A strong partner ecosystem is essential for successfully building, marketing, and selling IoT solutions. At PTC, we are proud to have one of the largest partner networks in the business. At our 2017 Global Partner Summit, we recognized seven outstanding technology partners from regions around the world that are innovating and disrupting industries using the ThingWorx platform.
Please join us in congratulating the following partners:
OSISoft – ThingWorx Americas Partner of the Year
Selected for their solutions in the areas of Oil and Gas, Utilities, Chemicals, Mining, and other process industries. OSIsoft worked with PTC to build a joint solution to bring together the vast amount of OT data that OSI has captured with IT data to enable world class innovative IOT solutions.
Elisa – ThingWorx EMEA Partner of the Year
Selected for solutions for Predictive Maintenance and Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), Elisa offers their 3D Factory solution showcasing the power of bringing multiple systems together with a single interactive view.
Nippon Systemware (NSW) – ThingWorx Japan Partner of the Year
Selected for new customer expansion with ThingWorx, including a newly released “Smart Factory Starter Package” with HPE.
Shanghai Hi-Tech Control System – ThingWorx APAC Partner of the Year
Selected for their work in the transportation industry for building a solution to monitor the parameters of an inter-province highway Tunnel environment (wind, humidity, network conditions) using both ThingWorx and ThingWorx Studio. They already have two customers in production.
Vodafone – ThingWorx Global Partner of the Year
Selected for their nimble, modular approach to smart city solutions by offering the ability to mix and match modules such as lighting, parking, waste management, air quality, and others coupled with services that enable flexible custom solutions based on individual city requirements.
ANSYS – ThingWorx Technology Partner of the Year
Selected for innovation with PTC as a Technology Alliance Partner, ANSYS is working with PTC on a joint solution to commercialize ThingWorx Analytics and ANSYS simulation technology.
Sensus – ThingWorx New Partner of the Year
Selected for their innovation in Smart Cities solutions, including dedicated multiple development, professional services, and business related teams to develop two solutions; Smart Lighting & Smart Gateway powered by the ThingWorx platform.
Step seven of our series “Ten Steps to Drive a Connected Product Program,” explores how to develop personas.
Personas are best developed with product and sales teams that have experience in the field meeting face-to-face with users, influencers, and decision makers.
Develop a persona for each member in the decision process, and then rank the personas in order of importance.
The goal is to create meaningful collateral and campaigns for each persona – to use during the different phases of the sales cycle — awareness, consideration, and purchase. Often the same person who is most concerned about IT security is also responsible for compliance.
As described in Step 1, identifying value propositions is the core element of a connected product program and central to your sales and marketing strategy. At this point, you and your team should have a clear understanding of the customer’s desired tangible results from connected products, services, and solutions. The value propositions created around cost reduction, improved customer satisfaction, and increased revenue are the ultimate source for marketing content. And for the nuance that will take your program from good to great: Have your value propositions been tailored to existing customers or new customers? Or both? The answer should be both — keeping in mind an “upsell” value proposition can be different than a “net-new” value proposition.
Buying personas refer to the different roles encountered during a sale, such as an initial researcher, day-to-day user, key influencer, or executive decision maker. Each of these personas has biases and needs that must be anticipated and addressed by sales and marketing. And in the case of selling connected products to both existing customers and new customers — you have buying personas times two. Because, while the buying personas involved in upsell and net-new opportunities may be the same, they may now have different values and motivators. The goal is to create crisp, relevant messaging for buying personas (existing and new customers), at different phases of a sales cycle.
Veteran sales teams are familiar with the buyer persona tools and campaigns, and new hires will benefit from a greater understanding of the nature of multiple decision-makers and complexities in the buying process. Persona research can reveal distinctive buying behaviors within industries and organizational roles. A typical profile includes demographic information, preferred information sources, work style, work responsibilities, buying behavior, and involvement in the purchase process. Adding a layer of information covering goals and strategic initiatives will enable you to construct solutions that allow them to do a better job.
