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Five Lessons Equipment Providers Learned from Deploying IoT Solutions

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  1. Equipment Providers (EP) realize that they need to truly develop horizontal platforms: The trend is for EPs to have open Internet of Things (IoT) platforms such that Application Programmable Interfaces and services are available to developers from all disciplines. In this way, developers from all verticals can add value to the platform via creating rich applications and services that serve their target customer base. The developer and the platform provider can revenue share the results. Depending on the value, the platform provider can give incentives to the developers or even acquire the firm.

  2. EPs found they needed to look within: To hone in on their IoT offerings EPs found that they need to look within their own customer base to find clues to target the right offerings and service centric use cases to deploy; in doing this, they also are able to understand and equip their internal ecosystem better. As a result, they will be able to influence potential service providers (SPs) to partner with them. Once accomplished they can be agile enough to steer their ecosystem communities to serve the SPs’ needs.

  3. EPs need to think total end-to-end solutions: SPs realize that to get the most value from the markets they serve they must serve the customer’s entire needs not just simple point-to-point connectivity. Thus, EPs that partner with SPs must anticipate this and backfill their ecosystems to accommodate the end-to-end solutions needed. So tight communications between EP and SP management, staff and business support systems/operational support systems processes is needed.

  4. EPs realize that they need subscriber-based billing models to compete: EPs platforms must have a subscription-based billing model to accommodate the hybrid business models (digital and physical) and freemium to micropayment models characterized by the IoT economy. These subscriber models should include big data analytics modules as value-added products to sell to customers. This addition also makes their offerings attractive to prospective SP partners/large enterprises that are thinking about rolling out value-added services to their end users.

  5. EPs need to think complete solutions, services, security and outcomes: EPs are realizing that they need to embrace the fact that complete IoT solutions are service centric. Consequently, they have to think digital services first before selling physical appliances. These appliances may include the virtual components such as security elements, functional and analytics applications or even bare metal components to round out the offering. Therefore, they need to be prepared to offer pieces of the solution as well, but with an emphasis on outcomes that enable the customer to make actionable decisions.
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