Internet of Things

The Accountant (Florent Willems)

The CPA and the IoT

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | No Comments

No, this is not a modern-day technology Aesop fable.

But it is yet another observation in the neck-breaking evolution of the Internet of Things narrative in which eye candies tend to divert attention away from critical business functions such as customer billing.

The Internet of Things is transforming every business. Early discussions about IoT were all about connecting industrial assets, but as the technology is maturing to become the fuel of the connected enterprise, its impact is going to be profound, touching every part of the business and every function in its value chain.

Even accountants recognize the potentially disruptive impact IoT is going to have on their profession. An article titled The Internet of Things: The CPA’s Role in the New World of Business, published by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, suggests that “the duties of CPAs will continue to transform and integrate with IT systems, possibly leading to consolidation”. Read More

Delicate Tension (Wassily Kandisnky, 1923)

The Emergence of Application-Specific IoT

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In a recent announcement, covered here under the title PTC’s ThingWorx and Deloitte Release Plans for Industry-Specific IoT Solutions, the two companies have announced a plan to collaborate on industry-focused IoT initiatives.

Back in September 2014, which, in IoT-years, seems like a decade ago, I published a blog article under a very similar title, anticipating The Emergence of Application-Specific IoT.

Below is an abbreviated and edited excerpt from of my 2014 article, followed by additional commentary. You will be the judge of how much, or, perhaps, how little has changed in nearly 3 years of intense activity in the IoT space. Read More

Tableau No. IV; Lozenge Composition with Red, Gray, Blue, Yellow, and Black (Piet Mondrian, 1924-1925)

Living on the Edge

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Internet of Things architects love to talk about edge devices. IoT edge devices are the intelligent sensors and data acquisition devices that collect, filter and aggregate data close to industrial processes and production machines. With increased memory space and computing power, edge devices are capable of monitoring equipment, running data analytics, and moving decision-making authority from the traditional monolithic back-office applications along the edges of a distributed network of manufacturing assets and closer to the point of need, thereby improving responsiveness, process quality, and production yields.

However, real-time process control is not the only consideration in architecting an industrial IoT (IIOT) network. The power of the Internet of Things is in its ability to form a flexible decision-making architecture and to move analytics and decision making between edge devices (for example, for real-time control), and centralized cloud applications such as fleet optimization, as needed. Read More

Elevator Out of Service

An Elevator Pitch: IoT Improves Elevator Service

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

The Risk of Market Commoditization

For companies that operate in a commodity market, competing on price alone is usually a stressful and futile business strategy. When the only protection a company has against competition is lower price, an aggressive new entrant offering an even lower price for the same product or service can disrupt the business overnight, luring customers away from an established business that had nurtured customer loyalty for decades. Indeed, low-cost products and services often mean subpar quality and poor customer service, and by the time the newly-recruited customer realizes it, the damage has already been done and is difficult to reverse. As the old adage goes, it costs much more to regain a lost customer than to keep an existing one.

McKinley Elevator Corporation is a family-owned business that specializes in elevators, accessibility lifts and car lifts for homes, public facilities, and businesses. Even with reputation for top-notch customer service, the company is constantly at risk of losing market share to lower-cost competitors, and under pressure from elevator manufacturers seeking to drive down cost in a highly commoditized and price-competitive market. Read More

Victor Borge

Inflationary Technology Language

By | Internet of Things, Uncategorized | No Comments

I  returned recently from a series of conference keynotes and lectures across 10 time zones. It is clear that the infatuation technology vendors and the media has with sophisticated-sounding technology terms is as strong as ever.

Fancy technology terms such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning conjure up a spectrum of AI-based movie characters from the inanimate HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the seductive feminine humanoids Samantha in Her and Ava in Ex Machina.

Even technology experts and software vendors that should know better, don’t miss any opportunity to add “machine learning algorithms” to their product descriptions whenever they can. Read More