What is IoT and how can it help your business?

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Learn more from Michelle Sharp, our ex-Head of IoT

Businesses are using IoT to better manage their operations and drive greater efficiencies. Read more below from Michelle Sharp, our exHead of IoT, or get in touch with us to talk about how IoT can help your business.

Around the world, businesses of all sizes are being transformed by the Internet of Things (IoT)

Michelle Sharp (Head of IoT) Michelle Sharp (Head of IoT)

Michelle Sharp, ex-Head of IoT

And it’s easy to see why. IoT connects products, places and processes that communicate over the internet with each other and people.

1. A lot people aren’t familiar with IoT, can you explain what this is and give an everyday example?

Yes of course. Currently, IoT (Internet of Things) is the trendy term being widely used however it used to be called Machine-to-Machine. IoT is what we’d describe as true information technology. It gives humans real-time information to predict, prescribe and prevent an event – basically giving machines a voice. Examples range from using your voice to turn your lights on at home to managing a vineyard with smart weather and moisture sensors.

2. What do you think are the benefits of IoT for both small businesses and larger organisations?

Businesses of all sizes experience inefficiencies that come from a combination of human interaction and a lack of visibility across all operations. IoT can help with these inefficiencies by anticipating outages, monitoring performance, spotting risks, identifying trends or addressing bottlenecks.

Business inefficiencies can take weeks, months or even years to resolve. With IoT, businesses can capture data and extract value in real-time to remove these inefficiencies. This allows businesses to improve efficiency, save time and increase customer engagement and loyalty.

Take for example, a small electricity business with 5 employees out and about on the job. If a customer calls with an urgent job, the main office can check an app and see where all their employees are and who is closest in terms of location or timing. Rather than calling each employee individually and checking in, they can give an instant response, providing a better customer experience and saving time and petrol by getting the right person to the job on time.

If we’re looking at larger scale examples, some airports now have sensors inside the concrete of the runaway, so that if there’s ever a natural disaster, they can figure out within 30 seconds if there’s any damage to the runway.

3. What are your thoughts around IoT in the current environment?

2020 has been a challenging year and has made businesses take a step back and re-evaluate the way they operate.

IoT has huge potential to help solve problems around providing contactless solutions, tracking and tracing, and having a connected supply chain. COVID-19 has also brought regulation and health and safety to the forefront of business minds. With an IoT solution, businesses can track their employees on the go and minimise the need for them to be out and about. They can also track where their devices are and utilise this information for logistics and planning rather than having someone manually collect this data.

According to the recent IDC New Zealand research, prior to COVID-19 the majority (74.5%) of businesses had an IoT budget and in August, 40% of businesses said they will increase spend on IoT solutions. In another independent study ‘The IoT Spotlight’ by Savanta, over 1600 global businesses were surveyed, with findings that 84% of the companies felt IoT had ensured business continuity for them during the pandemic.

4. Why should Kiwi businesses choose Vodafone as their IoT partner of choice?

Vodafone has over 2 million local and 100 million global IoT connections providing critical insights to our customers every day. This is managed and supported by both our 2G to 5G mobile network and our dedicated IoT networks, NB-IoT and CAT-M.

Along with great connectivity, we also provide end-to-end IoT solutions, such as Vodafone Asset Management. Vodafone Asset Management has everything businesses need in one package to track, monitor or optimise your valuable physical assets.

Vodafone also offers more bespoke IoT solutions such as IoT enablement services to fast-track your IoT initiatives and we can also collaborate to create new IoT solutions and unlock new market opportunities and revenue streams.

5. Can you tell us more about Asset Management?

Asset Management is Vodafone New Zealand’s first end-to-end IoT solution. It helps businesses of any size track, monitor and optimise their physical assets.

As a full end-to-end solution in one package, customers can come to us as their one supplier with one bill. We provide everything; the network for IoT connectivity, the hardware for customer assets and the software for tracking the hardware. Overall, it’s hassle-free, easy to deploy and easy to manage.

There are a number of benefits to Asset Management; theft prevention, asset location, improved asset utilisation, regulation compliance and cost and time savings are just a few to name. It’s also super helpful in any industry. We’ve seen it being used in construction, hire & rental, agriculture, and waste and fleet management.

For example, an outdoor adventure business with multiple kayaks or quad bikes needs a way to ensure both their customers and employees are safe and have a better overall customer experience. They can attach a GPS tracker device to their kayak or quad bike and these would have pre-installed SIMs, batteries and IoT connectivity. The business is then able to track their valuable assets, create geo-fencing around them, activate recovery mode in case of theft and run reports on the Asset Management application platform in real-time. This can also be done on-the-go using a mobile or tablet.

Check out the video below for more info on Vodafone Asset Management.

Vodafone Asset Managment Video thumbnail
Vodafone Asset Managment Video thumbnail

Learn about Vodafone Asset Management

Check out this short video about Vodafone Asset Management, our end-to-end IoT solution for your business. Track anything that moves & monitor everything that shouldn't with Vodafone Asset Management.

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