Edge + IoT

IBM to fire Watson IoT Platform from its cloud

Big Blue follows in footsteps of Google in pulling plug on services

Exclusive IBM is set to put its Watson IoT Platform service on IBM Cloud into retirement.

According to a customer email seen by The Register, IBM plans to "sunset the Watson IoT Platform service on IBM Cloud effective December 1st, 2023 without a direct replacement" after which access to the platform APIs would no longer be available.

The statement added: "Please note, devices will be unable to connect to the MQTT and HTTP endpoints and existing connections will be shut down. All remaining customers using this service should plan to move to alternative services before that time."

Contacted by The Register, IBM has so far said it would provide no additional comment.

IBM's website cites embedded systems manufacturer Adesto Technologies, Cisco DNA Spaces (occupancy insight), and cleaning and asset management tech company EnOcean among the platform's partners.

IBM launched the Watson IoT platform around a decade ago before expanding the service with a new headquarters in Munich, Germany.

The platform was designed to give customers one place to manage their IoT devices, monitor usage and collect as well as process generated data.

In 2018, an IBM blog promised the platform would help organizations "succeed by delivering an Industrial IoT solution that's built for today but designed for the future."

Big Blue has made IoT investments elsewhere, though. Extending its IT system monitoring and support, the company announced the backing of Open Horizon, an open source project which promises autonomous management of more than 10,000 edge devices simultaneously. Built into the IBM Edge Application Manager, the technology is said to enable AI, analytics and IoT enterprise workloads to be deployed and remotely managed.

IBM sold off fellow Watson-branded initiative Watson Health in January, although the purported $1 billion price-tag turned out to be worth $230 million in pre-tax profits.

In June, IBM chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna said the company decided to jettison the healthcare AI unit because it had failed to acquire the requisite vertical expertise in the healthcare sector.

IBM is not alone in deciding one IoT platform is one too many. Google Cloud is turning off its IoT services as of August 2023, leaving customers with less than a year to find alternatives.

In a missive to customers, Google Cloud said: "We're writing to let you know that Google Cloud IoT Core Service will be discontinued on August 15 2023 at which point your access to the IoT Core Device Manager API will no longer be available."

IoT devices using the service will be unable to connect to MQTT and HTTP bridges after that date, the note said.

In 2019, Google killed off Android Things, telling users at the time to migrate to IoT Core. ®

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