CHANGING THE WORLD WITH IoT

SEE WHO’S CHANGING
THE WORLD THROUGH IoT

Titans are visionaries, trailblazers in the IoT movements who are challenging the status quo.

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Meet the Titans

FACT OR FICTION: You can program your IoT-enabled car to pick up groceries on its own. FIND OUT
FICTION (FOR NOW)

Cars are rapidly transforming into versatile connected devices complete with connectivity, infotainment and self-diagnostics. It probably won’t be long before your car can drive you to the airport or pick up milk on the way home.

  • Telefónica O2UK
    Graham Jardine

    Graham Jardine
    Head of IoT Delivery

    “IoT is about harnessing the wealth of information that we gather from devices and sensors, and providing useful information to our users, allowing them to make better decisions.”

    WHAT SERVICES DOES O2UK PROVIDE?
    At O2, we have a great network, great platform and great people to support it. We’re building the products and services on top of that to deliver to our customers a great Internet of Things (IoT) experience.

    WHAT DOES IoT MEAN TO YOU?
    IoT is about making businesses more efficient and our customers’ lives easier. We have a huge amount of data that we gather from sensors and devices. IoT is about harnessing that information to help businesses and consumers make better decisions.

    WAS THERE A LIGHTBULB MOMENT WHEN YOU FIRST REALIZED THE FULL POTENTIAL OF IoT AND HOW IT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS?
    A clear lightbulb moment for us was when we first won a government contract to deliver a smart metering solution to 20 million homes in the UK. This demonstrated a great amount of confidence that O2 has the right platform to deliver such services. It was a fantastic proof point for us to keep moving forward in the IoT space.

    WHAT MAKES THE PROMISE OF IoT REAL?
    As a telco company, we’re used to delivering services 24/7. We know how much service reliability means to our customers. It keeps their businesses running. It helps make people’s on-the-go lives easier and more efficient. We also know how to deliver a great customer experience. We can provide IoT services on top of that, using our knowledge and experience in the market.

    We are working to change our customers’ business models and drive them forward in the IoT space. For example, we’re involved with companies in the transportation sector to bring to life their IoT vision in the driverless car space. We are working together with our customers to change their organization and business process – not just provide the connectivity services. 

    CAN YOU GIVE EXAMPLES OF HOW YOU HELP COMPANIES HARNESS THE POWER OF IoT? 
    We work across all sectors of IoT – including utility, security, telemetry and more – and we see real growth in those industries. Take, for example, rail authorities: we provide some of the rail companies the capability to measure the temperature of their tracks. They receive clear data that they can use to make business decisions. It might seem very small, but it makes a huge difference to rail operators, and we work with them to make sure that they get the right connectivity and management platform to move their business forward. 

    WHY IS QUALITY OF SERVICE IMPORTANT FOR YOUR IoT CUSTOMERS?
    Quality of service is fundamental to many of our customers. Many of them run 24/7 businesses, and we’ve got to underpin that. For example, point-of-sale terminals tend to be most heavily used on weekends; taxi services are running throughout the night – some of their peak times are when our networks are not being used as much. It is essential that we cater to a variety of business models. Providing a 24/7 service is absolutely fundamental to our customers.  We keep their businesses alive by keeping our service going.

  • Telefónica O2UK
    David Taylor

    David Taylor
    Managing Director of the Internet of Things

    “There’s been a lot of hype about the Internet of Things. But we’re now seeing that it’s really real; it’s happening today.”
     

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES…
    Telefónica O2UK is a leading mobile provider, but our passion is delivering brilliant digital experiences to our business and consumer customers.

    WHAT DOES IoT MEAN TO YOU?
    At O2UK, the Internet of Things (IoT) means personalized experiences. We talk about smart systems that can make intelligent, real-time decisions that can automate whole processes for businesses. The IoT opportunity is all about the customer. It’s about delivering new end-to-end solutions to our customers to change the way they do business.

