Plants grow in Hortica's connected cultivation environment

Cloud of Things case study

Solution built on Azure IoT services enables rapid launch of smart horticultural unit

Pharmaceuticals company looks beyond traditional infrastructure

Hortica, a plant-made pharmaceuticals company in Israel, wanted to monitor its greenhouse system without dedicating resources to traditional infrastructure.

Remote control integrated with the Microsoft Azure IoT stack

Microsoft partner Cloud of Things implemented its DeviceTone IoT Suite, an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that works with Azure IoT services.

Suite helps reap time-to-market benefits with a ready-to-run solution

DeviceTone IoT Suite, used alongside modules from Cloud of Things partner AES, enabled Hortica’s system to be up and running in less than two weeks.

Cloud of Things accelerates the creation of smart connected products

Cloud of Things, an IoT and innovation company that creates connected field service solutions, has been a Microsoft partner for two years. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with an office in Newton, Massachusetts, Cloud of Things works globally with companies to make their products and services smarter and more profitable. DeviceTone IoT Suite, the company’s ready-to-run IoT solution available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, makes it quick to create smart connected products. DeviceTone IoT Suite offers customers a multitude of features, including open APIs and customizable device management dashboards. It runs on any chip, supports any communication protocol, and connects to any cloud.

Hortica, located in Tirat Yehuda, Israel, cultivates plant-made pharmaceuticals. Hortica’s research and development team was focused on smart irrigation and cultivation, and it wanted to rapidly launch its smart cultivation unit, a type of indoor greenhouse. Hortica turned to Cloud of Things and its partner AES, whose minIoT technology enables seamless sensor-to-cloud IoT connectivity for devices.

Connecting Hortica’s smart irrigation units to Azure

DeviceTone IoT Suite works with the Azure IoT stack – Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service, and accompanying analytics solutions – to securely connect any set of devices. DeviceTone IoT Suite enabled Hortica and AES to connect Hortica’s smart irrigation units to Azure without the need of an embedded firmware developer. This allowed Hortica to collect data and remotely control more than 30 sensors in each unit. Hortica also gained the ability to compress data and perform edge analytics to generate insights and create triggers and alerts.

“On our journey to bring Industrial Revolution 4.0 technology into precision agriculture, we have created a true alliance of professionalism and comradery with AES and Cloud of Things,” said Dr. Yaron Penn, Co-CEO of Hortica. “Our unique platform introduces a disruptive business model to the medical cannabis market called ‘Grow as a Service.’ Partnering with them enabled the realization of our dream within a short time to market and with minimal costs. Leveraging the global Azure cloud, we have accelerated the sustainability advantages our system has to offer, in the context of a lower environmental footprint and its ability to provide fresh produce in areas that were before considered hostile to food agriculture.”

By using the DeviceTone IoT Suite, already integrated with minIoT hardware and communication modules from AES, Hortica shortened the launch of its smart cultivation unit by more than a year, achieving the goal in less than two weeks.

“DeviceTone, built on Microsoft Azure IoT, is helping an innovative agribusiness scale operations. With AES, we’ve delivered an IoT solution that helps Hortica monitor their agricultural environment, and they gain computing and analytics insights on Azure.”

—Avner Ziv, CEO, Cloud of Things

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