Posts tagged ‘IoT’

Monetizing the Internet of Things: Will All These Connected Devices Pay Off? #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Avangate

Author: Michael Ni, CMO/SVP, Marketing and Products, Avangate

Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that everything was getting “cloud-ified,” from photo sharing to customer relationship management, but the move to the cloud is actually a couple of years old these days. But now that we all have our documents stored in the cloud (and our heads out of the clouds), everybody’s looking for a clear path toward success in the latest trend: the Internet of Things.

Just like the cloud before it, the Internet of Things is now top of mind for software professionals. Its promise has been nascent for a long time: although Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio first appeared in 1946, connected devices like the FitBit and Apple Watch are just starting to get in the hands – or on the wrists – of everyday folks.

With broader adoption of connected devices come both opportunities and challenges. Even the companies that are able to sell IoT hardware successfully find themselves needing to develop and monetize complementary services to help users get the most out of their devices. And software-focused companies that don’t have devices need new a way to get in on the IoT and the billions it’s expected to bring in. That way is through data.

While the IoT started out with connected sensors, it soon became clear that simply sensing data wouldn’t be enough. Just like storing content in the cloud also required building interfaces that made it easy for users to access cloud content, IoT sensors now need to produce data that’s easy for people to find, understand and use. And because IoT data is so valuable (not to mention expensive), there needs to be a way for companies to monetize it. So if wave 1 of the IoT trend involved simply creating the sensors, wave 2 involves monetizing them and the data they create.

As a result, more and more software vendors have started staking a claim in the IoT. At Avangate, we’ve been helping companies like Bitdefender monetize their IoT offerings. Bitdefender offers a “security of things” solution called BOX, a small device that scans for IoT threats on a local WiFi connection. By monitoring the way your smart devices stay connected, BOX finds and protects against possible threats to your connected information. By helping Bitdefender easily monetize its entry into the IoT, including not only the device itself but also associated data, we’re showing the importance and ease of monetizing IoT devices and the data they produce.

And that’s the key: commerce absolutely has to run in the background of every IoT play. No matter how affordable a device is up front, or if streams of data are free for now, devices and data both cost a significant amount to create, maintain, and provide in ways that really work for consumer and business customers. As a result, to truly succeed in the IoT, software companies need to be able to package and sell data derived from connected devices in ways that will benefit other entities as well.

In the end, it’s clear that that the desperate need for IoT data monetization is actually a massive opportunity. Companies are still scrambling to create devices and support data, and not enough entities are thinking about how to monetize it. Those who find themselves able to successfully package and sell information in the IoT era may find themselves enjoying Salesforce style status and riding high on the wave of the future as the IoT truly takes off.

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Avangate will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum on Stand D48, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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The Cloud World Forum visitor ticket is now officially published! #CloudWF

The Cloud World Forum 2015 visitor ticket is here! Download for the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features…

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Download your copy to view the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features. Start planning your day at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th and 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand, London.

DOWNLOAD YOUR VISITOR TICKET HERE!

 

Co-located with Enterprise Apps World, the Cloud World Forum 2015 theatres respond to the investment areas and trends discussed on 100+ calls with C-Level IT decision makers, operations and development teams, as well as the market’s leading technology pioneers.

The show’s content powers the digital enterprise through best practice in Cloud, IoT, DevOps, Data Analytics, Security and Comms & Collaboration end user case studies, as well as much, much more.

By expanding the show’s content in 2015, we ensure need-to-know information is delivered to meet the demands of the senior IT professionals attracted to our show.

This year there is a particular focus on enterprise application development and mobility, with a dedicated DevOps and Containers theatre, as well as two theatres running throughout the 24th and 25th June within Enterprise Apps World.

The Enterprise Mobility Strategies and Enterprise App Development theatres focus on strengthening organisations’ mobility, application and API strategies, in addition to teaching developers how to achieve that necessary edge in the lucrative and increasingly competitive enterprise market!

See you in June!

The Cloud World Forum Team.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXPO PASS HERE.

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Connecting to the Future of the Internet of Things with Cassandra #CloudWF

Guest blog with DataStax

Connecting to the Future of the Internet of Things with Cassandra

Author: Seema Haji

Screen-Shot-2014-10-16-at-4.23.04-PM-250x301Millions of people, objects and ‘things’ connecting with each other is changing the way organizations and consumers interact with each other and the environment around them. Data comes from different geographical locations and across multiple channels.

