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Interview

Building Business from Data

The data from IoT devices creates new business opportunities.

By Tom Haunert

May/June 2018

IoT may still qualify as emerging technology, but enterprise IoT is now a part of many business strategies, plans, proof-of-concept projects, and more. Oracle Magazine caught up with Harish Gaur, senior director, product management, Internet of Things at Oracle, to talk about the state of enterprise IoT, business strategies and use cases, Oracle’s latest IoT services, and more.

Oracle Magazine: What is the state of IoT in the enterprise?

Gaur: Most companies I speak to have some sort of an enterprise IoT initiative in their strategic roadmap, and we are starting to see a lot more IoT deployment.

We are starting to see patterns emerge, patterns of why companies are using IoT. The patterns I see bubble up in every use case focus on how to improve the existing way of doing business.

If I am servicing an asset, for example, how do I do improve those processes? We call that pattern improving existing operations.

We are telling customers don’t start with your sensors and don’t start with your devices.”

The second pattern is about gaining visibility into what’s going on in real time. Many businesses just want to understand where an asset is at the current point in time or what the health of a fleet is at the current point in time.

The third pattern is about businesses getting very creative and, as a result, enabling new models. They start with the goal of “Hey, I want to monitor my smart factory” or “I want to monitor my fleet,” but then they realize they can do more with all the data they are getting from those enterprise assets.

Oracle Magazine: How do businesses get started with IoT projects? And what are some typical industrial or enterprise IoT use cases?

Gaur: We are telling customers don’t start with your sensors and don’t start with your devices. Instead, we tell them to start with the KPI [key performance indicator] that they want to monitor and improve. And from there, they can identify the data they would need in order to monitor that KPI, whether that data comes from an ERP [enterprise resource planning] system, a manufacturing plant, a maintenance system, or a type of asset or device. And once they identify the datasources, then they can start capturing all the data from those sources.

I talked about three IoT patterns we’re starting to see: improving operations, improving visibility, and enabling new business models. Let me give you some use case examples.

Improving the service operations could include monitoring the location of a pallet, the health of the HVAC system based on the temperature data, or the location and health of any other asset. Location- and health-based tracking are critical in manufacturing, shipping, workplace safety, plant safety, and more. With the tracking information, businesses can track and take actions to prevent accidents, make deliveries faster, save time, and more.

Improving visibility is especially important for smart factories. Factories have been able to get end-of-shift visibility into what just happened, but real-time visibility, during the shift, is ideal. With smart factories and IoT-based real-time visibility, management at smart factories can see that the production devices are not going to meet a production goal, look at the health and output of each and every device on the production line, and address it during the shift.

Enabling business models happens when companies gather, manage, and report on their IoT data and see opportunities to do more with what they’ve built for themselves. After reporting on the location and health of assets and improving visibility into their operations, they can offer those same services via dashboards companywide or as services to sell to other companies. Collected IoT data can show the location utilization of office space, conference facilities, factory floors, and more to show companies whether it’s time to invest in more factory or office space, sublet, and so on.

Oracle Magazine: What are the Oracle solutions for IoT?

Enabling business models happens when companies gather, manage, and report on their IoT data and see opportunities to do more with what they’ve built for themselves.”

Gaur: For PaaS, there’s Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise. It provides out-of-the-box integrations with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, Oracle Integration Cloud Service, and Oracle Big Data Cloud Service, and we are adding more and more integrations. Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise also includes a REST-based API interface, so companies that want to integrate with their own custom applications can do so by using the REST API.

Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise also provides and supports machine learning for things such as predictive analytics, for example, as well as the concept of a digital twin, which is a digital representation of a physical device. For example, the digital twin of a device can be used by a technician wearing VR [virtual reality] glasses to train for a repair procedure before repairing the physical device.

I believe chatbots and IoT are coming together, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise supports that. Chatbots are the conversation UI for IoT.

For SaaS, Oracle now offers five IoT SaaS applications, all built on Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise. Oracle Internet of Things Asset Monitoring Cloud Service delivers real-time insights from connected assets; Oracle Internet of Things Production Monitoring Cloud provides best-in-class production monitoring for factories, products, and machines; Oracle Internet of Things Fleet Monitoring Cloud delivers predictive analytics for connected vehicles to provide service and avoid downtime; Oracle Internet of Things Connected Worker Cloud Service ensures worker health and safety by providing real-time visibility into worker health, location, and work environments; and Oracle Internet of Things Service Monitoring for Connected Assets Cloud supports proactive customer service and a differentiated service experience.

Next Steps

LEARN more about Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise.

LEARN more about Oracle Internet of Things applications.

TRY Oracle Internet of Things cloud services.

Photography by Bob Adler/The Verbatim Agency