    IS IoT A PRIORITY FOR O2?
    IoT is a huge priority for O2UK. We see it as part of our strategy, both in the business space and for consumers. We’re working with the government on smart metering solutions to help balance energy supply and demand, and make our consumers more conscious about the energy that they are using. We’re working with smart vehicle companies, to help them deliver a better service to their customers across Europe by making sure their cars are always connected. In the consumer space, we’re building IoT services around wearables in the home and in the car.

    WAS THERE A LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU WHEN YOU SAW THE POTENTIAL OF IoT TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS?  
    At O2UK, we’ve been working on digital services for many years. The lightbulb went on for me when we saw the immergence of services that we would call “truly smart.” Where we are using real-time data to make businesses more efficient and consumers’ lives easier. We can automate services so that the customer just focuses on making a better business. Some of our leading companies are really taking the first mover advantage and changing how they do business.  

    HOW IS IoT TRANSFORMING THE TELCO BUSINESS?
    As a mobile operator in the UK, we bring our network as one of the assets into IoT. However we see our role in IoT to be broader than this. We have 30 million customers and manage 1.5 billion network events every day. With IoT, we can bring our network, data management and our customer base into a rich set of smart services, but we also recognize that we can’t do it alone. We pride ourselves on our partnerships and how well we work with other companies in order to bring the complete solution to businesses and consumers.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF THE IoT TRANSFORMATION?
    There is no doubt that IoT has a great future. There is huge potential to reach billions of connected devices and sensors. But certain things have to come into place in the near future to really enable IoT to take off. 

    Interoperability is going to be key. Your smart home should talk to your smart car, so that when you drive away your alarm automatically sets; and when you are driving home, it can put the heating back on. There are other areas: standardization, open APIs; and increasingly we see that no one company can make all of this happen on their own. Partnerships are going to be key – companies working together to bring the full potential of IoT to both businesses and consumers.  

    IoT is creating great opportunities with more and more devices being connected. So the scale of everything we do is getting much bigger. The way we help our customers deal with the complexity and get all the benefits from IoT is by delivering the complete end-to-end solution, which solves the problem and helps them do business in a new way.

  • Konica Minolta
    Dr. Dennis Curry

    Dr. Dennis Curry
    VP & Director, Business Innovation Center Europe

    “IoT is a very significant part of the evolution of what Konica Minolta believes is the empowerment of the digital workplace.“

    WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE COMPANY?
    I'm head of business innovation for Konica Minolta in Europe. My job is to develop new capabilities and services to empower the digital workplace.  

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?
    The Internet of Things is a response to our need to connect and communicate, and to sense things in our own world so we can make better decisions. Part of our work at Konica Minolta is to enable better work practices in the evolving era of the digital workplace.

    HOW IS THE IOT TRANSFORMING YOUR INDUSTRY?
    We have evolved the traditional multifunctional printer into a central hub of new capabilities and services to empower an adaptive digital workplace.  We have an opportunity to change the way people view mobility, collaboration and security by transforming a regular office printer into a virtual real-time collaboration and information management platform. This is the concept of the Service Hub—it is a workspace and knowledge server offering capabilities such as office-as-a-service, security, data provisioning, intelligent computing power, high capability storage and advanced content management. This new way of working would transform static materials into live documents by enabling real time information updates, such as interest rate changes, and adaptive services such as automatic language translation.

    The applications of such connected service platform are nearly endless: it can act as a knowledge and information sharing board, empowering the people to be more effective, do higher levels of computing, and make better decisions in a more autonomous way.

    COULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT EXPERIENCED DURING YOUR WORK?
    The most memorable period for me was when, a few years ago, I was working for NATO. We were developing autonomous, intelligent agents connected to sensors and devices to make predictions on probable outcomes.  This was a great period for me where we knew that more information in the environment we operated in would enable us to make better decisions.

