The Internet of Things (IoT) has been on technology trend lists for a couple years; 2015 is no exception. Field Service News recently renamed it “Indispensable over Time” for a reason. Now, more than ever, companies should consider the benefits IoT can provide for both their service operations and their customers. Why? Let’s look at what IoT means and some examples of the benefits it could provide.
Fundamentally, The Internet of Things is the connection of “things” (machines, vehicles, computers, etc.) and people to a network that can capture and send real-time data to other things and people. If you prefer a visual representation, check out this great breakdown from Cisco. PTC similarly provides a good visual of IoT along with this quote: “For manufacturers, the implications of this emerging IoT are huge. To capture this great wave of value creation opportunity, manufacturers have an urgent need to rethink nearly everything—from how products are created and operated, to how they are serviced. Those who don’t, place their competitive advantage at risk.” (By the way, this quote is relevant for many industries, not just manufacturing). Still not convinced of the importance of IoT? Consider these scenarios:
Communication: A customer has a heating, ventilating and air conditioning system that has been equipped with a sensory device that connects to your service company’s network. The system’s sensor monitors its performance and detects a potential problem with the temperature control system. The sensor sends data to your dispatcher, or better yet, directly to the appropriate service. The technician can then visit the customer and correct the problem before it actually is a problem.
Productivity: The sensor on that same HVAC further determines that one of the system’s circuit boards is causing the problem with the temperature control. It communicates that information to your company, allowing the dispatcher or the service technician to make sure the part is available before visiting the customer to affect the repair, thus eliminating the probability of a second visit to correct the problem because the part was not on hand during the first visit.
Efficiency: In other situations, sensors and smart devices may be able to immediately relay critical performance information to remote technical support personnel, enabling them to proactively contact the customer to trouble shoot and resolve issues remotely before a problem develops. Such proactive intervention can reduce asset downtime and improve both customer and operational efficiency.
Improved communication, productivity and efficiency: Each is possible with IoT. And perhaps the biggest benefit of all is to the customers, who stand to realize greater asset reliability and uptime, which translates to more value from their investments
Of course, this impending increase in connected devices, and the frequency and volume of real-time data communications, results in an increased need for a supportive bandwidth and network.
DataXoom, the first and leading provider of mobile data and connectivity plans for businesses, offers wholesale options to customers looking for different network options and better control over data usage. Explore the network options available to make transitioning to an IoT-conscious company less complex.
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