Kony, KMC Controls Use Microservices To Drive Velocity, Variety for Mobile, IoT Apps

Kony Inc., a cloud-based provider of mobility, omni-channel and IoT solutions, is helping forge  an intriguing bridge between the worlds of mobile apps and IoT. IDN talks with Kony’s Burley Kawasaki about their unique partnership with KMC Controls, a leader in building automation.

Tags: analytics, IoT, KMC, Kony, mobile,

Burley Kawasaki, Kony
Burley Kawasaki
senior vice president

"Microservices help us increase the velocity of delivery of mobile and IoT apps, using reusable, repeatable patterns."

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Kony Inc., a cloud-based provider of mobility, omni-channel and IoT solutions, is helping forge an intriguing bridge between the worlds of mobile apps and IoT with a unique partnership with KMC Controls, a leader in building automation.


Kony and KMC Controls co-developed a special-purpose mobile app, KMC Connect Lite, to speed up the complex and time-consuming pre-commissioning process of its KMC Conquest controllers.


The mobile app simplifies field configuration and installation to such a degree that customers can reduce the system installation setup time by up to 75 percent, according to KMC Controls CEO Richard Newberry. Using near-field communication (NFC) protocols, the KMC Connect Lite mobile app enables field service technicians to configure, customize, and commission controller devices – all without powering the controller or even opening the box. With the KMC Connect Lite mobile app, a field installer places their mobile device on the controller box and can write the controller settings through NFC.


“The KMC Connect Lite mobile application that Kony helped us build is a game changer for our customers. What used to take customers 4 days to configure and install a system is now down to just a few hours,” Newberry said, adding. “The KMC Connect Lite mobile app that Kony helped us build is a game changer for our customers.”


Under the covers, the Kony MobileFabric platform presents KMC Control developers a rich collection of easy-to-customize APIs and microservices “that are meaningful to the developer and can be used to more easily meet consumer needs,” Burley Kawasaki, Kony’s senior vice president of products told IDN.  “This promotes agility within the service world to quickly develop and deploy smaller services,” he said.


Using Kony MobileFabric, KMC Controls has a ton of control and extensibility over the array of services and microservices developers can access or create. Notably, these backend services will also work directly with its KMC Commander IoT solution for the intelligent building automation market. This access to extensible microservices for the KMC Connect Lite mobile app (and already compliant with KMC Commander IoT) brings a great value-add, including: ability to apply analytics, incorporate customer ideas for new features – and integrate all these updates seamlessly into the new mobile app.


Further, using data enabled by Kony MobileFabric (and saved on the Kony Cloud), KMC Controls “can gain insight into how and where its mobile application is being used, what functions are proving most popular, and how much time is being spent on each screen,” Newberry added.


Kony’s Kawasaki shared some perspective on how Kony’s long attention to a services-driven architecture set the stage for these latest innovations with KMC Controls.


“If you look at the way we started building services 15 years ago, we built large, SOAP-based services. This was a great way to talk machine-to-machine, or to a webpage on a web server, but not to end-users,” he told IDN. The reason, Kawasaki said, is “in the mobile world you don’t have the speed of wire. You have the speed of wireless. This capacity has spurred the advent of agile development. Enter MobileFabric, which uses an API reference library. APIs allow us to manage applications from the service level.”


Kawasaki went on to give an example of the power of having manageability at the service level. “If I start using a set of services and you start using a different set of services, we can still keep track of each other under the same name. API management helps keep traceability of who is using the services and how popular they are, so we can create microservices that are relevant to the developer and the end user. For mobile apps, microservices help us increase the velocity of delivery, using reusable, repeatable patterns. So now mobile apps are bigger, faster, easier,” he added.


Building on their mobile / IoT success, KMC Controls plans to leverage Kony’s technologies for future mobile and IoT solutions, Newberry added.


While details on KMC Controls’ next IoT project have yet to be released, Kony’s Kawasaki was able to share some insight on how the Kony-KMC Controls partnership is shaping thinking for a converged mobile app-IoT solution using Kony MobileFabric.


“In general, customers today are buying IoT devices. They’re also buying analytics. All these devices are sending data and relying on huge analytics platforms,” Kawasaki said.


“At some point in time, whether it’s B2C or B2B, there will be a need to get to the right person, at the right place and at the right time. That’s the mobile device. Mobile offers more contextual information for the end user than any other device we use today, and it’s our primary means of getting information quickly, untethering us from watching a screen or sitting at a desk waiting for a problem,” he said.