    Then very recently at Konica when we were working on the concept of the Service Hub—the rewarding moment was the realization that it was an enabler for the digital workplace that we never thought was really achievable in the period of time that we're working in, which is now.  We realized that there was a hierarchy of need that could be satisfied, everything from connectivity, fruit of collaboration, fruit of better decisions.  

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?  
    The next stage in the transformation of our industry is the complete and intelligent connection of all those assets within the work environment that enable us to do our daily work.  It is also the intelligent enablement of how we engage between home, work and in travel.  The self, and autonomous provisioning of services is effectively a very transformational element.  IoT represents a core component of that.  The evolution is effectively the connectivity of sensory and of assets and of applications that support the work life.

    WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS ON HOW THEY CAN CAPITALIZE ON IOT?  
    Nowadays things are different and we have a digital environment where we're able to connect and create services that are autonomous to somebody's individual need like never before.  So, those products that were static are now dynamic.  Those services that were general are now much more specific and empowering.

    In order to capitalize on IoT, we need to have three core elements: a standardized architecture, an adaptive message protocol, and an information architecture that analyzes data in the context of the environment and enables everything to come together.

  • AT&T
    Glenn Lurie

    Glenn Lurie
    President and CEO, AT&T Mobility

    “IoT has changed everything—every single aspect of every business. And the fun part is we’re just scratching the surface of where it’s going.”

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?
    When you look at AT&T, we're a network company; and the Internet of Things is about networks, about connecting everything. Anything that has a current running through it will be connected in some way.  

    DID YOU HAVE A LIGHTBULB MOMENT WHEN YOU FIRST SAW THE POWER AND POTENTIAL OF IoT?
    The Internet of Things to AT&T has been a priority for a long time. One of the very first devices that really opened our eyes was the Amazon Kindle. We really started to say, "Look, this is connected, with a beautiful business model that customers love. What else is going to be connected?" And that drove us to build a team, the Emerging Device Organization. It drove us to think differently about connectivity to open our eyes around all the different verticals that could play in this space.

    If you look at healthcare, at the industrial Internet of Things, these are all places where we went early, we were first to the game. We saw this, we invested early, we put people on it from a vertical perspective; and it has really allowed us to go faster than anyone else. We've had wins. And now we believe that the opportunity is real, and the monetization is real and the best part is our customers believe it too.  

    HOW HAS THE IOT HELP YOU MOVE FROM A PRODUCT COMPANY TOWARD A SERVICE COMPANY?
    I think the shift we're seeing from device to network to service, it's all got to be a package—whether it’s small, medium, or large—everybody’s looking for how this is going to help them be better. I think the big ah-hah of what's next is really that customer experience—the things that take it from: "Wow, that's really great, it's connected” to “What problem does it solve?  How does it make me more efficient?”

    The connected car industry is a great example. Just by adding connectivity, IoT changes the car into a mobile device that makes it safer, enables it to talk to other cars and the infrastructure.  Then you start to say, "Well, what other experiences do you want in the car?"  We really want to have apps in the car, new content, a 4G Hotspot.   

    When you think about industries that are being revolutionized, think about the industrial Internet. The fact that you can add connectivity to a turbine, and you can see what it’s doing. It allows you to understand how it's operating. And that's going to be what drives us, and te services wrapped around it are what's really exciting.  

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
    The Internet of Things changes the whole game. The key is that the ecosystem is finally all aligned and everybody in the ecosystem is figuring out that they have to get educated and understand how mobility is going to change their device, their product, their service. If you're not in that ecosystem, if you're not thinking about mobility, thinking about IoT, you're really going to be out. You're really going to get left behind. And the number of new businesses that this is building is unbelievable.  

    WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK ON THE INTERNET OF THINGS?
    The focus that we've had on listening to our customers, on learning and then going out and really being courageous in growing this business is probably the most excitement I've had in my career. And to see where we are today and the fact that we’re leading in this space globally is very gratifying.

    WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN IoT?
    I think the biggest challenge is going to be us simplifying the whole space. Bringing it together and putting a little bow on it so people understand it and people can take it to the next level because of the simplicity.

