On the 200th episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Ryan Chacon is joined by two guests, Eric Conn, CEO and Co-Founder of Leverege, and Calum McClelland, COO of Leverege, to discuss the current state of IoT. In the episode, Eric and Calum also talk about how the market conditions have affected the industry and the challenges companies face. The podcast is wrapped up with a high-level discussion on where the industry is headed and information on Leverege’s IoT playbook.
The Leverege playbook is a free guide developed to be a roadmap for success for any IoT solution provider. It distills years of hands-on experience in helping companies navigate the complex world of IoT, develop and sell large-scale IoT solutions, and launch new data-driven businesses. Access the playbook.
Calum is fascinated by philosophy, technology, and their intersection, with a deep optimism for how human choices and technological innovation can be combined to create a better future. Calum is currently COO of Leverege, an Internet of Things (IoT) applications development platform.
Interested in connecting with Eric and Calum? Reach out on Linkedin!
Leverege’s mission is to enable and accelerate the digital transformation of all organizations, amplifying their human potential by providing software products and managed services that help them successfully develop and deploy IoT-enabled enterprise asset management solutions. Industry leaders around the globe trust Leverege to launch innovative IoT-enabled asset management applications to optimize operations, increase revenue, and delight customers.
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(02:26) Introduction to Eric, Calum, & Leverege
(06:59) Use cases of Leverege
(10:34) Current state of IoT
(16:51) Market conditions
(26:06) Challenges in IoT
(36:13) What is an IoT solution?
(46:07) Scaling a solution
(57:34) Where is the industry headed
(01:09:05) How to learn more
– [Narrator] You are listening to the IoT For All Media Network.
– [Ryan] Hello, everyone. And welcome to episode 200 of the IoT For All Podcast. The number one publication and resource for IoT. I’m your host Ryan Chacon. If you are watching this on YouTube, please like the video, subscribe to the channel. If you’re listening to this podcast on a podcast directory somewhere, please subscribe so you get the latest episodes as soon as they become available. So today, a big deal. This is episode 200 of the the IoT For All Podcast. We have two fantastic guests. We have Eric Conn, CEO and Co-Founder of Leverege. and Calum McClelland, the COO of Leverege here to talk about some very exciting stuff. Just to give you a quick overview of Leverege. If you are unfamiliar, they are a company that is focused on enabling and accelerating digital transformation for all organizations, amplifying human potential by providing software products and managed services that help them successfully develop and deploy IoT enabled enterprise, asset management solutions. They work with tons of companies all over the industry and around the globe even that trust Leverege to build innovative IoT enabled asset managed applications to optimize operations, increase revenue, and just kind of make everyone happy. So today’s episode, very interesting, we like to do this every, at least once a year, maybe twice a year, depending on how things are going, but this is the State of IoT. We are going to talk about the overview of the current state of the industry, headwinds and tailwinds that are influencing the industry. What the outlook looks like on the industry. We talk about kind of just the general challenges, people face when it comes to IoT. Why is often perceived as a hard thing to do, well, but we kind of debunk a lot of that. We talk about how to successfully build and sell IoT solutions. And then we also break down the five stages of the IoT solution journey from the Leverege point of view, they have an IoT Playbook that they’re putting out that is going to be free for everybody to download and digest then. So it’s very, very cool conversation. And then we wrap up by talking about where the industry is heading, general discussion kind of around that, and just the general opportunity that companies have in front of them if they’re to consider adopting IoT. And why they should really care. So all in all very, very good conversation. I know this episode is a little bit longer than normal, but I promise you the value you’re gonna get outta listening to is well worth the time. So please, please enjoy this episode, which I know you will. And without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the IoT For All Podcast.
– [Ryan] Welcome Eric and Calum the IoT For All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.
– [Eric] Hey Ryan. Nice to be here.
– [Ryan] Yeah, nice to have you both. I’m very excited about this conversation. This is episode 200, so it’s a very momentous occasion for the podcast. It’s happened a lot faster than we thought. I know Eric you were here for episode 100 and that was something that then we started to increase to two per week and it got to 200 rather quickly. So it’s great to have you back and Calum, I know you were even on the podcast in very early days, kind of as part of it and now it’s great to have you back here.
– [Eric] Yeah, it’s great to see how far you’ve come personally with this podcast as well. I remember when you did your first episode and we’re like, “Oh, I wonder if the audience is gonna like this new format and something new,” we’re really focusing on written content. And now the podcast, here’s a 200th episode. You have a YouTube channel look getting into video a lot more multimedia stuff. It’s really cool to see, not only how far IoT For All has come, but that the audience is really thirsty for this type of information and can consume it in multiple ways now. Because as we will find out when we discuss this, IoT is complex, it’s hard and there’s a lot of education needed for anyone to be successful in it.
– [Ryan] Yeah, I think when we started IoT For All, we’re very lucky to time it in a good spot with relation to the IoT industry as a whole, being very technical at the time, this is about six years ago now. Very technical at the time most content was very dense, engineered engineer type focused stuff. So we were able to kind of bring a different vantage point into that. We’re talking more in layman terms, helping non-technical people understand and just generally contribute to the whole community in helping adoption. Hopefully increase, which is a topic we’ll talk about today. But yeah, it’s been a really cool journey and I’m very excited about kind of this conversation, ’cause I think the topic we wanna talk about here is very relevant and I think a lot of people find a lot of value out of it.
– [Eric] Yeah.
– [Ryan] So first thing I wanna do for those of our audience who may not be as familiar with either of you. I’d love if you both, could kind of just quickly introduce yourself. Calum, I’ll throw it over to you first. And then Eric, when, when you do an introduction, if you wouldn’t mind then jumping into Leverege a bit and talking about what the company does and the role you all play in IoT.
– [Calum] Sure. So my name’s Calum McClelland. I’m the COO of Leverege. Eric will share more about Leverege and what we do, but generally I’m very interested in philosophy, technology, the intersections that do. So day-to-day, actively building in IoT is part of Leverege. But it’ll be fun to take a step back and look at the state of IoT as a whole. Where are things going? What does it all mean? So excited to talk about that.
– [Eric] Yeah, and I’m Eric Conn, I’m the CEO and Co-founder of Leverege. Yep, I’ve been in this business now for eight years. We started in 2014. We’re coming up on our eighth year anniversary, actually gonna have, we switched to a remote first company in right as a pandemic started. And it’s been a great thing for us. And we’re having our first all hands, sort of company get together in a couple weeks where we’re gonna meet a lot of the people we’ve never met before in person we’re flying in teams from all out of the country and across the country to meet it in our headquarters in DC. Very excited about that. What Leverege does is we we’re a software company, first and foremost, but we also have a lot of systems engineering and experience at IoT to help enterprises primarily whether directly for themselves or indirectly, if they wanna build solutions and sell them to their customers. We help them on the software side of things with an enablement platform or what we call the Leverege IoT Stack, which is a collection of software that just makes IoT a little simpler, a little faster, a little more cost effective on the software side. And then we enable hardware and connectivity to connect in, ’cause ultimately IoT is about moving data from the physical world into the digital world, whether it’s edge or cloud and then making that data actionable and presenting it to end users so they can do something in their business primarily. We tend to focus primarily on enterprise as I mentioned, don’t do anything direct to consumer ourselves, but we have customers that do have products that connected products that do interface directly with consumers. But we as a business are pretty much B2B or B2B2B.
