industrial machinery are deployment complexity and security.

This last year we’ve seen the IIoT landscape evolve; with data being generated faster than what we can humanly do with it. But the problem is still very much there. While we hear all these amazing transformation stories around IoT, traditional Industrial organizations are still facing the same question as they did when we started Iotium –  how do I connect my legacy systems to today’s cloud applications at scale? Everyone is aware of the benefits of Industrial IoT. The value propositions are being proven out daily using one machine or one control system or one asset or one oil rig or one building. People are now beginning to understand how complicated it is to connect these assets. There are security issues related to the asset and the data, potential for DDOS attacks, potential for hacks proliferating from one sub-system to the others, potential for hacks proliferating from OT environments to IT environments and vice-versa, risks associated with fraudulent behavior of employees that have access to these networks, and above all deployment complexity at scale.

How do we connect 4.2 Million buildings, 30,000 locomotives, 3000 oil-rigs and 300 refineries – the scale is massive, the risks are high, the benefits are overwhelmingly obvious, but how? Do we hire armies of IT people and send them to these assets with a charter to connect them? Do we make thousands of spreadsheets of usernames and passwords to keep track of what belongs where? Do we send a million USB sticks out every time we need to patch a piece of software at these assets? Do we send a new appliance out every time we need to deploy new services like machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep packet inspection, discovery and more? Can this entire nightmare be managed effectively from the cloud; minimizing truck rolls, eliminating usernames and passwords, eliminating the need to send armies of IT staff to these assets, eliminating the need for VPN and APN agreements, eliminating the need for fixed-function devices at these assets? The answer is yes it can, IoTium is that solution.

Double down on our mission

This investment will allow us to accelerate our offering, expand our team, and of course continue to build the best technology for connecting mission critical  brownfield assets to greenfield applications in an automated, secure manner.

We are expanding our sales and marketing efforts to enhance our presence in the industrial verticals we currently serve as well as to expand to additional industrial verticals.  We’re also expanding our 7×24 operations team to cater to the increased demand from our customer base and finally of course expand our investment in R&D to add additional feature sets.

We couldn’t have done this without a great team, our partners, our earlier adopters and our advisors and I couldn’t be prouder of the team we’re building at IoTium.

We can’t wait to show you what we have coming up and share our journey with you. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or sign up for our newsletter and keep in touch!

-Ron