Sensors on vehicles collect information on mileage, pressure, temperature, and even driving patterns and communicate it back to improve transportation efficiency and safety. Retailers are leveraging illumination, temperature and humidity sensors to gather data and make real-time adjustment on energy consumption to not only lower operational costs but also make our planet a better place. Healthcare solutions utilize these sensors to monitor and analyze patient and diagnostic data, saving lives with real-time transactional analytics. High velocity of massive amount of continuous data coming from wearable and communicable sensors immerse into the database system, challenging every bit of disconnectivity from what a modern Internet-of-Things application requires in database technology.

According to a survey from EMA (Enterprise Management Associates) Research with 259 business executives, analysts and IT managers, the needs of the business are aligned with IT drivers, but very disconnected with legacy infrastructures. Lines of business managers want faster query response times, competitive advantage via flexible solutions and operational efficiencies whereas legacy platforms have issues scaling to meet these challenges. Particularly for an IOT infrastructure, choosing the right data model is the key to success.

According to the survey, the data model must accommodate high-velocity sensor data and other considerations. Think of it this way: the hundreds of sensors and actuators generating massive volumes of unchangeable time-series data, only do so once. But the volume of data generated is vast; think Petabytes of information. To assimilate and analyze this information, database read / write performance is critical, particularly with high-velocity sensor data. Your database must support high-speed read and writes, and be continuously available (100% of the time) to gather this data at uniform intervals. In addition, you must plan for data scalability to maintain a cost-effective horizontal data store over time.pngbase64ee88add9c43ac79-250x271

Over time, we’ve seen plenty of IOT providers succeeding in related industries with Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise, the most scalable distributed database technology, providing 24×7 uptime and blazing read/write performance for IOT solutions.

Pressure management solution provider i2O Water is able to save millions liters of water every single day; Riptide IO helps retailers save millions of dollars on energy consumption with its smart building and equipment assets management technology; Amara Health provides real-time predictive analytics to support clinicians in the early detection of critical disease states.

Check out our upcoming Webinar on the 20th May to discover how i2O addresses the water crisis with an Internet of Things solution built on Apache Cassandra™ and learn what your IOT solution can achieve with Apache Cassandra™.

DataStax

DataStax is our IoT Big Data & Analytics Theatre Sponsor at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Johnny Miller, Solutions Architect at DataStax EMEA will be speaking on the 24th June at 12.10pm at the Cloud World Forum about Scaleable, Available and Secure data for the Internet of Things with DataStax Enterprise.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Winning with the Internet of Things

Guest Blog with Fujitsu RunMyProcess

Winning with the Internet of Things

shutterstock_265601099Over the last 20 years we have seen successive innovations drive the influence of the Internet into new areas, connecting new kinds of resources, digitizing new interactions and opening up opportunities to challenge the underlying beliefs on which a range of industrial and social activities were based.

Every additional expansion has brought the emergence of new industry leaders – e.g. Amazon, Google, Facebook or Uber – who have used the expansion in connectivity to look at the world with fresh eyes.

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) promises to drive the boundaries of the Internet further out than ever before, providing connectivity to potentially billions of everyday objects.  The sensors and actuators these objects embed will transform our understanding of real world events and enable us to simultaneously manipulate digital and physical environments in real time.  As connectivity penetrates the real world and transforms the potential of even the smallest and most mundane of everyday objects, huge new opportunities to transform customer experiences across a combination of digital and physical spaces will emerge.

But how do you become a winner in this new environment?  How do you maximize the benefits of these new information sources?  How do you leverage the newly connected things in combination with all of the other digital and human resources that already exist?  How do you go fast enough to stay ahead of the competition?  We believe that there are three principles that can help you drive a successful IoT strategy.

The Internet is the platform

Our first principle states that you can only achieve the full potential of the IoT by stressing the “Internet” over the “Things”.  Despite many waves of technology hype over the years, straightforward connectivity has been the most fundamental driver of transformational change.  It is therefore critical to base your IoT initiatives on existing Internet and Web standards at different layers, leveraging the ubiquitous protocols and patterns of the Internet to maximize connectivity potential and support open innovation.  Protocols such as Bluetooth smart, low power IPv6 and the constrained application protocol (CoAP) are bringing open, web-like access to smart objects while maximising their lifetime through sensible optimisations.

