grandcentrix and Datacake Enable Customers to Apply IoT: Bringing Business Opportunities to Life

grandcentrix, a prominent player in the IoT (Internet of Things) industry, has been at the forefront of digital transformation and software development since its establishment in 2009. With a rich history and commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions, grandcentrix has emerged as one of the leaders in its field. This success story highlights how grandcentrix is utilising Datacake, a powerful IoT platform, to achieve its goals and drive innovation in the industry.

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About grandcentrix

grandcentrix is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone – one of the world leaders in the IoT market. The company is built on two pillars: As a product house, grandcentrix specialises in developing cutting-edge plug & work IoT products that incorporate future-proof technologies. Using cellular connectivity, they make it easier to connect things and create impact in a resource-efficient way. As a solutions provider, the company also offers bespoke, end-to-end IoT development services. Its team of experts use their skills and experience to connect devices and build companion apps. grandcentrix takes full responsibility for the entire lifecycle of a project, from concept to development and deployment, reducing time to market and minimising risk, creating significant business value for its customers across the value chain.

Modbus Cloud Connect Trial Pack

Trial pack with 2 x Modbus Cloud Connect incl. antenna, self-service configuration portal, Datacake dashboard, Vodafone NB-IoT & LTE-M data plan, commissioning support, 3 months term.

From App Development Expertise to IoT Powerhouse

grandcentrix’s Journey of Innovation and Expansion

grandcentrix was originally founded in 2009 as a specialised IT software company, focusing primarily on app development. From the outset, the company quickly gained recognition for its expertise in developing innovative mobile applications. Several major projects, including the renowned Toniebox for children and the integration of Miele home appliances, propelled grandcentrix into the realm of IoT and hardware development. By expanding beyond app development and using Datacake, grandcentrix has added value for its customers by creating IoT products in combination with integrated IoT solutions.

Picture of Grandcentrix company headquarters in Cologne, Germany

grandcentrix Makes IoT Happen

Engineering Excellence ‘Made in Germany’

With a team of nearly 200 professionals, primarily based in Cologne, Germany, grandcentrix prides itself on engineering excellence “made in Germany”. Its engineers have a wide range of skills including embedded hardware and firmware development, cloud engineering, app development for iOS and Android, IoT security, quality management and even antenna design, and take responsibility along the whole life-cycle, from concept, through development to roll-out, creating substantial business value for customers across the entire value chain. This comprehensive expertise makes them an internationally recognised partner in IoT endeavours.

Stack of Modbus Cloud Connect modules

grandcentrix’s Growth through Synergy with Vodafone

In 2020, the company strategically embraced its acquisition by Vodafone, one of the global leaders in IoT connectivity. This partnership has enabled grandcentrix to further strengthen its capabilities and expand its offerings to meet the evolving demands of the market. With a mission to pioneer IoT innovation, grandcentrix aims to provide innovative products as well as bespoke solutions that seamlessly integrate machines into modern IoT infrastructures.

IoT Products and Solutions

Two Pillars of Business Driving Innovation

grandcentrix operates on two core pillars of business. Firstly, their IoT Solution business continues to build, develop, and implement custom solutions for clients. This approach ensures that each client receives a bespoke IoT solution, catering to their specific requirements. Secondly, the company established its IoT Products division, which focuses on creating scalable IoT offerings. One such product is Modbus Cloud Connect, which addresses the need for retrofitting existing Modbus devices and efficiently transmitting their data to the cloud or the client’s existing IT infrastructure.

Modbus Cloud Connect

Delivering Unique Solutions to Industry Challenges

Modbus is an established, field-proven protocol that is versatile and robust. It allows easy handling and communication between devices, making it suitable for retrofitting older machines that already speak Modbus, or implementing it in newer machines where Modbus can easily be added. The solution focuses on simplicity, allowing customers to connect their equipment to the Internet through a plug-and-work approach. Modbus Cloud Connect comes with four building blocks that customers typically need: hardware, connectivity, self-service portal, and support.

Seamless IoT Integration with a Standard Form Factor

The Modbus Cloud Connect module, which is very compact and can be mounted on a DIN rail, has just a few connectors and, when powered on, automatically establishes a connection to the self-service portal hosted in the cloud, where customers can configure the connected device and pick the data they want to collect and transmit to platforms such as Datacake. By bridging the gap between devices and the cloud using the latest standardised IoT networking technology, Narrowband IoT and LTE-M, Modbus Cloud Connect ensures wireless integration of data from wired devices.

