Onymos bids for IoT with gateway, access and data store abstraction layer

Investor-backed Onymos is trying to upset the apple cart when it comes to how dev teams maintain applications and prep for seemingly constant standard updates in operating systems like iOS and Android.

Shiva Nathan, founder and CEO, told Fierce Electronics that a Onymos survey found that more than 35% of engineering teams at major companies devote their time and attention to getting ready for updates like the coming iOS 17 arriving in September.

The frequency of standard updates has begun to overrun development work, so Onymos offers annual subscriptions and user-based fees for its Features-as-a-Service, a kind of abstraction layer that does the work for them. The five-year-old company has some major customer signed up, including CVS pharmacy, Albertsons and Walmart, with a total of nearly 100 customers so far.  The biggest customers pay up to $1 million a year, but others are only in the thousands per year.

 In 2022, Onymos raised $12 million in a third investment round.   So far, Onymos has been focused primarily on healthcare, device makers and the education market primarily.  These markets mean Onymos expects to hit the IoT market heavily.  Only one potential small German competitor has emerged, Nathan claimed.

One primary reason enterprise customers come to Onymos is because of the shortage of engineers to do all they work they need, he said.  Onymos has been lucky to find top talent and now boasts about its 30 engineers on staff.

The abstraction layer that Onymos writes for companies can be amended by the customers and can be provided without the need for Onymos to take customer data, Nathan said. That approach also means a customer can look into Onymos’ source code and check for any spyware or other irregularities. “With SaaS, they provide a service and take your dollars and data, but with Onymos, your data stays with you,” Nathan said. “We don’t want to capture your data.”

Nathan said the idea behind Onymos’ abstraction layer came to him years ago when Java emerged as a type of abstraction layer. “If Onymos can provide the next abstraction layer like Java, where we take care of the operation and connect to the OS, like iOS 17 and Android 14 updates, then customers never have to waste their engineers on those tasks,” he said.

In June, the company expanded its Features-as-a-Service approach to support creation of Iot and Internet of Medical Things ecosystems and apps.  Press Release: Onymos Expands Features-as-a-Service Platform to IoT Development - Onymos

Onymos IoT was created to provide designers with a protocol-agnostic gateway to enable IoT devices and apps to talk to each other. It also offers access as a drop-in, log-in approach that is delivered as a front-end library that can be connected to a customer’s user database. The library uses providers like Okta, AuthO, Azure AD and social providers like Apple, Google and Facebook to allow developers to choose the authentication method they prefer.

Also, Onymos IoT has a set of utilities for securely storing and retrieving data in the cloud that connects to the most popular cloud services like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

 IoT devices used in ag, healthcare and energy need to connect and exchange data with other devices and system.  That activity is “complex and arduous,” he said in a statement from June.  “Our IoT solutions provides engineering teams and developers with the necessary building blocks to create the ecosystem required for the devices and systems to function properly.”

All told, Onymos Features-as-a-Service has more than 20 features like access, biometrics, chat, deep links, location, notification and payments that can be added to new or existing apps and include the user interface, security, compliance requirements and underlying logic that runs on the device, the server-side functions and integrations that process and store data in the cloud. Automatic updates are part of the total package, like those required to prepare for iOS 17.

As Nathan explained to Fierce, standard updates for iOS 17 are being done by  dev teams at each company that relies on iPhone connections for features such as payments and data sharing for its business. Instead of having separate teams around the globe working on basically the same updates, he proffers with a smile, why not have one team at Onymos do the work for the entire group?

“Engineering teams are now running to stay in the same place,” he said.