Think small to go large

Our second principle states that meaningful and disruptive innovation on the Internet has rarely been achieved in a top down, centrally planned fashion.  It is the open, chaotic and Darwinian nature of the Internet that has enabled such a high tempo of innovation.  Many discussions of the IoT, however, start with huge, complex and monolithic predictions of smart energy, smart agriculture, smart manufacturing, etc., which are on a scale that has little relevance to your business and which therefore cannot be grasped in terms of the small, actionable steps that you can take to start delivering value today.

To become a winner with the IoT you should ignore large, top down discussions and instead focus on rapidly delivering small, measurable improvements in individual activities and processes relevant to your business and its customers.  The technologies and platforms of the IoT are so low cost and easy to engage with that starting many small experiments is the best way to discover the potential value for your specific business.  In this sense successful approaches to IoT will need to leverage simple technologies and approaches that lower the barrier to entry for each individual case and which do not require the aggregation of many dubious business cases to provide a justification for large scale capital investment.

Connect value in the cloud

Our third principle states that the value of the IoT is meaningless unless you can seamlessly integrate and leverage the data it produces in a way which creates value at scale – for your customers, for your business or for society as a whole.  It’s not about individual sensors or smart devices; it’s about the way in which you combine them with other systems and people to rapidly deliver and evolve compelling, digitally transformed processes and activities.  The IoT should not be seen as a separate technology category – and yet another silo – but simply as an extension of the resources available to you in innovating and optimising your wider digital business processes.

For these reasons a high productivity platform as a service focused on rapid process transformation and integration is an ideal place to unlock the value of the IoT in combination with the wider digital environment.  By abstracting away low level technology, such platforms leave you free to focus on the rapid creation of valuable new digital flows which easily connect the people, systems and sensors necessary to deliver, test and scale systems which transform value for your customers and colleagues.  Most importantly using a high level platform as a service will enable you to deliver, test and scale your new processes faster than competitors who get bogged down in low level technology management of infrastructure and middleware.

And the winner is…

The IoT is bringing huge new opportunities to integrate information spanning the physical and digital worlds, opening up a whole new set of activities for digital disruption.  While grandiose concepts and technical language can make the subject seem overwhelming, use of these three principles can put you in a position to experiment and deliver at extremely low cost.

To prove the point we recently used our own principles to experiment with ways of improving the response to cycling accidents, connecting wearables, sensors, cloud services and mobile devices within a new digital flow.  By using CoAP, focusing on the improvement of a specific outcome and using our PaaS to connect across the whole environment we were able to help a small partner create significant value in just a few days.

The first key step to winning with the IoT is therefore to actually move; the low cost of experimentation and importance of gaining insight into this disruptive new area all make it critical to start shaping your future now – otherwise someone, somewhere will shape it for you.

Ian Thomas

ian thomasIan Thomas is a Fujitsu strategist and thought leader currently serving as Chief Marketing Officer of Fujitsu RunMyProcess.

Ian is an active writer and contributor to both Fujitsu thought leadership content and to external peer-reviewed conferences.  Most recently he has published a range of papers on the evolution of the Web and on the convergence of the Internet of Things, cloud and social infrastructures.  In this context he has also delivered a number of invited talks in various events around the world.

Fujitsu Run My Process

Fujitsu Run My Process is our Visionary Sponsor at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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The future call centre: 10 predictions for the next 10 years

Guest Blog with NewVoiceMedia

Video-service-198x300What will the call centre of 2025 look like?

Well, to start with, it’s unlikely to be a physical ‘centre’ anymore. The rise of cloud technology is predicted to lead to an increase in remote working. But this move outside the office walls is far from businesses shunning the contact centre.

The omnipresent eye of social media has put companies in the limelight – for good and for bad, pushing customer service right to the top of the priority list. As a result,  looks set to become a key differentiator from now onwards, and the call centre will be at the forefront of this strategy.

Here we explore the trends that look set to transform the call centre in ten years’ time.

