Real companies generating real innovation with IoT

Connie Chen

innovation iconography with cloud icon inside

The Internet of things (IoT) is a class of technology built on physical devices embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to connect and exchange data. The possibilities of IoT leave a lot of room for execution, from sensor-enabled pet products able to automatically clean litter boxes to medical devices that alert to certain conditions, and even smart city grids that can save power and energy.

Yet, IoT projects face an uphill climb — from scalability and hardware barriers, to data quality and governance issues. And with over 25% of businesses lacking IoT expertise in-house, it’s tough to find the adequate talent to address these challenges.

While there are many barriers, success is possible. Read on for stories of diverse businesses taking advantage of IoT to boost innovation, as well as tangible, bottom-line results.


Internationally known for the Litter-Robot, an automatic self-cleaning litter box for cats, AutoPets had a first-generation cloud backend that was unable to take full advantage of its managed AWS IoT services. This caused stability, reliability and security concerns. And it impacted the onboarding experience for users, with 75% of new customers unable to register on the first try.

AutoPets started with modernizing their platform to eliminate reliability and performance issues. Next, it redesigned its IoT platform with cloud native architecture and added smart home integration features. The key to its success was overhauling its legacy infrastructure and finding the right expertise. Jacob Zuppke, Executive Vice President at AutoPets, explains the value of IoT-specific expertise: “Onica [a Rackspace Technology company] is helping to develop our software technology and mobile products, which are used by pet owners around the world. Six months into the partnership and we’re increasingly satisfied.”

Century Engineering

Stormwater runoff is one of the greatest challenges for water pollution control. During a rain event, stormwater can become contaminated and, in turn, impair our rivers, lakes and streams. So engineers design systems to treat stormwater runoff, to reduce pollutants before releasing the water back into the environment.

But these systems are built on historic precipitation data — and not all wet weather events behave the same way. So Century Engineering set out to create a system that responds to real-time precipitation data, to maximize pollutant removal and reduce runoff. With their IoT solution, SmartSWM™, Century Engineering can build stormwater facilities that track current facility storage and precipitation forecasts, and then autonomously control a valve to adjust stored water volumes.

When Century Engineering needed to prepare for production-level applications, they turned to Onica, a Rackspace Technology company. “Onica helped us to improve our overall product architecture, design custom hardware and refine our back-end logic to improve overall SmartSWM™ performance and scalability,” explained Bob Bathurst, Principal at Century Engineering.

“They were able to listen to our objectives, review our existing system, and apply their in-depth knowledge of IoT and automation to help us implement industry best practices into the SmartSWM product. The system is a lot more reliable and secure thanks to Onica’s support.”

Read more success stories

We’ve put together an e-book outlining the complete story of AutoPets’ and Century Engineering’s IoT success, as well as stories from other companies applying IoT and insights on accelerating your IoT journey. Download the e-book to discover the art of the possible for your organization.


Fast-track your IoT Initiatives