  • General Motors
    Phil Abram

    Phil Abram
    Chief Infotainment Officer

    “Customers don’t think in terms of the Internet of “Things.” They care about the Internet of “Me,” that all of their things work together, and allow them to do things that they couldn't do before."

    TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE IN YOUR COMPANY…
    My role here is the Chief Infotainment Officer. The word "infotainment" is trying to capture that fact that inside of the vehicle the experience is moving, it’s being redefined. Today, this experience is more about how the car interacts with the driver, and how we can provide information that’s relevant to a specific customer, and do it safely and securely. My role is to create and execute a strategy to deliver new services and experiences to customers through the connectivity and the capabilities inside the vehicle. 

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?
    Before the Internet of Things at GM, we were relying on our customers to play “connect the dots” for us, to bring disparate pieces of information together. With the Internet of Things, we’re able to bring together all of these information sources and create new applications for our customers where it will do things on their behalf.

    HOW HAS IoT HELPED YOU MOVE FROM A PRODUCT COMPANY TOWARD A SERVICE COMPANY?
    One great example is the ability for the car to share information with us. And by harnessing this information we’re able to help the customer understand what’s going on in their vehicle. We can now go from diagnostics to prognostics, which you can't do without the car being able to communicate with the world around it. Applications like these are only possible through the Internet of Things—to have your car telling you when it might be failing so you can take action before you're stranded.  

    Another example is the RemoteLink application, which allows us to remotely access the vehicle to start it, lock or unlock the doors, and much more. Last year when temperatures plummeted across the US, we were doing 20,000 remote starts per month, so we know customers are hungry for these types of services, and we're really fortunate to be able to give them more of what they want.  

    WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF WORKING WITH THE INTERNET OF THINGS? 
    The most rewarding thing is the impact we have on people's lives. I've worked in consumer electronics for a number of years, and we've had some great products, but nothing has the reward and the fulfillment of knowing that you're creating technology and services that save people's lives. When they're in an accident and they need help, you're right there to help them. It’s really these moments that touch people's lives and the feeling that we are empowering them in a lot of ways so that they can travel and move around the world safely. That is most gratifying to me. 

    WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HURDLES IoT HAS HELPED YOU OVERCOME?
    We work in a car company, and car companies move at a certain pace, because it is a very complicated piece of equipment that you are putting you and your family into on a regular basis. I come from the consumer electronics industry, which moves at a different pace, and people often expect that certain elements in their cars would behave just like in the consumer electronics world. The Internet of Things has allowed us to deliver new services and capabilities to the car at a much faster cadence. The IoT has opened a huge opportunity for us: we can now create platforms that connect the vehicle to cloud services, innovate at a much higher rate, and deliver services faster—all while keeping the security and integrity of the vehicle itself intact. 

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
    In the future, the car is going to be even more connected to the customer's digital life. That’s really what we're about here at General Motors and OnStar—bringing the customer's digital life into the vehicle, and bringing their vehicle into their digital lives.  The Internet of Things creates a playground for us, a great opportunity to create new services and continue to deliver them to customers even after they've purchased the vehicle. This ongoing interaction with the customer is one of the biggest changes is the industry, and it will continue to get better over time.

    WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE JUST STARTING IN THE IoT SPACE? 
    First of all, you have to have a little bit of what I call “benign ignorance.” It's not harmful but you have to believe in something that really rationally you shouldn't believe in, and then start it. And after you get past that, you need to make sure you have zero sense of entitlement, because the day before you came up with your idea the world was fine, moving along just great. The world doesn't need you, your company, your product, or your service. You have to earn the respect of your employees, your investors, and your customers. Every day you have to fight for it, and earn it, and if you do that, you’ll be far more successful.

