Integrating IoT in Your Business | IoT For All Podcast E155 | The Things Industries' Wienke Giezeman

Integrating IoT in Your Business | IoT For All Podcast E155 | The Things Industries' Wienke Giezeman

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you are listening to the iot for all media network hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the iot for all podcast i'm your host ryan chacon and today's guest is vinca heezmann the ceo and co-founder of the things industries and the initiator of the things network at the things industries and to give you a little background on both things industries is a lorawan connectivity and service provider and the things network is a global community of over 150 000 active members from over 100 companies around the world they put on a fantastic event this one is the end of march in amsterdam i sincerely promise that it is something you want to check out um get into the episode real quick we talk a lot about digital transformation and its combination and role with iot we talk about how enterprises can adopt iot kind of barriers to doing that how to do it the best and the future of lorewan as a connectivity option for the iot industry but before we get into that customers choose losant because its unique low code approach to application development offers a level of agility and speed to market that is hard to find anywhere else losan provides the foundation and lets you focus on delivering the iot applications your customers require start now and see how the internet of things can transform your business visit losant.com l-o-s-a-n-t dot com and without further ado please enjoy this episode of the iot for all podcast welcome back to the iot for all show or i guess i should say welcome back to the iot for all show thanks for uh taking some time to chat with me today yeah thanks for inviting me back yeah it's fantastic to have you um let's let's kick this off with having you give a quick introduction about yourself so background uh you know any information you think would be relevant to maybe some of our listeners out there who haven't had a chance to hear you speak yeah yeah thanks yeah so my name is vince gizmond ceo and co-founder of the things industries and our company specializes in helping enterprises be successful with uh their lower land solutions and and basically helps you in building sensor to cloud applications so you need a specific temperature measurements from your uh from your operations uh lorawan technology allows you to send that data over uh a iot infrastructure into your cloud applications or your enterprise resource planning or your code no code platform and we have a developer approach to it and yeah we help companies around the world be successful with that fantastic and you also started the the things conference correct yeah yeah so we started off uh our company six years ago and we saw two things first of all the iot technology is still very immature and we saw that it was really hard to build something successful end-to-end so we thought we need better developer tools and we need an ecosystem of knowledge and of like companies that can partner to build these specific components that are necessary in the iot stack and that was the things network and things network was always around events we launched with an event we had many meetups in our ecosystem and our open source ecosystems around the world and yeah after a year we we launched the things conference which is now yeah a global recognized iot conference and we do it a big one in amsterdam every year but we also have one in hyde robot uh big one in sydney in london different places in the in the in in europe um and and we have the next one coming uh big the big things conference is back in amsterdam the 24th and 25th of march fantastic well we'll talk more about that in a bit um i wanted to to dive into a couple different topics throughout our conversation today the first one i wanted to talk about was around digital transformation and iot so those terms are used sometimes interchangeably but i know they're uh they're not they're not exactly the same iot kind of plays more into the overall idea of digital transformation so talk to me from your perspective and what your company does on how digital transformation and iot kind of fit together yeah yeah so so we feel that after the massive iot hype um iot companies should be humble and and also recognize their place so digital transformation is the bigger goal we believe to um uh to to where where digital tools basically help you improve your business change your business adapt it to the new world um iit is just a very small micro service that potentially can help you do that and um and our approach to that is that for this digital transformation you have a toolbox iot is one ai is one big data has one cloud is one no code no code is one tool and what we're trying to do is to make sure that that the lorawan technology we provide easily integrates into your digital transformation strategy and basically is barely any invisible and also doesn't give you any headache and um yeah the more and more we're we're seeing and and more and more we're becoming successful because our customers are successful we see that the most simple and the simple integrated solutions that integrate directly into the business processes they start to scale so um right so yeah yeah that's a bit of how we see yeah digital transformation and internet of things and as we kind of talk about the growth of the internet of things what are some of the biggest obstacles that you all have seen for companies when they're trying to build a solution and whether it's they're building themselves or they're building it you know with a partner um or they're paying somebody to help build a solution for their company what are some of the biggest obstacles that you've seen in in these solutions being developed yes so what we see for instance if if there's a really strong need for a data point to be a part of an operational process and that operational process including the stakeholders of the operational process have an incentive to make it work then almost always it's a success so then you're working backwards from the incentive and and the need for that digital transformation to make it work and then most of the times the puzzle pieces especially now where the industry is right now the puzzle pieces are there um when it gets a bit more complicated when for instance uh vendors or suppliers get in the way by pushing let's say loaded software uploaded that's iot platforms or like like like offering let's say too much and making it more complicated and so