The Internet of Things is overflowing with millions of devices, potential, and opportunities. Gartner predicts there will be more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.
New Zealanders are renowned for their ‘have a go' number 8 wire approach to innovation – and that includes technology. So when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses should take the same approach: Have a go. It isn't difficult, and it isn't expensive.
Chances are there will be at least one IoT use case in every business, and there's a demonstrable return on investment. IoT can help to increase asset utilisation, reduce waste, improve productivity, and improve customer satisfaction.
Kordia is one of New Zealand's leading technology companies, and also one of the most passionate about IoT. A couple of years ago it was one of the driving forces behind an IoT network called SigFox, and now it is kicking things up a notch.
Through its journey working with customers on IoT, Kordia discovered that each individual business requires a unique solution. That solution includes the required devices and how to implement projects so they meet the right scope and outcomes.
“Businesses face an ever-increasing level of competition, complexity and costs – which is why they need to be able to make real-time decisions based on quality data and have access to tools to help interpret this data into actionable insights,” comments Kordia's chief digital officer, Aaron Olphert.
“How do you increase the amount of data you collect and ensure it is relevant, particularly when most of what you want to measure is constantly moving across a large geographic area; and in many cases those locations whether mobile or fixed don't have a power source? This is where IoT comes into its own. It's predicted that around 99% of things that could be monitored/measured aren't connected at the moment – this is a huge growth opportunity.
Introducing Kordia Things – a store with face-to-face solution engineering
The company has launched a new online store called KordiaThings.io (Kordia Things) which offers a range of ‘things' like gate monitors, leak detectors, and light sensors. But it's much more than a store – it also facilitates solution engineering on a face-to-face basis.
Essentially, Olphert says, Kordia Things is an informal base and early-stage input that helps businesses work out their product or service development.
“There are three components to an IoT solution: the device, network connectivity and a portal for visibility and insights. Kordia is able to provide just the network connectivity, both the device and network connectivity; and all three components as a managed service. We can even provide installation, maintenance and other operational functions as and when needed.
An online hub for real-world IoT use cases
Another concept behind Kordia Things is to provide an online resource that provides case studies of how other New Zealand businesses have used IoT.
“It's also designed to provide businesses with a simple way to make a start on their own IoT journey by enabling simple and fast purchasing of single devices. For many of the devices we're selling, we have already packaged up the device, connectivity and a visibility portal onto one – so everything needed end-to-end is provided out of the box.
Case study: Christchurch City Council
After the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, Christchurch City Council embarked on a mission to roll out ‘Sensing Cities' initiatives in order to progress towards a smart city.
As a pilot, the Council rolled out sensor technology called PiP IoT for public rubbish bins in 10 trouble spots. It enables contractors to get alerts when bins are overflowing, get bin status reports through an online dashboard, and even temperature sensing in case of a fire.
“Apart from being more efficient, it's an innovative way to make our city smarter, more sustainable, and get rid of overflowing rubbish complaints for good,” comments Smart Cities Programme manager Teresa McCallum.
Use case: Smart industry
Imagine this: When stock needs refilling or facilities need maintenance, customers push a button. An alert is sent to the facility manager's dashboard who can then immediately schedule the work. Over time, this data can also be used to identify trends and predict future requirements.
All it takes is a few button devices and the Sigfox IoT network for a facilities manager to get all the information they need. They could reduce costs, predict client needs and deliver exceptional customer service.
These are just two of thousands of use cases both in the commercial and private sector. Kordia Things is just the starting point for IoT discovery.
Kordia experts can also help your business identify a use case that would fit with your own needs, conduct a proof of value, and then either fail fast or scale out.
"At a customer level we pride ourselves on being a strategic technology partner that provides robust and value-add support and advice. IoT is definitely a value-add and we're yet to find a single customer that doesn't have a valid IoT use case," Olphert says.
At a customer level we pride ourselves on being a strategic technology partner that provides robust and value-add support and advice. IoT is definitely a value-add and we're yet to find a single customer that doesn't have a valid IoT use case. Who knows, you may stumble on a ‘game changing' use case that will set your business apart.
Take a look at KordiaThings.io. Get started, have some fun with it.