– [Ryan] Fantastic, and one thing that’s usually good for audience to kind of connect everything you mentioned about the company is, if you could share any real life use cases and applications of the technology in the real world, solving a business problem that may be good to kind of showcase how things kind of work together.
– [Eric] Yeah, I’ll give two quick examples that one of them should be anyone that’s a boater out there. You know your boat is an expensive asset that’s in water, which can be very dangerous in terms of flooding or all kinds of other bad things happen around water. So we have a company that was recently purchased by Yamaha called Siren Marine, longtime customer of ours. And they’ve essentially focused on the connected boat and they’ve adopted our platform and technology stack to essentially create, they created advice that ties into every subsystem on a boat, whether it be build, security, cameras positioned, everything that you might want to know about your boat. You can basically get all that information in the palm of your hands on a native app. It works across the entire globe. So it has both cellular and satellite connectivity. So you can even take it out into the open ocean. You still have connectivity, but essentially provides you real time, 24/7 access to the state of your boat, which is really, really valuable to pretty much everyone. So that’s one example of a customer. That’s kind of the consumer, they’re selling to consumers, but we’re selling to them as a business. Another example, would be something like Manheim Auto Auctions. So this is more of an enterprise type of relationship. They also used via subsidiary called Cox2M, which is part of Cox Communications. They standardized on our stack as well. And their problem that they wanted to solve was unique to auto auctions, where they have parking lots with thousands, if not tens of thousands of cars spread out over a very large area. And when they want to orchestrate an auction, they need to go grab, say 2000, 3000 cars and get them into these various lanes in certain order. And that orchestration of all those vehicles is very, very difficult if you try to do it manually, you have hundreds of people running around on a lot, trying to find specific vehicles based on VINs and other sort of information that’s not easily discoverable from a distance. So we worked with them, they built the hardware, these very low cost and long battery life GPS trackers that would be placed inside the vehicles. And then they could use walking directions on a native app. They could use on their desktop. They could see all of their cars, where they are. Are they in the right line? And that’s saving Manheim millions and millions of dollars a year, just being able to do that because now their auction run much more effectively on time and the customers are happier. They’re happier. And it’s created new jobs actually as well, that are higher order jobs, instead of just people wandering around on the lots, somewhat aimlessly looking for cars that have no license plates and they’re literally packed in very, very tightly. So that’s a very, it sounds like a relatively rudimentary problem to solve, but it has huge value to that customer.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Yeah, thanks for sharing kind of those use cases. It’s always good to connect it all and show kind of how it’s being used in the real world. So what I wanted to do is kind of transition into a topic that we try to do each like each hundred episodes or so, trying to talk about what’s going on in the space, try to at least once a year, and this is perfectly timed, I think with episode 200. And I wanna talk about the state of IoT, the state of the in internet of things industry a bit. And I wanted to pass it or have Eric, if you could kind of kick us off and talk a little bit about what, like give us an overview of the current state of the market and kind of how you view it and kind of what you see happening. That’s important for our audience to really think about and understand just from a higher level.
– [Eric] Yeah, absolutely. I view IoT and digital transformation as very closely related. IoT, I kind of look at it as the, I call it the technological substrate of digital transformation. So it’s really focused on the technologies that enable digital transformation, but digital transformation is the main theme and what we’ve been seeing. It’s a slow inexorable type of thing, just like the internet was, right? There can be a lot of hype about it. There can be a lot of people that see the promise of it, but the reality is you’re dealing with the physical world, coupling it with the digital world. It’s very similar to what Mark Zuckerberg is trying to do with Meta now and the metaverse. So they’re all very closely related. And as Isaac Newton once said, “We’re all standing on the shoulder of giants.” So what is basically doing, is standing on the shoulder of all the things, all the technology innovations, whether it be batteries, low cost sensors, just sensing in general, cloud computing, edge computing, AI, ML, it basically takes all of that, brings it all together to create a solution that is end to end has hardware, connectivity, software, and then ultimately value in data that can be presented to multiple constituents. It could be individual consumers. As in the boating application, I can see what’s happening with my boat, or it could be a service center that’s maybe just tracking some service on behalf of a customer and they wanna make it more efficient operationally. So there’s a lot of different use cases, but ultimately you’re tying it all together. And so IoT, some people wonder is it all hype? Is it really just a buzzword that will go away? We firmly believe that is not true. Like a lot of things that are kind of groundbreaking. They take time. There’s a lot of pieces to it beyond the technology that are really, really vital to making a use case or an application successful in any market. So in addition to the technology just working reliably, you also have to have discipline around the financial aspects of it. What is the value you’re providing? So you can do technology, but just doing it for technology’s sake is not going to make a product. It has to have provide value that a customer is willing to pay for. So the cost relative to value, there must be a delta there or otherwise it won’t scale. You can do pilots and test things out. So this digital transformation is ongoing. It’s not going to stop just like it has in stopped for anything else. And IoT is just another sort of roll up of a whole bunch of technologies that are enabling new things to be done. You can look back and say, “Look at Amazon today versus Amazon 20 years ago, look at Netflix today versus Netflix 20 years ago.” Totally different companies, totally different markets, different consumers experiences, but yet they transformed entire industries and that’s exactly IoT does. It will transform industries. It’ll transform the way consumers view products and services, but it is difficult. It does require discipline to get there. And there’ll be a lot of failures along the way, just like in anything that’s new. Every invention, the Wright brothers, didn’t just design the perfect aircraft and fly it the first time, right? There was many, many times that’s the way science kind of works and IoT is exactly the same way. So we’re very bullish on IoT. We as a company have been growing nonstop since we started and we see that across the industry, but it is something that you can’t take lightly.
– [Ryan] Let me ask you. Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry.
