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All of us are accustomed to the smart wearables, such as the ones we wear on a jogging track. We also have seen the concept of smart homes turn into a reality. We have seen a farmer sort and track his flock of sheep with the help of a mountable RFID device. 

Every physical element around us (including ourselves) have become a part of a real and rhythmic whole – communicating information with each other at all times. All thanks to the Internet of Things!

Ever since the Internet of Things (IoT) manifested into reality, integrating the physical world with our digital routine, experts and thought leaders have waited for it to transform the dream of a data driven economy into a witnessed possibility.

As the concept of Internet of Things continues to evolve and grow, it now appears that the wait is finally over. 

Welcome to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is a concept-turned-reality, which looks set to change the traditional picture of industrial production for years to come. 

Industrial Internet of Things – What Is It? 

The Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT, is the Internet of Things, applied in industrial settings, which combines operational technology with information technology to help in the optimization of industrial processes and business models.

The communication protocol is same, objective is same—facilitate information sharing to execute better decision making—it’s just that the platform is industrial, when we talk in reference to IIoT. 

IoT: Inspiring Innovation Initiatives and Fueling the Realization of a Data Driven Economy

Magnifying into the early traces that the IoT is foot-printing in the context of industrial transformation, the innovation initiatives across different industry-level operating lines can be summarized as follows: 

Improved Management Reporting

With manufacturing units now being able to communicate with each other through the deployment of IoT system solutions, analysis of facility performance metrics can be performed in real time. Management executives, if they want, can also resolve the performance monitoring to shop floor levels, which helps provide revealing manufacturing insights. 

This leads to improved management reporting.

Serving as an example is the manufacturing giant, Caterpillar. The company has deployed the SAP Leonardo system, an IIoT technology, across all its operation facilities. The system furnishes real time information about manufacturing data, energy utilization data, machine performances, and data regarding the production consumables. Combining altogether, the company executives can have a 360-degree view of the manufacturing processes which leads to better tactical decision making.  

Improved Operational Efficiencies

For a company, operational efficiency is as important as the production churn. You may have a high production churn, but until or unless your organization is not efficient in its operations, the lack of efficiency will ultimately restrict its growth. IoT has allowed companies to improve its operational efficiency, as information is communicated in real time between different production units. 

This transpires into the optimization of processes to achieve operational efficiency. 

BASF, a leading chemical products manufacturer, is leveraging the implementation of IoT to achieve efficiency in its operations. Via a deployed IoT cloud, manufacturing units communicate their requirements with a production planning department. When production components are planned and bought according to the needed manufacturing units, investment risk is reduced and advanced planning of production cost is made possible. 

Storage facilities communicate with production and supply chain, which helps them to regulate the operations to lower the storage cost, without compromising on customer facilitation. This and much more has allowed BASF to strive for operational excellence. 

Improved Failure-Response Time

The IoT is also opening new possibilities in mitigating the risk of operational failures, and improving failure-response time in cases where operations do break down. This has been made possible as the IoT allows machines to exchange information with each other. Depending on the analysis of the information received, automatically create service requests, schedule maintenance, and ensure timely delivery of spare parts that need to be replaced. 

This keeps the operations going.

Leading the inspiration in this case is Trenitalia, the primary train operator in Italy. The company has deployed a dynamic management system, powered by the Internet of Things and Big Data analysis. The system continually monitors the health of every train component, depending on which it can schedule timely maintenance protocols. This ensures uninterrupted service operations.

Improved Levels of Customers Service

Customer service is another area where the IoT is helping the employees and management executives. The IoT permits end to end of visibility of real time information across all production lines, which helps optimize the asset utilization of critical resources. 

This ensures timely facilitation of customer requests.

The Truck Advisor mobile app, used by Unilever, is a great example in this context. It is a mobile app, which leverages the power of a Cloud Platform, and enables the organization to keep track of its fleet of delivery trucks, without having to get them install an onboard GPS device. 

With the help of the app, the company can track the geo-position of each individual truck, monitor the stops and delivery status, accurately predict expected delivery delays, and establish a bi-level communication with the drivers. With such a vast data set available in real time, the company can strategize in parallel to make sure that deliveries to the customers are on time and meet the pre-set requirements.   

These, by far, are just scratching the surface of possible application scenarios. But they are enough to support the claim that the IoT is penetrating the possibilities of a data driven economy, and establishing a strong foundation for it with new applications and unprecedented results. 