1. The call center will become a ‘relationship hub’

For years, many have considered the call centre as a way of dealing with immediate problems. This led to a short-term strategy of dealing with one customer emergency after another – reacting instead of adapting to the needs of the customer. Instead of picking up the pieces when things go wrong, we predict that the contact centre will become an integral part of business strategy, acting as a ‘relationship hub’.

Contact centre agents are the first to know if something isn’t working and are therefore perfectly poised to advise the business. It’s the people on the other end of the phone that know what the customers really think. Customer service can be seen as an afterthought – what happens after the marketing department has reeled them in, but really, it should be part of every stage of business development, supplying sales and marketing with repeat purchasers and advocates, as well as an essential data point for product management and development.

2. Customer service agents will become ‘super agents’

As the call centre becomes an increasingly important part of the business, so do the people that work there. They will need to adapt their skillset to meet the demands of the future customer and the expectations directors place on the contact centre. Plus, with the rise of ‘self-help’ and user communities, only the most complex problems will end up in a call centre. Agents will need to be ready to tackle challenging issues and be able to unpick the situation to pinpoint what exactly went wrong.

It’s therefore not surprising that in the next ten years, the average customer service agent will need to have a much wider range of skills. Aside from excellent communication skills, they’ll need analytical problem-solving skills, project management – and in some cases, technical training, in order to understand the finer details of the product or service. Alongside all of this, customer service agents will need to be able to adapt to changes in technology – from becoming an expert in every new app and social network, to utilising the increasing range of data on their CRM.

3. Call routing systems will find the ‘perfect match’ 

Intelligent call-routing is already available now, but it’s predicted to grow in the next ten years – matching the customer with the right expert almost instantly. As CRM and workflow management systems develop, a complex ‘match-making’ process will occur every time a customer calls, to ensure the right expert is on hand to solve every problem. Many also believe that organisations will begin to publish their agents’ availability online, so that customers can pick the agent that best suits their needs and call them directly.

4. Web chat will become an increasingly popular customer service channel

It can be frustrating to be on the other end of a phone – whether you’re an agent or a customer, the channel has its limits. The success of Amazon Mayday has made video-based live chat a real possibility. The channel has huge potential, because it allows agents to develop a more personal connection with customers through face-to-face chat. Plus, have you ever wanted to show a customer how something works? With video chat, this becomes a possibility. It also eliminates the idea of being put on hold – even if the agent isn’t speaking, the customer is connected via the visual feed. Video web chat also allows contact centres to anticipate problems as customers navigate their website and ensure the right agent pops up at the right time.

5. Customer service will become the key differentiator

With the rise of intangible products, which only exist via your mobile or laptop, customer experience is becoming more important as a differentiator. Consumers don’t just want great customer service, they demand it. In the UK, half of consumers said they would buy from a competitor as the result of poor customer experience. This is similar in the US, with 44% of consumers taking their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service.

Plus, with the death of sustainable competitive advantage, companies can no longer rely on their well-defined niche to keep them ahead. The elusive ‘experience’ becomes more important and customer service moves straight to the top of the agenda. Add to this the growth of social media and customer service has transformed from a one-to-one interaction to a public conversation. With customer service becoming this transparent, companies have realised they need to up their game. You can no longer hide bad customer service behind closed doors; every business has an online footprint of their successes and failures for all to see. As a result, companies will start to compete to offer the best customer service – with social media recommendations being the ultimate prize.

6. Mobile is the future – for customer service agents and customers

According to the Economist, mobile apps are predicted to become the second most important channel for engaging with brands – just behind social media. And it’s not just about apps, as the mobile phone becomes an increasingly important part of everyday life. It’s how your customers are most likely to get in contact with you – via email, live chat, social media or in a voice call. Companies need to optimise their mobile functionality for this – particularly by allowing customers to multi-task on their mobile. For instance, being able to read the FAQs page while on the phone to the customer service agent. Your customer service agents will make the same demands for mobile. Being able to access a mobile CRM is a key ingredient for flexible working.

7. Expect channel preferences to change (and change again)

As consumers demand a personalised approach to just about everything – they expect to be able to mix & match the customer service channels to create a tailor-made service. However, it’s becoming increasingly hard to predict and plan for the channel-hopping. That’s why we predict that whatever the preference is at the moment, it will change in the next ten years – probably several times. How contact centres are able to adapt to customers switching between channels will determine their success.