    HOW IS IoT HELPING GROW YOUR BUSINESS GLOBALLY? 
    Two years ago, we announced that we’re going to actively connect all of our vehicles on a global basis with a high-speed connection. And we're actively pursuing it because we realize the value of connectivity and having that vehicle be able to interact with the world around it’s not just a US-centric opportunity or Europe or China. It's global. General Motors is committed to actively connecting our vehicles because we realize the value that it brings for our customer and for us as an enterprise—being able to connect with our vehicles through their life rather than the moment we ship it we lose sight of it.

  • Shawn Welsh, Telular

    Telular
    Shawn Welsh

    Shawn Welsh
    VP Marketing and Business Development

    "We solve our customers’ problems using IoT. These technologies are powerful, the problems are real, and the impact is felt almost immediately."

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES …
    Telular provides IoT solutions in a variety of industries, including trucking, security, and bulk storage management.

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?
    What IoT really means to me is connecting disconnected products and gaining awareness and control from that connection. We’re pulling a lot of data from these products as an industry. And we need robust systems to analyze and distill it down to actionable information, because simply having mountains of data isn’t that useful when you can’t actually condense it down to solving a specific problem.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?
    I think the light bulb for me with the Internet of Things really came when I was a young engineer. We were all sitting around one day wanting to go to the soda machine, and no one wanted to get up and walk down there; so we ended up connecting a two-way pager to the soda machine, and whenever anybody got up to go get a drink, we would all rush to our pagers and text the machine exactly what we wanted. Whenever had gone to the soda machine would come back with six drinks in their hands and pass them out. It was the realization that it was so easy for us to take technology and connect things together—it turned into a lifetime of connecting things.

    WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IoT REOLUTION? 
    I think the most rewarding part of my work in IoT is when we see a customer’s reaction after we take a product they’re very familiar with, or own themselves, and actually connect it to the cloud; through that connection they realize the power of the data that’s now available.

    WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING IoT?
    One of the biggest hurdles that we see in the industry is justifying the ROI of a solution. That’s a hurdle in any sale, but what’s great about IoT is that it actually helps us prove and validate the ROI, because we’re collecting the data that justifies what it is we’ve sold to a customer. Once we find the right mix of analytics and data for a particular type of hardware, it increases the overall value of the solution and minimizes the hurdles.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
    The next stage of transformation in many of the industries where Telular operates in is switching from the business model of hardware with a little bit of service added to a pure service model. The capital expense of hardware purchases is typically high, so once we demonstrate the value of the entire solution, we can price the service in a way that lets us include the hardware as part of the sale, which then improves the likelihood of making that sale.

    WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT WITH IoT?
    I think the main advice I would give to an entrepreneur looking at the IoT space is this: Collect all the data you can, but keep the data you show your customer very simple and focus on the problem you’re trying to solve. It’s far too enticing to try to show all the wondrous data you’ve collected, but in the end you numb your customer to the real value of the core solution you’re presenting.

  • Fabio Isaia, Tierra - Topcon

    Tierra - Topcon
    Fabio Isaia

    Fabio Isaia
    CEO of Topcon Tierra

    “For me, the most rewarding part of working with IoT is to help the customer realize the value of the information that we are able to provide for them.”

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES ...

    Tierra is a joint venture between Topcon Positioning Systems and Divitech, and we design tailored telematic solutions. We serve all major Topcon markets, including surveying, construction and agriculture machinery. We have telematics devices embedded in machinery that works in 194 countries worldwide.

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?

    I would like to describe IoT with a quote I once read: "It's connecting everybody and everything on a seamless network in real-time." IoT means everything to Tierra; the company was born IoT-ready.

    IoT IS THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS. IN WHAT WAYS HAS IoT TRANSFORMED YOUR BUSINESS?

    IoT plays a very important role. We began working with IoT more than ten years ago with our first fleet management solution. It was just the basics, the first spark of IoT, so to say. Since then, many things have changed, and IoT has brought life to many devices on the vehicles that we are tracking. So IoT allows the connection of many devices, bringing more and more information, which open up new business opportunities.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?

