“IoT should stand for the Insurance of Things because it helps companies avoid disaster, whether its predicting when a piece of machinery is about to fail or helping farmers better track the health of their livestock to prevent disease outbreaks.” – Perry Lea, RUMBLE co-founder

 

The Kansas City Business Journal talked with RUMBLE co-founders Terri Foudray and Perry Lea recently on the challenges aspiring businesses face in implementing IoT technologies (OP Tech Firm Talks IoT Business Challenges, Tips for Overcoming Them, staff writer Leslie Collins, KCBJ, February 19, 2019).

Terri and Perry provided four tips for businesses to help overcome these challenges:

  1. Identify the Company’s Technology Strengths and Weaknesses – Developing and implementing a scalable IoT solution is complex and most company’s need to supplement their internal team with outside experts to create a well-rounded solution.
  2. Prioritize What is Connected – Companies should adopt IoT solutions that add value and not just connect something because it can be connected. “Instead of ‘biting the whole apple’, start with the low-hanging fruit that will have an immediate impact,”  said Terri Foudray, RUMBLE CEO.
  3. Be Prepared for Cultural Change – Implementing IoT solutions require previously siloed teams within a company to work together, like IT and OT departments. “If you don’t have leadership of the company behind the initiative, it’s likely not going to be effective,”  said Foudray.
  4. Find Your Team Quarterback – Partner with an experienced company to help you lead the effort and remove complexities. “…look for people who have actually deployed IoT solutions, and you will save yourself a lot of headache and wasted time and resources,” added Foudray.

For more insights on the importance of developing a relationship with an end-to-end IoT solutions provider, visit RUMBLE.

“The ability to interconnect things, services and people via the Internet, improves data analysis, increase productivity, enhances reliability, saves energy and costs, and generates new revenue opportunities through innovative business models.” – A. Gosine, author.

An article by author A. Gosine featured in IIoT World (Water/Wastewater Utilities Leveraging IIoT) provides an interesting review on how connected machines and devices are reshaping the way utilities operate, allowing them to make smarter decisions.

Gosine lists seven existing ways IIoT is positively effecting water management at water and waste water plants:

  1. Water Leakage Protection. IIoT technologies increase energy efficiency by correlating energy patterns to production and process variables. This results in new, dynamic data analytics and real-time system monitoring to more quickly detect water loss through leaks or theft, as well as monitor water pressure fluctuations.
  2. Systemic Water Management Efficiencies. The availability of less expensive water sensors track water quality, temperature, pressure, consumption and more to better understand how consumption compares to city averages, industry averages and previous months. The data generated by the sensors is communicated with the utility in easy-to-understand formats, ready for sharing with consumers if so desired.
  3. Water Quality and Safety Monitoring. A smart water quality management approach monitors almost every measurable parameter – chlorophyll, air temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen concentration, oxidation-reduction potential, pH, relative humidity, chlorine concentrations, the presence of organic compounds, and electrical conductivity – in real-time and act upon it to certify drinking-water quality.
  4. Wholesale/Retail Water Consumption Transparency. Utilities can use IIoT to respond to fluctuations in energy cost or new compliance requirements. New modeling capabilities of performance in support of energy budgeting and contract negotiations are also made possible.
  5. Infrastructure Prescriptive Maintenance. Predictive and preventive maintenance and anomaly detection is dramatically enhanced through the implementation of an IIoT platform. One example discussed is the monitoring of pump system performance. Many pumps typically operate below their best efficiency point (BEP), resulting in excess energy being transmitted into vibration, heat and noise – all which increases maintenance and energy costs.
  6. Industry Consolidation and Best Practices. IIoT technologies are revolutionizing industry best practices. Sharing of data between industrial businesses find synergies within product portfolios, redefining what is possible in energy savings, increased equipment lifetime and maintenance cost reductions.
  7. Manufacturing Innovation Incentives. IIoT also spurs manufacturers to “rethink” their role in supporting water utilities by investigating and developing comprehensive new solutions like “smart pumping systems.”

RUMBLE exists to help water and wastewater utilities design custom architecture solutions to deliver on the potential of IIoT by working closely with operational and informational technology personnel. Our approach is simple. We start with your business goal – greater efficiency, scalability, predictability, automation or engagement. Then, we leverage our unique experience and technical insights to build a plan that not only delivers on your vision, but is measurable, secure and delivers a ROI.  Let’s start with a conversation.

