The Connected Effect

What CEOs Need To Know About M2M – Part 2 (What You Need to Ask Your Service Organization Leaders)

Posted by Bill Zujewski

Jun 4, 2013 2:00:00 PM

In part 1 of this discussion series on what CEOs need to know about M2M, I defined the term M2M (Machine-to-Machine) and discussed the role of connected products and assets in corporate strategy. The M2M thesis for this series of articles is simple… if you remotely connect your machines, equipment and assets, you can unleash the machine data into your enterprise and unlock the value of that data. So what is the tangible value of M2M?  What are the benefits? What are the hard dollars to the top line and bottom line? What are the soft dollars?  At Axeda we’ve defined an M2M value curve that identifies 6 levels of maturity and organizes the major value propositions into 4 major areas:

  1. Remote Service (Level 3) - focuses on cutting costs from customer service and field service
  2. Usage Analysis ( Level 4) -focuses on predictive maintenance, driving machine up-time and improving product design
  3. Business System Integration (Level 5) – focuses on improving efficiency and enhancing business processes often associated with CRM, ERP and PLM systems
  4. Value-added Applications (Level 6) - focuses on offering complementary end-user applications with your machines and differentiate your product and improve the product experience.

Connected product maturity levels 3

For this article, we’ll cover remote service. If you’re a CEO meeting with your service organizations, here are key questions you should be asking them:

  • What service operations can be done remotely?
  • What machine information can we provide call center and support personnel to solve problems more quickly, shorten call times and solve cases and issues more effectively?
  • What information can we provide field service people to make their customer visits more effective? How can we use machine data to shorten First Time Fix Rates (FTFRs)?
  • What machine data can enable us to proactively service machines to drive greater uptime and shorten Mean Time Between Failure (MTBFs)?

Answers to these questions will provide Engineering, Product Management and IT the requirements for capturing the right raw data on the machine.  It will help R&D design in the right technical solution in a collaborative way with Customer Service and IT. If you’re a CEO, it is key that you have a long term remote connectivity strategy and understand what information should be monitored, collected and remotely transferred. The savings of remote service are black and white and hard dollars.  Many of Axeda’s customers have saved millions of dollars per year by increasing their service efficiency, minimizing field service visits, and reducing call times. Simple remote software upgrades and patches alone can pay for the connectivity project. Recalls are another area for savings. Many recalls are now software fixes.  Enabling remote patching of software drives down the cost of those recalls.

In my next post, we’ll continue the business case discussion and move on to level 4, machine data analytics and machine usage analysis. Companies often start with remotes service, but word rapidly spreads to other organizations that the enterprise now has access to machine data and usage information.  The next projects after remote service are often about usage analysis, quality analysis and predictive maintenance, typically led by Engineering and Product Management.

Maximize the Value of Your Connected Products.  DOWNLOAD the Connected Product Maturity Model White Paper.

Topics: remote service, M2M, CEO, R&D

2013: The Emergence of the Internet of Corporate Things

Posted by Bill Zujewski

Jan 3, 2013 12:03:00 PM

A new year, a new perspective ... With all the hype around the Internet of Things in 2012 behind us, it’s time to think about what themes will emerge in 2013. One trend seems to be the acceleration of focus that corporations have on shipping connected products that include applications for end-users to better manage operational assets and equipment. I call this corporate ecosystem of connected assets the Internet of Corporate Things™. It’s the B2B subset of the Internet of Things.

Essentially the Internet of Corporate Things focuses on the management of the “things” that a corporation has to deal with. It is an approach to the management of the physical products that a company delivers to its customers and the management of a company’s corporate assets including facilities and plants, operational equipment, vehicles and goods being delivered. The Internet of Corporate Things begins with the fundamental understanding that supporting customers’ use of a company’s products requires connectivity, monitoring, remote service, usage analysis, ERP/CRM integration and value-added services that leverage connectivity and mobile devices. It also includes managing internal corporate assets and operational infrastructure which requires a deep, intuitive understanding of the complex web of interconnectivity between assets, places, people and information.

Internet of Corporate Things

The Internet of Corporate Things embraces the reality that no asset is an island. All products, devices, equipment, goods being delivered, facilities, systems, processes, workflows, and people co-existing in a connected world are interdependent. It acts like a social network, connecting information and democratizing management tasks across organizations to leverage machine data to foster unparalleled collaboration. It tears down the silos between OT (Operational Technology) and IT (Information Technology) …between customers and the enterprise. It connects equipment, facilities, vehicles and corporate assets to drive a new level of operational efficiency.

Axeda’s Role in the Internet of Corporate Things

The Internet of Corporate Things is the domain expertise at the heart of Axeda. It embodies Axeda’s expertise in managing connectivity to optimize the efficiency, agility, and availability of a company’s connected product and connected asset ecosystem. Axeda provides the technology and services to manage the Internet of Corporate Things including the administrative and management console for a company’s connected products and connected assets. It’s our unique skill set and “library of learnings” that help us drive business value quantifiably and continuously – unleashing the true potential of connected products and assets.  

Topics: remote service, CRM/ERP, Internet of Corporate Things, Asset Tracking

Your Product is an iPod!

Posted by Dale Calder

Jun 8, 2008 2:35:00 PM

Your Producs should behave like an iPodOK, not really, but it should behave like one.
If you are reading this blog you more than likely are involved in an organization that makes a complex product -- perhaps one that operates in a data center, hospital, or factory. You are thinking, my product is a business-to-business product, and perhaps it is:

  • Expensive
  • Complex
  • Heavily featured

I will reiterate, no matter the complexity, sophistication, cost, or size -- smart companies everywhere are starting to think about their products as iPods.

Why?

"As Is" and "To Be"
Let's look at what has made the iPod a success. Borrowing a term from consulting -- let's look at the "As Is" and "To Be" processes of music consumption.

"As Is": Get in your car, drive to the music store, browse through thousands of CDs, pick the one you want (often without a preview), buy it, and then lug it everywhere you may want to use it.

"To Be": Go on the Web, flexibly browse/search an extensive song library, listen to samples, buy the ones that you want with one click, sync them with your iPod, and carry your entire library everywhere that you want.

The combination of a smartly designed product with a Web presence enabled the iPod's runaway success and changed the way music is distributed and consumed.

The Situation
Now let's look at your business situation. More than likely, your company is facing one or many of the following challenges:

  • Shrinking Profits
  • Aging Workforce
  • Global Competition
  • Escalating Travel Costs
  • High Customer Expectations

Your R&D teams are working feverishly to add the next great feature. Your service organization is focused on keeping your products in the field up and running. You are fighting the same "As Is" battle as the CD. What is needed is a quantum leap forward.

Enter "Remote Services"
I define "Remote Services" as the delivery of your expertise through the Internet to your product operating at your customer locations. In effect, remote services, combined with your expertise and product, enables the desired quantum leap forward. It not only redefines how you service your products, it changes what you define your product to be. Done right and the product will become secondary to the solution that drives your customer's experience. In short, it will become like an iPod.

Since this is my first post in this blog, I would like to comment briefly on its scope. I see this blog as a location where people can come and get both tactical and strategic advice on how to leverage remote services to change the game of their businesses. I believe that this technology will not only change the way business is done, it will change people's perception of products. Having been in this industry since its inception, I am very excited by the traction that major organizations are getting with their remote service programs. Hopefully, we can provide you with some insight that can help you along this journey and provide you with the hard fought insights of others.

Topics: remote service

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