IoT’s Ready for G’ma and G’pa (Inside Exosite: Business Series)
by Maggie Davis, on August 17, 2016
Well, maybe not quite, but the Internet of Things (IoT) has surpassed buzzword level for most...it has slowly developed actual meaning–but not for everyone. Probably not for your grandparents and maybe not for your boss or your boss’s boss. When the iPod first came out it was met with a chorus of, "I’ll never need that. I have a cabinet filled with perfectly good CDs!” Like all disruptive technologies, the iPod eventually became ubiquitous because it could bring your music anywhere. Digital music players are now integrated with our telephones which are essentially personal computers in our pockets. We, at Exosite, believe IoT has this same transformative quality and here is why.
We live in a world where we can have access to all things digital. But now we’re pushing through the barrier—from digital to physical, access to actual things at our fingertips. In the consumer market, we have seen thermostats and garage-door openers begin to open people’s eyes to IoT. But the power of it is only just beginning to take hold. There is the potential for serious business transformation when we take this into the industrial and machine-to-machine (M2M) spaces. This is the beginning of change, real change–not just another buzzword–but actual change! Whether it’s adding entirely new revenue streams via new IoT-powered services and software, using the real-time condition monitoring alerts to avoid money-burning downtime, or lighting up a brand new competitive advantage to bring in new customers. Connecting your products can be the next fundamental chapter in your success story.
Change is a scary beast and the first step in getting adoption for a new idea is helping people visualize success…allowing them to touch/hold and imagine a new reality. It’s the difference between explaining to a stakeholder that IoT is about connecting devices to the Internet and adding monitoring and remote-control features versus handing them a smartphone and telling them to push a button causing a real garage door to open. At Exosite, we created the Proof of Feasibility (PoF) offering to enable you to create your own “button” quickly and easily.
There are a number of outputs from a PoF project, but the key to it’s success is that all of the efforts are small-scale experiments that quickly validate constraints or assumptions. As a long-time project manager on these types of projects, I can assure you that nothing goes further than getting something in your stakeholder’s hands as quickly as possible. More walk, less talk. The Exosite PoF offering allows teams to create a usable prototype that mimics an end-user application so users can quickly visualize the actual value. And if visualization isn’t enough, the PoF can be a demonstration of actual connectivity.
These PoF projects leverage Exosite’s Murano platform which make accessing device data and displaying it on a computer incredibly easy. We call Murano a platform for a reason...out of the gate you can leverage user-management tools, device-management tools, and have a place to host your application without the usual hassle of building those capabilities from scratch. The investment of time and resources without this platform would be cost (and time) prohibitive. Because the PoF is built using Exosite’s Murano platform, the effort, though small, is not throw away. Future development efforts will leverage what is built during a PoF engagement and integrate into the eventual production application.
Early in the process it’s critical to fail fast or skip failure altogether so you can get to market faster or pivot and try something else. With any transformative change within a business, no matter the industry, it’s important that subject matter experts (that’s you) spend time identifying the differentiating features they can bring to their industry segment. For example, would IoT-enabled features that allow technicians to identify equipment issues and order a replacement part without ever stepping foot in the field be valuable? This type of feature takes a 24-hour task and reduces it to a 1-hour task. The PoF process enables you to prove out those innovative ideas before investing heavily in them. Imagine selling something that you can PROVE will improve your customer’s business–rather than hoping that it will–sounds like a slam dunk.
So, now that we’ve got your boss on board, we’ll work on grandma and grandpa next.
Be sure to visit exosite.com/murano where we’ll regularly present new videos and blog content from our Inside Exosite series, featuring Exosite experts answering real customer questions about IoT. Please find us on social media and submit your own questions for our team to answer. For additional information about Murano and Exosite’s professional services, or to speak directly with an Exosite team member, see the links below.