 

RUMBLE strategic partner Cradlepoint announced today at the IoT Evolution Expo in Florida a platform integration with Microsoft Azure IoT Central, making it faster and easier for enterprises to build custom IoT solutions.

The solution includes Cradlepoint’s new NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central to help enterprises simplify and accelerate the process of building and deploying IoT applications and devices.

Study Finds IoT Projects Lack Collaboration

In making this announcement, Cradlepoint and Microsoft referenced a recent study by Cisco which found 74 percent of IoT initiatives fell short of achieving success with 54 percent citing the lack of collaboration between IT and other business units and 48 percent attributing to a lack of IoT expertise.

“As a Premier Cradlepoint partner, we see this announcement as a powerful new platform to assist our clients’ OT departments in implementing disruptive IoT solutions while meeting IT department demands for device connectivity security and compliance at the WAN edge,” said Terri Foudray, RUMBLE CEO.

Cradlepoint is the global leader in cloud-delivered wireless edge solutions for branch, mobile, and IoT networks.

Microsoft’s Azure IoT Central is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that lets customers build and deploy production-grade IoT applications in hours without cloud computing experience or specialized skills.

RUMBLE is a fully integrated IoT provider that architects and implements custom end-to-end solutions that bust through the barriers of siloed platforms, stagnant data, reporting lags and data disconnections.

You won’t be surprised to learn that here at RUMBLE, we believe your data is an asset to your enterprise – just like your people, your innovation, your plant, and your capital. Smart business managers are in the business of maximizing the utility of their assets. They make sure that people, money, and equipment aren’t left unnecessarily idle, and they are constantly seeking ways to leverage those assets to achieve the fundamental strategic goals every business has to serve if it expects to prosper:

  1. Drive Revenue
  2. Decrease Expense
  3. Increase Productivity (Efficiency)

Given this, you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to leverage their data. Actually, you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to even evaluate the potential in their data. In all the ways that matter, it’s like leaving money on the table.

Remember Science Class in junior high, specifically the experiments we performed with inclined planes? You’ll recall that a weight positioned at the top of the ramp is full of potential energy – and has the capability to do work (in this case, roll down the plane). As a business manager, you need to start thinking of your data that way – it’s full of potential energy to do work on your behalf and on your customer’s.

In the IoT space, this topic isn’t just academic: it’s central to the fundamental value equation we bring to our customers. IoT is all about data generation, transport, evaluation, and manipulation. It’s one of the fundamental engines driving this forecast:

Recent growth in the amount of data stored

Source: https://www.eetimes.com

Forward looking business writers, like Victor Mayer-Schonberger and Thomas Ramge, the authors of “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data” are predicting data is going to become an asset in the more traditional sense. Markets will replace valuation based primarily on price with a valuation that encompasses the supplemental data that a party brings to the marketplace as part of the transaction. This is data capitalism – where data becomes a currency. That’s an interesting future for IoT players to be thinking about, given the vast quantities of data they will be generating.

So where do you begin with data capitalism? Given that rising tide of data, we all know examples of enterprises that wind up flailing at the topic, metaphorically drowning in the wave of information. Well, just like early sea-farers that are navigating dangerous waters, we recommend you have a good map.

The Data Map – Inventory and Audit

A data map should be a fundamental tool in your business, just like a general ledger. It should be an evergreen instrument, and it’s likely every part of your data capitalism team, not just the analytics group, is going to have a role in either creation, maintenance, or management of the map. The analytics team is probably the best functional owner, but as stewards, not proprietors. Likewise, business leaders own the business fundamentals we mentioned, and the map should be a strategic asset as they develop their plans to grow the business by driving those priorities.

If you claim to be managing an asset, it goes without saying that you have inventoried that asset, correct? Start here. Do you have a data inventory? Can you reliably claim you understand, across the process map of your business, that you know what data is generated at each node, across each link, and as part of each transaction? Is that data classified as primary, generated by the element, or is it derived from some combination of primary element interactions? Is that data captured, and if so, where is it stored? For how long? What is its periodicity or update cycle? The point here is probably clear – you can’t manage what you can’t enumerate.

