In episode #77 of the IoT For All Podcast, Losant Solutions Manager, Brian Cerchio, joins us to share some of the common challenges that come with implementing IoT on the enterprise-level, what companies can expect, and how to overcome them.
As Solutions Manager at Losant, Brian manages the enterprise solutions team and the professional services side of things. Losant is an enterprise application enablement platform focused on helping companies and enterprises quickly develop and launch IoT solutions, either into the market or within the company itself. Much of their focus has been on asset tracking, logistics, contact tracing, and condition-based maintenance.
At Losant, they really offer two types of services. Companies that are well-versed in development can opt for licenses to their platform, so that they can build the solutions they need themselves. Or, Losant has an internal development and solutions team that can build products for customers, leaning on their partnership network to ensure that experts from across the development process are brought in at key points.
Brian shared a recent use case to illustrate exactly how Losant provides value to their customers. At the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), Losant focused on solutions to improve customer experience by creating a solution for tracking trains and helping customers quickly determine whether or not they should wait, and monitoring systems that indicated to maintenance staff when bathrooms were receiving large amounts of traffic – allowing them to ensure that they’re stocked and clean.
Turning toward IoT development in general, Brian told us some of the most common challenges he’d seen companies face in the application development process. The most common issue, he said, involve the sheer complexity of IoT. Often, companies will go into it with the plan to build it themselves, and because they’re not familiar with the technology and best practices, they end up having to reinvent the wheel. Brian’s advice is for companies to, instead, find the right partners to help you solve problems as they crop up, so you can take advantage of their combined expertise and experience.
The stage where IoT solutions are the most likely to fall short, Brian said, is in the pilot stage – but that’s a good thing. If a solution shows that it isn’t solving the problem or isn’t providing ROI, the pilot stage is the perfect time to find that out, before you start to scale. It’s about determining what is and is not possible, Brian said, and understanding that your solution will evolve as you better understand the problem and as your needs change. Think of it as a product, not a project.
To close out our discussion, we spoke about the future of IoT and what’s holding it back. In the past, Brian said, hardware has been struggling to keep up with software. Now we’re getting closer, but it’s important that software continued to take the lead. 5G and private LTE networks, he said, are good examples of technologies that are staying ahead of the hardware. And for the future of IoT? Brian expects a continued focus on safety as we continue to tackle the aftereffects of COVID-19.
Interested in connecting with Brian? Reach out to him on Linkedin!
About Losant: Losant is an easy-to-use and powerful enterprise IoT platform designed to help teams quickly and securely build complex real-time connected solutions. Losant uses open communication standards to provide connectivity from one to millions of devices and provides powerful data collection, aggregation, and visualization features to empower enterprise teams with new data insights.
Looking for more resources? Check out The Fundamental IoT Architecture and IoT Implementation: From Concept to Production by Losant.
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(01:35) Intro to Brian
(02:41) What kind of support do you offer throughout the IoT journey?
(04:15) What kinds of customers do you typically engage with?
(04:53) Can you give some examples of use cases?
(07:08) How does Losant’s approach differ from others on the market?
(08:38) Where do you see the biggest problem areas for companies in their IoT journeys?
(10:13) How do you approach the partnership aspect of IoT development?
(11:43) What should companies be thinking about before they start developing an IoT solution?
(13:56) What is the most difficult stage in an IoT journey? Do you have any advice for them to get through it?
(16:05) Once a solution has been proven out, what’s the biggest challenge in scaling an IoT product or solution?
(17:00) How do you focus on proving out the ROI of a solution? Do companies come to you with an idea, typically?
(18:02) Are there any common ROIs in the industrial space?
(19:22) How does building IoT differ from other technical projects?
(21:29) How do you view the maturity of IoT? Are there any areas that are lagging behind?
(23:07) Where do you see the IoT industry going in the next 18-24 months?
(24:17) Have you seen new demand or new trends in the problems companies are trying to solve?
(25:44) Any news coming out of Losant that we should keep an eye out for?
(26:08) If you had to offer just one piece of general advice for our listeners getting started in IoT, what would it be?