I’m honored to represent Ericsson as a finalist for the Internet of Things World “Leader of the Year” Award. #IoT #IIoT
My colleagues and I are working hard to add the wireless network capacity, performance and low latency needed to make IoT broadly successful by driving 5G deployments combined with the global connection management needed to take the friction out of bootstrapping smart, connected devices.
At the same time I’m personally championing the use of Connected Intelligence to drive sustainability, fight climate change and help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through The Moab Foundation.
You often hear me encourage you to go after the high-value, low-tech, use-cases in #IoT & #IIoT such as remote monitoring coupled with simple threshold/value-matching analytics to cut costs, reduce risks and improve customer satisfaction.
It’s because I’m inspired by the common sense wisdom of Warren Buffet who reminds us that it is “far more profitable to stick with the easy and obvious than it is to resolve the difficult.”
In another great shareholder letter he wrote, “To the extent we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers.”
My takeaway for the Internet of Things is to focus on base-hits, stop boiling the ocean, and stop obsessing about AI stuff that you don’t even understand. Tremendous value is within your reach if you take baby steps and do the easy stuff first.
Thrilled to be named one of the top #IoT #IIoT influencers to follow in 2019 by MarkTechPost.
Check out the article where you can see the full list of IoT luminaries including friends Charlie Kindel, Tamara McCleary, Greg Kahn, Stacey Higginbotham, Evan Kirstel, Tom Raftery, Peggy Smedley, and Daniel Elizalde.
Ericsson has appointed Rob Tiffany to lead the company’s new internet of things “Center of Excellence” in North America. #IoT #IIoT
Tiffany started yesterday and reports to Ericsson’s Shannon Lucas, head of global customer unit emerging business for North America. Lucas reports to Niklas Heuveldop, who is Ericsson’s chief executive for the North American market.
As detailed by an Ericsson representative, the company’s new IoT “center of excellence” will “bridge the divide between customer needs and market readiness by co-creating new solutions with service providers, industrials and technology companies. The CoE is a blend of technology and business model innovation focused on cultivating a strong ecosystem of partners who move at speed.”
The news is noteworthy considering it represents a further investment by Ericsson into the IoT sector. In its own mobility report (PDF), Ericsson predicted the number of cellular IoT connections will reach 4.1 billion in 2024—increasing at an annual growth rate of 27%. “Massive IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are taking off and driving growth in the number of cellular IoT connections worldwide,” the firm wrote. “Of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, North East Asia is anticipated to account for 2.7 billion—a figure reflecting both the ambitions and size of the cellular IoT market in this region.”
Added Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm in the company’s latest quarterly report: “We continue to invest in strategic future growth areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) and saw increasing momentum with one important customer win with our connectivity platform solutions in the quarter. As parts of the portfolio in Emerging Business are in an early phase, sales are so far limited.”
Ericsson, of course, is one of the world’s largest wireless network equipment suppliers, and in the U.S. the company is increasing its lead over Nokia in the equipment market, according to new figures from Dell’Oro Group. The research firm’s figures cover the market for radio access network equipment.
Most assets are massively underutilized. This fact is often discovered once assets are made smart & connected to the world of the Internet of Things. #IoT #IIoT
Finding ways to increase the utilization of these often-idle assets is one of the biggest payoffs for an organization embarking on the IoT journey.
Underutilized assets like cars, offices, MRI machines, assembly lines, dishwashers, partially empty trucks on the road, conference rooms, & thousands of others must have their utilization optimized so they can earn their keep.
You wouldn’t let employees spend 75% of their working time taking smoke breaks. Your machines & supply chains should be no different. These underutilized assets & processes must be put to work in a full-time capacity.
This phenomenon is reminiscent of previously-idle servers in data centers that had their utilization boosted via operating system virtualization. They were put to work so they could earn their keep.
Connecting assets to IoT systems & analytics in order to reduce unplanned downtime & increase their remaining useful life are important first steps on your IoT journey to reduce operating expenses.
The next step is to increase the incremental utilization of these assets by connecting them to IoT & Blockchain facilitated digital marketplaces where their spare utilization can be rented to others in order to boost revenues.
As Machine Learning gets better at forecasting the level of asset utilization, a futures market can be created where counter-parties can trade upcoming free utilization.