– [Calum] Yeah, if I can just add something, regarding kind of the size of the opportunity that we see in front of us and Eric touched on a lot of this, but a question you might ask is like, all right, how big is the market for IoT? What is the size of this opportunity? And one way that I think about it is IoT is about bringing the physical world online. So we started with all the people on the planet. There’s now I think six and a half billion people who have smartphones, which is crazy. There’s like seven and a half billion. That’s only a billion people that don’t have smartphones. Many of them might be children. And so back in the 1940s, Thomas Watson, who was president of IBM at the time had said something like, “Yeah, I only see a market for five computers in the world.” Which is funny to hear that today, knowing that there are six and a half billion computers in people’s pockets. But at the time was that so crazy to think when they were room sized computers that cost millions of dollars and are really hard to use and not that powerful. Not, but what was not seen is this progress of as things get easier to use, smaller, cheaper, you can open up all of the use cases. And so what we’ve done over the past, especially the past like three decades is essentially brought every human online. We’ve connected every human to the digital world that we’ve built. The next wave is connecting all the things ’cause humans matter most we care most about people in our lives.
– But there’s a lot of things that are important too, whether it’s your boat or for enterprises, the assets that they have. And so that’s what IoT’s about, now, where is the physical limit of that? Is it literally everything we’re gonna connect? I’m not sure, but we are just in the early stages of this wave that is inexorable. It’s going to happen. There’s a lot of challenges, they’re being figured out. And so, as Eric said, we’re really bullish on IoT and it’s opportunity for businesses that are building solutions to sell themselves as opportunities, but also companies that are adopting it because digital transformation is a transformation. And it can fundamentally transform the capabilities of businesses and how they do their work, how they deliver to their customers, how they become more efficient as an organization.
– [Ryan] That, yeah, that’s fantastic. I like that breakdown. Eric, I wanted to ask you as a follow up to kinda what you were saying earlier. Are there any current kind of market conditions? I mean, we just came outta COVID, inflation is a hot topic. Supply chain is a hot topic. How are all of these different market conditions influencing the IoT industry or at least how should our audience be thinking about how they play a role, whether they’re positive things that are influencing the market or negative things that are influencing the market. How do you kind of see that playing a role in the current state of the market right now?
– [Eric] Yeah, absolutely, when we look at it at a macro level, we see greater tailwinds than headwinds overall net, but there are definitely headwinds as well as tailwinds as affecting the industry. And some of them are relatively unique. So one of the things that we all went through, for the first time, unless you’re a hundred years old is a pandemic, right? And that had some very interesting implications, psychologically and with the way work is done across the world. So in March of 2020, we’re like most companies at that time, we had offices, everyone came into the office. That’s how work was done. All of a sudden everyone needed to work from home, safety first, we weren’t sure about how the virus was even communicated between people and so everything became remote. Well, what that exposed is if you’re going to be remote, you can’t operate as I like to say, you can’t go to the data. You have to bring the data to you. So this whole concept of physical remoteness, got into everyone’s minds of how important it is to be able to operate anything, including your business or your personal life remotely. How do you do that? Well, you need new tools. You need connectivity, you need devices. You need all of this infrastructure to be able to do that effectively. That same thought process is translated into business thinking as well. And this is the huge tailwind. I think the IoT or digital transformation industry in general is experiencing is everyone is now realizing, “Hey, I actually can do this one.” You can actually be remote and operate a business. And consumers are expecting to be able to have touch less experiences and have things pushed to them. Whether it’s if you’re taking your car in for a service, you don’t want to have to just show up, not know if you have an appointment, not know how long you’ll be there. You want to be able to have an Uber-like experience for everything, so you can plot your life separately from whatever the service is. So this whole tying together and the mental model breakdown, which COVID forced of, we can’t do things the way we used to has really gotten people to think about how do we transform so that we can be more efficient, can do things remotely. And then you layer on recently, coming outta COVID. So that thought process is already there. You have many, many companies are just switching to remote first, just like we did and finding out, hey, in some cases it actually works better. There are certain instances where being in person matter and are more efficient or just socially better. But generally you can do quite well. Especially as a software company like us, working remotely, you have access to global talent. You have access to 24 hour time zones now because you can have people everywhere. So there’s a built in efficiency there, you need to manage it of course it’s different, but that type of efficiency. And it coupled with a lot of sort of traditional brick and mortar companies or physical operations companies they saw during the stock market run up after the pandemic, or while the pandemic goes underway. All the big tech companies, their stock didn’t go down. It went way up. And why was that? Because they were the beneficiaries of remote posture, right? They had automated so many things that they were able to actually do them safely and more efficiently, and they got larger market share. So the combination of the mental model saying that, “Hey, we can do things remotely all the way at the executive level of every large company in the world.” In concert with, “Hey, these technology companies are actually set up really well to survive in this remote world and thrive,” has made everyone sort of at the executive level, decision maker level say, “Wow, we really need to do this. This is not something that’s a nice to have. It’s a must have, if we wanna compete, if we wanna keep, put our workers in safe conditions,” for all many, many reasons, this is something that you have to do. Now those are the huge tailwinds. And I think they will predominate over the time. But in the short term, pandemic also calls the headwinds, which is as everyone’s probably read supply chain, that’s leading to inflation, but I believe that those things are relatively transitory in nature compared to the longer tailwinds. So we’re already starting to see through our partners because we’re not a hardware company. So we haven’t had directly any supply chain issues for our company, but our partners who make hardware and build things in the real world, they’ve certainly seen pricing increases, lack of availability. But that’s already starting to ease. We’re already seeing that happening, early signs of inventory levels coming back, things like that. So we think by 2023, a lot of that noise and some of those inflationary pressures will have relaxed and now those tailwinds will predominate.
– [Ryan] Absolutely, yeah. We’ve through a lot of the conversations I’ve had on here. There’s been a lot of optimism coming outta COVID, even with the talks of inflation, talks about supply chain issues with just a growing need for companies to better prepare themselves for other situations that may come up in the future. Like another pandemic, whether that’s shifting in use case priority within organizations, or just realizing that the value IoT provides where it’s something that helps improve efficiencies, helps you save money, potentially even make money through new business lines and revenue kind of product offerings that you can create with this has really driven demand for a lot of these organizations who maybe IoT might have been further down on their list, but that the pandemic kind of actually forced them to think a little bit differently about things. And it’s been really interesting to kind of see that growth.
