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Observations from Axeda Connexion 2014

  
  
  
Axeda Connexion 2014 (Twitter hashtag #CX14) is a who’s-who of enterprises and technology companies that have embraced or are learning how to embrace the connected future. The key themes from this year’s show span business/strategy and technology characteristics of IoT. Let’s take a look at some of the top ones.

Impact of IoT solutions on business process. No doubt that IoT solutions pack all sorts of value for enterprises, but oftentimes we overlook the challenges that enterprises have in re-designing their business processes to take advantage of connectivity, connected devices, sensors and the richness of the data provided by these IoT solutions. Business processes touching all aspects of operations, finance, marketing, sales, customer support and product development can be impacted by new IoT solutions. Enterprises must prepare for these changes -- changes that impact technology, but also human factors within the enterprises. As such, it is critical that enterprises create appropriate change management and training plans. In addition, they need to address additional security and compliance issues that might be impacted by changes in particular business processes. These changes impact large enterprises as well as small/medium businesses that march down the IoT path.

Moving enterprises from product to services companies: striving for competitive differentiation. An age-old adage for many businesses is, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” But those enterprises that adopt IoT solutions realize that there is something that needs improvement. Sometimes identifying those problems and taking the risks to change require great foresight and executive commitment. Many enterprises that are product-centric recognize the difficulties in creating a sustainable competitive advantage solely based on a product-only business model. So in order to help differentiate their products, these enterprises are adding connectivity to their products and becoming hybrid product/services companies. These changes help diversify the overall revenue characteristics of these firms while building competitive differentiation through enhanced customer loyalty, difficult to replicate product/service offerings and reducing the time-to-market for new service solutions.

Innovative technology solutions being deployed today: enterprise examples. There is tremendous diversity in the types of IoT solutions being deployed today. A quick perusal of attendees and speakers at the Axeda Connexion 2014 event attest to this fact. There are hundreds of enterprise attendees from sectors including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, automotive/transport, software, distribution and others. The IoT solutions vary from those that have been generally available in markets for years -- like, fleet management -- to those that are in beta-stage today -- like several healthcare solutions in various stages of medical testing. As we expected there was strong presence of IoT solutions in the industrial sector -- the industrial sector being one of the hottest IoT sectors in 2014 according to recent MachNation research. There is a heightened focus on the quality and useability of the data collected from these IoT solutions, recognizing that collection and analysis of data must lead to actions that seek to improve business outcomes.

Application integrations: To reach the goal of extracting maximum value from IoT solutions requires careful integration of enterprise business applications -- like CRM/SFA, ERP, inventory management, accounting/finance, distribution systems and other -- to IoT platforms like the Axeda Machine Cloud. Very few enterprises are implementing IoT solutions as green-field deployments. Most enterprises have existing business applications that require integration with IoT applications and application platforms. Simple approaches and careful project planning are required to ensure data is mapped and shared appropriately between applications. Look to cloud application vendors like Axeda and Salesforce.com that are creating deep business and technology partnerships to ensure the success if these integrations.

Axeda Connexion 2014 continues to attract some of the most progressive enterprises and technology vendors that have embraced the connected future.

About the author -- Steve Hilton is the Managing Director and
co-founder of MachNation, the only Steve Hiltondedicated insight services firm covering the future of the Internet of Things, Internet of everything and connected device ecosystems. His primary areas of expertise include sales enablement, competitive positioning, marketing media development, cloud services, small and medium businesses and sales channels. Steve has 20 years’ experience in technology and communications marketing. Prior to founding MachNation, he built and ran the IoT/M2M and Enterprise practice areas at Analysys Mason. He has also held senior positions at Yankee Group, Lucent Technologies, TDS (Telephone and Data Systems) and Cambridge Strategic Management Group. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry and client events, and publishes articles and blogs in several respected trade journals. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

About MachNation -- MachNation is the only dedicated insight services firm covering the future of the Internet of Things, Internet of Everything and connected device ecosystems. MachNation specializes in understanding and predicting these technology sectors including developments in hardware, platforms, communication services and applications. MachNation specialists have provided sales tools and marketing support services to the majority of the world’s leading IT and communications firms.

Lead the Connected Revolution

  
  
  

By Ian Lee, Director of Product Marketing

Axeda Connexion 2014 is only 6 months away and we are challenging our community of users to “Lead the Connected Revolution.”  What does this mean?

We believe our customers and partners are in the best position to lead the charge when it comes to the Internet of Things. With a breadth of applications from hybrid vehicle recharging stations to power generators, and from MRI machines to ATMs, no one is better placed to tell the world the Return on Investment they have seen, and the business challenges that they have solved. 

Axeda Connexion 2013
 Watch the highlights from Connexion 2013.

So be a part of it, and come tell your story… we would love for our customers, partners, or anyone involved in Machine-to-Machine or IOT applications to submit their story and join us in May 2014 to show how you are leading the way.

In addition, for those of you who are going to pass up on a free ticket by coming to speak at the event, we of course have our early-bird special running until the end of December with $400 off the cost of attending.

Connexion 2014 will feature more than 30 content sessions focused on reinventing the product experience and optimizing enterprise-wide business processes with M2M data.  More news coming out shortly with the roster of industry all-stars that we have assembled, but if you missed last year’s event, and want to know what happens, you can take a look at our highlights reel from the 2013:

We also have provided you with the 10 reasons why you should be at the event, so you can better justify it to your boss ! So come along and hear from an M2M all-star speaker line-up, including customers, partners, industry analysts, and Axeda leadership, or better still, be a part of it and submit your story.  If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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The Machine of the Future

  
  
  

Bill Zujewski, AxedaThere’s no doubt machines are becoming more and more sophisticated and intelligent.   During my keynote at our Connexion event last week, I discussed how machines have evolved the past few decades. Fifty years ago, machines were still mostly mechanical. It wasn’t until the past few decades that software became a major component of machines. Today, product design is just as much about software design as it is hardware design.   

Network connectivity also began to make its way into machines the past couple of decades.   Recently, we’ve seen remote connectivity being designed into the machine natively. Although the connectivity was typically put in place for diagnostics and remote service, it has enabled machine data to be used in many innovative ways including usage analytics, business system integration and new end-user apps.

So what’s next?   Here at Axeda, we’ve identified 9 major characteristics we will see in the machines of the future.  A couple of these are already in most machines… they are 1) Connected and 2) Remotely Serviceable.   Many now have GPS or some other means to locate them, making them 3) Trackable. The machine data will be available via an agent or gateway that will collect and send data and enable machines to be 4) Informative 5) Self-Healing and 6) Integrated with business systems. This machine data is also being made available via APIs enable them to be 7) App Centric. The green movement will drive machines to be 8) Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient. Lastly, machines will become part of larger systems and be 9) Collaborative.

GE calls it the Industrial Internet with brilliant machines. The Analysts often refer to it as the Internet of Things or Machine-To-Machine with intelligent systems or smart devices.  Regardless of what we label this macro trend, most agree we are in the first inning of a new “connected world” order.  The machine will be at the heart of it and I welcome the machine of the future… healthy, wise, well-spoken, green and social! Here at Axeda, we are working hard to connect these machines to Axeda’s Machine Cloud… to unleash all that machine data and unlock all the value.

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