IoT Use Case: Automated Provisioning, Activation and Orchestration Needed

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The Internet of Things (IoT) market is maturing quickly as more adopters across industries discover a greater range of networks, devices, and applications catering to their needs. Major players in a variety of large industries want to take advantage of 5G, cloud services, new IoT devices, and edge computing to maximize production and to optimize resource usage for greater efficiency, regulatory compliance, and profitability.

IoT is evolving fast, however, from simpler devices and apps to complex solutions that combine multiple types of devices, remote control systems, edge resources, dynamic networking and cloud-based applications and APIs.

As a result, IoT providers and enterprises are delivering a more complex set of services and applications continuously – much like a carrier. This makes automated orchestration crucial to meet continuity, customer experience, and optimization goals shared across large scale IoT use cases.

Here are three use cases from some of the most established IoT markets that demonstrate why automated orchestration is needed not only to deliver the current generation of multi-component IoT services, but the visible next generation of critical infrastructure services, like smart grids, too.

Smart Buildings

Cicso Systems defines smart buildings as those that link systems like lighting, security, HVAC, and fire alarms onto a common, managed IT and network infrastructure. That infrastructure is then connected to carrier networks, potentially by multiple means including fiber, 4G or 5G cellular, or satellite, and to public clouds running various applications and IT workloads.

Once in place, a smart building runs these systems actively, doing copious data collection to optimize how energy is used, to predict maintenance needs, or when to turn off the lights or close the blinds. Behind the magic, though, is a complex series of changes where applications, network resources, and quality and security characteristics of specific connections need to be managed while different IT workloads, crucial to a smart building’s operations, could be running in different clouds.

Why automated provisioning, activation, and orchestration are needed:

Activation and provisioning are needed to turn-on each of the smart aspects of a smart building, from network connections to fire sensors. These processes instantiate devices, applications, and network connectivity to deliver complex services to and from any point in the network.

In a complex IoT setting, the provisioning and activation should be automated because manual approaches are ultimately proven to fail. Over time, a traditional manual provisioning approach will become too error prone and will not scale in the multiplicative way an IoT implementation can.

Also, services and devices are not static in a smart building. Network and IT resource needs will change depending on what’s happening, which processes and applications are running at a given time, and how much data is being collected, transported, and processed.

Automated orchestration is needed here to manage the interactions of different service components; to optimize how resources are utilized at every step; to synchronize provisioning and activation across the IoT environment; and to manage the lifecycle of devices, applications, and virtualized services without disruption.

Industrial Automation

IoT enthusiasts are optimistic that growth in industrial automation markets will help their market pop. Some projections suggest the sector will more than double by 2031 to nearly $560 billion worldwide. Adopters see potential for IoT-connected automation to help squeeze more cost and productivity out of their manufacturing and business operations.

It’s not lost on enterprise architects, though, that the amount of data they can collect and act on, thanks to integration with more automated systems and processes, the better they will be able to re-envision how they design, develop, deliver, maintain, and improve their products and production processes overall.

Within automated factories, manufacturers use remote sensors to measure and manage resources like power, water, and waste, to lower cost and comply with environmental regulations and sustainability goals. When the smart infrastructure, continuously collecting operational data, detects a production degradation, problems, or an opportunity for improvement, proactive changes can be implemented in far less time. Similar improvements can apply to tracking inventory and assets and predicting equipment maintenance needs as a result of automation and a continuous data flow.

Why automated provisioning, activation, and orchestration are needed:

As with smart buildings, a smart factory becomes a complex integration of devices, networks, applications, edge computing resources, public clouds, and physical assets – like parts inventory, fork lifts, and trucks. Not only is automation needed to provision and activate all of the devices, connectivity, and applications, orchestration is necessary to keep it all working in sync. Then the factory can reap the benefits of real-time visibility into their operations coupled with the responsiveness to act on it rapidly, even from a remote location.


The first wave of IoT applications for power utilities has centered on smart metering, which creates a network connection between a smart meter on a customer’s home or business location and a variety of energy management, control, and billing systems. In the next phase, smart grids should allow utilities to predict, manage and optimize energy usage and resources on a wider scale and to enable new categories of services to consumers and business.

The evolution of the smart utility market started with applications that digitized metering, billing, and usage management. Now, as Telenor explains, smart utilities can use IoT networks, devices, and applications to address more big picture challenges and opportunities. These include supporting electric vehicles; achieving far more efficient power generation and distribution; and protecting the environment.

Why automated provisioning, activation, and orchestration are needed:

At the heart of any smart grid or smart utility solution are constant streams of data that feed the intelligence needed to make the smart grid work intelligently. Moving, processing, analyzing, and acting on that data means orchestrating devices, applications, networks, and cloud services fluidly. It is likely to include fine-tuned and automated network slices too.

Automated provisioning, activation, and orchestration is needed so that smart utilities and other sophisticated new operations that integrate connectivity, IoT devices, and live data analysis into their production or business operations, can function as intended and be improved continuously.

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Steve Marsh

General Manager - North America | Intraway

Steve Marsh, Intraway’s General Manager for North America (NA) is responsible for representing Intraway to CSP and MSO clients and prospects in the USA and Canada. He leads the NA team and works closely with the Intraway Executive Leadership Team and Board of Advisors to expand Intraway’s reach beyond LATAM. He is fully accountable for NA revenue, Business Development, SDO relationships, Client NPS and Partnerships. He is also accountable for driving continuous improvement of people, processes, and technology to enable the business to realize scale while improving effectiveness.

Marsh joined Intraway in October 2015 and brings over three decades of experience in operations, engineering, customer care, network, and technology management to Intraway. He has held numerous leadership positions in network & IT operations, engineering, customer care, strategy and product development, work center planning, sales support, service management and project management over the course of his career. His career also includes extensive tenure at MSO/Cable, Telecom, ISP and in high-tech industries, supporting enterprise, small & medium business, and residential customer segments.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the University of Florida and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Emory University.