December 4, 2013

More Proof That Training Might Be The Most Powerful Tool in the IOT/ M2M Toolkit

A recent article in Equipment Manager Magazine (Winter 2013 Issue, Page 26) highlighted just how critical policies are and training is for any company hoping to profit from Internet of Things solutions.

Click the image to view the full article on p. 26

AEMP, The Association of Equipment Management Professionals, and AT&T collaborated on a deep dive into the state of IoT and M2M-enabled telematics in the heavy equipment fleet markets this summer.

Their work was supported by INEX Advisors and shared with the AEM, Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Check out the article. GC Skipper does a great job of synthesizing the high points for each of the major stakeholders. According to the piece, “Deployment and utilization rates of telematics in the construction industry are surprisingly and shockingly low, respectively.”

So whats the big deal you ask?

Education and training is right up there with the need for data standards and other interoperability enablers.  Yes, that’s right:  Education and training.

While most observers – and some practitioners – are screeching about interoperability so that bulldozers in the field might be able to start coffee makers in trailers, the most important people in IoT markets – the customers and deployers – are asking for simpler things.

Like standard device and data descriptions, and training.

Now, when you see AT&T take share in one market or another, or AEMP members enhance fleet safety and productivity, it might be for reasons way beyond technology.  It might be because they dug a little deeper into the standards of conduct that matter as much as or more than the standards of construct in some IoT markets.

Sure, we were part of the solution, but, it was an AEMP and AT&T brainchild.

But this is not an isolated example.  A singular market where education and training  are acute issues.

Check out this list of barriers to the deployment of IoT and M2M solutions. It comes from an INEX study of more than 400 companies with experience investing in and deploying IoT solutions.

Barriers to IoT Deployment
(Higher rating = Bigger perceived barrier)

Source: Inex Advisors, Survey of 400+ IoT deployers and investigators

You will notice how a number of them are tied to ROI.

Okay, now check out this video on ROI by Bill Zujewski from Axeda Corporation.  We learned about it through our friend and partner David Stephenson.

Bill Z is one of the most experienced guys in M2M. Stephenson is a savant at clear communications in complex environments.

To be clear:  Bill does a great job, AND that was a little complicated.

Unclear ROI and insufficient ROI are two of the top 10 barriers to deployment of IOT – and this is from experienced investigators and deployers.  And even when one of the most experienced guys in the space takes it on, it is not that simple.

But take another look at that chart and you may see a number of other line item barriers that have implications for training, including:

  1. Cost of solution ownership and operation
  2. Solution does not produce the required or expected data

While both of these issues have deep implications for IoT technology and service providers, better education and training might be able to address both of these barriers too.

What is my point?  My point, and the point that was made in the 4 month AEMP/ AT&T study, and the point from Bill Z’s video, is that education and training are acutely required across the full spectrum of IoT topics and target trainees.

Everyone needs to learn more and better about the power and the potential, the requirements and risks, of deploying IoT solutions for internal and/or external monetization.

Cannot say it any plainer than that.

If some are still arguing about what IoT is and is not, including in relation to M2M, then they are not talking about ROI.  And for companies that have gotten the hint and are obsessing about ROI, that is a good start, and there is much more to be done.

But there is much more education, training and commercialization support required before most of us will meet our forecasts.

Check out the INEX approach.  Tell us what you think.  We would be thrilled to help you with your internal and external partners.


December 4, 2013