Twilio partners with Microsoft Azure and adds a new feature for its IoT SIMs

Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform, announced Trust Onboard, a feature for its IoT SIMs that enables developers to identify and authenticate cellular connected devices against cloud services.

Twilio launched Programmable Wireless in April 2018, and has shipped more than a million SIMs that provide global connectivity to IoT developers. With Trust Onboard, Twilio now delivers connectivity, device identification and authentication capabilities on a single SIM, dramatically accelerating IoT time to market.

At Microsoft Build, Twilio also announced integration with Azure IoT as part of Microsoft’s IoT Plug and Play connectivity, allowing IoT developers to sync devices to their Azure cloud from the Twilio Console, establishing trust as soon as the device comes online.

“Cellular IoT developers are burdened with two major challenges,” said Evan Cummack, head of IoT & Wireless at Twilio.

“First, developers need to reliably connect large fleets of devices to cellular networks of different types around the world. Twilio’s IoT SIMs and Wireless Supernetwork tackle this problem. Then developers need a simple, secure mechanism to exchange data with their devices. Trust Onboard is our first product that helps developers bridge this gap — it’s a frictionless way to deploy a large fleet of devices, identify and authenticate each one to the cloud.”

As IoT device fleets get larger and time to market becomes more critical, identity management is increasingly painful for IoT developers, who have often had to invest significant time and resources figuring out how to securely pre-install unique identity credentials during manufacturing.

Having Trust Onboard certificates pre-embedded on each SIM reduces the time it takes to get an IoT solution to market while adhering to best practices.

Trust Onboard

Trust Onboard provides a unique identity to an IoT device via preloaded X.509 certificates, enabling a developer to authenticate against any cloud service. With Trust Onboard, developers can:

  • Establish a trusted identity for each device — with unique X.509 certificates on each SIM, developers don’t need to worry about generating or distributing their own certificates.
  • Authenticate against any cloud or backend service — dual certificates give developers the option to perform authentication in their own device code, or delegate it to the cryptographic hardware of the SIM itself.
  • Remove complexity from the manufacturing process — developers can optimize their supply chain and reduce time to market by using one vendor for connectivity and identity management.

Twilio’s Cellular IoT platform and Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

With Trust Onboard, Twilio provides a simple user interface for an IoT developer to order SIMs — including embedded SIMs — with two day shipping. After ordering, they can now associate SIMs with their Microsoft Azure account so that each device can be identified and trusted by Microsoft Azure IoT Hub the first time it comes online.

“Securely connecting large volumes of cellular connected IoT devices to cloud based solutions is still too difficult for customers,” says Sam George, director, Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp.

“With Twilio Programmable Wireless with Trust Onboard and the integration with Azure IoT that we’ve done, our joint customers have a great solution to this challenge. This joint solution means the whole process enables zero touch provisioning for customers, so that non-experts will be able to turn devices on wherever they are in the world and they will automatically show up in their Azure IoT Applications and be fully operational. That is a huge customer benefit and supports our drive to simplify IoT.”

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