Originally posted on Data Science Central.

About the Author

Ronald van Loon is an Advisory Board Member and Big Data & Analytics course advisor for Simplilearn. He contributes his expertise towards the rapid growth of Simplilearn’s popular Big Data & Analytics category.

If you would like to read more from Ronald van Loon on the possibilities of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), please click “Follow” and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Guest post by Ronald van Loon 

Imagine a world where your car not only drives itself, but also says intelligent things like these:

  • A hotel is just around the corner and you have been driving for eight hours. Would you like to reserve a room and take rest for a couple of hours?
  • You last serviced the brakes twelve months ago and you have driven your car about 20.000 miles in this duration. Would you like me to find a dealer and book an appointment?

This would look like an impossibility about five years ago when the world was unaware of a technology called the Internet of Things (IoT), but today, the IoT is already breaking fresh ground for tech companies and car manufacturers, enabling them to realize their idea of a ‘connected car.’

I recently attended Mobile World Congress (#MWC17) in Barcelona where SAP announced its collaboration with Hertz, Nokia and Concur Technologies. The purpose of this new partnership is to leverage IoT to offer an intelligent, automated experience to car users. SAP also announced its collaboration with Mojio, the connected vehicle platform and app provider for T-Mobile USA and Deutsche Telekom. The integration of Mojio’s cloud computing capabilities with SAP Vehicles Network will make parking and fueling process a breeze for users. From enabling drivers to reserve a parking spot based on calendar events to expense management for business travelers, SAP’s collaboration with these companies is likely to accelerate the development of connected cars. 

In this article, I have discussed the cases that caught my interest and that, in my opinion, are likely to progress and evolve into something revolutionary. 

Mojio — The IoT Connected Car 

Mojio ‘s new smart car technology is set to create an automotive ecosystem that will allow the automotive, insurance, and telecom industry to thrive together. The recent news that Mojio plans to connect 500,000 vehicles to its cloud platform in the first phase gives us a clue about the technology is really taking off and the idea of ‘connected cars’ is likely to become a reality soon. 

Mojio’s Data Analytics Capabilities

The open connected car platform introduced by Mojio has advanced data collection and analytical capabilities. The data collected by the sophisticated telematics device can be categorized into three types — contextual, behavioral, and diagnostic. Using mathematical and statistical modeling, Mojio discovers meaningful patterns and draw conclusions from data to allow companies to better understand the needs, behaviors, and expectations of their customers and drive product and service improvements. 

Here’s how it all works. 

  • Behavioral Data — Mojio’s telematics device gathers information about speed, steering, and braking inputs to determine driver’s fatigue level and issue alerts. Long-term driving behavior data can also be used to help the user adopt a more fuel efficient driving style and calculate risk by insurance companies. 
  • Diagnostic Data — With the ability to access vehicle’s data remotely, car manufacturers can assess the health of a vehicle and combine this capability with in-car voice communication to notify customers when service is required. 
  • Contextual Data — Led by Google and Amazon, contextual targeting of advertisements based on the search data of an individual has become a usual practice in the digital world. Mojio is using the same principle to offer more personalized advice to car drivers. It enriches the behavioral and contextual data of a customer with geolocation data, posted speed limits, and updated traffic flow conditions to provide valuable recommendations to the driver.

Data Sharing Outside the Connected Car Ecosystem 

Mojio has evolved from being a ‘service provider’ to a ‘system integrator’ and it now works with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and other companies to offer all the services a user may need in an integrated, unfragmented manner. Built on SAP Vehicles Network, the Connected Car Ecosystem introduces users to a new level of convenience and comfort. Leveraging on the capabilities of this open connected car platform, users can now ask Amazon Alexa questions about their newly connected car, such as "Alexa, ask Mojio how much fuel my car has left."

Future Possibilities: A Value Chain in Flux

Mojio has partnered with a number of companies, including Amazon Alexa, Dooing, IFTTT, FleetLeed, and Spot Angels. The integration of the value chains of these companies will mean improved convenience and better personalized services to customers. While the possibilities are unlimited, I have listed a couple of examples here to help you get an idea of the potential of this technology. 

Logistical providers — Leveraging on the capabilities of this open connected car platform, you can request Amazon/UPS/DHL/FedEx to deliver an order directly to the boot of your car. Amazon will find your car using the geolocation data, enter a security code to open the luggage compartment, and leave your parcel while you’re in a meeting or having your lunch at a restaurant.

