Be a disruptor in the IoT universe – or expect to be disrupted
IP EXPO Businesses and business owners face a vital question going forward: will they wait for someone to attack their business model, or will they start doing it themselves?
That was the conclusion of an entertaining session from Matthias Roese, IoT strategist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) EMEA in which a variety of case studies and models were discussed.
Coca-Cola, frequently cited as an interesting proposition in the IoT space, was the first example. “They understood that they have four, five, six variants in the US market, and they had a situation where they couldn’t follow up with some of these lifestyle, Red Bull-type products,” explained Roese. “So they had to come up with something else without disrupting their customer base, but moving into the new world.”
Enter Freestyle, a machine developed in the US but making its way elsewhere – recently onto UK shores – which offers a wide variety of flavours and sodas, allowing for a much greater scale of customer interaction. “The competitors are all having huge troubles with that,” said Roese. “The problem is that they have a totally different customer experience – they get a lot more data directly from their customers.”
The opening slide of the presentation, and the underlying theme of the talk, was a quote from Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.” Yet for all the talk of disruption and the sharing economy, companies such as Uber are not ground-breaking.
“It’s just an adopted business model coming from a good idea in the past using digitisation,” said Roese. This is HPE’s approach as well. “Not everyone needs a new business model – we believe that most of the companies still out there need to change their business model in a way [to] digitise it but not obviously completely change it,” Roese added.
This isn’t true for all companies, however. One example of HPE collaborating with a long-standing brand, alongside SAP, is with Kaeser, a company which produces air compressor machines. Shifting the angle of its business model, Kaeser looked at on-demand businesses, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, and followed suit, calling its revamped proposition ‘air as a service’. “It sounds strange, but there it is,” said Roese. “They’re no longer selling big machinery to the customer, they give it to the customer on an on-demand basis. The advantage for the company is that they understand their devices much better than anything else.”
In the IoT universe, Roese also insisted that the experience was collaborative. “We believe that nobody can do this alone,” he said. “We need partners, we need a big partner ecosystem, we really need to drive things in a collaborative way. It’s an ecosystem play, you will need to work together.” Yet there was one sentence from Roese’s talk which summed up the change in mindset: “We are no longer doing proof of concepts – we think of proof of value.”
Bootnote: Since splitting off its core businesses into two with HP Inc. and HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), HP has been fiercely protecting its brand, even to the extent that journalists (this reporter included) received a communication explicitly outlining what was right and what wasn’t. Towards the end of the presentation, Roese obliged by calling his own company ‘HP Enterprise’ - a no-no - before realising his error and laughing it off.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.
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