Google delivers collection of smart device ‘essentials’ for the enterprise

Transform Technology Summits begin October 13th with Low Code/No Code: Enabling Enterprise Agility. Register now
Google Cloud Next will be held this week online. Although there are many announcements at the annual event, this year's most notable announcement is for Google's Intelligent Product Essentials.

Google provides the core components necessary to deploy edge and distributed IoT solutions with Intelligent Product Essentials. The components are used for data ingestion, connectivity for data acquisition, IoT device OS/security upgrades, and integration of the acquired data into a suitable database for the type data generated (e.g. textual or spatial data). ), central and/or edge cloud application processing, AI/ML analysis, enabling modifications/additions to the processes through open APIs, and access to work across a multi-cloud infrastructure (few companies work with a single cloud infrastructure).

It's less of a product than a template, or workbench. It ties together a variety of connectivity and integration components to give companies an edge on developing an IoT and edge-deployed solution. Google provides some direct interaction with customers, but it relies on the partnership with specialized system integrators (a list which will grow over time) in order to complete a customer solution. The SI would normally focus on managing IoT components and sensors. They also enable the processing of the data for insights into user and device interactions.

Google's announcement of its offering focuses on consumer products like smart ovens or smart bikes. I expect that more companies and organizations will be interested in Intelligent Product Essentials. It can help manufacturers create modern environments to monitor, maintain, and fail analysis, providing up-to-date and secure things. I also think it can help organizations deploy complex IoT systems for smart cities infrastructure, healthcare monitoring and remote inspections. These edge-powered and IoT enabled solutions are becoming more important.

Google does not charge for this product, but it does get revenue for components that customers choose from the GCP products that form the foundation of this solution set. It is built on a Kubernetes microservices platform and uses DataFlow to move data to the cloud environment and other potential databases of customers' choosing (e.g. Firebase). This creates a data warehouse which can be analyzed and managed remotely by Google management tools. Google doesn't require IoT devices to run Android OS. It recognizes that many IoT device run RTOS or another simple OS.

This foundational platform can be used to build and deploy industrial devices. However, these devices often have poor user experience and management. While many organizations could benefit from this capability, not all have the financial resources or skilled staff to create a modern data-driven environment that will improve their operations. A reference design that combines the main components into an integrated approach can be very beneficial.

This Google offering may not be suitable for companies who require an optimized, customized solution that takes many months, if ever, to develop. However, it provides a simplified method to accelerate time-to-deployment, which can lead to real revenue enhancement and/or reduced dependence on limited resources. Although there is some variability due to the requirements of each user organization, I believe that a template-structured solution can often reduce effort, time, and resources by as much as 25%-40%.

GCP is a viable cloud solution. Google also has the best analytics and AI capabilities to give real data insights. Google must work harder as it is the third-largest public cloud provider for businesses. AWS and Microsoft both have IoT and Edge computing programs and have made significant inroads in key industries such as automotive, smart cities and health care. Google's entry with a GCP offering is not a major setback, but the market for IoT and edge solutions is still young. Google has a great opportunity to convince potential customers of its AI and analytics capabilities, which it has developed over many years for its product needs. Google has a head start, but Google is still behind its competitors due to the better-known products.

Bottom line: While many companies may see the potential benefits of IoT and edge in terms of safety and operational efficiency, they may not have sufficient resources to support such initiatives. Google's Intelligent Product Essentials foundation gives companies of all sizes and/or mediums a way to make IoT/edge a reality. Google's Intelligent Product Essentials integrate solution templates are a great way for advanced IoT/edge enabled solutions to be achieved with less friction than fully custom solutions.

Jack Gold is the principal analyst and founder of J.Gold Associates, LLC., a Northborough, MA-based information technology consultancy that covers all aspects of business, consumer computing, and emerging technologies. Follow him on Twitter @jckgld or LinkedIn at