– [Calum] Yeah, if I can add some other tailwinds as well, the things Eric described, a lot of those things have been happening over, especially over the past few years of the pandemic, but there’s also larger tailwinds that have been playing out over the last decade or two decades now. And a lot of that’s related to cost of components, all the things that make up an IoT solution. So if you generically think of an it solution as having four layers to it, the devices, the things that are actually out in the world, collecting data, sensing things, or perhaps performing actions some way in which they’re communicating typically wirelessly. So the wireless network be that second layer, third layer, there’s the infrastructure layer, the compute layer. So actually ingesting that data, storing it often in the cloud, it could be on-prem. And then finally the application layer, which is how are you actually making this useful to people in their day-to-day, if they’re part of the organization. And every one of these layers, there are innovations that are happening, that are bringing down the costs and making all these things easier to use. So at the device level, battery and sensor technology has been a big beneficiary, especially of the smartphone revolution over the past decade and a half. So bringing down the costs, increasing availability of components that can feed into the devices, public and private wireless network rollouts, there’s a lot of options. And so those just continue to be ongoing, lower compute and storage costs, especially as cloud is a big part of digital transformation, and that’s still, it’s a massive industry already, but still in the early stages that’s bringing down costs. And then we like to thank for Leverege, having really good application development platforms, which is what we do is also enabling the overall costs to come down while the ease of use goes up. And this ties into what I was saying before with looking at mainframe computers, now 80 years ago, the reason there weren’t that many is ’cause they were really expensive, really hard to use, really big. What we’re seeing in IoT is that things are getting less expensive, smaller, and easier to use and that’s just increasing adoption. So that’s another, just big tailwind that’s been playing out over the past few decades now.
– [Ryan] And Calum let me ask you since through each of those kind of periods of time and new technology and advances in technology, there’s always these challenges that companies have to overcome in order and or the industry has to overcome in order to see adoption really take off. Can you talk about some of the challenges that you all see the market really facing, especially when it comes to the adoption. Obviously adoption takes time. There’s a lot of moving pieces. There’s some view parts of it as more complex than others, different companies you have to work with. Not everybody does everything for to bring an IoT solution to market so at the end of the day, IoT is not the easiest thing to implement. So can you talk about just from your perspective, what are the biggest challenges in this space and kind of how companies can think about overcoming them and maybe even showcase why some of these challenges are, maybe not as big a challenges as they used to be.
– [Calum] Yeah, yeah, I’ll look at this through two lenses. So one’s kind of zooming out macro, what are some of the larger challenges? And then I’ll focus in on if you’re a company that is trying to build IoT solutions, what are some of the challenges there? So kinda at the macro level, I mean, education’s a big part of it, of what is this thing that we’re talking about? And that’s a big reason that IoT For All was founded in the first place, which is to help with this education of what is this thing we’re actually talking about? I mean, IoT is I find it about the very helpful term and sometimes a term that can be counterproductive. And what I mean by that is that it’s helpful in the sense that it captures this huge wave that’s happening, which is internet of things. We’re bringing things online. Like I was saying before, we’ve brought basically all the people online now we’re bringing all the things online in the world that we care about.
– [Calum] And so it’s very helpful as a term to capture that general trend where it can become counterproductive is that there are many different flavors of IoT within this broad umbrella that are actually quite different. ‘Cause they might have very different technologies required to enable them. They might be solving very different problems and they’re all classified as IoT. And yet as an organization thinking, do I wanna do IoT? What does that mean? What are the real use cases here? So I think generally that has been improving immensely as collectively the industry, the ecosystems are figuring out where are these pockets? Where are the boundaries between them? How do you better articulate the value proposition, combined with some of these tailwinds that Eric mentioned where there’s a more recognized need for digital transformation, for the ability to perform operations remotely, to bring physical operations online. So I think a lot of that is being solved with organizations like IoT For All helping to educate the market, the market itself, just getting better at articulating what are the value propositions? What are we actually doing here? And a growing recognition of how important this is for all businesses as they plan for their future. So that’s kinda a macro thing. That’s been a challenge, but is being solved, looking more focused on organizations that are adopting IoT or building IoT solutions. Eric touched on this earlier, but what something we think about, is I think about this Venn diagram. If you imagine these three circles of the operational considerations, the technical considerations, and then the financial considerations, you need to find the bullseye in the middle of all three of those. The intersection of all three of these circles of this venn diagram that I’m imagining. And the challenge is that each of those pulls in different directions. And so how do you make the appropriate trade offs? So what I mean, what do I mean when I say technical, operational, financial? Technical is the features and capabilities of the overall IoT solution. What are you sensing? And what kind of data are you collecting? Are you collecting location data? If so, how? Are you using GPS? Are you doing indoor location? Are you collecting temperature data? What data are you collecting? How frequently are you collecting it? How is this being presented to users? What kinds of operations might you be performing on that data? All of these are the technical requirements of the solution. The financial considerations are how expensive is this? So how is it expensive to develop upfront? ‘Cause if you’re developing a new IoT solution, you need to identify the right devices, the right network, rarely does a company do all of them. So you’re gonna work with partners or vendors to provide some of these components.
– [Calum] But how costly is it to stitch all these together up front and then crucially, how important is this to deliver on an ongoing basis? ‘Cause there are ongoing costs. There’s the cost of the devices, of course, but there also might be a cellular subscription. You’re paying to the network to be able to wirelessly communicate, a cloud bill, to run your infrastructure on an ongoing basis. All of these things are ongoing costs you need to support. And if it’s too expensive, then customers aren’t going to be willing to pay or you’re not gonna make money. One of the two. So you really need to consider the financial consideration so that it’s at a price point, customers are willing to pay for. It gives them enough value that it’s worth it for the money while being inexpensive enough that you can make some margin, some profit on it. Because if either of those things isn’t true, customers aren’t willing to pay or you’re losing money. It’s not gonna be viable.
– [Calum] The third circle, this third bucket is the operational considerations and this can be heavily tied to the financial. All of these things are interdependent. But what I mean by operational is we’re dealing with the physical world here. So we actually need to deploy these devices into the field. Again, digital transformation is a great term because transformation captures what is happening to these organizations. You have to transform, and it’s not just a click of a button adoption. There are changes to workflows, changes to how employees operate. And so how do you install the IoT solution, the first place in a way that’s not a huge headache or costly? And this is how it feeds into financial considerations, but also how do you care provide care and feeding? You can think of an IoT system as a living breathing thing. Living breathing things, they need food, they need water, they need air to survive. And so once you get it out in the field, let’s say you’re using battery powered trackers. Like the Manheim use case that Eric mentioned for the vehicles. At some point, the battery’s gonna die. If you have thousands of vehicles and you have to replace those batteries every month. I mean, imagine if you had to recharge them every day, like your smartphone, like just the sheer operational impact of that would make it not worth it.
– [Calum] So these things they need to last years, but even when they last years, at some point, you’re going to need to replace those batteries. How do you do that? How do you do that in a way that, one, you replace it before it dies, ’cause it could die and then get moved. And then how do you find it?
– [Calum] So you wanna do that beforehand. Who’s doing it? How are you doing it? If you need to recharge a thousand devices, you can’t just plug it into an outlet. You have like a thousand outlets. So there’s just a lot of operational considerations that go into this and all of these things pull in different directions. There’s things you can do from a technical perspective, the technical considerations that say, “Oh, this is better. We’re actually sending more frequent updates. That’s better for the user. They get more insight into the position.” ‘Cause we’re getting positioned every second. But actually that actually just jacked up your costs for the solution because there’s more compute costs and storage costs for more data. So is it worth it? Does it need to be every second? It can be every 15 seconds. And this is where this interconnectedness of these three buckets gets tricky of how do you make the trade offs across the financial considerations, the technical considerations, the operational considerations.
