New Business Processes Required in Connected Products

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Image credit: LogMeIn

Paddy Srinivasan, LogMeIn’s GM and Head of Product for their Cloud Engagement & Support business, shares his thoughts on how connected products can give generate meaning, not just data.

What are the biggest challenges now and in the foreseeable future for developing and deploying smart connected devices? Developing and launching connected products requires an entirely new set of business processes and expertise that most product companies don’t have today. The trick is not just connecting your products to give them a voice, but to give that voice meaning. Determining how to untangle and distill all the information is a challenge companies have never faced before. How do you manage the millions (or billions) of data points? How do you sift through the noise to generate actionable insight?  How do you meet customer demands and always-on expectations?

At LogMeIn, we refer to this as Connected Product Management, or CPM. It is capability for companies to connect products securely, manage connected products and the data they produce, and reimagine how they engage with their customers.  It is the digital version of your physical product and becomes your system of record for connected products, just as Salesforce is the system of record for customers. If companies don’t start on a solid foundation for modeling and management their connected business it prevents from scaling and truly delivering new business value.

How do you see the use of data influencing future innovations or sector growth? The true power in IoT connected products is the voice that it gives to your products and how they are being use, how they can be optimized, and how they can be better supported. A connected product provides the company the ability to connect directly to their end customer like never before. Companies hear their customer’s voice through the product, and they can follow in real-time the customer journey, from first impressions, to building brand affinity, to being proactive when something goes awry – as it inevitably does!

This information can help them optimize business process and product development, market more effectively to the customers that are using their product, and develop new revenue streams through additional services.  For example, our customer Freight Farms started with just wanting to help farmers better manage their Leafy Green Machine farms. But as the data flowed in they found that they could offer optimized recipes on how to best run the farm to produce the best yield or to produce a crop optimized for flavor over crispness.  The IoT will give products a voice, and what they have to say can transform a business.

What are you most excited about that you’re working on now? My Xively team at LogMeIn has the sole mission to demystify the IoT and make it easy. The motto of LogMeIn is “Simply Possible” and I think that is more relevant than ever in this next wave of IoT and connected products. I am excited to come to work each day and work with my team on removing the complexity of connecting and managing products, so that every company can become a truly connected business. Most companies are spending too much time and money bringing connected products to market and getting lost in the technology. I want to help them elevate the conversation from how do I connect to how do I create new value to my customers.

I love when companies come to us with new technology challenges that we can remove as barriers. These come up on a daily basis, for example having new users and not knowing how to manage them, managing devices that are already connected in the field, and getting this new product data into an existing business tool. Solving these real world challenges is what drives me.

What trends and opportunities are there for the future of IoT in improving the delivery of healthcare? The Internet of Things has the opportunity to transform every aspect of healthcare from patient care, to operations, to cost of care, and treatment efficacy. The data alone capture from IoT connected devices will bring about amazing new insights on what works, and what doesn’t, within healthcare. Where our Xively team is most excited is in the durable medical device and home care space.

For good reason regulation will temper the pace of adoption of IoT in FDA controlled products. But for devices that help the hospital run (refrigerators, beds, lighting, supply cabinets) there is a wealth of data that will help the healthcare industry track data to improve patient outcomes. Secondarily it will allows the healthcare industry to better track assets and consumables (medicine and medical devices) within the hospital to reduce waste and assure availability. These will become the lead vehicles to showing the value of IoT to the healthcare industry and prove out the standards and solutions that can be used for regulated products – we would all rather fix the bugs on a fridge than on a person’s pacemaker. If we look at IoT as a way to connect and manage the business of running a hospital we can optimize it just as a factory optimizes it process to get the best production. And in turn patients will get better quality of service and better outcomes.