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Intel Launches New Internet of Things Solution To Help Companies Quickly And Securely Onboard Connected Devices

The chip company's new Secure Device Onboarding service will help customers quickly connect their IoT devices at scale.

Intel wants to help customers overcome a major barrier to IoT – the daunting and time-consuming task of securely onboarding their connected devices.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company on Tuesday launched Intel Secure Device Onboarding, a service that helps customers install IoT devices more quickly and efficiently – while also reducing the time that it takes device manufacturers to pre-configure devices.

"We're seeing the benefits of IoT, but we're also seeing so many companies getting stuck in the proof of concept phase," said Dipti Vachani, vice president and general manager of Intel's Internet of Things Group. "Customers face challenges when they deploy IoT devices like connected lightbulbs, like security and IT-OT integration issues. Deploying a connected lightbulb can take up to 50 minutes. We wanted to take a step back and figure out how to help customers deploy this quickly."

[Related: 6 Cool, Connected Solutions At IoT Solutions World Congress]

Vachani told CRN that customers deploying their IoT devices face challenges like a "tremendous return on investment drag" and a lack of security measures.

Many customers use a manual installation process, where the device arrives on-site, and then needs to be installed and turned on through manual provisioning, while the IT backend must accept device credentials and connect it to the device management system before it starts working. That means it could take over two years to securely onboard 10,000 IoT connected lightbulbs, said Intel.

The chip company wants to take that hefty installation process "from hours to seconds" so that customers can speed up their device deployment, by offering a "SIM life" approach that ties device identity to initiated activation quickly and at scale.

Intel Secure Device Onboarding, which is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide to customers, allows devices to discovers the customers' IoT platform account automatically once it powers on.

The service also leverages Intel's privacy preserving IoT identity solution – Intel Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID). On the security front, EPID establishes an anonymous secure channel where endpoint authentication is hidden, so hackers cannot trace devices from the factory to end users.

Intel has built a partner ecosystem around its Secure Device Onboard service so that customers have flexibility in implementing the service into their existing infrastructure and platforms - including equipment providers like Adlink, Supermico, and Arrow, as well as IoT platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, and Schneider Electric.

The company is also partnering with other EPID silicon providers like Infineon, Microchip, and Cypress.


On a broader scale, the company's service helps go-to-market channel partners like systems integrators who need to help customers quickly scale IoT devices in markets like manufacturing.

"There's a lot of benefits for systems integrators – their job is to build an end-to-end product and help the customer deploy these solutions, so the faster they can deploy these solutions, the easier they are to maintain," said Vachani. "We're trying to create maximum flexibility in the ecosystem so that the barrier to entry for IoT is not so high."

Intel partners, for their part, applaud the further investment in IoT as the chip company continues its focus around supplying processors, sensors and wireless connectivity to IoT devices, and building partnerships around solutions in vertical markets – including retail, industrial and video.

"As a key influencer in creating markets for their technology, Intel works closely with their vast array of partners to develop solutions and share expertise that will ultimately help [the channel] expand its business," said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder.

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