5 best examples of uses of IoT in the enterprise
Earlier this year Microsoft and Rolls-Royce have announced a partnership centring on Rolls-Royce intelligent engines. Rolls-Royce will integrate Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and its Cortana Intelligence Suite.
IoT platform provider Particle announced that its enterprise deployment platform Particle Cloud has already been used by many of Fortune 500 companies.
Stories like these become more and more show that enterprises have started to understand the importance of IoT. And numbers reinforce their belief: reports suggest there will be 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020 and with more and more companies investing and making an impact in smart technology.
Today we gathered 5 most interesting cases of IoT use by enterprise clients; from car industry leaders, insurance companies and local authorities to gyms and beverage companies, they all start embracing nearly infinite opportunities laying in IoT.
1. Rolls Royce & Microsoft (Aviation)
Microsoft and Rolls-Royce have announced a partnership centring on Rolls-Royce intelligent engines. Rolls-Royce has started to integrate Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and its Cortana Intelligence Suite into its service solutions to expand its digital capabilities to support the current and next generation of Rolls-Royce intelligent engines.
Both companies hope that with this collaboration, engine management will move beyond the current levels of proactive monitoring of engine health and inflight performance. Through a greater understanding of flight operations excellence, fuel usage and maintenance planning, Rolls-Royce’s airline customers will be able to better retain asset value throughout an engine’s life cycle, reduce flight disruptions and potentially save millions of dollars per year.
2. Virgin Atlantic (Aviation)
Virgin Atlantic are investing in IoT hoping for a significant increase in data creation - a new fleet of highly connected planes each is expected to create over half a terabyte of data per flight. IoT can help reporting the maintenance problems before they even arise.
“The internet of things, in a broad sense, is where we are starting to see everything from planes to cargo devices getting connected,” Virgin Atlantic IT director David Bulman said. “The latest planes we are getting, the Boeing 787s, are incredibly connected. Literally every piece of that plane has an internet connection, from the engines, to the flaps, to the landing gear.
[...] “If there is a problem with one of the engines we will know before it lands to make sure that we have the parts there. It is getting to the point where each different part of the plane is telling us what it is doing as the flight is going on.”
This level of operational insight will involve generating large amounts of data from each 787 aircraft.
3. Fitness First (Fitness/Wellness)
According to Fitness First CIO Ed Hutt, A ‘device-focused’ approach to customer interaction will be a key part of the ongoing digital strategy at a fitness business.
He argues that while not everybody wants a 24-hour gym with equipment in, most of us are looking for a sense of community and a source of motivation in their training.
Fitness First hopes that’s something that can be developed and enhanced through IoT and mobile technology to a ‘Martini’ solution: fitness anywhere, any place, any time.
One of the areas the fitness industry can consider is iBeacon technology to track who exactly is entering the gyms and push relevant information to members automatically without the need for further intervention from staff and personal trainers, who can spend more time working with customers. Ed Hutt argues that most members will have a smart phone and this is key to the development of a personal digital service for training, communication and for interactions between members.
Note from Amuse: While the concept is correct, our research and findings from discussion with other companies operating in fitness industry prove that there are many obstacles for the above assumption to be proving results:
- Many (if not majority) of customers tend to leave their mobile phones in the lockers.
- Many gym premises are located underground, hence no or little network signal is permitted. Companies need to invest in signal enforcement equipment.
- High interference of iBeacon current technology make it almost impossible to track physical devices located in a small proximity from each other. Lots of hope lays in introducing Bluetooth 5, which is designed to be more precise in sending signals.
4. UPS (Logistics)
UPS uses IoT sensors to reduce company’s negative impact on environment by monitoring mileage, optimum speed and overall engine health. The company’s aim is to reduce fuel consumption and improve its efficiency. Additionally, smart devices can learn driver behaviours and communicate data to fleet managers. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity ensure that all points in the logistics industry stay connected and that valuable data gets backed up to the cloud. Further implementation of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication also helps coordinate logistics events like pick-ups, drop-offs, and other points along the supply chain.
5. Johny Walker
With the help of printed electronics and an Internet of Things smart product platform, beverage giant Diageo has started equipping its Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky with smart bottles.
The smart bottle features a printed sensor tag made with Thinfilm’s OpenSense technology. It can detect the sealed and opened state of each bottle. OpenSense uses smartphones’ Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, allowing Diageo to send personalised communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones.
Diageo sees millions of searches about its brands occurring, and more than 50 percent of those searches happen through mobile within a few feet of the bottle on the shelf. Communicating with those consumers at the point of sale is a major push for Diageo. But Thinfilm’s technology goes even further, because it can detect the closed or opened state of the bottle. Diageo wants to continue communicating with the consumer once the bottle has been opened, but it wants that interaction to be responsive and engaging. Once the bottle is opened, it’s not about presenting sales information anymore.
That’s not all. The technology could help detect… counterfeiting. For instance, counterfeiting in the cosmetics world is a known problem. The product in a cosmetics container could be replaced with something that’s inferior or even dangerous. With technology like Thinfilm’s OpenSense one, companies can track their product through the supply chain and detect whether containers have been opened prior to sale (diluted alcohol or perfumes, anyone?). The technology can also help with diversion, where a product is intended for sale in one geography, but then diverted to another location where it can be sold for a higher price.
Smart labels can even be manufactured with temperature sensors that can detect if a product, like vaccines, goes beyond a set temperature range.
The possibilities of IoT use in enterprise cases are virtually endless. IoT technology is already reshaping and revolutionising the home industry, and it’s only a matter of time when enterprises become conscious of the results IoT can bring: yielding advances and new opportunities in customer service, cost optimisation, energy management and many more.