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Internet of things: Opportunities for intelligent device manufacturers

Posted: 25 Jun 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Things  Internet Protocol  Machine-to-Machine 

For instance, rapid uptake of a unique product configuration in a particular geographical market might signal a trend that can be marketed more explicitly and then leveraged for other regions. With the flexibility to run additional software on the intelligent device, there is also the option of selling loosely related products and services, developed by the same manufacturer or by partners. In essence, connected devices controlled by embedded software become highly flexible platforms delivering unprecedented value to customers and revenue to manufacturers.

Each of these benefits is a natural result when manufacturers combine the benefits of an embedded software model with the connectivity of the Internet. And they are often realized in the sequence presented here, as manufacturers ascend the maturity model.

And while the first two benefit points are most often associated with the "Internet of Things" or "M2M", the true magnitude and promise of this technology is realized as companies move up the maturity model (table) to the third and fourth benefit points. As shown in the table, this maturity model consists of the following goals: Stage 1- Product focus; Stage 2—Product and service focus; Stage 3—Solution management and Stage 4—Ecosystem management.

As shown, embedding licensing and entitlement management software is the enabling technology that helps intelligent device manufacturers make their products ready to leverage an all-pervasive Internet environment. Embedded licensing and entitlement software offers capabilities that allow manufacturers to personalise offerings without having to manufacture multiple models.

Simple changes to the embedded software in the device enables manufacturers to customize the product based on customer needs by managing how it behaves – i.e. by activating or deactivating features, setting device capacity and otherwise controlling the behavior of the product. This greatly simplifies product lifecycle management, and facilitates supply chain management.

The usage data provided by the embedded software offers insight into how customers are using hardware, what software they use most often and new services that could potentially be created. Further, product usage information enables manufacturers to make conscious choices pertaining to tradeoffs between cost and value of service when packaging products and services for customers and markets.

Table: Levels of maturity leveraging ES.

Already, there are sophisticated embedded licensing and entitlement management solutions available that enable intelligent device manufacturers to tailor their approach to product development and business to meet the demands of a highly competitive and connected marketplace.

In a world where the number of connected devices already outnumber people, anticipating an all-pervasive Internet landscape is reasonable. Intelligent device manufacturers must transition to the concept of the "Internet of Things" by thinking and acting like software companies, not simply product manufacturers. Key to their success will be their ability to understand and adopt a software-centric approach to manufacturing and selling hardware.

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