Odds are high that you already have process flow maps, and those are a great place to start. Combine them with your physical topology pictures, and create a cross-functional working team that will march their way across those pictures to create a third view – the data map overlay that exists on top of both.

As you already may have surmised, that team needs to include the people who own the elements, the links, the nodes and the transactions, not just the data, analytics, and reporting teams. The goal is to examine each link in the chain, capture all the outputs, and catalog their definitions, details, and depths. Designers, engineers, technicians – all have a role in terms of audit to make sure the data elements are comprehensively documented.

The tool you use to capture this is up to you, but make sure it’s robust, capable of comprehensive versioning control, and, ideally, accessible by all the parts of your organization. Creating a map using an arcane utility that requires expensive licenses and becomes a jealously guarded asset by select owners is not what you’re after here. You want to democratize the data: the model you’re seeking is more of a blockchain – secure, but open, redundant and ubiquitous. You want to train all of your teams to think about data as asset, and that means everybody needs to be part of mapping and managing it, and therefore has to be able to access it.

The idea and philosophy you’re propagating is that all information has value – and you’re not in the business of throwing value away. You want to build a data-centric culture, and you want to train your teams to think that way.

This kind of thinking needs to be baked into your development process – no design is issued without a section that details the data elements produced or modified, and shows how the enterprise data map is altered or enhanced by deployment. Any report produced should, as part of its key, be tied to the data map so that sources are clearly identified. Does this sound like overkill? Think back to that point about money left on the table. Neglect this discipline in the environment of a rising data tide, and don’t be surprised when water starts coming into the boat. You expect your accountants to be able to show your financials to the penny. Bring the same exacting attitude to the task of mastering your enterprise data sets.

Going Forward

Cataloging and auditing your data is the critical and necessary first step to leveraging that asset. Think of the map as the circulatory system of your enterprise, mapping the flow of information rather than oxygen, but delivering the same end result – enabling work, growth, and protecting the health of the business.

(Article by Chris Schultz, a principal at Analytic Marketing Innovations (AMI) and a RUMBLE Strategic Partner. Their solutions delivery approach identifies executable steps and recommends both near-term and long-term courses of actions, helping your business leverage data insights for growth and transformation.)

As recently reported in a 34-page guide for the Public Sector from CompTIA (Harnessing the Blockchain Revolution), Blockchain Technology is gaining business efficiencies for public and private sector organizations as they take full advantage of the distributed ledger technology.

RUMBLE defines blockchain as a scalable means to track, protect and authenticate transactions. This ingenious decentralized technology originally introduced with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is now revolutionizing how organizations view business processes from simple file sharing to redefining business processes to managing supply chains.

Global businesses are taking notice. Based on a May 2018 Deloitte survey, 74% of corporate executives see a compelling business case for the use of blockchain with 34% already using the technology and another 41% saying they plan on deploying a blockchain application in the next year.

Here is a synopsis of the four key benefits quoted in the guide for employing blockchain applications:

  1. Tamper-resistant Transaction Ledger and Audit Trails – The beauty of the decentralized nature of blockchain is no one can modify the ledger without anyone else knowing. All blockchain data is cryptographically linked and secured so making changes are both difficult and easily detectable.
  2. Consolidating Databases Securely and Sharing Data – Another key benefit of blockchain is the ability to consolidate transaction data from many different database systems without creating the security risks of a centralized authority or owner. Each participating member has access to more information than they currently have access to without relinquishing control of their data to other participants.
  3. Customizable Smart Contracts Increase Transparency – “Smart Contracts” are customizable pieces of code that enforce business rules and other agreements on all transactions that occur on the blockchain. This ensures all participants are transacting ethically.
  4. Security and Data Protection – Blockchain secures its records via a highly-encrypted, 256-bit string called a hash that is updated for every transaction and automatically recorded across all notes in the blockchain system. This has the dual benefit of thwarting cyber criminal access while providing built-in redundancy if a system node is lost or destroyed. Records can be reconstituted from the copies on other participating systems.

To investigate how blockchain technology can drive business efficiencies within your organization, contact a RUMBLE consultant today. Our approach is simple. We bring the advanced digital expertise you need to make your big or small IoT initiative a success. We start with your business goal – greater efficiency, scalability, predictability, automation or engagement. Then, we leverage our unique experience and technical insights to build a plan that not only delivers on your vision, but is measurable, secure and delivers ROI.