Brian Wilson, Sales Director, Advantech
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all sectors hugely. In the area of edge cloud, enterprise networks and the internet of things (IoT), it has provided further impetus to an already growing trend towards home working.
This no longer applies solely to functions such as remote sales teams – a far broader spectrum of employee roles now operates from home offices, and so requires safe, effective and reliable network communication.
This presents challenges to service and technology providers to deliver solutions which combine agility with the required levels of performance and reliability. Given the growth in edge computing in particular – where computers are located close to the machinery they control, rather than in remote data centres offering ideal ambient conditions – the need for robust design that’s able to withstand harsh environments while requiring minimal maintenance over extended periods is key.
While many off-the-shelf solutions are available, the suitability of these for customer applications is no accident. Painstaking design of both hardware and software by leading players in the sector such as Advantech ensures that a variety of standard systems are available, which between them can deliver optimum compatibility across multiple IoT and network edge applications.
Finally, given the desire to rationalise supplier numbers wherever possible, it is vital that suppliers can provide truly scalable solutions, offering optimal performance across small, medium and higher-end platforms.
Alongside all of this, technology suppliers must be able to offer the flexibility to support the specific requirements of all customers. While off-the-shelf solutions may meet many requirements, around half of Advantech’s customers require some degree of customisation, for example, in relation to branding or the inclusion of specific feature sets. An example might be a “white box” solution, whereby an Advantech appliance is bundled with an SD-WAN software package from one of our partners, to create a validated, solution-ready platform.
At the very top end, we are able to design and produce complete, peer-customised original design manufacturer (ODM) models. One recent illustration was a remote production streaming solution for use in broadcasting to allow coverage of news and sports with minimal physical presence of broadcast teams at the venue.
The pace of development and innovation is only set to quicken and new applications and requirements will continue to emerge. As a global supplier with a local focus, Advantech is ideally placed to support customers across all IoT sectors in their journeys.
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