– And so I think that’s one of the big challenges is that for organizations getting into this the first time, sometimes they just don’t know about what some of those trade offs are until it’s too late. They get a year in six months in you go, oh my gosh, like we made this technical decision way back. And now it’s having this operational impact because for a pilot, for a thousand devices, there’s very different considerations than a full scale rollout for a million devices for some of the operational and financial challenges. And so how do you do those things? I mean, as an organization, in addition to providing a technology that we believe is some of the best in the industry for the application development, we also work really closely with our customers, ’cause we’ve seen all this before as an organization, as Eric mentioned, we’ve been doing this eight years, we’ve learned a lot of it the hard way. Unfortunately, having made some of the mistakes ourselves, but being able to see down the road so that you can make the right decisions today, to not screw yourself over in the future is really important and something that companies new to IoT, they just don’t just don’t know. So some of this can be solved with technology. If the costs are just fundamentally lower than the financial considerations become easier. If things are easier to use or play more nicely together, then you might have to make less trade-offs. Some of the tools we’re providing are meant specifically at smoothing over those operational challenges at scale. ‘Cause we’ve gone to scale. We know what it takes.
– Right, right.
– So I’d say those are some of the challenges. And later in this conversation, I think we can get into how we recommend companies, approach IoT in a five stage journey that can help mitigate some of these challenges of, and surface some of the trade offs or considerations, you need to make across these three categories, operational, technical and financial.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. Yeah, that was probably one of the best challenges breakdowns I’ve ever had on the podcast. So I ask a question a lot about different challenges companies are seeing, and that was very thorough and actually really approached it from a unique angle that most companies at least have not shared, kind of that level of thinking around all the different pieces that have to play together in order to be successful, which kind of ties into a question I wanted to ask Eric is when we’re thinking about that next step of a current company to actually adopt for a company like Leverege, how do you go about kind of working with an organization to successfully build and then sell the IoT solution and can kind of talk, I guess one thing that’d be good. I know this is 200 episodes and people should know this by now, but can you just, can you also just define at a high level what it means when we say IoT solution, like there’s so many different pieces to it. Some people may be a little disconnected on what an actual solution is and the value it creates, but then really diving into kind of how to successfully build and sell those solutions.
– [Eric] Yeah, Calum touched with us before. Before I get into it, you would expect a philosopher like Calum to give a very detailed and well thought through description of the challenges. And that’s why Calum’s an instrumental person in the company. He thinks very deeply about this stuff. And IoT does require some deep thought and what we’ve really been doing. And we’ll talk about it towards the end, but Calum’s been working on something we call the IoT Playbook. It’s blossomed into a greater than a hundred slide deck with lots of copious notes to help customers. We’re basically just giving this away for free. Again, trying to educate customers up front because the last thing we want is an unhappy customer. A customer that even though we’re selling the software and enabling the application development and we’re doing it, we believe we do a great job at that. If the solution itself doesn’t work for them, we still feel like we failed for the customer. So we wanna make sure that their eyes are wide open, going into it what it really takes. And so this IoT Playbook, which gets into just basically our deep experience, outside of our software, just what does it mean to do this and what should a customer expect, whether you’re building it for your own internal organization and your own customers directly, or you’re building solutions, a suite of applications as you wanna sell through your current channels, like a telecom or some other type of customer that we have. So we’ll provide a link at the end of this. I think it would be great for anyone who’s getting into IoT or thinking about it, to just flip through it and kind of see how, see where all the potholes are in the journey and at least be educated before you go into it. So which questions to ask, whether you’re working with Leverege or any other vendor for that matter and where to start and what are the important decisions, you need to make early on? So in terms of how we view an IoT solution. So from a technology standpoint, we view it as a four layer kind of cake. If you will, the devices, the sensors that are out in the real world, sensing things of all different types, humidity, acceleration location, there’s a million different technologies there. Then you have to get that data from that far edge to some sort of compute location. That’s typically wireless communications, right? That’s where everything’s done. There are numerous ways, public networks, such as cellular networks, private cellular networks that have sort of recently blossomed in the CBRS on go community. You have private networks that are non cellular like LoRa, we had SigFox, you have satellite communications, you have different architectures where you have hub and spoke. You have direct connectivity through gateways, you have all different types of architectures of how the data gets from the far edge, all the way up to the cloud. But ultimately that’s a lot of different wireless. There’s Zigbee there’s Bluetooth. There’s just a dozens and dozens of different protocols that get data and they all have their pluses and minuses. And then the third layer is what we call the infrastructure or compute layer, right? It’s compute storage, it’s unlimited power, unlimited ability to store and crunch numbers. That’s typically cloud, but edges now become a very important part of that. And things like Kubernetes and containers and microservices are enabling cloud and edge to work sort of seamlessly together now where you can put a server within a store, within a location, have it do time critical types of data processing and decisioning but also communicate back to a much larger compute farm in the cloud. So that’s the third layer and that would be the hyper-scalers like Google or Amazon or Microsoft. And those classes of companies that do that. And then finally, the thing that’s closest to the end user is what we call the application layer. And that’s where we live. That’s where our products live and that’s really all software it’s presented via hardware devices like your phone or your laptop or your tablet, but ultimately it’s software running typically in the cloud, talking to edge and far edge sensors, collecting all the data, making sense of it, organizing it and helping people make decisions or make decisions for them based on rules that they set up. That’s where we work. So there’s four layers, application, infrastructure, connectivity, and ultimately devices and sensors all the way out. That’s how we view an IoT solution. And to your second question of how do we approach that, that sort of layer cake, right? What we’ve learned in terms of a business approach to enable customers to be successful across this whole domain of technologies and the three legs of the stool Calum described, which is the financial operational and technical considerations. We’ve kind of achieved product market fit at this point. And so we know kind of what the journey looks like for most customers. And we’ve now designed our company and our business around these three stages that a customer kind of goes through. The first stage is the proof of concept the pilot. In the old days, well, the old days being four years ago, people were, customers, the early adopters, they were just wanted to see could the technology work, customers are much, much more informed now. They also not only wanna see how it works, technically like can it do the job, provide the feature or the insight they’re looking for, but what is the cost? What is the plan for scale? So they’re getting smarter on that. And that’s actually a great thing because you want to think about that. Otherwise you have what’s an industry norm of 75% of all IoT projects fail. That is really at the pilot stage because you try to go from pilot to rolling it out. As Calum said, from a thousand sensors to a million sensors, completely different ball game, when you try to do that. So it is going to fail because you will not understand how to update the devices. Know when they’re offline, know where they even are, that kind of thing. So we have three phases that we, and we’ve product and services that help our customers move from each phase. And you can’t really go from the first phase all the way to the third phase without going through some middle phase. So our first phase is we call it a showcase or a jumpstart. It’s just a productized service, a pilot, a proof of concept in a single location with a small number of devices, just proving that it can work, but also proving the financial and operational considerations have been thought through and modeling out what this may look like at scale. Second phase is the customer goes great. It looks like it checks a box. So on the technology works, the operational and financial based back of envelope com, calculations looks good, looks like it’ll add the value delta that I mentioned earlier. We can see what it’s going to provide. Now I wanna integrate it into my business. That’s where a lot of the customization pieces come in, because every business is unique. They have different processes. They have different software systems that are running them. They have just different management styles. Everything is very different, right? They have different concerns legally that they, privacy, all of this stuff has to be worked out. And there has to be some integration of our product or any product into their business. There’s basically change management. They have to prepare for to message to all their employees and maybe hire new people to manage this thing, ultimately when it’s scales. So there’s that phase of it, which is kind of an integration, very, very kind of handholding with the customer. And we do portions of that to help them. But we also have partners that help with that consulting companies.
