I’ve been familiar with Honeywell for quite some time and you’ve heard of them for sure if for nothing else than consumer HVAC. Historically it fell outside of my purview of coverage due to the fact that it was primarily focused on operational technology. However, the company has been making very big moves lately that I believe expand its presence well into the realm of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—I recently published a deep dive on this strategic shift that you can find here if interested. The company is even delving into quantum technology and research, as evidenced by its recently announced partnership with Microsoft on a new service called Azure Quantum (read our quantum analyst Paul Smith-Goodson’s take on that news here). Earlier this week, another Honeywell announcement caught my eye that I feel is further indicative of Honeywell’s IoT ambitions—a new partnership with Verizon to go after the smart meter market. Let’s take a closer look at what was announced.
Good for consumers, good for utilities
We’re just now beginning to grasp the monumental potential IoT presents to disrupt and transform how do practically everything in the years to come. By bringing intelligence and connectivity to previously “dumb” technology, consumers and businesses alike can benefit from increased efficiency and savings. Honeywell and Verizon are now seeking to do this in the utility space, with a solution that combines Honeywell’s Smart Energy software, hardware and services for electric, gas, and water solutions, with Verizon’s Managed Connectivity LTE solutions, offered on its LTE network. The overall goal of this initiative is to provide a platform to hasten and simplify the deployment of smart sensors, controllers, and other connected pieces of hardware on electric grids. By providing a smart platform for utility companies to manage and deliver their services, the companies say they will deliver energy savings and enable new services for customers. A big part of this will be assisting utilities in managing and planning for peak demand, enabling consumers to consume energy at the optimum time and reduce outages.
The platform promises to be full managed, open, and, importantly, highly scalable. According to Honeywell, it will sport a number of features geared specifically towards the utilities market. These include strong device identity and security features, dynamic network authorization and access, device and application discovery, remote device monitoring and management, modem firmware and application upgrades, real-time device diagnostics, and simplified supply chain and data access. Additionally, Honeywell says the platform will enable it to integrate next generation technologies such as AI and ML into its metering hardware. Looking towards the future, this partnership will be well-positioned to capitalize on the benefits of 5G’s faster throughputs and lower latencies to enable new services, and drive increased efficiencies and savings.
This is a great example of Honeywell’s IIoT value prop at work. Its metering solutions are already in place—in fact, the company has had a smart grid division in place for over three decades. This gives it a great head start on the IIoT transformation in this field. Forging a strategic partnership with one of the country’s leading telecom providers makes a world of sense and gives Honeywell the connectivity prowess necessary to jump start the smart meter transformation and drive new value for its customers. Look for a lot more announcements like this from Honeywell in the coming years.