Everyone is talking about Internet of Things (IoT) these days. Even a Google search will yield 762,000,000 hits in less than one second. As more individual consumers, enterprises, service providers, and others take this term more seriously, they are doing their part to usher in the change the world is anticipating. But what does it really take to operationalize the IoT?
In the Americas’ SAP Users Group Webcast Transforming Your Business with IoT – SAP Partner Perspectives, Simon Berman, vice president of product marketing at Jasper, noted, “The Internet of Things isn’t actually about things; it’s about service. Businesses that embrace the IoT are able to offer and monetize new services, engage more closely with their customers, and become more customer-focused.”
IoT doesn’t change a business – it changes how business is done, in part due to the massive volumes of real-time data these connected devices are feeding information systems.
John Deere: Delivering more to the experience
Take John Deere, for example. For nearly 175 years, this world leader in agricultural equipment operated under a product-focused, transactional relationship with its customers where most of the company’s revenue was acquired at the point of sale. However, recent changes in technology have led to a game-changing transition from an equipment provider to a service provider.
Today, that tractor is using sensors and monitors to give customers services such as reporting on fuel consumption, tractor performance, and weather information. As a result, John Deere is able to offer services such as real-time weather forecasts, soil analysis, yield estimations, and tractor performance. With this immersive experience, John Deere is reaping the rewards of new revenue streams from these services while providing value-added capabilities to their customers and further enhancing their engagement with them.
ABB: Securing its value to the customer
The IoT is not just about bringing complementary services that add additional value to the experience. For some companies, it offers an opportunity to remove risk from the overall customer experience.
Like John Deere, ABB operated as a transaction-based, product-centric engagement model with the primary revenue stream at the point of sale. By seizing the promise of the IoT through embedded sensors and connectivity, the leader in power and automation technologies can now track the health and performance of their industrial robots around the world to offer additional services such as remote monitoring, preventative maintenance, and software patching. Yes, these services can be monetized, but more importantly, they allow ABB to deliver increased reliability of its robots to make factories safer, more productive, and more cost efficient.
The IoT services lifecycle: Deploy. Manage. Monetize
Even though corporate leaders are well aware of the advantages, there are still misconceptions about the operational complexities of delivering IoT-based services. The key is managing the service to transform the connection of devices and sensors, systems, applications, and everything in between into a true IoT service – one that can be run at the lowest cost and the highest availability as well as provide a superior customer experience. With this approach, businesses can quickly deploy, manage, and monetize their IoT services on a global scale.
So how did the companies mentioned above successfully deliver these IoT services? They leveraged an IoT services management platform to automate the entire IoT services lifecycle across three primary steps.
- Deploy. Testing is a vital part of making sure that all connections are operational and deliver the intended service. By ensuring all devices are service-ready even if they have been inactive and in inventory beforehand, customers can rest assure that their investment will deliver real advantages as promised. In this step, companies must also map the policies, permissions, behavior, and usage to the different states a device can be in. They also need to secure it against fraudulent use or theft so that the device isn’t abused or misused throughout its life.
- Manage. Here, you must establish standards for how the equipment and services behave. For example, defining usage policies for each device, such as how often it should transmit information and how much. Also, network conditions and device behavior must be constantly monitored to help ensure the highest level of service reliability. And when problems occur on those devices, companies need to be able to quickly identify, diagnose, and fix them remotely to prevent costly and time-consuming onsite technical support.
- Monetize. This third and final step centers on spend management and business growth. Companies need to monitor the services to help ensure devices are running at the lowest possible cost and highest level of performance and efficiency. By enabling the rapid deployment of devices, businesses can enter new markets regionally and globally in a rapid and cost-efficient manner.
The IoT is no longer a futuristic concept. Thousands of companies across dozens of industries have already capitalized on its power to transform into services businesses to deliver new connected services, identify new revenue streams, and increase customer loyalty.
Start making the Internet of Things a reality for your business
Watch the entire Webcast series “Internet of Things (IoT) Community Webcast Series” presented by ASUG and SAP:
- Making the Internet of Things Real
- Transform Business Operations and Reimagine Business
- From Big Data to Smart Data (IoT)
- IoT and Industrie 4.0 – European Perspective, Examples, and Business Models
- Operationalizing IoT Data for Predictive Analytics
- IoT – From Vision to Value
- Transforming Your Business with IoT – SAP Partner Perspectives
- Accelerating IoT in your Organization: Introducing SAP’s IoT Development Platform
For more insight on the power of IoT, see Big Data, The Internet Of Things, And The Fourth V.