World of Data 401- How to Sell M2M to Anyone

Selling M2M

So, you have that big meeting...

First, let's recap:

In 101, we spoke about some different hardware options for connecting remote devices to the cellular network.  Watch the webinar...

In 201, we spoke about some of the key IoT applications you may wish to look at. 
Watch the webinar...

In 301, we talked about some of the lesser-targeted vertical markets for IoT. 
Watch the webinar...

Now, in 401, we are talking about what you say when you get that meeting.  And, this really does matter.  I mean, the CFO may not have the same pain points as the VP of Operations who may have a different motivation than the CMO. 

As always, you can watch the video webinar now...


Here are some key things to know when you make your pitch:

CEO

Ok, so you got the big cheese to attend the meeting...way to go.  Now what?

First, they are particularly focused on things such as the overall corporate strategy, corporate governance and improving the bottom line.

I would focus a few key things...the coolness factor does matter here.  They are concerned about the corporate image more than just about anyone.  As well, you want to talk about any sustainable advantages that the solutions may bring.  Finally, they do care about the bottom line...talk about how it helps it.

I would try to avoid anything too nerdy and I would not delve too far down into the details.

 

CTO

Basically, a Nerd who understands business...they are the most likely C-suite member to go to ComicCon willingly.

You want to focus on some key points...Security is paramount.  I would also talk about how it can improve both the productivity of all workers, and especially how little it may impact their team.  I would focus a little on the "green" aspect of the solution.  Finally, interoperability and tech support are definitely on their brain.

They may not be as concerned about things such as improved safety and cash flow as others. 

CFO

Their job is to watch the bottom line.

You should focus on how it makes their life easier....quicker payments / better billing means better cash flow.  I would also talk about how it helps to lengthen the life of assets in the field and how it improves productivity,  Finally, if your solution can reduce their compliance/liability concerns, it will be well received.

I would avoid anything too nerdy and avoid focusing on what is cool (just focus on what works). 

VP of Sales / Pricing

This may or may not be the same person.

They are concerned about a few things....maximizing profit margins, knowing about customer issues earlier to avoid surprises, better updates on shipping and how to improve billing options to maximize value . For example: Can we offer financing or leasing?

They want better information from the field, so focus on that.  Don't focus on anything that is too nerdy or may involve integration issues.

Head of Production / Design

They are always looking for better information....how are people using the product, what can we do to improve it for better customer response, how can we take unnecessary costs out....stuff like that.

Talk about how IoT allows them to better gather real-time usage from the field.  This will allow them to better understand things like maintenance intervals, possible recalls/issues, ways to optimize resources.

I wouldn't focus on much else... 

VP of Operations

The person who is responsible for more "numbers" than just about anyone....levels of inventory, procurement prices, customer service levels, shipping and receiving costs...pretty much all numbers.

They want to reduce customer service issues, cut waste out of the channel, improve quality control, eliminate build and delivery issues and detect any issues before they happen.

They are going to love getting better data.....things get lost less often, products get delivered more accurately...they are aware of any major issues earlier and they get to better know how products are used to improve product control.

I would stay away from Sales and Marketing stuff....they won't care. 

Customer Service Executive

Not the easiest job in the world....these guys are always looking for help.  Their department tends to be a "cost" to companies, so they are not always given as many resources as they need.

They are concerned with metrics such as First Call Fix, they need to get accurate information as to the status of systems, deliveries and more.  They are also looking for ways to better utilize resources and often to fix things remotely themselves (such as by resetting devices).

They would love to fix things quickly, so better information is the key.  They also need to know if there are any major issues on the horizon (such as escalated failures in the field), something that M2M solutions do very well.  Finally, they want to be able to better share their findings with other departments, something an M2M solution can do.

They are concerned about doing more with less....I wouldn't talk about how M2M solutions can drive more business, as they will just see it as more work!

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed Novotech's short series of webinars/posts.  Over the next little while, watch for more of these focusing on particular applications/markets in greater detail!

World of Data 301- Four Platforms of Wireless

World of Data 301

In 101, we covered three different pieces of hardware that are used to provide the basis for cellular connectivity for M2M solutions.  In 201, we talked about some of the applications that have allowed M2M to grow its reach.  Now, we talk about what customers to sell to. 

As always, you have the option of watching/listening to this webinar by clicking on this link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rKxCe3kbgz0

Overall benefits to any M2M solution

Although we touched on this in 201, it is important to reiterate this.  There really are only 4 possible benefits to any M2M solution for a business.  All of them are good reasons to spend the money on an M2M solution:

1. Increased productivity through better access to data and less clerical work

2. Better redundancy to ensure that key systems stay up and running

3. Better track of "assets" to reduce theft and repair costs as well as to improve worker safety

4. Overall lowering of CAPEX and OPEX costs

However, each customer may have different reasons for an M2M deployment.  For a business that is based on recurring revenue, it may be to provide a lower cost of service delivery to maximize its profitability.  For a Public safety agency, it may be to provide a better level of communication to improve the safety of their officers.

Here are a few verticals that you may not have thought of as potential benefactors to an M2M solution:

Commercial Real Estate

If you think about this market, you may only see the fact that they have fixed assets and wonder why they would need to monitor things that are fixed and often have people on site.  The reality is that people cannot be everywhere or see everything and this is a market that has relatively fixed income, so they need to maximize their cost saving efforts. 

Here are some solutions that may appeal to this space:

- Contractor Management is vital to ensure that work is done, that bills are not excessive and that they reduce legal liability for things like snow removal.

- Optimizing HVAC systems is not only good for the environment, it is good for the bottom line.

