Integrating Smart Devices with Business Systems

Echelon offers platform to let companies harvest data from dispersed networks of local devices

Baltimore — March 21, 2003 — Device networking specialist Echelon Corp. this week debuted its new enterprise software platform designed to enable companywide integration of smart devices with business systems.

Echelon said that its Panoramix platform would allow companies to harvest critical information directly from networks of devices within their business sites and integrate this information into their business processes to reduce energy and operating costs, improve quality, identify trends, benchmark operations and make better, more informed decisions.

Such devices could include utility (electricity, gas and water meters) and energy tracking systems; lighting, heating/air-conditioning, and security systems; refrigeration cases; among others.

Designed to support operations with hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of remote sites, the Panoramix platform is intended to let companies such as retailers, supermarkets, convenience store chains, quick service restaurants and gas stations to expand their view of the enterprise and run their businesses better.

"Organizations of a few, or even dozens, of locations find it a major challenge to manage and predict energy costs, ensure security and increase operational efficiency," said John Pitcher, director of technology at Echelon customer prospect Service Resources Inc. "Service Resources manages thousands of locations, and it becomes clear that a robust solution is paramount to our success — one that meets the need for a scalable, open infrastructure capable of integrating all the networking pieces together in such a way that we, as well as our customers, can efficiently turn multitudes of data into efficient information — all through one single enterprise system. We are looking closely at Echelon's Panoramix platform to help meet that need."

The platform is designed to reside in a corporate-owned or hosted data center and communicate across the Internet or a private IP network to remote sites containing networks of smart devices. Designed to support a variety of connectivity options, release 1.0 of the Panoramix platform includes support for Echelon's recently introduced i.LON 100 Internet Server, which provides the "media conversion" that enables the data within the network of everyday devices to flow across the Internet.

Built around open standards, the Panoramix platform provides a Web services application programming interface (API) for integration to enterprise applications or to such vertically focused applications as energy management and analysis applications.

"Twelve years ago when we launched what at the time was the radical idea of bringing networking and computing to all of the everyday devices around us, I said that this simple technology would, one day, be simply essential," said Ken Oshman, Echelon's CEO and chairman. "Today, with nearly 30 million LonWorks devices all around us in our homes, buildings, factories and transportation systems, the idea of extending the reach of networks to everyday devices is almost conventional wisdom. Now remotely using that data to run a business more efficiently becomes a reality with Panoramix.