– [Eric] Third party, system integrating companies that can help do some of this integration. And they usually the business themselves has some internal resources to help. Then the final phase is where you get to the scale, right? That’s where the true value is actually received by the customer. And that’s where our platform really shines because we’ve built it. As Calum said, we’ve been there, we’ve been to scale, we know what it means. We know all the things that have to be done to, not only deploy in the first place, but then manage it and reduce and keep costs low. So the last thing you wanna do is we call it in the industry, breaking a device. What that means is you’ve deployed a device and it no longer works. It has to be physically retrieved and touched. That’s the worst of all, all worlds especially at scale, ’cause you don’t want to have to go find a million devices. Or if you’re Manheim 50,000 devices, even on a single auction lot, that’s a lot of walking around us, a lot of cost and you have to replace them all. So we focus on making sure that the operation, once it does get to scale hums along, you can manage the devices and you can realize the benefits of all the data. So that’s the three phases that we’ve seen and all our customers, kind of go through them. Sometimes they go through faster than others. Some take longer, it depends on the size of the organization and what they’re really trying to do.
– [Ryan] Yeah, that’s fantastic. One thing I wanted to ask if you guys could expand on and maybe I could throw it over to Calum and talk about this is, when we talk about it from the customer perspective, there is this IoT journey that customers go on, right? From when they educate themselves and understand what the technology is all the way through when they begin launching and then eventually hopefully get to scale. Calum from your experience, working with different deployments and projects, what does that journey look like for customers? And you can tie that in obviously to what Eric was talking about of what the solution journey is like as well. But I know they kind of tie hand in hand a little bit there with going from the ideation phase all the way to scale. But if you could talk and break that down a little bit, I think that’d be great.
– [Calum] Sure, yeah. And this is a core part of the IoT Playbook earlier in that. We’re gonna be sharing freely for people to access. ‘Cause we wanna make this knowledge accessible. It really is important to think through this in a structured approach. So we think there being five steps to the IoT solution journey that we call it and those steps are select. So select a use case, validate typically with a proof of concept or an MVP. Validate, is there something actually here before we invest further. Pilot, actually get in the real world with real sensors and start finding out what are some of those considerations you can plan for.
– [Calum] Launch it, going from a pilot to a larger deployment, typically requires some, there might be some additional things you need to change or features to add or things like that, that you learned during the pilot as part of launching. And then finally scale, how do you operate this thing at scale with hundreds of thousands, millions of devices, hopefully, if you’re selling this tons of customers, bringing you revenue, how do you do that? And so you might wonder, all right, that’s five steps. Why did Eric just describe three when it’s the Leverege view? And that’s because our business from a technology perspective, we have aligned it around these steps to enable each one to be successful. So for example, with going from pilot to launch, you don’t wanna have to rebuild everything. And we’ve seen this with some other companies on the market where they are really good at doing the proof of concept or the pilot, but then there’s this huge gap between going to scale. And the way we’ve architected things is it’s the exact same software. And it’s aimed at being able to do each of these well. So really quickly able to build an MVP so you can validate the use case. And on that same software stack being able to go to scale, you don’t need to say, “All right, we, this we proved it. Now we need to rebuild everything or find a different software platform.” But the reason it’s not, Eric described three and I just described five is for this first step, selecting a use case from a technology perspective, we can’t choose the use case for you. What we can do is help with how to think about selecting a use case. And this is where the IoT Playbook comes in. So a lot of this is aimed at companies that are saying, all right, we want to build an IoT solution. Whether that is an entrepreneur within a larger enterprise that is trying to build a new business line or a startup, an entrepreneur that is building a company around a product or something they see in the market. In both cases, though, you need to decide, what are we tackling here? What is the problem we’re trying to solve? And that’s really dependent on the company. So for the larger companies, selecting a use case, you should look at what is your existing customer base. If you’re a very large enterprise, we work with a lot of telecoms in the world. They already have relationships with many different businesses. And so that’s a big strength of there is that they should Leverege. So, okay.
– [Calum] Well, we already have a ton of customers in manufacturing. What problems do they have that we might be able to go solve? Because you already have the distribution, you already have the relationship. So all you need to focus on is building the right solution, that’ll solve their needs and they’ll be willing to pay for. On the entrepreneurship side. I mean, we also, we have both customers at both ends of the spectrum. Eric mentioned earlier siren ring. They were a startup built on top of our stack. We have some other startups as well. And for them typically what they’re bringing is very deep industry specific experience. It could be in boating, it could be in the medical space and they see a problem that they’re like, Hey, there’s a product here. There’s a company here that can be built around this. So in general, this first step select your use case, things to think about are, what are the real problems here? How much would customers be willing to pay? One way you can work back from that is if you’re saving them costs, then presumably they’d be willing to pay at least that much. So if you can save a company a million dollars, it should be worth somewhere around, maybe a little less than a million dollars. ‘Cause then there’s a delta of how much you’re saving them. That can be one way to think about it. But fundamentally you wanna identify where can I provide real value? And where is an area in which me or we uniquely as a business, have an opportunity here. Whether because we have existing relationships or we uniquely see a problem because of our industry knowledge in this area. So that’s step one. Again, the IoT Playbook helps with how to think about this. But from a technical perspective, no matter how good we make our application development software, we can’t choose your use case for you. Once you’ve selected a use case however, what we can help you with is the second stage, which is validate. So the reason we have, if I can just pause for a second and zoom out, the reason we advocate for this journey with these distinct steps is to solve some of those challenges I mentioned before. So if you’re trying to make these trade offs between the technical considerations, the operational considerations, the financial considerations, but they’re all interconnected. How do you plan that in advance? Well, the answer is you can’t, you can’t know this in advance. You can make guesses and you should certainly do some back the calculations and have a general idea that there’s something here. But a lot of this, you only find out once you actually put it in the real world, what are some of the operational considerations? Well, how do you find that out? If some of those operations are your customer, you don’t have full visibility into that until you actually start working with them and deploying, then find out, oh, wow.
