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Splunk Plunges Into Industrial Internet of Things

The big-data software company gets into the industrial space with help from the channel and sets sights on IoT data.

Big data software firm Splunk waded into the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) waters this week with a new application that pulls, monitors and analyzes data from IoT sensors and other systems in manufacturing, oil and gas, transportation, energy and utilities.

The application, called Industrial Asset Intelligence (IAI), hopes to corral the massive amounts of data put out by IoT sensors inside devices on the edge, as well as data in industrial control systems and supervisory control and data-acquisition systems. The goal is to get a handle on diagnosing operational issues and ultimately do predictive maintenance.

“Real-time analytics is an absolute must for manufacturers today, but organizations are struggling to bridge the gap [among] legacy systems, industrial assets and sensor data,” said Ammar Maraqa, senior vice president of business operations and strategy and general manager of IoT markets at Splunk, in a statement.

Seema Haji

Splunk is known for mining data in IT systems and security logs for insights, and has recently begun pushing into the manufacturing space. Seema Haji, director of product marketing for IoT at Splunk, told Channel Futures that IAI acts as a platform for ingesting all types of machine data — from servers, devices, applications, networks, cloud services and industrial equipment.

Moreover, Splunk has been courting channel partners in the industrial space to build specific business cases and go to market. Splunk currently has 1,600 active channel partners that helped in more than 12,600 deals last year. Partner bookings grew 40 percent year over year.

“With the launch of Splunk IAI, we will expand our industrial channel to have full coverage in each region, as we continue to grow and support customer demand,” Haji says.

One of these channel partners is Strategic Maintenance Solutions (SMS), which implements enterprise asset management systems for companies in aerospace, oil and gas, life sciences, health care and facilities management.

SMS only partnered with Splunk a year ago and now has designs on reselling IAI to its installed base. Jason Oney, president of SMS, says his firm has ongoing projects with 30 to 40 customers, and half of those will have an IoT element. For new business, IoT is part of every discussion.

“Splunk has tremendous utilities for aggregating data from lots of different places and tying them back to what we deploy,” Oney says. “They complete the loop.”

Oney warmed to Splunk for a couple of reasons. For starters, Splunk tools were already being used by nearly every SMS customer in the oil and gas and power-generation markets. Splunk also gives SMS a real voice in how Splunk refines its solutions. There are weekly calls, and questions get answered quickly, Oney says.

IAI is in limited release and will be generally released this fall.

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