Splunk Debuts Its First Machine Data Software For IoT Applications


Splunk is jumping into the fast-growing Internet of Things arena, launching its first IoT-specific product Tuesday with new software targeting applications in the industrial IoT space.

The Splunk Industrial Asset Intelligence (Splunk IAI) software will provide current channel partners with new industrial IoT sales and service opportunities in manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, and energy/utilities, according to the company, as well as help Splunk recruit new partners in those vertical industries.

"IoT is becoming increasingly prevalent in industrial environments," said Seema Haji, Splunk director of IoT and head of IoT marketing, in an interview with CRN. And industrial customers need help in being more proactive in making use of IoT technology, she said.

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Splunk IAI is designed to help bridge the gap between traditional IT, including business analytics, and operational technology, Haji said. "How do you actually bring those together and get that industrial insight, which doesn't exist today?" she said of the challenge.

Like other targeted products from Splunk, including Splunk Enterprise Security and Splunk IT Service Intelligence, Splunk IAI is built on the Splunk Enterprise machine data platform.

Customers are already using Splunk's platform to collect and analyze IoT data in general, Haji said. But the company sensed there was a "huge market opportunity" for an industrial IoT-specific product.

Splunk IAI includes a packaged set of capabilities for monitoring and analyzing industrial IoT machine data in real time. The results provide managers with a view of complex industrial systems and help them better predict the maintenance needs of industrial assets, diagnose operational issues and minimize unplanned downtime due to system failure.

Splunk IAI collects and correlates data generated by disparate industrial controllers, sensors, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems and operational applications. The product includes industrial-specific calculations and visualization dashboards that make it easier for plant managers to use, Haji said.

Splunk will be looking to its channel partners help customers better derive value from their industrial IoT data through their vertical industry expertise. "They are the ones with the domain knowledge," Haji said.

ESE GmbH, a solution provider and engineering services company based in Berlin, Germany, has been a Splunk partner since 2016, reselling Splunk software to railway operators and industrial manufacturers.

"We are providing the engineering services to enable the complete data chain, from the [industrial] asset via a data box, which collects the data, a mobile network to transfer the data into the cloud, the setup of the Splunk environment and the dashboarding and data analytics," said Ulrich Bock, ESE's director of rail and industry consulting, in an email to CRN.

ESE is already selling Splunk IAI combined with its engineering services. "Splunk Industrial Asset Intelligence offers a new market segment – industrial IoT – for Splunk’s channel partners, including ESE," Bock said. "Coming from IT security and IT operations, Splunk channel partners can now address this new segment for new and existing Splunk customers."

Splunk also will be counting on solution providers to develop data connectivity links between Splunk IAI and specific industrial systems and assets, Haji said.

Splunk IAI has been in beta testing at some 10 customers and the company will begin offering it to select customers on a "limited availability" basis starting April 23. The product will be generally available in the fall.