IFTTT — The integration of Mojio and IFTTT means that your calendar will be automatically updated based on your travel habits. Not only this, you will be able to set triggers and actions as well, such as:

  • When my vehicle ignition turns on, mute my Android tone. 
  • Track new trips in a Google spreadsheet. 
  • Receive a notification when Mojio senses that my car’s battery is low. 

SpotAngel — Did you know that Mojio could save you money? The partnership of Mojio with SpotAngel will allow you to receive alerts for street cleaning, alternate side parking, or parking meters, helping you avoid parking tickets. 

The possibilities are virtually unlimited. For example, if Mojio partners with a call center, then businesses will be able to get voice recordings of calls made by customers for roadside assistance or directions and use this information to ensure quality control or for CRM. 

Hertz — The Rent-a-Car Company Ready to Use IoT to Improve Its Customer Experience

Hertz is set to become the first car rental company to use the Internet of Things to offer improved services to its customers. It announced its decision to join SAP Vehicles Network in the conference that I recently attended. Being a member of the SAP Vehicles Network, that currently comprises of leading names like Nokia, Concur Technologies, and Mojio, will allow Hertz to elevate the car-rental experience of its customers by providing them personalized advice and services. 

Hertz is likely to integrate travel and itinerary planning along with in-car personalization to deliver just what the client needs. In addition to this, the integration of Concur’s TripLink will be particularly beneficial for business travelers. The app will aggregate all the travel-related expenses, including fuel and parking fees to allow customers to generate a single expense report for the entire trip. Using Concur’s TripLink business travelers will be able to a single click to submit their trip expense report immediately after the trip is completed.

Nokia to Offer Robust, Multi-Layered Security to Connected Cars

Nokia has designed a horizontal solution to address the challenges posed by the fragmented and complex IoT ecosystem that comprises of disparate devices and applications. Titled ‘Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things’ (IMPACT), the new solution offers connectivity, data collection, analytics, and business application development capabilities across all verticals. 

Using IMPACT, service providers will be able to assume a competitive position in the market by offering them a number of value-adding options, such as:

  • IMPACT will monitor traffic flow to offer real-time updates to customers. 
  • Personalization of driver settings and entertainment systems. 
  • Remote monitoring of speed, fuel levels, and other metrics for vehicle diagnostics and predictive maintenance. 

Improved Safety with Live Transportation Monitoring 

Apart from Nokia, Hertz, and Mojio, SAP is also working with NTT to devise a state-of-the-art solution that can improve the safety of public transport. The solution, which is called Live Transportation Monitoring, has three components — NTT’s IoT analytics platform, SAP’s connected transportation safety portal, and hitoe® — a fabric that will used to manufacture drivers’ workwear. 

This fabric is coated with a conductive polymer which will help the service provider monitor the driving behavior and key health parameters of drivers from a remote location in a real time manner. The data will be presented on SAP’s connected transportation safety portal (as exhibited in the photo below). This way, public transportation companies will be able to ensure complete safety of their passengers, as well monitor the health of their employees and vehicles. 

Combined, all these technologies have the potential to make the driving experience of customers sager, more convenient, and less costly. Also, since this is a relatively new market, we can expect new players to join hands, gain a foothold, and push the boundaries of what’s possible with IoT.

What do you think of these new developments? Don’t forget to like the article, share your comments and insights. 

If you would like to read Ronald van Loon future posts then please click 'Follow' and feel free to also connect on LinkedIn and Twitter

This post originally appeared here.

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Guest post by Ronald van Loon 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing our world. This may seem like a bold statement, but consider the impact this revolutionary technology has already had on communications, education, manufacturing, science, business, and many other fields of life. Clearly, the IoT is moving really fast from concept to reality and transforming how industries operate and create value. 

As the IoT creeps towards mass adoption, IT giants experiment and innovate with the technology to explore new opportunities and create new revenue streams. I was invited to Genius of Things Summit as a Futurist by Watson IoT and WIRED Insider and attended the long-awaited grand opening of IBM’s headquarters for Watson Internet of Things in Munich. The two-day event provided me an insight into what IBM’s doing to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible with the IoT.

In this article, I have discussed the major developments that caught my interest and that, in my opinion, will impact and improve customer experience substantially. 