Share idle assembly lines in factories w/ partners. Share free hours of MRI machine time w/ patients at other hospitals & medical plans. Know where trucks are going & how full they are so we can fill them. Know where unused food & idle commercial kitchens are & feed the hungry.
To sum up: Connect your assets to keep them healthy, know their utilization, & reduce operating costs. Offer up the underutilized portions of your assets to digital marketplaces or other matchmaking engines to earn additional revenue & help others who need what you have.
The #IoT + #IIoT Megatrend is in Danger of Stalling
Many of you who are involved in one of the #IoT segments (industrial, healthcare, consumer, etc.) are currently living in PoC hell. Your pilots, trials and proof of concepts are not making the jump to production for a variety of reasons. I think it’s time to push the reset button on how we convey the value of IoT and how we deliver solutions. The best place to start is by listening to customers.
As it turns out, customers aren’t interested in hearing how smart you are or which esoteric technologies you’re using to build IoT solutions. The only reason they’re talking to you is because they’ve heard Internet of Things solutions can save them money, reduce unplanned downtime/non-productive time, optimize operations, improve worker safety, boost product quality, lower risk and many other compelling value props. Here’s a quick list problems and solutions to get you started:
Customers are finding all the pieces to the IoT puzzle to be too complex. You need to focus on extreme simplicity and reduce friction at every tier of an IoT solution. Hundreds of pages of code examples isn’t working.
Customers don’t have the skill sets needed to work with IoT solutions. Good enough has to be good enough, so stop using technologies and protocols that no one has ever heard of and embrace pervasively adopted tech that everyone already understands. If the tech you’re using isn’t familiar to customers, they’ll be uncomfortable about using your solution.
Customers have heard about large-scale, IoT hack attacks and are reluctant to move forward due to security concerns. Security and privacy must be baked-in to your IoT solution from the get-go and defense in depth must be practiced at every tier of the solution. You must also respect a customers data governance and sovereignty requirements even if it means delivering a 100% air-gapped solution.
Customers struggle to achieve an acceptable return on investment on their IoT solutions. Despite lower costs for all the components required to build an IoT solution, when a customer strings together sensors, microcontrollers, communications networks, storage, middleware, servers, analytics, and integration software, it’s possible that the combined cost could exceed the expected ROI. It’s critically important to beat-up on those costs to stay well-within the ROI envelope.
Customers don’t want another data silo. Too many IoT solutions are focused solely on capturing data from machines and keeping it within their respective systems. It’s important to integrate with a customer’s existing databases, CRM, ERP and other systems no only to add context to machine data but to take actions on insights. Telling a customer they can write code to call APIs on their backend systems is the wrong answer. Make it easy.
Customers keep hearing you must combine Artificial Intelligence with IoT in order to derive value. The tech industry must stop sending this message because it’s dead wrong and it’s scaring customers away. The average person doesn’t know anything about AI except that they think SkyNet is going to take over the planet and robots will be our overlords. There’s tremendous value in connecting your people and machines to gain real-time visibility and situational awareness over your operations. There’s additional value in layering even the simplest analytics to drive decisions and automation. None of this is rocket science and it’s stuff your customers can easily wrap their head around.
Customers who are pitched horizontal IoT platforms quickly become paralyzed. Stop leading with generic, horizontal IoT platforms that try to be all things to all people because it doesn’t work. Customers are not interested in writing code to implement one of many millions of IoT use cases on the platform you’re selling. Your sales motion should include knowing your customer’s business and always leading with vertical solutions to problems they already want to solve.
Customers often find the tech needed to create a smart, connected product eats too much into product profit margins. IoT-enabling products is a super-important way to provide better, ongoing customer service. Especially when those products come with warranties or SLAs that must be met, companies absolutely require IoT capabilities to reduce their risk and eliminate service calls that eat into profits. The sensors, microcontroller, power source, and connectivity for an individual product must always represent the smallest percentage of the total product cost to ensure mainstream adoption. Otherwise, only early adopters will use your smart, connected product.