    Our company began as both a product and a service, delivering a complete solution‹which is a combination of the two. Now, we¹re increasingly focusing on the value added service aspect because the product—the device itself is easily available on the market.

    WHAT¹S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IoT REVOLUTION?

    For me, the most rewarding part is when we get in front of the customer and tailor a service for his needs. The solution helps his getting all the information—even the ones he doesn't yet know he needs.

    WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING TODAY?

    Most of all, it¹s about the integration of IoT into our market. We need to show that IoT can deliver real value, not just become an exercise in technology. We also face more practical challenges around finding ways to provide just the right amount of valuable information to the customer. IoT should not mean TMI.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF THE IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

    The next level would be to turn one hundred percent into a service company, where we don¹t have to care about the hardware because the connectivity is already there. When we first started, the device was a very important part of the business. Now thanks to IoT, the connection and connectivity is already there, so we can turn our business into one hundred percent service rather than hardware plus service.

    WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE JUST COMING INTO THE IoT BUSINESS?

    To someone new coming to this space, I would recommend to be extremely pragmatic--you need a solid business model and a solid billing tool

  • Michael Gomes, Topcon

    Topcon
    Michael Gomes

    Michael Gomes
    VP of Business Development

    “One of the most rewarding parts of the Internet of Things for us is bringing the power of communication, efficiency, and productivity to our customer base.”

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES…

    At Topcon Positioning Systems, we’re the world leader in precise positioning. We do different types of mapping and machine control for a number of industries, including survey, construction and agriculture.

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?

    In the agricultural business, connected devices are important. We’ve gone from smaller implements that could only be limited by the ability of a person to see and/or steer to implements that can be made bigger, wider, faster, stronger. GPS now steers them so you get round-the-clock operation. The Internet of Things becomes the interconnectivity. It enables these sophisticated operations to become connected—where resources and assets can be measured and then managed to achieve the best productivity.

    IoT IS THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS. IN WHAT WAYS HAS IoT TRANSFORMED YOUR BUSINESS?

    We certainly started off selling products, but more and more, specifically out at the distribution level, having great products isn’t enough. IoT has enabled us to provide telematics solutions: everything from basic fleet management and logging all the way up to dashboarding, operator qualifications and metrics, quality metrics, as well as process improvement.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?

    My “ah-ha” moment is probably the first time that I actually saw the feedback and dashboarding in action, and the first time I saw it with a customer. When they can see those kinds of things about their fleet, it is very powerful information and it causes them to get more interested in the operations, to get more engaged. It was solving real problems for them, and that was helpful.

    WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IOT REVOLUTION? 

    One of the most rewarding parts of the Internet of Things for us is bringing the power of communication, efficiency and productivity to our customer base. These are guys who fight the weather for a living. When you can solve real problems and really help them become more effective and effective in managing assets as well as more productive with those assets and resources, that affects their profitability.  And in doing so, it helps grow their business.

    WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING IoT?

    One of the biggest challenges of implementing technology in agriculture is that in many cases our users don’t care about the technology. These are people who fight -- they fight the weather for a living, and they just want to go to work.  And that means that the technology has to be not only reliable and robust, but you have to be able to deliver results every time, and that’s what we now have the ability to do.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

    The agricultural industry is just beginning to see the Internet of Things. It’s just beginning to see the value in the types of productivity that can arrive when the systems begin to work together.  For us, that’s typically higher yields of food, fiber, fuels, and increasingly, it’s about higher yields produced in a sustainable way. That sustainability component is about being able to show consumers that we can produce the food that they need, in a way that benefits our society both today and into tomorrow.

    WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ENTREPRENEURS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT WITH IoT IN AGRICULTURE?

    The Internet of Things offers a world of opportunities.  We’re just beginning to understand how the parts and pieces of complex systems like agriculture and biology can be connected and can be leveraged against or with one another.  And so my advice to entrepreneurs would be find something that you’re passionate about, get behind it, and if you can find a market that will value your products and services, go as far and as fast as you can.