so one of the advices that we always give is is to to uh to our customers or or the enterprises that that have these problems they said hey just keep it simple use the tools you know use the tools you have and use iit as a very simple micro service together in a data point and and don't get caught up with too many consultants or too many iot platforms because um most of the time things are getting overcomplicated and um uh and and i think we're at a at a tipping point or just like i really sense this level of inertia in the market where all of a sudden as these simple solutions they are being created they are generating a lot of business benefits and then they start to scale so um yeah it's really nice to see that a lot of these puzzle pieces are falling together now talk to me a little bit also on the hardware side so we we know that hardware is always or not always but is often times a a challenge with these unique use cases out there and and everything that we require in order for the hardware to meet the the needs of of the use cases so how do you when you work with companies how do you help them prioritize or strategize and you know encourage them to invest earlier on in the hardware part of the process and kind of what's your approach there yeah so um if you look at the lorawan ecosystem as a whole we now have a few hundred hardware partners that have created off-the-shelf products so the first one we say okay just don't start build your own hardware look at it look what's there and of course we have experience with a lot of these devices and we've highlighted them and of course we also know as a company which one are our higher quality quality and which are lesser quality but this abundance of of availability makes sure that you can choose and also make sure there's a there's a market second if you want to move into let's say custom hardware development because the sensor is not out there or because you want to build up ip or because it's i mean you can think of many reasons um what you now see is that with uh in the lower one ecosystem there's a lot of libraries there's a lot of tools a lot of modules it also makes it easier to build your own hardware so we started up with an open code initiative called the generic note where we where we were offering the ecosystem a let's say example of how we feel what what should be the perfect uh lorawan device and you can use it for inspiration or we can help you further and and also there what you see is that these puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place um that's that hardware is hard like we're facing still a component crisis and that's going to have a nasty deal right like this is not going to be over yet uh so so so yes hardware is hard trying to make it a bit easier and a lot of like and and and the good news is that there is a lot of vendors out there that a lot of vendors out there that have ready-made products so like the likelihood that you really need to get into this hardware development process also decreases and and that's a pattern right so that will like there will be more and more off-the-shelf products and it will be less less needs for customization and yeah that all really contributes to the attraction we now see in the lower line ecosystem and then our business absolutely you know that's a fantastic way to kind of explain it there now now if we transition from the challenges piece to more of the how to be successful with iot adoptions um you know we're in a situation where oftentimes what we see are the solutions that need to be developed are very specific they're not you know it's not necessarily this off the shelf um opportunity to just purchase something and it works from end to end so so how do how do enter how can enterprises kind of approach that conversation where you know there's going to be companies out there they're going to say oh yeah we have off the shelf kind of solutions and other ones that are like focusing more on the customization side and so so talk to me about how a company can interpret that conversation approach that conversation and best understand what's how what's needed for them to be successful when they're starting out understanding what they need to build yeah yeah so so usually what we now say is that that you can you need to do your technology exploration um um but if you look at the market and even other technologies that we don't support like norman iot or sick folks and anything else there's quite a increased level of maturity across the board um so so you can do your technology exploration but that you should be able to able to trust the market and be pretty much finished with that in a very short time so the other part is that the most important stuff that you need to do probably is not not exploring the opportunities but exploring the problems that you have internally um we have seen projects that we did is that where data then just just ends up in a dashboard or ends up in let's say a database but it's not like the the project that the project people in the project were not able to convince their business or other stakeholders say hey you can use this data because you can optimize this this and that and i would say we're now in a market where there are so many commodity components that that's that's not your concern your concern is to find the internal stakeholder holders that see value in the data and are your sponsors and are your advocates and and and that's really how you build success so yeah um and that's a positive thing right like we used to talk about there's no hardware this hardware is hard and the networks are not there and etc but but i would love to steer everybody now internally and say hey like go fix your digital transformation plan first and then right come back later to us and we have we will have the workbench for you to to to make it yeah i think it's important for companies to understand how the planning piece really plays into this and also having the buy-in from those that are important within the company to make this decision happen and how key that is so you know you can have somebody who runs the iot area of a company and is you know goes and starts a pilot but if that pilot either doesn't return the roi that they're expecting or they don't have the buy-in from upper management then it's tough to ever get to scale which is not really what most iot software development hardware whatever companies are interested in we need to get to scale for us to benefit from not just the company itself but also the company who built it and the industry as a whole so that we have so iot can continue to grow so i think that's a very important