myDevices IoT Platform, Served with Side of Services
Today, myDevices became the latest developer to offer enterprises an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, differentiating its software via the format and heavy emphasis on professional services.
MyDevices' self-named IoT as a Service platform features a consumer facing front-end that includes data collection, analysis, and engagement tools at the back-end, according to the developer. As a result, enterprises can evolve products and services based on data they collect, market directly to customers, and enhance customer service, myDevices said. The IoT service is device-, sensor-, and protocol-agnostic, according to the vendor.
"At the end of the day there will be IoT standards but they will evolve, just like every other standard," said CEO Kevin Bromber, in an interview. "Our customers don't care about standards. They just want their problems to be solved."
Interest in IoT is heavy – and growing rapidly, he said. But myDevices quickly realized enterprises had many questions about how and when to use IoT, where these solutions fit into business operations, and how they could turn terabytes or petabytes of data into actionable information, he said. As a result, myDevices determined professional services had to play a major pre-sales role, said Bromber.
"A platform, in and of itself, doesn't solve the problem for a lot of companies that are out there. [One big] problem is meeting with companies and not overwhelming them and learning what the problem is they're trying to solve," he said. "It's fine to have a platform, but to expect someone to take that over and do the work themselves is probably unrealistic. When I first started out three years ago, the dream was maybe we'd have this out of the box. Now we've had this industry experience, I don't think that is possible."
The reason? IoT demands customization, depending on the enterprise's industry, level of connectivity, and business needs, said Bromber. To help guide a prospect's investment, myDevices typically delivers a complementary proof-of-concept in its request for proposal after a consultation with a viable potential customer, he said.
"Instead of extending the consultation process too long, we say let's start with what we know… then we get a lot more constructive. I think IoT needs to be a lot more agile and faster than a typical enterprise sale," Bromber said. "It's important that we do that. As far as the ongoing relationship and what that deal looks like, it can be a flat annual license. It can be a per-unit deal. It depends on their business model and who they're selling to, so that is fairly custom."
In some cases, organizations are simply adding automation or data-collection to existing practices; a business that provides a water-softening service, for example, simply needs to add sensors and related software to automate once-manual tasks, he said. But for many more businesses, IoT is a game-changer that creates new revenue opportunities or changes processes, and in these instances professional services are a vital step for the often many departments involved, Bromber added.
"If you're building a bridge and all you need is the last plank, then building a bridge is easy," he said. "If you're building a bridge from the beginning a lot of time is spent at the beginning, trying to understand and providing [clients] with a proof of concepts."
Today, components of myDevices' middleware ship on more than 200 million connected devices, according to the developer, and partnerships will play a growing role in its growth. Since myDevices integrates Tableau into its back-end, the platform provides customers with business intelligence and although the ISV conducts some BI and predictive analytics development internally, it expects to team up with experts in those fields in the future, said Bromber.