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4 min readCES 2017: Innovation hotbed or IoT graveyard? Using product data to deliver and [...]
Every year, at the start of the new year, thousands of attendees pour into Sands Expo and Las Vegas Convention Center in search for the latest innovations and smart technologies. And this year was no different. Techies and enthusiasts from around the world crowded around for a sneak peak of the latest product releases and live demonstrations.
And while the hype around adding intelligence to everything is not new, this year’s CES demonstrated that the hype is quickly becoming a reality. From food to sleep to health to transportation and beyond, it’s nearly impossible to imagine an activity that wasn’t somehow addressed at this year’s CES.
With hundreds of companies showcasing very similar connected products, the importance of product differentiation and the customer experience has never been so high. At the end of the day, it’s the experience with a product that ultimately determines its success or failure.
Smart Product (IoT) Insights and Artificial Intelligence were the hot topics of the show. IoT analytics provide manufacturers with a 360-view of their product deployment – while its value varies between the manufacturer’s ‘readiness’ stages… it’s undeniable that all manufacturers are keenly looking at how to make sense of all the data that these sensor-enabled connected devices are generating!
The key question all manufacturers are trying to answer: once all of this smart product data is ingested, processed and analyzed: how does this translate to business value?
Insights to validate and improve the prototype
The most important, is tapping into the data benefits before the products hit the store shelves. The minute your product is connected, data reveals insights throughout the development cycles and field trials. Usage reports can be used to diagnose and investigate product defects and faults. Product usage feedback reports on behaviour in field trials, while also empowering product managers with real-time visibility on operations. Observe connectivity or performance issues, build relevant fixes, use a device management platform to push over the air (OTA) updates to the product, and analyze improvements.
Insights generated from beta testing and field trials can reduce the time-to-market, allowing you to go to market with a competitive, robust product.
Insights for deployed products
Following the prototype validation, streaming analytics provide real-time insights on the connected deployment base. With continuous data from connected products, multiple stakeholders are empowered with diverse actionable insights. Product management, sales and marketing, operations and C-level gain end-to-end visibility on actual product performance and usage, user engagement and customer profiles, as well as operational feedback such as spare part management.
IoT analytics solutions provide a complete picture of when, where and how products are being used. Drilling down to see interactions between products and customers, product managers can determine when there is a problem and the important (relevant) context around that problem. This not only allows them to uncover new insights that were not conceived during the initial project planning, but it also proactively reduces the number of product faults, provides feedback back to the product roadmap, and improves aftermarket services.
Insights to enable new services and revenue streams
With complete visibility on the product lifecycle, product managers can uncover new opportunities across each sales channel. New support and service systems can be built based on the real-time stream of connected product data. Beyond traditional product warranty services, product usage data can be used to design new service packages with higher value product performance guarantees and service level agreements.
New relationships with third party vendors can be forged – insurance & security providers, delivery services, cleaning companies, etc – to monetize these services, pricing them as a subscription, which drives a recurring revenue base. Because your product data was organized to make actionable decisions from the beginning, it will be easy to automate insights and incorporate new business models as your connected service continues to evolve.
“mnubo’s turnkey IoT analytics platform helps us transform our data assets into immediate meaningful insights – significantly enhancing our smart home ecosystem and delivering compelling services for our clients in insurance, retail and other smart home verticals.” said Marcus Scheiber, CEO and co- founder of ROC-Connect.
Looking out over the Sands Exposition Hall, one might wonder how many of these products will be at CES again next year. Will they find their niche and take ownership of the market or will they fall victim to the IoT graveyard? Time will tell.
But this year’s crowd pleasing demonstrations clearly prove one thing that: manufacturers of smart products that employ a data-driven strategy are best positioned to drive a successful business outcome. Will you be that successful innovator?