Personas are best developed in concert with product and sales teams that have experience in the field meeting face-to-face with users, influencers. and decision makers. You and you team will need to develop a persona for each member in the decision process, resulting in several personas. Some sample personas include: Initiator, User, Influencer, Gatekeeper, Decision Maker, and Buyer. From there, your marketing team should develop value-driven marketing collateral for use during the different phases of the sales cycle: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase.
A buying persona’s profile should describe a persona’s goals and strategic initiatives, their place in the buying process, and the frustrations they encounter during their workday. It’s your job to develop value-driven solutions that allow them to do their job better.
Don’t create too many buying personas. If even a list of five to seven seems too daunting, then speak with your sales team and ask them to rank the personas in order of importance. The point of using buyer personas is to enable you to get your hands around a discrete number of target customers that matter. The ultimate goal is to create meaningful collateral and campaigns.
Each persona will have their own set of information sources that influence them during the difference phases of a sales cycle.
Developing buying personas helps to refine your value-driven marketing strategy. You can’t create compelling marketing content until you really understand the value a connected product program creates for your customers.
The value drivers involved in upsell and net-new opportunities may not be the same. The goal is to create crisp, relevant messaging for buying personas at different phases of a sales cycle.
Choose the right content, at the right time. Marketing collateral generally falls into three phases of the buying cycle: awareness, consideration, and purchase. Deploy a “less-is-more” approach, and focus on creating a handful of well-targeted pieces for each stage of the buying cycle.
Just as you help create your customers vision, it’s clearly important to calibrate your own. This will provide the foundation for all subsequent steps. What are your goals for your connected product program? What is the scope of your project, and why? From examples in the field, we know that the costs associated with finding new customers are dramatically higher than the costs associated with up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers. Moreover, when executed correctly, programs targeting your installed based increase customer loyalty because their needs are better met — attrition goes down, profits go up.
“Can your sales, service and marketing teams have value-based conversations, with the right person, at the right time? If the answer is yes, then your teams are in sync and your program is ready to go.” – Mark Hessinger, Executive Director Worldwide Customer Service, Gerber
Getting started with your first Internet of Things project can be daunting. Yet collaboration and the right tools and technologies can help guide you through your IoT journey and get your first solution up and running in less time.
This is the fifth and last installment in a series that focuses on key contributing factors that enable the efficient development of IoT solutions. All of my previous posts highlighted one unique approach and explained the role that each plays in developing an IoT solution as well as efficiency. Here is a review of what I have covered:
IoT platforms, which provide the underlying technology for an IoT solution. They are typically equipped with tools to develop IoT solutions and support basic functionalities that are required for any IoT solutions.
Ecosystems can provide additional value to any IoT project and allow companies and developers to leverage existing components and best in breed technology.
3rd party integrations and value added services and applications enable companies to adapt their IoT solutions to future requirements while enhancing the usefulness and value of the IoT solution. IoT solutions are typically highly distributed systems with requirements that constantly change. The ecosystem is a powerful resource that can provide many components.
Using compatible technology that is tested and certified to work with your IoT solution enables your project to be up and running in less time while making the most of your budget. The integration of 3rd party hardware and software is part of almost any IoT project.
Looking at this list, it is clear that the ecosystem plays a major role in developing IoT solutions. Therefore, your ability to efficiently leverage the value of the IoT ecosystem has a significant impact on how efficiently you can build IoT solutions.
The co-creation of value
As explained in my second installment, the smartphone industry is a great example of how influential the ecosystem can be for a company’s success. The success of Apple and Android is primarily a result of their app stores, for which an entire ecosystem of partners and developers creates new applications and services. This adds additional value to the Apple and Android platforms to an extent that they could never have reached themselves. Just like in the smartphone industry, the success of the IoT and the value of the individual IoT platform will rely on collaboration. Online exchanges such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play foster this kind of collaboration, enabling the co-creation of value and exchange between producers and consumers of apps, services and more.
As with any two-sided business in which consumers are the bait to get producers on board and vice versa, it is all about bringing both participants together and creating an exchange that is equally beneficial to both of them.