- Sub-metering is a solution that allows the owners of the buildings to have better visibility into how each individual tenant uses resources, to more accurately bill their tenants (rewarding those who are more frugal in energy usage).

Energy Production / Delivery

Sure, Oil/Gas companies are not immune to using monitoring solutions, but they definitely are not using them to the full extent that they could be. 

This ranges from adding in more advanced monitoring solutions, to fleet management to Video surveillance to reduce unwanted vandalism.  As well, they could be replacing expensive radio and landline based systems with cellular ones, as well as using better field force management solutions to capture data from the field. 

Sports

I think many people have heard about how athletes and professional teams are using IoT solutions to better understand both the condition of their team's health as well as to better understand how to position players.  However, it is not on the field that teams can benefit. 

TV networks are using on-board telematics and graphics more than ever to enhance the viewership of sports ranging from golf to auto racing to tennis.  Even stodgy old baseball is using more advanced metrics to better the fan experience, both at the stadium and at home.  As well, DIY and amateur athletes are using IoT solutions for things ranging from tracking of Runner's/skiers/bikers in remote areas, to increased smartphone usage for monitoring vital signs to on-board cameras to better post your crazy activities to your friends on social media when you get home. 

Retail / Hospitality

Like Commercial real estate, this may not be an area that jumps out at first.  Most of these areas are fixed locations and are generally serviced by both people on site (often 24 hours a day) and by traditional landline coverage. 

However, the use of M2M / IoT is becoming increasingly popular....here are a few examples:

- Companies are using IoT to better understand the behaviour of customers, ranging from video tracking to monitoring the path taken by carts throughout the store.

- Vending machines and kiosks are better able to maintain proper inventory levels and offer higher levels of service thanks to their use of cellular connectivity

- POS (debit and credit card) usage has expanded to mobile now with most food delivery and taxis now accepting them thanks to cellular connectivity on-board

- Smart retailers are backing up their main Internet connections with wireless modems as a way to both protect revenue and to maintain a particular level of customer service for their customers at all times.

Security

The days of an old dude sleeping behind a desk are definitely behind us as security companies are among the heaviest users of IoT solutions.

- Most security systems have "cut the wire" backup to prevent thieves from cutting off communications by the simple use of a wire cutter

- High value assets are often tracked using incredibly small, battery-operated tracking solutions

- Video feeds are popping up everywhere, as LTE speeds have made it quite feasible to transmit live video from just about anywhere

- Finally, automated security and access control solutions are now common place with the help of IoT solutions feeding back real-time information to the people that need it.

The Bottom Line

Virtually any customer can benefit from using an IoT solution, regardless of their size.  The goal with this presentation was to broaden your horizon as to the customer target groups that might use these solutions.  In 401, we tell you how to pitch to the key people once you get that meeting...

World of Data 201 – All about the applications

World of Data 201

In the 101 course, we covered some of the different pieces of cellular hardware that can be used to allow your device to connect to the Internet.  However, without an application to use, what is the point of connecting?  I mean, an iPad is a cool device, but with no apps, it is just an overpriced paperweight. 

So, let's take a closer look at some common applications that customers use to make their life better. 

As with the 101 course which was recorded into a video webinar, you can also watch/listen to a webinar version of this blog post

4 Gains that any solution should bring

Regardless of the application, there are 4 different gains that you may see.  Depending on the application, you may see some or all of these:

1.  Increased productivity through better access to data and less clerical work

2.  Better redundancy to ensure that key systems stay up and running

3.  Better track of "assets" to reduce theft and repair costs as well as to improve worker safety

4.  Overall lowering of CAPEX and OPEX costs

4 Platforms of Wireless

As part of any solution, you need to manage the moving parts of the solution to make sure that it stays working.  M2M solutions are no different....in order to properly get all of the ROI that you can out of a solution, you need to manage:

1.  The SIM....making sure that the rate plans and data usage are in line with what you budgeted

2.  The Device ... You need to update firmware/settings and how your device integrates into the solution in general

3.  The Data ... You need to be alarmed for the vital things and be able to search/pattern the non-vital stuff

4.  Experience ... If your users don't like how the data is presented, they won't use it!

The King of all Solutions...Advanced Monitoring

Using a combination of technologies, these solutions allow information to be retrieved from a huge range of devices, ranging from Industrial equipment to ATMs to farming equipment. 

The idea is to get better, real-time information into the hands of the people who need that information to make educated decisions.  This ranges from your field staff, to your customer service people, to the finance team and even to the repair team from the manufacturer of the machine. 

The goal is to reduce costs and downtime while maximizing the life of the device.  In addition, it allows you to better use your key team members, allowing you to do more with less. 

Here is an interesting example from John Deere:

* Their engineers assumed that in order to compete, they needed to use a bigger fuel tank on-board.  However, larger tanks meant higher costs and more fuel usage by the owners.

* When they did real-life analysis, they determined that they were wrong....their customers rarely went below 1/2 to 2/3 of a tank, making the larger tank unnecessary.

* As a result, they reduced the size of the tank, thereby reducing costs and fuel consumption.

Cutting the Wire

Among Millennials, having a home phone is actually kind of rare.  They definitely have cut the cord at their home.  Maybe more people should do the same for data-only landline deployments? 

    Here is why:

*  Lower installation costs
*  Quicker setup time
*  Increased flexibility in placements

     Who uses them?  Here are a few ideas:

*  Remote machines such as ATMs / Kiosks, tanks and wells
*  Primary communication for mobile offices, temporary locations and 3rd party offices
*  IT departments love them for Out of Band management
*  Providing a key backup for all connections

The Bottom Line

The limit of what you can do in M2M is up to the person deploying it.  After 20 years, I see new applications every day.  Just think....what could you do with real-time information from all of your remote assets?