This is particularly true if businesses want to appeal to the millennial generation, who are notorious for channel-switching, as they move from mobile to tablet to laptop, all in a matter of hours. Being able to follow those channel hops while maintaining the context of the interaction is key to customer service success. And it’s not just about keeping up with the change in device or channel, businesses need to keep up with the technology itself. New apps and social networks are launched all the time – WhatsApp is a great example of a channel that’s taken off rapidly and is becoming a popular choice for customer service.

8. Voice biometrics will replace security questions

“What’s your mother’s maiden name?” is one of many common security questions, but in the next ten years, it’ll be more about how the customer answers a question than the answer itself which confirms their identity. Gathering the unique ‘voiceprints’ of your customers could be the answer to security problems, as voice biometrics technology develops. It’s much harder to replicate the human voice than it is to steal facts about a customer. Voice biometrics record the intricacies of the human voice – from picking up on the size and shape of the mouth to the tension of the vocal cords.

9. Remote working and location-based services will increase

With the rise of cloud-based SaaS, having all your agents in one place is no longer necessary. It’s actually much more than unnecessary – switching to remote working agents has lots of benefits. This approach can reduce the costs associated with running a call centre and give employees greater flexibility. It is predicted that the growing number of virtual call centres could lead to more location-based services. For instance, a customer calling a company could be automatically connected to an agent working remotely a few miles from their location. The agent could even arrange to meet the customer if necessary, which could be very useful for certain sectors.

10. The “internet of things”

Described by many as the third great wave of computing – the “internet of things” or the “internet of everything” could change the way the world works. With more and more devices being able to connect to other devices or people independently, it gives rise to a world where almost everything is connected. This could have huge implications for the contact centre, enabling businesses to deliver pre-emptive service. For instance, if a patient’s heart monitor is over-heating, the device could send an automated service request to the right team. On a more domestic level, washing machines may be able to self-diagnose problems and notify the manufacturer when the part needs replacing – taking the customer out of the equation altogether.

The implication is that attitudes will shift – instead of buying a product, consumers will be buying a product with built-in customer service, raising the stakes for getting service right.

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NewVoiceMedia are Salesforce Pavillion Partner and exhibitors at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Coke is IT: Using Cloud for Mission-Critical App Consolidation #CloudWF

Cloud-World-Forum logo with 2015 dates

The Cloud World Forum is truly shaping up to be the ‘must-attend’ event in the calendar with registrations 60% up on last year.

If you haven’t already, click here for your FREE pass!

We’re delighted to confirm Jane Gilmour, International CTO of Coca-Cola will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum on ‘IoT and the Coca-Cola Smart Vending Machines‘! In anticipation, we thought we’d share a great article from our 2014 Coca-Cola speaker, Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated on ‘Using Cloud for Mission-Critical App Consolidation.’

Coke is IT: Using Cloud for Mission-Critical App Consolidation

onyeka-300x200

In recent years, North America’s largest Coca Cola bottling company has increased the number of cloud services it uses. And along with three other large US-based bottlers most recently began an ambitious project to migrate its on premise ERP application‑its crown jewels‑to the cloud. But Onyeka Nchege, chief information officer of Coca Cola Bottling Company Consolidated explained to Business Cloud News that despite working as separately owned organisations, Coca Cola is a collaborative effort, making the individual companies ideal candidates to leverage the economies of scale cloud services deliver.

CCBCC has shifted its focus in recent years to cloud services primarily because of the perceived benefits associated with flexibility and time-to-market.

The firm now uses ServiceNow for IT service management, which has helped the company streamline its internal helpdesk processes, and it’s also using a range of cloud-based services for human resources. The company is using Cornerstone OnDemand for talent management and Coupa for expenses management, all fairly light-weight software as a service applications.

Nchege says that the company, which was founded in North Carolina in 1902, is like most large, well-established firms with a large estate of legacy IT infrastructure: it had to do a lot of things in order to prepare for its move to the cloud.

We had to wrap our heads around this culturally. We shied away from moving to the cloud for so long and the business being as old as it is, a big part of moving bits and pieces out to the cloud first was to get our organisation comfortable with this new paradigm,” he says.

The biggest risks of moving to the cloud have less to do with technology and more to do with lack of education. It’s about trying to understand what you don’t really know, which is why we started with non-business critical applications.

Click here to read the full article!

 

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