– [Calum] Here’s a challenge we could not have planned for. So this can be a really scary, especially for larger companies ’cause they don’t wanna waste money on just throw a bunch of good money after bad. And so they wanna plan. They wanna say, “Okay, well if we’re gonna invest in this thing, we want to make sure that there’s a return on investment for us,” which is completely reasonable for them to think that the challenge is you can’t know some of that in advance. So how do you square the circle here? How do you find a solution to minimize risk so that you don’t throw a bunch of money at something only to find out it doesn’t work while also recognizing the reality that some of the stuff you can’t find out that by taking these steps. So the design of this journey is meant to enable companies to get maximum learnings for the lowest investment and risk, which ultimately de-risks it. So the validate stage, I zoomed out, I’m zooming back in you select the use case you think, all right, there’s something here. The validate stage. You wanna really quickly build an MVP or proof of concept. Our stack once again is aimed at helping with exactly this where there’s a lot of no code configuration abilities to very quickly build an application. You can even use simulated data, so you don’t have to integrate devices yet. So you can actually put it in front of potential customers and say, “What do you think of this thing?” This can enable you to validate the use case before you invest in going out and buying devices and integrating them running a pilot, which has expenses for it. So you’re getting a lot of learnings for minimal investment by validating the use case with a proof of concept or MVP. You can use either term. The third step pilot. So at this stage you say, okay, we validated it. We got some good customer input. They’re really excited. They said, this looks great. And now we need to figure out, all right, what are some of the real costs, operationally, financially? What are the right devices for this thing? This is where a pilot comes in. If you were the one building and selling solutions, ideally you want your customer to pay for the pilot. If you’re selling into an enterprise, ’cause then they have some skin in the game. If you just do it for free, they might say, “Oh, this looks cool.” But then it just dies and doesn’t go anywhere. So ideally you get them to have some payment for it. Now they’ll be more invested literally in the solution, but you actually wanna deploy it in the real world. ‘Cause this is where you can generate, some of those learnings of what are the true costs. What are the true trade offs? You might choose a device that you use in the pilot and you might prove there’s value. And the customer says I’m willing to pay for this. But as you go through the pilot, you realize this isn’t the right device. For whatever reason. We actually need a different way of getting location or connectivity for the device or there’s some operational considerations that come up that you just need to address. So once again, the goal of this pilot in this third step is maximum learnings, minimal investment to de-risk it. So now you finish the pilot. The customer says, “This is amazing, we wanna take this to scale. There’s a real business case here.” And you’ve gained a lot of learnings. Now you can evaluate, is it worth launching this? And sometimes it might not. You should feel comfortable as an organization deciding this isn’t worth it. We’ve gone through this and this is actually is much more expensive or operationally intensive than we imagined at first. Cut it. That’s the point of taking these steps. So you don’t waste a bunch of money. You can pursue the real opportunities. But let’s say that there’s a real opportunity. Now it’s time to launch. This is where you’ll typically start ramping up a lot of your internal teams. You can keep your teams pretty lean, going through these phases, especially because once again, our Leverege IoT Stack, helps with reducing a lot of the costs and speeding up this development. But if you’re launching this, you need to have operational teams, sales, marketing, if you’re really taking this to market. So that’s where you might start actively hiring up to support this, building some additional features you might notice, perhaps for this one customer you piloted they’re happy, but you wanna sell this to multiple customers. And so you might need to build some features that make this more generically or generally appealing to more companies. So you can have a true product. So there’s some additional development needed. Maybe you need to choose different devices, ’cause you learned in the pilot, you didn’t have the right ones. But fundamentally what you’re doing is gearing up to really launch this thing, right? That step four launch and then step five is scale. So this is where you’re figured it out. You have the right solution and you’re just adding new customers and supporting them. And there’s still a lot involved there. How do you sell new customers? The contracting, how do you deploy to them? How do you collect money? So you can actually make money on this IoT solution. And then how do you support it operationally? So that three years, five years down the road, as these devices, maybe the batteries die. How do they get replaced? Who is doing the replacement?
– [Calum] Figuring out all those elements are part of scaling and managing the IoT solution. So once again, five steps as part of this IoT solution journey there’s selector use case, validate the use case, pilot it, launch it and then scale. And by taking this approach, it enables you to have maximum learnings for minimal investment, which ultimately de-risks it. So you can make this trade off between the recognition that you can’t plan everything in advance and you don’t wanna just throw money at something without an expectation that, hey, we can make a return on investment here.
– [Ryan] Right. Fantastic. All right, that was great. The playbook sounds like something I think our audience is gonna get a ton of value out of. So I’m excited to hear a little bit more in a second about kind of when that’s coming out, when they’ll be able to kind of access it, that kind of thing. But I did wanna kind of wrap us up by talking about the industry again, that we kind of started the conversation with and wanted to finish with talking about where we think the industry is headed and what opportunities companies have in front of them, if they are to adopt IoT and really why they should care about that. So Eric, maybe you can kind sort of answer that in any way you think is appropriate. Just talking about where you think the industry is going and why companies should be really thinking about and considering IoT and then Calum feel free to kind of jump in from there.
– [Eric] Yeah, I think our theme here is Calum and I, and our entire company are very bullish long term and IoT, it’s a trend that’s not gonna change. It’s not hype, the term that’s maybe bandied about may change over time, but ultimately it’s something that is happening and will continue to happen and will affect every one of us just like our smartphones have affected our lives in major ways now, right?