So how can consumers, as well as producers, benefit from an online marketplace for the IoT?
Consumers: A marketplace for IoT apps, services and technologies gives consumers access to additional resources for their IoT solution all in one place. Not only does this simplify the search for compatible components, but it also allows consumers to develop new and enhanced existing IoT solutions from pre-built components.
Producers: For producers, a marketplace becomes a key channel for gaining exposure and marketing applications and extensions to create additional revenue. The immediate benefit of offering apps or other services in a marketplace lies in the ability to market to an audience that is highly qualified and already in the midst of developing IoT solutions.
An online marketplace for IoT components allows consumers and producers to collaborate more closely and enables both parties to deliver early and quick wins. And the idea of co-creating value and sharing pre-built components accelerates IoT adoption, which in turn makes developing IoT solutions less time consuming and a lot easier.
Now that I have shared key considerations for more efficient approaches to IoT solution development, create your free account, please visit our registration page. PTC customers and partners can use their existing PTC account credentials to log in to the Marketplace.
For many of us augmented reality (AR) feels like something out of a science fiction movie. However, AR is not only real; it is a technology that is beginning to transform industries and the way companies do business. You can check out the Educational Track on Augemented Reality at LiveWorx, May 22-25 in Boston, to sharpen your skills and get up to speed on the latest technologies in AR!
Commercial spending on AR worldwide is expected to hit $ 7.4B by 2018 – up from an estimated $ 895M in 2016. Forward-looking firms are already finding ways to implement AR technology for both their end user customers to experience their products in new ways and internally to achieve greater efficiency in how products are manufactured and serviced, how their workforce is trained and expanded globally, and so much more. More organizations are finding unique and custom ways to derive value from and use AR, especially with new AR authoring platforms becoming more available and advanced. Much like the IoT, those that aren’t thinking about ways to include this technology in their own organizations and solutions may find themselves left in the dust.
Companies in many industries – most notably manufacturing, healthcare, and product design – are exploring how augmented reality can impact operational efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, their bottom lines. Augmented reality merges the physical and digital worlds, laying digital information over real objects to provide in-depth, real-time information that can help employees to perform tasks better, smarter, and faster.
In the near-term, this technology will continue to be accessed by existing devices like smartphones, tablets, PCs and today’s proven wearable devices. As this technology advances and prices drop, AR will see widespread adoption of more wearables and purpose-built viewing hardware, as these technologies are currently in development and testing and are being rolled out with increasing frequency.
For companies implementing connected product strategies, adding augmented reality is a logical next step. IoT technology enables companies to collect, gather, and store a wealth of data about objects, equipment, products – the “things” that make up their organization. By using augmented reality with these smart, connected things, employees have instant access to all of the information about that thing – including specs, inventory, lead times, planned updates, performance data, instruction manuals – in the context in which they need it: the present. And, they’ll be able to experience that information visually, in a more natural state.
Augmented reality is being used with success in employee safety and training, diagnosing, repair, and maintenance of products, and in product design and development . AR technology enables better collaboration and enhances hands-on experiences.
Companies using AR for employee safety and training are impressed by its ability to train employees in a fraction of the time. Employees who are being trained to use products, equipment, or machinery are presented with comprehensive information about that object visually, which provides valuable context. As a result, training is done more quickly, with less error, and can be done more easily remotely and across language barriers. AR is revolutionizing hands-on training processes and manuals.
AR has been called the “killer app for service.” Technicians servicing products are able to overlay a physical product with digital information they can view onsite and in real-time with smartphones, tablets or wearable devices. Through AR, technicians can overlay product manuals and instructional videos, diagnostic information to see where performance problems exist, and even overlay original CAD files on the product so they can see the inner-workings before “opening up” a product or machine for repair. This speeds the time of service and supports more accurate, effective repairs, improving overall productivity. Combined with IoT, a technician might be able to see a comprehensive service history, easily assess that a product needs to be replaced or upgraded in advance of complete product failure, which could, in turn, prevent costly downtime.