  • Kelly Hancox, Garmin

    Garmin
    Kelly Hancox

    Kelly Hancox
    Dir. of Business Dev. & Strategic Partnerships

    "To be the global leader in every market we serve and building the best, most compelling design and highest quality products is a part of Garmin’s DNA"

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES …
    Garmin is a leader in navigation technology and products. We build products and create solutions that are essential for our customer's lives across many different segments and markets: aviation, marine, outdoor, fitness, wellness and sport. We operate all around the world. We have offices in almost every country and serve our products globally. There's really not a market that we don't serve.  

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?
    The Internet of Things plays a role in Garmin's space because we make products that are essential for our customer's lives, and connectivity plays a big part in that. Through the Internet of Things we can connect our products and serve our customers with valuable information that's relevant to them: whether it's showing points of interest on our navigation products, or delivering real-time flight status to our customers who are traveling. The Internet of Things brings additional value to our products.  

    IOT IS THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS. IN WHAT WAYS HAS IOT TRANSFORMED YOUR BUSINESS?
    A trend that we're seeing in consumer electronics and business solutions is leveraging the Internet of Things evolution to bring connectivity and real-time information to customers. The industry is moving from just products to products that have connectivity. We are delivering additional value to the customer because our products are connected. 

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?
    My passion for technology and appreciation for the Internet of Things has grown throughout my career.  When you are working in an environment like Garmin where the creation of new purpose-driven devices and innovation is a part of your daily life, the technology industry can be quite addictive.

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IOT REVOLUTION? 
    The following four factors are the most rewarding and exciting in my work with IoT: 

    1. Working for a great company in such a dynamic environment is motivating and drives me; 
    2. Ability to work with talented associates and external partners;
    3. Creativity of technology solutions;
    4. Working across so many unique categories of world-class products.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF THE IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
    In the future, I see the wearables really taking off, and Garmin is positioned to lead in this space. We just launched Connect IQ—Garmin wearables SDK for 3rd party developers to create apps that integrate with Garmin products.  This is an exciting area to be working with, and the growth possibilities are endless, especially with IoT.

  • Bertil Thorvaldsson, ABB Robotics

    ABB Robotics
    Bertil Thorvaldsson

    Bertil Thorvaldsson
    Product Manager

    “IoT will give us more flexibility than we’ve ever had to automate factories and leverage remote expertise wherever factories are located.“

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES...

    ABB is in the automation business, and part of the automation business is robotics. We are one of the leading companies when it comes to industrial robots. 

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?

    Everything is getting connected, and industrial robots are no exception. IoT is about predicting things and getting actionable information when things are happening. For many of our customers, downtime is extremely expensive. With IoT, we are able to respond more quickly to problems that occur out at the customer site; and even see issues before customers notice them. Quite often, we can help the customer correct the problem without sending a service person onsite, which saves a lot of time and can significantly increase uptime. 

    IoT IS THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS. IN WHAT WAYS HAS IoT TRANSFORMED YOUR BUSINESS?

    Most companies in our industry are now shifting from being product companies to becoming service companies. Many things that we used to think of as “products” are really becoming “services.” We even have a name for it: “servification.”

    Going forward, I think we can become smarter in gathering and analyzing the process information to help customers increase the efficiency of their equipment and improve their manufacturing solutions. By comparing robot performance across customer sites, we would also be able to predict potential problems and anticipate service needs to help our customer plan for such events.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?

    One example is when I was comparing the performance of 3G, 4G and 5G networks and the cost of data traffic. What we have seen thus far is nothing compared to what’s coming! We are already always connected whenever we are, and it’s not difficult. Connecting robots also won’t be difficult.

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IoT REVOLUTION?

    As a Product Manager, I get to think about ways to remove pinch points in our customers’ lives. There are many ways that ABB can take advantage of connected devices to help customers along every step of the manufacturing process. We provide products to build manufacturing solutions. Today, we are focused around the customer site—getting involved during the robot installation and the buildup phases. In the future, we should be able to get closer to the planning stage and more into the operation stage of the customer’s value chain.  

