UNLOCKING THE EDGE

Any industry. Any system. Any process.

An IoT platform unlike anything else out there

26 February 2018

Recognising the radical changes in the way businesses interact with both clients and each other, Britehouse Automotive Group Executive, Callie Human, was driven to look for a way the Dimension Data division could ensure that they didn’t place unnecessary risk on their own shoulders by refusing to adapt.

“As business leaders, we realised that not only did we need to adapt to a digitised, 4th Industrial Revolution world, but that we need to help our clients do the same,” said Human.

The age-old, “where will you be in 5-10 years” question was plaguing Britehouse Automotive team and, after finding themselves back at the same answer a few too many times, digital transformation became a key priority.

“The 4th industrial revolution is real and it’s going to drive businesses in the future, and we need to adjust our businesses accordingly,” Callie Human.

So how does a company like Britehouse Automotive adapt and capitalise of digitalisation?
Easy – with the right partner.

“What decided that, from a strategic perspective, it was important that we partner with a company that had an IoT platform. In saying that, we realised there was a lot of misconception in the industry between an IoT platform and an applications platform,” said Human, and he’s not wrong. The IoT industry is stuffed full of people claiming to be able to do a number of things. The IoT.nxt team, however, just do – and have been doing for a little over 2 years already.

Captivated by this solution was seemingly commercially viable, Callie and the Britehouse team quickly realised the IoT.nxt platform was agnostic enough to enable them to integrate all of their existing platforms at the edge with no ‘rip and replace’. It was a no brainer.

“I think IoT.nxt is one of the only companies in the world who has gotten it right. It’s not an application platform and our partnership allows us to continue innovating our own core solutions while implementing their IoT solutions for our customers.”

Ability to integrate at the edge aside, there’s also the added benefit of being able to build applications on top of the IoT.nxt platform that allows Britehouse to interact with their clients, and far beyond that, too.

Since the IoT.nxt technology stack is technology agnostic, able to integrate with all the enterprise solutions out there, it is garnering a reputation for enabling the rapid deployment of a digitalisation roadmap that can be rolled out in thin slices while customers ascertain whether it would bring about the benefits they hoped it would for their businesses.

Speaking of customers – Britehouse were able to show quick return on investment to their customers, and get a roadmap into play quickly – one peppered with the opportunity to build a lot of solutions for them down the line – without needing any new platforms or technology.

No ‘rip and replace’ – taking the disruption out of disruptive technology.

“I think that the lack of disruption is ultimately why we chose IoT.nxt. In our research we found that most other solutions out there would involve ripping out and replacing a lot of existing infrastructure, but with this solution – the way IoT.nxt digitises certain things – there’s no need for that,” says Human.

The IoT.nxt solution required a smaller investment, yet allowed the Britehouse Automotive team to be quicker to market and start to realise ROI for their customers faster, too. Agility in deployment means the risk and investment typically associated with a digitalisation strategy are notably absent when IoT.nxt are involved.

This allows you to show much more value to your customer which helps us build a much better relationship with our customers and, again, open the path for the future to build a lot of solutions on that platform for our customers.

So what is it, exactly, that lets Callie Human and the Britehouse Automotive team rest easily at night? It’s not knowing that they’re using the best possible IoT solution available to them. It’s knowing that their ideas will brought to life – and then some! – by a team that continues to question, innovate and adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude as they integrate and optimise entire businesses.

“They’re always willing to always try new things and, as we’ve worked together, we’ve been able to develop better solutions for our customers.

“It feels like they (IoT.nxt) are working within our business, as a part of our business, which is exactly what a partnership should be. I think is what has made our partnership over the last 12-18 months so successful,” says Human.

In closing, Human noted that what IoT.nxt has in their back pocket is unlike anything else there – and they’ve done the digging, pouring through the hundreds of platforms out there.

Companies need to understand megatrends to serve customers in the future

19 February 2018

Internet of Things technology will be one of the key catalysts to how we shape our future world, especially in the automotive industry.

This is the view of Michael Frans, Head of Business Development and Strategy for Automotive and Manufacturing Industries at T-Systems, in conversation with IoT.nxt about what new technologies will mean for business.
“To serve enterprise customers it is important to understand the megatrends in technology, in order to assist them in being ready for the new wave of technology. This includes cloud technologies and IoT. We believe that the automotive industry will become of the biggest digitalised industries in the world. It is therefore critical that a company like T-Systems understands these technologies and build competencies around where we can add the biggest value,” he says.

He notes, however, that companies cannot be anything and everything to customers. “This new world, especially in the Internet of Things, requires deep competencies. It absolutely requires expertise at every stage through the cycle. A company such as ourselves cannot provide every element required, which is why partnerships are critical. We need an eco-system of partners in order to serve our customers. Although T-Systems is a huge global business, we cannot specialise in everything.”

