Why Industrial IoT?
IoT and Industrial IoT are the phrases to use at the moment. Everybody has an opinion and wants to get in on the action.
But the real question is: What is the value of IoT or Industrial IoT?
To answer that let’s separate out IoT from Industrial IoT with my definitions.
IoT is the consumer form in which any type of connected device is considered part of the Internet of Things: smart TV’s, cell phones, fridges, etc. The use of those connections to the Internet is typically driven by the consumer.
IIoT is the enterprise form in which there is very specific information (data) that flows from the device back to a device cloud for measuring performance, efficiency, anticipating maintenance needs, adjusting settings, remote operations, etc.
It is the Industrial IoT that has my interest since that is the area where there are lots of opportunities to create new business (service) models in which customer satisfaction and retention, as well as turning service into a profit and sales center, are at the forefront.
Any product in the hands of the end-user (client) that needs maintenance, replacement parts, consumables, operational settings, calibration, capacity limits, sensitive to environmental influences, etc. is an opportunity for Industrial IoT. Changing the product value, the way they are sold (product versus outcome based) and the service offerings.
The CT scanner is just one example. Maybe the product does not get sold but the hospital just buys the outcomes. Think per-patient scan, etc. This completely changes the selling: capital investments versus expense item, service and repair versus up-time, etc.
The above characteristics are opportunities for new or enhanced service offerings to your clients. It almost does not matter if you are the manufacturer, dealer or 3rd-party service provider. All can create new and exciting services for the end-user.
The answer: Everybody involved in the servicing of products.
An example new IoT enabled Service Offering
Here is a simple business model example of a customer-retention opportunity by creating a smart service model.
Business model: Smart Preventive Maintenance or Replacement Service before the product has a failure or downtime. This service model is included with the warranty and has extended time frames options or this service is offered ad-hoc when the need occurs.
The assumption is that the device (or components) connects to their or other device clouds. This device cloud get lots of readings (sensors, operations, environmental, etc.) which are analyzed (AI, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition, etc.) and a trigger of future failure takes place.
Alignment of process and system capabilities allows avoidance of actual downtime and let the end-user (client) decide when it is convenient to replace, repair, self-service, etc.
This could actually be completely automated without human intervention. Example: Device Cloud trigger for device A says that failure is likely in 4 days. The client is still under warranty so a replacement device A (for an advance exchange) can immediately ship from the forward stocking site. The shipping box has paperwork on what the issue was, the return instructions for the defective device. An email is sent as soon as the process starts to let the end-user (client) know what the situation is and that the replacement is on its way.
If the end-user is out of warranty, then an offer for replacement is made (including up-sell) for instance. Consumables usage is also detected and offered to sell and ship.
Opportunities are almost endless.