Systems integrator Outcomex is signalling 2021 as a big year for the company as it engages new markets for its IoT farm management solution, Farmdeck.
Outcomex recently scored global recognition in the development of Farmdeck among the Cisco community after being the first company in A/NZ to win the global innovation challenge this year.
Farmdeck itself offers an all-in-one management solution for farmers using smart sensors to help track and identify livestock, paddock management, measure water levels in dams and water tanks, rainfall and electric fence monitoring and video surveillance.
According to Outcomex CEO, Marco Delgado, the company had been working with Cisco on the solution set for just over four years, trialling various technologies across its portfolio to get to the point of commercially releasing Farmdeck within the Australian AgTech industry earlier this year.
“We’ve trialled various technologies across the Cisco feature set to get to this point. It’s been four years of innovation,” Delgado said. “The support from Cisco has been critical. We can’t progress without them. We hit problems early around code and bug fixes, and with their support, reaching deeper into their dev teams, they moved obstacles out of the way and we were able to progress.”
In applying for the Cisco Innovation Challenge, which is open to any partner that develops a solution based on Cisco’s open APIs, Outcomex threw together a video showcasing the product, how it was built, APIs used in the process and use cases among farmers within Australia as well as the potential for it extend into global markets.
So far, about 60 farmers have signed up in the past two months to use Farmdeck, both large and small, across various farming industries from diary through to horticulture.
Some of these users include Red Hill farm in Barraba, NSW that spans 2400 hectares with 700 cattle and Stoney Creek Farm in Bathurst, which spans 500 hectares and contains 100 cattle. Both cases used the water monitoring solution where sensors were installed in water tanks and troughs.
In some instances, rural areas can experience connectivity issues, and in the case of Stoney Creek Farm, LoRa technology was used to send the data from the sensors to the Farmdeck application, with Outcomex also installing a LoRaWAN gateway mounted on a tower powered by a solar panel.
“We’re known for deploying critical enterprise grade networks, providing transient information and taking that to the next level,” Outcomex IoT lead, Luca Palermo said. “There are other segments that the IoT team is looking to progress now, and that really shows our heritage and background as a very mature Cisco partner, and that really extends us moving forward and our customer set.”
Outcomex managing director, Michael van Zoggel added that the company has been using the platform in other industries too — deploying a smart city solution that is currently in use and being piloted by 15 local councils across various use cases in surveillance, monitoring water flow, temperatures, and so forth.
Outcomex has also developed a replica of Farmdeck called FoodDeck — specifically aimed at the food industry. Using the same platform, FoodDeck aims to monitor food waste in stores, and temperature of food and fridges, both in cold and hot scenarios.
“The platform is also taking us into the mining industry. We find there’s a lot of overlap between some of the sensors that we’ve developed for the farming industry and reusing that in the mining space,” van Zoggel said. “We’ve got a lot happening. 2021 is going to be a big year for us in the development space.”