The Fortune Teller (Georges de La Tour c. 1630)

Seven Industrial IoT Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | 2 Comments

Rapid Growth in Times of Uncertainty

The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling and accelerating the convergence of three key technology and business model shifts that are fueling the digital transformation of every industrial enterprise:

  • Connectivity. The number of connected devices and mobile devices is growing at an increasingly faster pace, emanating massive amounts of real-time information that enables deep insight about themselves and the environment around them.
  • Cloud Computing. After years of hesitation, cloud technology is finally becoming a mainstream business platform and a growth engine. New information systems and business operation constructs can be deployed and scale quickly and cost effectively, as connected assets and mobile devices deliver decision-making power to all ranks in the organization.
  • New Business Models. Cloud-connected assets and customers, coupled with real-time information and decision-making capabilities form the foundation for new ways to engage the business and its customers. Businesses can deploy innovative customer-centric outcome-based engagement models and respond to changing market conditions with greater agility and flexibility.

Industry is making strides in developing Internet of Things technologies and articulating the potential business value of industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions. The upcoming years of the IoT evolution will be characterized by rapid technology acceleration, as the vision of an always-connected world, in which everything and everybody is connected, is becoming an everyday reality.

And company leadership is under pressure to seize the opportunity. Eager technology vendors, enthusiastic investors and analysts, and deluge of breathless headlines, all entice corporate management to jump on the IoT bandwagon before it’s too late.

However, as technology forecaster Paul Saffo aptly observed, one should not mistake a clear view for a short distance. Read More

Self Portrait (Leonardo da Vinci, 1512)

SAP Leonardo: Intelligently Connecting People, Things and Businesses

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | No Comments

SAP Leonardo is the company’s new Internet of Things platform touted as a cloud-based “digital innovation system.”

SAP’s apt tagline: Intelligently connecting People, Things and Business, links the platform’s key constituents: devices, people and businesses to a portfolio of technologies and business services we have come to expect from an IoT business platform, such as device management APIs, big data, BPM, and analytics, and with the obligatory catchwords AI and machine learning sprinkled on top.

SAP Leonardo IoT

SAP Leonardo (Source: SAP)

The concept highlights SAPs strengths in integration and a rich portfolio of microservices that could potentially include billing, enterprise asset management (EAM), contract management, and other key services that make up a complete outcome-based IoT solution. It also includes the all-important business transformation services (which, for some reasons, are classified on Leonardo’s website as Design Thinking).

But you may have not noticed a point that I find critical and SAP does spend much time articulating, and that is people’s Experiences, at the very bottom of the image on the right. Read More

JCB JS290

Telematics Helps JCB Ride Market Growth

By | Internet of Things, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Telematics | No Comments

Earthmoving and construction equipment company JCB has high aspirations. The world’s third-largest construction equipment manufacturer by volume, is banking on the strong Indian construction and agricultural sectors to drive market growth.

JCB India’s 2016 revenue and sales volume grew almost 40% over 2015. With the Union budget of India for 2017-2018 focus on additional investments in farming and infrastructure building, the company hopes to experience strong growth in 2018, albeit not at the same levels as a couple of years ago. Read More

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé (1954) (Andy Warhol, 1986)

Tesla: Making Cars is Hard to Do

By | Automotive, Manufacturing | 4 Comments

Tesla Struggles to Ramp Up Manufacturing Volume, With Unintended Consequences

Ramping up an auto manufacturing line is difficult. For a newcomer, reaching efficient and lean operation at the level of Toyota and GM is extremely challenging. And, as I pointed out in the past, Tesla’s ongoing manufacturing woes are a painful proof.

In 2010, Tesla acquired the Fremont, CA NUMMI manufacturing plant previously owned jointly by General Motors and Toyota for a $42 million bargain basement deal. When I visited the Fremont plant a while ago, my host was especially proud of the junkyard price the company paid for two huge Schuler hydraulic stamping presses, which form the largest line in North America and the 6th largest in the world.

What Tesla didn’t get as part of the deal is knowledge and experience in complex manufacturing. Read More

At The Optometrist (Norman Rockwell, 1956)

OpenText Acquires Covisint: A Telltale of the IoT M&A Market

By | Automotive, Internet of Things, M&A | No Comments

In an announcement that failed to get headlines, OpenText, a Canadian enterprise information management (EIM) company,  recently disclosed it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Covisint Corporation, best known as the enterprise data interchange (EDI) company whose name nobody was sure how to pronounce.

Covisint was formed in 2000 by a consortium of automotive companies, including General Motors, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. Over the years, the company expanded its EDI platform and services into the healthcare, oil and gas, government, and financial services markets. Read More