    For example, beside a customer’s physical plant, we can create a virtual plant. If the customer wants to optimize something in the physical location, they can start by changing things in the virtual plant to see what affect it might have. If it runs well in the virtual plant, we can implement it in the physical facility. The ability to make changes without disturbing production is becoming more and more important as product life cycles get shorter and you have tremendous time constraints to ramp up from zero to high volume production. This will add great value to customers. 

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF THE IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

    Young people who come into our industry today have a different relationship with the world around them. They take portable devices for granted, and when they come into the industry, they expect that things will work that way too. The new generation of workers expects their smartphones or tablets to be connected to the robot; they want to be able to save their work on the cloud and pick it up at any location—not the operator sitting at the manufacturing floor pushing clumsy buttons on a small display.  

    A robot does not need a user interface—users need user interfaces, and users can bring that user interface in their pocket. And if something happens with a robot, an alarm goes off on a device, and a person can take immediate action. This is going to save customers time, make equipment less expensive, and help reduce downtime. The IoT is going to make it possible to run the plant in a much more efficient manner, and that’s worth a lot.

  • Rene Nispeling, ABB Robotics

    ABB Robotics
    Rene Nispeling

    Rene Nispeling
    Product Manager

    "IoT enables increased productivity. To achieve maximum uptime, we must provide not only a robot that runs, but a robot that runs at all times."

    TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOUR COMPANY DOES...

    ABB is a company best known for its work in generation and transportation of energy. I work in the part of ABB that produces robots. Our customers are typically automotive-related or electronic industries.  

    WHAT DOES THE INTERNET OF THINGS MEAN TO YOU?

    The Internet of Things is about people and devices being connected at all times. Our customers have extremely high demands for productivity. We have customers that manufacture a new car every minute. For them it’s unacceptable if a major piece of equipment unexpectedly stops working. What they need from us is to help them foresee if problems may be coming and maintenance is required.  It’s no longer good enough to have a fast response to an issue, you need to know what is happening with your machines in real time, and you need to act before something goes wrong.

    IoT IS THE CONVERGENCE OF THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS. IN WHAT WAYS HAS IoT TRANSFORMED YOUR BUSINESS?

    A large part of our revenue is already generated with services; we’re definitely moving as a company to a services provider model, and it is also what our customers expect from us. To supply a robot to a customer is one thing; to have a device that provides value for a customer at all times is quite another.  

    Before the Internet of Things, we were reactive as a service organization. We would be waiting for a customer to call us to report a problem. We would then ask questions about the affected robot and the nature of failure, and only then we would know what to do: we’d order the spare parts, send out an engineer, and in the meantime the customer’s production was down. Customers lost hours, sometimes days of productivity. With the advancements in the IoT technology, instead of providing onsite support, we can now develop services that help our customers keep their production going.

    WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIGHTBULB MOMENT FOR YOU?

    It wasn’t a light bulb moment—rather something that’s been growing gradually on me. After I bought a new car, I realized that it was connected all the time and it would help me in case something were to happen. Everywhere you look, devices are getting connected: just like people talk to each other, devices talk to each other. 

    WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE IoT REVOLUTION?

    For me, it’s the opportunity to do service innovation. Developing new offerings for our customers by understanding the challenges they face in their daily work and coming up with solutions that would make their lives easier.

    WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT STAGE OF IoT TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

    I think the Internet of Things is exploding; it’s a disrupter that’s transforming our industry. Customers now expect a supplier to help them maintain the highest possible uptime for their equipment. That means that we need to have full control over what’s happening to the robots at any given time; we must be able to adjust maintenance schedules to reduce the cost of ownership for the customer, while extending the useful life of their equipment. The next step would be to learn to anticipate problems before they happen and act before it’s too late. That’s the vision—to keep the machines running.

 

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