T-Systems spends a lot of time to investigate and interrogate what is available in the market place, especially as so many new entrants are entering the sector claiming to have new technologies and in some cases, companies have a wide offering trying to cover many different aspects. Which Frans says is unrealistic.

T-Systems first engaged IoT.nxt at the Gartner Symposium ITXpo of 2016, hosted in Cape Town, and took due consideration to get to know the company, its offering and its team members.

“IoT.nxt has found a niche to form a critical part of that eco-system to deliver value add to customers. As a fast developing start-up IoT.nxt is innovate, agile and enthusiastic. From their perspective dealing with a large multi-national company takes patience as the processes are so different. Yet, we formed a relationship over time and now consider them a key partner for IoT solutions,” he says.

“We want the solutions for our customers that IoT.nxt can deliver and value their agility, sense of excitement and the speed of delivery,” he added.

He highlighted IoT.nxt’s Raptor™ technology and says it is ‘the best of breed’ T-Systems has come across for months. “This technology differentiates IoT.nxt beyond most players in the market. Therein lies the value. So called ‘cool’ hardware that cannot add value is not what we are looking for, the Raptor adds significant value to the entire solution.”

He concluded to say that as the partnership develops over time, he foresees that there will be little distinction between where T-Systems starts and ends and where IoT.nxt starts and end. “I look forward to reaching that stage.”

The sky’s the limit: How Enaleni solves customer problems with IoT.nxt

9  February 2018

The claim has been made time and again: Internet of Things (IoT) solutions will change the world. But for Enaleni Holdings, an engineering firm that specialises in project management and physical asset management, this is a truth they see in action every day. After making a strategic choice to incorporate and embrace IoT solutions into their portfolio, the level 1 BBBEE company has been solving problems for customers in new and exciting ways that matter.

“IoT is big in our business,” said Maxwell Nemutshili, Business Development Director at Enaleni. “It makes up about 25 percent at the moment and we are planning to ramp it up to close to 50 percent of the business by end of the year 2018.”

Such an ambitious target speaks to the market potential and reality that Enaleni, which means ‘place of abundance’, has experienced. Since taking on the mission to introduce the Fourth Industrial Revolution to its markets, the company has had great success in delivering enhanced value to both engineers on the ground and decision makers. This is particularly significant around physical asset performance tracking, an area Enaleni excels in, but has also delivered in other areas of the business.

“IoT technology is important to us,” explained Enaleni’s MD, Sicelo Myeni. “Our key focus is in physical asset management, so we see it as an enabler for us to be able to provide services to clients so that we can add value to their bottom line. Physical asset management data capturing previously has been predominantly a manual exercise in most cases, whereas now with the internet of things you are able to get realtime information tracking of that asset’s performance, whether it’s the location or utilisation.”

This is not merely enthusiasm for IoT. Enaleni has found that customers generally grasp the benefits of these new solutions. The challenge instead is that of delivery: can the solution be implemented quickly and cost-effectively? Such assurances are crucial to building and maintaining customer relationships, said Myeni:

“The importance of fastly deploying the technology is key. Clients want to see quick results, especially on the technology side where it’s new in the market. So if you go in there, if you bring technology that is slow to implement, people quickly lose hope and trust in the technology. You need to show results for people to buy in. The quicker you deploy and people see the results, the easier for clients to have a buy-in on the technology. The speed is very important.”

Such success hinges on the right partners. Both Myeni and Nemutshili underlined the importance of a partner reinforcing their ability to deploy the right solution quickly, at the right price and through interactions that align with Enaleni’s culture. Even though there are several IoT companies globally that can tick some of the boxes, only IoT.nxt meets all the requirements.

“IoT.nxt provides IoT platforms and with that we as Enaleni don’t have to develop that platform,” said Nemutshili. “But we can play a big role in customising that for our clients, and also doing the project management and integration of all different systems to the client. IoT.nxt fits in very well, because they are locally based and the cost to develop is quite lower. The other thing is the Raptor, which can integrate different devices and other systems.”

IoT.nxt’s proprietary Raptor bridging technology has been a huge advantage for Enaleni, which counts industries such as mines and chemical manufacturers as among their clients. These are industries with a lot of established investments that they want to elevate into the new era of real-time decision making. By utilising the Raptor and its ecosystem, Enaleni is capable of leveraging their own expertise without wringing hands over the nitty gritty of getting the established to communicate with the new.

“They understand the market, the South African market,” Myeni concluded. “Most of the guys there have got operational experience. So the solutions presented are practical. We’ve enjoyed a good working relationship, there’s a good understanding between Enaleni and IoT.nxt. There is an understanding from IoT.nxt that there is a big opportunity in the market with smart asset management in the different industries. The sky is the limit.”

 

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