On the eve of disruption Photo courtesy of Telogis

On the eve of disruption

Dana Point, CA.  In his opening address at the Telogis Latitude 2014 meeting here this morning, company CEO, David Cozzens, shared a vision of business in the future from the Telogis perspective. The title of his speech tells it all: “The Age of Disruption: Using Connected Intelligence to Lead and Differentiate.”

In 2008, there were more “things” connected to the Internet than there were people on Earth, he told the audience. By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices of various kinds connected to the Internet, creating what has been dubbed the “Internet of Things.” Really, he added, it is the “Internet of Everything.”

For Telogis, Cozzens said, our Internet of Things is commercial assets, things that move, from cement mixers, to bulk haulers, to cranes, trucks and everything in between.  Accordingly, the company’s growing list of relationships with vehicle manufacturers-- including Manitowoc, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Volvo, Mack, Hino Trucks and Isuzu-- has been extremely important, he noted. “What you get from these relationships is much richer information,” Cozzens said. “Think about these vehicles like smart phones on wheels. [Then think beyond using these ‘smart phones’ as individual devices and think about all of them connected in a communications ‘ecosystem.’]”

According to Cozzens, this rapid growth in connectivity is being fueled in large part by customer expectations. Customers want more control, he said, and this is really disrupting various industries. Bookstores are vanishing, video stores are gone. And think about the taxi industry right now and the growth of on-demand, shared transportation through companies like Lyft and Uber.

Even retail giants are reinventing their businesses using connectivity to meet new customer demands and differentiate. Amazon and Walmart, for example, are moving toward “same day delivery,” he added. They are rethinking their entire operations to meet changes in customer expectations. In-flight food provider, LSG-Sky Chefs is using connectivity to improve service to help their airline customers improve their own on-time departure performance.

When we think about connectivity, we think about three main areas, Cozzens noted: connecting those within an organization, connecting organizations to their customers and connecting “the field.” Connecting those in the field (remote and mobile workers and assets) is the newest frontier and is growing in importance and focus.

Connecting people and assets in the field requires establishing metrics, setting goals, improving performance and motivating people to feel empowered and to take ownership of the results, he said.  This is the concept of “gamification.” “Metrics are motivating, Cozzens observed. “It is all about striving to be the best.”

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