thing is to kind of have that buy-in as early in the process as possible set clear expectations set a clear plan work with a company who can help understand all the different components of an iot solution and provide you the right pieces for your particular use case and not feel like this is going to be just an off-the-shelf purchase because it's just it worked it's too unique of a situation in my opinion for for that to be a viable thing there has to be some level of customization now that level of customization may vary from project project but there is something that's unique to that individual business use case especially the way that their end users will actually interpret that data and how they interact with it so so that's i think that those are all important things to just keep in mind yeah that and i agree with you what you're saying there's always this level of customization so this issue we're seeing is that there's there like there's a lot of iot platforms and they can do hundred and hundred things but they're always they cannot do the hundred and first thing you need right um and one of my issues that i have with with iot platforms is that that uh like you you missed that final level of customization and you have now complete generation of micro services uh uh microservice architectures cloud and low code no code that are exactly solving that problem for enterprises by exactly giving that level of flexibility to create your own apps and create your own own processes and flows but but also be able to get to service you and all these exceptions so so yeah um um yeah exactly what you're saying like you always need this level of customization and we're trying to make sure that all our software is compliant with what they nowadays calls the enterprise developer so the enterprise developer is somebody with a generic skill set they have some devops skills they have some programming skills they have some scripting skills but where they're really good at is tying systems together right and and our lawyers just to make sure that we are compliant to that because the organizational impact that that has when you like when you introduce a new skill into a large organization is massive you have to retrain you have to reevaluate security you have to re-evaluate your architectures but if you are just compliant to everything that the company already built yeah then adoption is easier right then the stakeholder management is easier than the right success is more likely definitely i definitely agree now one of the things you kind of mentioned we talked about low code no code which are relatively um i guess new adoption options in iot that are helping increase adoption we've also seen more of the connectivity and sensors all kind of baked in together kind of from the embedded side of things how are you seeing that play a role in adoption within iot yeah so so if you look about look around cloud platform local no code that's all in the cloud and it's also very easy to update and it's super flexible and it can scale or vertically horizontally whatever um yeah with at the mcu sensor ads level you don't have that luxury right so so i mean that's still a hard thing to do um you have some developments where where where you see that these real-time operating systems are trying to make your life easier um um but but yeah i i i would be lying if i would say there there is like like you would have a enterprise develop or fix your firmware problems that is still very specialized thing uh but then again that's what i said right there's a lot of off-the-shelf uh uh uh products available um i i don't see a technology out there that that really allows you to to to to eat to make that as easy as that like low code no code but you see more more like a modular approach uh particle particle io for instance they have these modules you put them in uh and they also can help you with the firmware so so so do you have that uh what we're doing with the generic node like it's a a boilerplate you can adapt it change it uh you can get in touch with the partners that can help you to finalize it and industrialize it but it's still a hard hard thing so so so yeah that that doesn't come with the ease of low code no code kind of right right development yeah definitely i i completely agree um very exciting stuff kind of coming on the horizon and we started to see implemented over the last you know year or so in the iot space that all connected to helping increase adoption which i think is fantastic is there anything that maybe we haven't chatted about yet or any kind of areas of iot that you're most excited to see kind of evolve over the next year um around that are going to help really play a role in in companies adopting iot more yeah so i think uh a humble approach uh to it is is very um uh suitable right now we passed a hype we're now if there's like this trough of disillusionment if you look at the gartner hype cycle and and it's just it's just hard work and making things stable and acts like adding the an extra 9 to the 99 99 availability make it 99.9 right right and and that is um it's not it's not sexy it's not it's not it's not like it's not going to shout innovation but it's really what the market wants because they want to scale from let's say having temperature measurements of uh a thousand fridges and they want to have it in 100 000 fridges it's a different game um we're investing heavily in in making sure that for instance our software can like can keep running and uh and like the continuous development of continuous integrations that that you just have a very solid platform even if you run large updates and and have the data flowing because because iot devices don't sleep right you can maybe plan your update on a website on a quiet moment uh that doesn't work for our platforms right so i think that has been our focus it's we have been focused on on um yeah and and on a lot of let's say maturing things so what are the developments to look forward to is this yeah a few things like like making sure the humble approach of being just that simple microservice that delivers these critical data points and another side um making sure you're compliant with these this new governance type of doing it right because then then through the it channel in a company you can get into the business processes right and then you're like our customers now have a way easier sell internally because it's easier to sell to their cso so the chief information security officer it's easier to sell to their business it's easier to implement themselves right you don't lose the momentum like it's all goes more smooth so is there any sexy thing