Built with Vuforia Technology, a leading pioneer in AR, ThingWorx Studio is part of the ThingWorx IIoT platform allowing companies to easily achieve the combined value of AR and IoT for the industrial enterprise. Companies are using ThingWorx Studio to:
Provide workers with visual step-by-step instructions and build animated sequences designed to make work easier and faster
Create AR experiences as virtual interfaces on machinery and other connected products that provide a real-time view of data
Visualize existing 3D CAD models in the real world to enhance design reviews, expedite the learning process, and improve safety
Step six in our series “Ten Steps to Drive a Connected Product Program,” looks at achieving compliance
Often the same person who is most concerned about IT security is also responsible for compliance.
Simplify the compliance process by offering automated, regulation-specific compliance reports around user authentication, access control, and product performance.
Most organizations overspend on audits, offering automated compliance reports helps reduce the cost and complexity.
The following statement may come as a surprise. In a 2011 survey of healthcare organizations, the Ponemon Institute asked, “Who is most responsible for preventing and detecting data breach incidents within your organization?” The answer: “The compliance department.”1 (In other words, the same compliance officer who ensures that all devices in the hospital lab are compliant with FDA standards for product safety and performance is also typically responsible for security technologies that defend the organization’s private data.) Let’s agree that this is a daunting job.
Most of your customers, if not all, will fall under one or more of the following compliance umbrellas: FDA, Good Manufacturing Practices, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI-DSS, GLBA, FISMA, the Joint Commission, HITECH, HIPAA, the Data Protection Act, and the Freedom of Information Act. In most cases, organizations use compliance frameworks and standards (such as COBIT, ISO, ISA, IEC and NIST) to serve as over-arching guidelines to inform them on how to comply.
While there is no silver bullet to satisfy all of these rules and regulations, you can help your customers simplify the compliance process by offering automated, regulation-specific compliance reports around user authentication, access control, and product performance. Automating the compliance process provides numerous benefits to compliance officers, including the centralization of audit information, the ability to manage third-party risks more effectively, and an increased confidence in the company’s security compliance posture around the connected products initiative. An automated compliance approach also gives compliance officers more timely compliance status information, thus simplifying the work load for the never-ending cycle of external audits.
Expect a security conversation. Appreciate the impact of adding intelligent devices to a network, and anticipate your customers’ security concerns around suitability and acceptability. Add credibility by demonstrating your knowledge in this area.
Enterprise and network security policies often require management to take a close look at vendors. Strict vendor guidelines should be anticipated by you and by counsel.
There are obvious differences between compliance and security. But they are very similar in more than one way. One of which is that they are designed to assure a higher standard of business performance. If your organization has standards to which it complies, now is the time to share this information.
Many organizations overspend on audits; offering automated compliance reports helps reduce the cost and complexity of your customer’s compliance programs.
Understand your customer’s compliance umbrella. The lab manager concerned with FDA medical device approval is a distinctly different persona than the retailer concerned with PCI DSS. Be prepared with some sample automated compliance reports.
Take proactive measures to help take the cost and complexity out of compliance and security.
Securing Your IoT Infrastructure
As more components of your IoT infrastructure becomes connected, the demand for a solution that protects manufacturers and their end-customers from hackers, malware, and unsafe operations continues to increase. So how will you secure your existing IoT devices and prepare your infrastructure for the double-digit increases that are occurring year-over-year? Listen to this webcast replay that talks about how to address key challenges.
1 Security technologies are essential to defend an organization’s private data, yet according to December 2011 Ponemon Institute Research Study: Providers’ perceptions about their organizations’ privacy and security environment. Security technologies are considered essential or very important to defending their organizations’ patient data, according to 72 percent of respondents. The function considered by respondents to be most responsible for preventing and detecting data breach incidents is the compliance department (36 percent) followed by no one person or department (25 percent). The IT and IT security functions are at a lowly 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively. This is virtually unchanged from last year
Series: Ten Steps to Drive a Connected Product Program