Customers are unsatisfied with the results they expected from analytics applied to IoT data. This often points to poor data quality and/or unlabeled data. Garbage in, garbage out. Ensure your IoT system is labeling incoming data points as well as mapping unintelligible items like PLC registers to something a human can understand. It’s also super-helpful if your IoT systems knows the data types and units of measure of the incoming data points inside captured data sets to help both simple and advanced analytic systems make sense of the data. Don’t overwhelm customers by delivering 100% of data communicated by endpoints into an IoT system. For the most part, de-duplicate incoming data and only send anomalous data values that stray outside acceptable limits.
Customers have grown tiresome of IoT projects that take too long. I’ve heard of managers who’ve green-lighted IoT projects being asked to leave after 3 years of boiling the ocean to drive value at an organization. Don’t try to boil the ocean anymore. Find small, targeted use cases that can be tackled in just a few months to get tangible, quick wins. When everyone can see the value, move on to the next small project while continuing to build confidence and grow support across the organization. Remember to eat the IoT elephant just one bite at a time.
Yes, #IoT + #IIoT and #Twitter are truly birds of a feather.
Twitter is made up of people who have something to say. These people express themselves by Tweeting. Oftentimes, no one is listening. There are other people on Twitter who choose to follow those Tweeters in order to listen to what they have to say. Those people are called Followers. These folks often follow lots of Tweeters to understand the state of their collective minds. A Follower gets notified when a Tweeter they’re following says something. Through the clever use of Hashtags, followers can also choose to search for specific topics aggregated across many Tweeters in order to derive larger insights. Depending on the insight, the Follower takes action. Sometimes, a Follower wants to say something to a Tweeter. They can do this with a Direct Message (DM). Of course, a Follower can only send a DM if the Tweeter has authorized this by following the Follower back. The Follower may say something to the Tweeter that either changes her behavior or updates her state of mind.
You never know.
The Internet of Things is made up of machines that have something to say. These machines express themselves by Publishing their telemetry data to some nearby or far away computer system over a communications network. Oftentimes, no one is listening and that data just piles up. There are computers, people, apps, analytics, machine learning and automation systems who are interested in what the machines have to say. They are called Subscribers. They Subscribe to lots of Publishers in order to know the current state of their collective health or performance. A Subscriber often gets notified when a Publisher streams new data which allows them to process that information in near real-time. Subscribers can also choose to search through data swimming in a lake to derive larger insights. Depending on the insight, the Subscriber takes action. Sometimes, a Subscriber or some other endpoint wants to send data to a Publisher or group of Publishers. They can do this through a Command and Control channel. Of course, a Subscriber can only send a message if the Publisher has authorized this action. The Subscriber might send a Command that either changes the Publisher’s behavior or updates its configuration.
You never know.
I realize it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer complexity of these systems that are transforming our world. That’s why it’s important to maintain the simplest view of what these IoT systems are actually doing. Explaining it to others gets easier which allows you to focus on the specific element that drives value.
Completely thrilled to see Hitachi Lumada score as a Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave for Industrial #IoT #IIoT Software Platforms!
Forrester noted we “doubled-down” on the Asset Avatar Digital Twin technology that underpins our industrial use cases. It’s truly amazing what our small team at Hitachi Insight Group accomplished in such a short period of time. We worked hard and absolutely delivered!
Thrilled that due to hard work by a dream team of PMs, Software/Hardware Engineers & manufacturing + transportation experts, the Hitachi Lumada Industrial Internet of Things platform landed in the Visionaries quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for #IIoT Platforms. #IoT
I am grateful to share this honor with with an amazing group of colleagues and friends from Japan, Europe and the U.S. that made this dream into a reality.
As the Global Product Manager and Chief Technology Officer for Lumada, this has been a rewarding journey for me to envision a completely portable Industrial IoT platform that could run at the Edge on a factory floor, in a bullet train, inside a customer’s data center or in any hyper-scale public cloud. This composable platform (use just what you need for your specific use case) combined with our revolutionary Asset Avatars (Digital Twins) that bring Lumada to life, is the very definition of “Visionary.” I also want to send a big congratulations to our Visionary friends at PTC (ThingWorx) and SAP (Leonardo).
Our Lumada IIoT platform coupled with our IoT Hardware Appliance takes you from Edge to Cloud.
Thanks to all the Hitachi collaborators, colleagues and friends I was lucky enough to take this journey with.