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Why enterprises need connected products to connect with their future

The number of connected devices is projected to reach 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a striking five-fold increase in just a decade. For enterprises to harness Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation wave for lucrative new business models, flexible and agile connectivity is key.

Technician working with IoT prototype robot in connected factory.
Ruchi Verma 

Portfolio Manager

Category, topic & hashtags

The number of connected devices made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to reach 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a striking five-fold increase in just a decade. For enterprises to harness the digital transformation wave and create lucrative new business models, connectivity is key. It must be flexible and agile to meet the network performance required for a wide variety of evolving IoT use cases, applications, and device types.

But why do enterprises need connectivity?

Analysts at Gartner forecast revenue from endpoint electronics alone will total $389 by 2020. That’s just a slice of a very big and rapidly expanding market. Yet, even that only hints at the benefits enterprises stand to gain. From increased efficiency and competitiveness to product-shaping feedback and better customer experiences, connectivity is the path to the future for enterprises, as well the communications service providers (CSPs) who can take them there.

Improved operational efficiencies and uptime

With connectivity, you glean knowledge from a product post sale – and there’s a lot that devices “in the field” can tell us to improve operational cost-efficiency.

For instance, in the past, after selling a product, the most an enterprise could do to understand how the product was used was to have reps call customers directly.  They had little means of knowing for sure where their devices were being used or exactly how.

With connected products, enterprises gain a full and ongoing real-time view after deployment. Connectivity even makes it possible to compare one product to another and correlate usage. It’s the gift of intelligence that keeps on giving, and the data doesn’t just offer unique and timely insight, it makes the gathering process much more efficient. 

Based on this real-world data, enterprises can use predictive analytics to detect product failure before it occurs, too. For themselves and customers, this means reducing costly downtime. Take manufacturing, for instance: the health of devices sold to customers, or technology deployed in an enterprise’s own facilities, can be continually monitored and assessed.

This enables proactive maintenance that ensures everyone remains up-and-running and furthers an organization’s return on investments

Increase market share revenue streams

By knowing how a product is used, enterprises can explore greater up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. For example, a company that deals in office products can get details from a connected printer that could allow them to sell greater capacity cartridges, set up automatic resupply, engage in service contracts, maybe add items like paper to the mix. 

This not only increases revenue opportunities for the enterprise, it improves their customer’s experience. For example, if a coffee machine is connected, then data about how it is used can be leveraged. If users are primarily preparing lattes or cappuccinos, perhaps certain machines can be equipped with larger compartments to accommodate a greater volume of coffee beans, creating less work for the customer.

What seems like a minor tweak can be a differentiator and build loyalty. And the possibilities for doing so are endless.  

A step ahead of the competition

Information from connected devices can provide invaluable feedback for product design and development. Simply knowing how frequently a particular button is pushed can identify what features a target audience values most. When you’re looking down the road and trying to plan strategy, such data can be used to create product roadmaps that keep a company ahead of competitors.

What’s more, instead of selling hardware or a capital expenditure (CAPEX), connected products can introduce additional new business models. An enterprise might consider selling their devices or maintenance “as a service,” for example, offering a coffee machine that can track and bill based on consumption. Product as a service can be lucrative and is increasing in popularity.

An innovative business model can be a great way for a company to offer more options, stay a step ahead of competitors, control the market pace and more.

Pump it up

How can connectivity help shape the future?

Denmark’s Grundfos began manufacturing and shipping water pumps for local farmer in 1945. The company would evolve and become a leader in providing critical solutions to handle the entire water infrastructure for regions, cities and facilities across the globe.

Always on the forefront of technology, industrial IoT (IIoT) is now enabling Grundfos to continue innovating and further evolve the products and systems they sell.

Today, Grundfos makes roughly 17 million pumps a year. The devices have sensors in them that relay data on health and performance to the company. This intelligence enables them to anticipate when repair or replacement is needed, resulting in fewer unplanned outages, more timely and cost-effective maintenance, all while raising customer satisfaction.

To accomplish this, Grundfos worked with Telenor Connexion and Ericsson to create a robust and agile IoT ecosystem. Telenor Connexion, a service provider in our global IoT network providing IoT services through our IoT platform, deployed the management solution to track and control assets with a single, unified and intuitive device connection platform.

As a result, Grundfos’ continues to pump up their influence in water management. By joining the IoT ecosystem, they remain an innovation leader, hold true to their core values of providing ground-breaking technology, all while improving the lives of people and protecting the planet.

The future, it turns out, is all about having the right connections.

Grundfos is pumping up its future and you can, too!

Our global IoT network helps more than 4,500 enterprises connect and manage IoT devices around the world. We can do the same for you. Let’s talk.

Read the second part of this series

"Why should enterprises think about cellular connections?"

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