that's going to happen in the next two years i don't know probably not it's probably what we promised five years ago and doing that very very well at 100 000 devices skill 100 yeah i totally agree um it's very very interesting to kind of see how the thing how we've evolved over the last couple years and the areas that we've learned are the bottlenecks or the roadblocks for adoption and figuring out how we can solve them so so i think you know we're definitely still on that journey for sure um the last thing i wanted to ask you before we wrap up is is we kind of talked a little bit about what we're looking for on the iot front going forward what about on the lorawan front what what is the future of that kind of look like from your all side of things uh so what the future looks like is that we now see that uh the the the most uh the most in the in the segment that lauren is used is in sensor to cloud integration on-premise and within enterprises so stores shopping malls farms mines and and that's really where it starts to grow and because building your network is so easy and also controlling the quality and the service levels also is more easy and easy uh you see that that that's just the best way way to go and and the investments the capital expenses and the operational expenses are so extremely low like a gateway you can get it for 200 and then you have a enterprise-grade gateway that can last for five years has a battery backup has a cellular backhoe and then your building is covered for five years it's like penis like we're talking about like less than like like almost a few dollars a month if you would light it up over five years so okay um so so so where it's going is that that's that's that's that's scalable right that's a scalable cost model and right and and this is where the success is so it's really in sensor to secure sensor to cloud integration on premise uh with the centralized management so you you you have very little operational costs on devops or iot ops and you just can get that from our cloud service and the capital expenses are also so low and the data keeps flowing right it's five years of temperature monitoring for instance five years of uh a vibration monitoring it's it's it's like that's your capital expense but you get the benefits for like five years so right yeah the business cases they are the cost models they're um yeah uh we just have to be humble effective and scalable and and then yeah the market will come fantastic well um to wrap up i wanted to dive back into something we started to talk about at the beginning of this episode which is the things conference that we have next year tell our audience a little bit more about it talk about kind of what the focus is the overview where it is when it is and how they can attend yeah so it's um we moved it to 24th and 25th of march of course uh a lot of the world around us is is is constantly changing uh so that's the current date we set um we started the things conference because of all the conference we saw there were either highly corporate sponsored or um there was no clear distinction between commercial interest and and honest technology that's a presentation so we said okay we want a conference where everybody can be vulnerable everybody can be truthful about what they do and what they're good at and and that's going to be like a small ecosystem of uh let's say where we have a few days where we separate commercial and technology for the interest of everybody of the ecosystem and that resonated somehow very very well because um people in the industry were lost like like okay of course these companies say this because it's in their interest that we get their services or products and um and that's where let's say the things conference uh originated focusing on what we do is the lower one technology and the larger let's say the things network community right and um and this is still what it is like we have very strong rules for participants on what they present and we are adding rules we are are adding like rules around the content so one of the rules we're adding now is that you need not only to tell us how you are doing the sensor to cloud integration but also what's the digital transformation like what is the data point gonna change in a business process and how would that pay back at least 10 times the iot investment and and and that's yeah so we're trying to mature every edition and and and like the next maturity step that we're taking is that this whole iot sensor the cloud integration only makes sense if you also tell us what the digital transformation was so so this is what you can expect from our next event uh we'll have a series running up to it so the things come from embedded will be virtual uh 28th of january where we're going to focus on technology only so okay also embedded in hardware and then we have a series of events running up to the big event at amsterdam fantastic well it's been very exciting i know we were we were actively involved last year we think it's a fantastic event we're very excited for it to start you know to come back this coming year i know there's big things on the horizon with with everything that you have going on on both sides of the event and the company side so so i really appreciate you taking the time if anybody wants to kind of find out more learn a bit more about the company the event what's the best way to do that yeah so go to uh for the company go to thethingsindustries.com uh if you want to explore the technology you can go to our let's say open source community the network.org and if you

want to go and visit us at the conference virtually or physically go to thethinksconference.com fantastic well thank you this has been a great conversation thank you so much again for being back on we're excited to to continue to be involved with the event promote the event to our audience we think it's a great thing and we love all the stuff you have going on at uh at the company around you know lorawan and all the deployments all the things you're doing to help the industry grow and that can increase that adoption across the board so so thank you for everything that you all do and thanks for being here today yeah thank you thanks for having me again absolutely all right everyone thanks again for watching that episode of the iot fall podcast if you enjoyed the episode please click the thumbs up button subscribe to our channel and be sure to hit the bell notifications so you get the latest episodes as soon as they become available other than that thanks again for watching and we'll see you next time

2022-01-31 07:17

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