Modbus Cloud Connect on DIN rail
Vodafone Cellular Coverage

Harnessing Global IoT Standards

grandcentrix leverages the existing global standardisation and wide coverage of Narrowband IoT and LTE-M network technologies. By utilising these networks, Modbus Cloud Connect provides reliable and efficient data transmission without the need for additional investment in infrastructure such as LoRaWAN networks. This approach maximises efficiency and takes advantage of existing networks, allowing customers to reap the benefits.

In addition, NB-IoT and LTE-M also provide deep indoor coverage, enabling new business opportunities when it comes to connecting products or devices, such as in building basements or industrial plants.

Modbus Cloud Connect in Action

Manufacturer ALMiG is using Modbus Cloud Connect for the IoT connection of its air compressors. The connectivity of the compressors enables a wide range of status monitoring and asset management applications, as well as visualisation of machine usage and utilisation. Ultimately, Modbus Cloud Connect enables new digital service management and increases customer satisfaction. (The video is in German language)

Simplified Implementation and Seamless Data Visualisation

User Friendly Solution

The Modbus Cloud Connect self-service portal provides a user-friendly experience that is accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise. The portal allows customers to easily configure and manage their Modbus devices and seamlessly transmit the information to Datacake for visualisation on a graphical dashboard. The focus on user experience sets Modbus Cloud Connect apart from other more complex systems by providing a streamlined and straightforward solution.

Datacake provided detailed information in their documentation, including a video tutorial to guide users through the process.

Datacake Charts

Why grandcentrix Chose Datacake as the Ideal Platform Option

grandcentrix gave several reasons for choosing Datacake as their platform of choice. grandcentrix highlighted that even before a template for the Modbus Cloud Connect product existed, implementing a device with Datacake was easy, especially for individuals without any programming knowledge. However, when Datacake’s support introduced the Modbus Cloud Connect template, it further simplified the implementation process. The template provided pre-configured settings, making it incredibly straightforward to integrate devices and visualise data. grandcentrix and their customers appreciated the added convenience and flexibility of the template, allowing them to adapt it to their specific needs.

Datacake Charts

Simplicity and Flexibility in One Platform

grandcentrix mentioned two key features they particularly liked about Datacake. Firstly, they emphasised the simplicity of the Datacake interface, which surpassed other platforms they had tested. Datacake’s low-code approach made onboarding and configuration faster, when compared to alternative solutions. In addition, Datacake was not only intuitive to use, but also aesthetically pleasing.

Secondly, grandcentrix appreciated Datacake’s compatibility with many different communication protocols. They highlighted that Datacake’s openness allowed them to easily integrate a variety of sensors and machines, even if they used different languages or protocols. This flexibility allowed grandcentrix’s customers to integrate their existing platforms or have custom applications developed to meet their specific needs.

    Ease of creating a dashboard
    Quick visualisation of data
    Dashboard sharing
    Creation of pilot studies and quick prototyping
    User friendliness for non-technical users
    Enablement and impact

Driving Bottom Line Impact

Enhanced Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

By optimising service operations, companies can prevent unnecessary service calls, reduce energy consumption and cut operating costs by optimising machine settings. A proactive approach minimises downtime and prevents costly production disruptions, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction. By capturing and storing equipment usage and maintenance data, organisations can demonstrate compliance and reduce the risk of litigation related to warranty claims, equipment failure or negligence.

IoT Services Broschure

Empowering Workforces

Modbus Cloud Connect and Datacake play a key role in bridging the skills gap by presenting data in a user-friendly format that can be understood by people with varying levels of expertise. This capability enables organisations to leverage data analysis and decision-making processes without relying solely on highly experienced specialists. As a result, a wider range of employees can be actively involved in using data, expanding opportunities for informed decision-making across the organisation.

Pioneering Innovation and Customer Centric Solutions

Powered by Cutting-Edge Technologies and Datacake

grandcentrix’s journey from its app development roots to becoming one of the IoT industry leaders reflects its commitment to innovation, collaboration and customer-centric solutions. Leveraging Datacake and other cutting-edge technologies, grandcentrix continues to drive transformational change in the IoT landscape, enabling businesses to harness the full potential of connected devices and data.

Project Partners

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