IoT capabilities become an integral part of our lifestyle

According to IBM the number of connected devices is expecting to rise as high as 30 billion in the next three years. This increasingly connected culture presents businesses with an opportunity to harness digital connections to improve their products and services and ultimately, foster deeper human connections in order to improve customer experiences and relationships. 

IBM, being one of the world’s top innovators in IoT, announced an exciting series of new offerings at The Genius of Things Summit alongside 22 clients and partners. These new IoT capabilities are likely to be the future of the IoT and become an integral part of our lifestyle in the near future. 

Digital Twin 

Traditionally, industrial assets are designed, built, and operated using numerous data sources with engineers working in specialized teams that conduct analysis for their specific tasks separately. As a result, the most current information may not be available readily for critical decisions. These silos, in turn, lead to increased costs and inefficiencies, create uncertainties, and require vast amount of time and resources. Digital Twin is a more efficient of working. It is a cloud-based virtual image of an asset maintained throughout the lifecycle and easily accessible at any time. One platform brings all experts together, allowing them to work cost-effectively using a collaboration platform, which helps reduce errors and improve efficiency. Consequently, this enables more profitable, safe, and sustainable operation. 

Case — Airbus Makes Digital Twin Come to Life

 Airbus and Schaeffler are using digital twin engines and digital twin bearings, respectively, to transform their production process, increasing operation productivity and improving design elements. IBM Watson is the IoT platform through which these two companies are reshaping their corresponding industries. Cognitive cloud based insights augments predictive systems to enable improved safety and efficiency for these two manufacturing organizations. Watch the Digital Twin replay from Genius of Things.

Cognitive Commerce 

Cognitive commerce is a revolutionary phenomenon that involves the use of a spectrum of technologies, ranging from speech recognition to a recommendations system based on machine learning. A cognitive commerce journey is based on an in-depth understanding of customers’ behaviors and preferences, both at aggregate and individual level. The knowledge is then applied in a real-time manner to offer a truly personalized experience to the customers in order to improve their satisfaction and drive more revenue to the business. 

Case: Visa Embraces the IoT

Visa partnered with IBM to leverage on the cognitive capabilities of IBM’s Watson IoT platform. The collaboration allowed Visa to launch a technology that will allow customers to make payments from any IoT connected device, from an application to a car or a watch. The new technology will not only eliminate the need to use sensitive financial information present on payment cards, but will also introduce a new level of simplicity and convenience to customer journey. See the video about Visa and IBM

Predictive Maintenance 

Predictive maintenance is a valuable application of the Internet of Things that helps reduce maintenance costs, increase asset availability, and improve customer satisfaction by issuing an alert before a machine or equipment breaks down. The technology involves analysis of large volumes of sensor data, such as temperature, oil levels, vibration, and voltage to predict maintenance needs before equipment failures happen. 

Case: Watson IoT to Help SNCF Railway Run Smoothly

SNCF is a leader in passenger and freight transport services that has a network of over 15,000 trainers covering more than 30,000 kilometers of track. The company recently announced its collaboration with IBM. The collaboration will help SNCF connect its entire rail system, including trains, train stations, and railroad tracks to Watson IoT. Using real-time data collected from sensors, the company will be able to anticipate repair needs and improve the security and availability of its assets. Watch the CTO of SNCF explain more about their approach to better client outcomes with IoT. 

Connected Devices

This involves the use of sensors to merge the real world and the digital world. These sensors are used in automobiles, smartphones, and other devices to make the devices web-compatible. These sensors measure humidity, light, temperature, magnetic fields, pressure, and sound. The information collected is programmed, processed, and transmitted using a radio network to the user, allowing them to control their smart devices from a remote location.

Case: Bosch Makes Industrial IoT a Reality

Bosch recently introduced its new and revolutionary ‘Bosch IoT Rollouts’ service for advance device management and cloud-based software updates. Bosch will leverage on its development and manufacturing expertise as well as the IBM’s Watson IoT platform to update connected devices in a seamless manner and deliver personalized services and experience to customers with connected devices. Watch how Bosch and IBM are working together on the glue between IoT and connected products and devices.

The impact of how digitizing the physical infrastructure around us affects customer experiences is an ongoing source of inspiration for me. I will appreciate your comments, insights, and feedback on this article, as well as invite you to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about Big Data and IoT.

This post originally appeared here.

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