Twilio Partners with Microsoft Azure IoT, Adds Identity and Authentication Capabilities to its IoT Connectivity Offering

IoT solutions often ignore identity and authentication best practices due to cost and complexity, introducing security risks

Trust Onboard reduces complexity around identification and authentication for makers of cellular IoT devices

Announces integration with Microsoft Azure IoT enabling developers to automatically authenticate devices to Azure’s IoT cloud platform

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), the leading cloud communications platform, today 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.”

Twilio at Microsoft Build

The Twilio IoT team will be hosting daily workshops at Microsoft Build on May 6–8 in Seattle. Join Twilio in the IoT Hackspace and complete a TwilioQuest experience to receive an exclusive Twilio Broadband IoT Developer Kit that comes with a Programmable Wireless SIM with Trust Onboard for Azure IoT.

Pricing and Availability

Twilio Programmable Wireless SIMs equipped with Trust Onboard are available for pre-order here and will be generally available in July for a one-time fee of $5 per SIM - this includes everything required to get connected.

After purchasing the SIM for a one-time fee, customers pay a monthly recurring SIM fee in addition to usage-based data charges. Twilio also gives customers the option of a lower data rate after committing to a minimum data spend per month.

About Twilio

Millions of developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratized communications channels like voice, text, chat, video and email by virtualizing the world’s communications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer's toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators across every industry — from emerging leaders to the world’s largest organizations — to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.


Caitlin Epstein


Caitlin Epstein