As some put it, the Internet of Things has reached “peak hype“, the peak of inflated expectations. However, there is no reason to dismiss the idea entirely and move on to more tangible things just yet. Instead, we should discuss applications rather than ideas and monetization rather than wishful thinking. When data is considered the “new currency”, many are referring to its inherent value. So far, only the largest corporations have tools in place to actually mine the data and extract its value. I would like to give some ideas on how to monetize IoT solutions today and make your machine data count, immediately.
There still are many markets that have not actively considered bringing their devices and machines online, so far. Reasons may include time constrictions in the R&D process, complexity and variance of the product line or lack of a suitable technology to store and view machine data online. Specifically, manufacturers of custom equipment and specialty machines and devices produce a relatively low number of devices. Also, their products might not all share the same functionality and settings. This requires a fully customizable platform for remote monitoring in order to be of value. With a powerful IoT platform in place, it is time to overthink existing business and maintenance models. If you are a machine manufacturer, you should consider the following possibilities:
1. Provide additional services in training and maintenance
With a live online view of your customer’s devices, you can tailor your maintenance and assistance services to their needs. From online training to predictive maintenance, many options open up and can help you lower cost, improve your machine’s uptime and help overall customer satisfaction. Like with modern screen-sharing options, an good online platform enables you to assist your customers in real-time without leaving your desk. Many customers will be willing to opt-in to such a premium service option if it improves the availability of machines and equipment.
2. Provide a re-sellable platform to your customers
Not only can your customers profit from your maintenance personell accessing their machines in the field, they can also improve the services they provide to their customers themselves. For instance, they can allow investors to access yield information or overall output values and present filtered reporting data.
Depending on your users’ market, this may be a crucial feature for them to have. Not only will they be able to upsell their devices with a live data viewing option, they will also have the competitive advantage in their market and their own “USP”.
3. Open up new ways to operate your business – think “metered services”
Traditionally, customers would buy or lease expensive equipment such as custom-built machines. With usage data becoming more transparent through an IoT solution, better ways of per-use payment become available, often referred to as “metered services“. While the proven formula time = money is still applicable in most cases when leasing equipment, the additional costs of wear and tear can now be determined in a more granular fashion. For the end user, fairer account models can be established that tie the leasing cost to the amount of, for example, output material such as compressed air, pumped oil, etcetera. This allows for a better upfront calculation of expected costs on your customer’s side and improved utilization of equipment.
To sum up, while the Internet of Things is a platform of unlimited possibilities and will provide many ways for monetization of services, you can already benefit from the “low hanging fruit” today. Act now and add enhanced monitoring capabilities to your devices and machines to provide additional services that are beneficial to your customers’ experience and make your products even better. Contact us to discuss how daq.io can help you select the right platform.