– [Eric] So ultimately this wave is continuing to move towards the shore and it’s going to happen. I think what we’re seeing in, Calum brought up a really important point that the cost aspect of IoT is so important to the viability of any solution. And what we’re seeing because of declining cost, again, inflation sort of transitory inflation aside. The cost of these solutions overall is becoming cheaper and cheaper, which in unlocks solutions that people have been thinking about forever, but they just couldn’t make either the technology or fundamentally the cost work to make it viable from a business or from a consumer adoption standpoint, those trends will continue to come down. I mean, innovations and batteries that will make your EV drive a thousand miles on a single charge. That’s gonna change the world, right? Just that alone. Well that same technology is going to be applied to inexpensive sensors at the edge where now you don’t have to change the battery. Maybe you never have to change the battery. There’s battery innovations. Again, this is not specific to IoT. This is a little piece of it, but it’s an important piece. Batteries are a big piece of it, of IoT solution maintenance over time. So if you solve battery problems in one industry that will ripple into ours and have incredibly positive effects and unlock use cases, Similarly cloud, all these things we’ve mentioned, they’re all declining. And so what we’re seeing is use cases that people have been talking about or are discovering, are now actually that delta between cost and value is wide enough that it makes sense to do them. So the car tracking I mentioned on lots, lot management for Manheim that now makes sense from a cost standpoint, it’s a viable, it actually not only saves them money, it provides a better experience. It provides so much, and it provides data centric decisioning. So that that’s also really important. So that opens up new revenue streams. If you’re collecting data on all these different vehicles and you have 10 million million vehicles, going through your lots every year. If you’re collecting data on that at scale, there’s always some value in that data, to resell it, repackage it or for internal use or external use. So data is the new oil as they say, and the IoT generates tons of data. So therefore there’s lots of revenue there. So we see use cases across the board where we have seen the biggest growth for our company has been essentially, in what I’ll call generically transportation and logistics. The reason that that is probably our top vertical and that’s a very big vertical and supply chain, all those related things is because when you’re tracking something that’s a thousand dollars or more with a device that’s $10 or less. That makes a lot of sense, right? But if you can’t put a hundred dollars device on a hundred dollars item and track it, that makes no sense economically, right? So you have to have that huge, two X ,three X delta. And if you’re doing cars, boats, trucks, RVs, trailers, any of these, these are all expensive assets, people that own them or businesses that own them, care very much about what state they’re in, what they’re doing. So IoT makes sense for this. So that’s our largest vertical, but also in the healthcare field is a growing vertical for us, whether it’s smart devices, whether it’s hospital systems, tracking equipment and hospital systems such as IV pumps for patient care and safety, all those types of things. And then finally what I’ll call, it’s kind of like a hybrid retail, industrial, just service tracking. Let me just call it that, so.
– If you want to have your pet groomed or you want to have your car serviced, or you want to have a medical appointment, whatever that is, consumers now are used to the Amazon experience, the Uber experience, where you know every step of the way. It’s not a black box of your service or your good that you’re getting delivered, you know every step of the way. UPS and FedEx has been doing us for year, track your package, right? That insight makes us feel really good as consumers. That’s the experience we now demand. And so any type of service that any business does that has a black box component is not gonna be acceptable for any consumer or other business user. They want that exposed and how you expose it? You use sensors to unlock the data. As it’s moving around to talk about cold chain tracking, vaccines, temperature, it’s that, but again, it’s sensors, it’s not people because it’s not affordable to have it people. And you’re not gonna put people in a refrigerated truck just sitting there measuring temperature. So there’s safety and there’s cost consideration. So those are kind of our three main areas, but there’s dozens and dozens of other industries where this makes sense. And that’s why we’re very excited about it. The key thing for us as a business is really focusing on those collection of use cases, which at a high level may seem kind of disparate, but there actually is a core piece of it that our software addresses across the board that is common for all of these different industries and these different types, seemingly different types of use cases, right? The software side is very, very similar and we’ve figured out how to package that up and solve all those common problems, but also make it extensible enough that you can customize it for specific workflows or specific industries. That’s kind of what we view as our secret sauce with our software. And then as Calum said, the ability to take this from a couple devices as a pilot, one store, whatever it might be, a low volume, prove it out all the way with the exact same software stack all the way to millions of devices. And you don’t have to swap out things you don’t cap out and have to now re redo or re-architect everything. Just one place once you’re there, you can go all the way to the end with it. Fantastic, Calum.
– [Calum] Yeah, yeah. Something Eric said that I wanna highlight ’cause it’s really important is the use cases that are opening up. I mean, this is a really exciting time in IoT. And so I’d encourage all the entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurs out there to really think about the opportunities around you. Especially if you have industry specific experience, because to take an example, if you looked at people could predict, something like the iPhone happening. There was companies trying to build the iPhone like 10, 20 years before the iPhone that weren’t successful because it wasn’t the right timing.
– But the idea of a smartphone, a device that you can connect to the internet, do calls, email, et cetera. That was pretty known for a while. What’s much harder to predict are the second order, the third order effects. So you might be able to predict the smartphone, but could you have predicted Uber or DoorDash? And those are businesses that are uniquely enabled once effectively, every person is connected. So when everyone has a smartphone, you can have drivers who are using their smartphone to be coordinated, to go pick up riders and have directions. So they don’t need to memorize how to drive around. And then on the consumer side, you can just open your phone and they can come to you cause they know your location because of the phone, right? And so this is an example, just one example of a business enabled by technology wave. What I find so exciting is that that’s gonna happen with IoT. What happens when you can effectively connect to anything in the world? Not just any person, all sorts of business opportunities are gonna open up and that’s happening right now. So it’s a really exciting time because of all these tailwinds, because it’s playing out, maybe it’s taking longer than some expected, but they’re from our perspective, things are accelerating and there’s a lot happening right now that is making it easier and easier. And to Eric’s point, that’s why we’re taking the approach we’re taking, which is if you wanna build an Uber, you don’t wanna have to build the smartphone to be able to build the business of Uber. Other companies can do that. And then you can build on top of these platforms. And so they’re taking away abstracting away, a lot of lower level stuff that you would need for any app in the app store so that you can focus on the thing you, the value you uniquely provide. And that’s our approach with our software stack, which is look, across industries whether it’s healthcare or transportation or logistics or agriculture or whatever sector it’s in, there are common things all these IoT systems need to be able to be successful at each of these steps of the IoT journey, all the way from start up until scale with millions of devices. They all need those things. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel and build those things. You wanna focus on the parts that are unique to you. So that’s what we take care of is we make all that way easier while still enabling a very high degree of customization. So you can build an application that’s aimed at your use case, provides values to your customers or to your internal business. If you’re using this internally and be really successful while not having to reinvent the wheel or build everything from scratch and to build on a stable foundation. And so whether you’re an organization that’s looking to digitally transform yourselves to reduce costs, to increase efficiency, to improve your customer experience now is an amazing time. And there’s a lot of exciting things happening. Or if you’re a business that is trying to sell to your customers as an entrepreneur, building a startup or as an entrepreneur building a new business line within a larger enterprise for all of these companies, it’s an exciting time. And so as we’ve said a few times now we’re really bullish on it. I mean, of course we are, this is, we live and breathe this day-to-day. I dream about IoT in my sleep. But it’s exciting and there’s a lot of factors that are coming together to open up entirely new use cases that didn’t exist before. And whenever that happens, that’s opportunity for entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and for companies that are adopting IoT.
– [Ryan] Absolutely, very well said. I think obviously we here on the IoT For All side are very bullish as well. It’s a very exciting space. The more and more companies, I have the opportunity to speak with, you can kind of see that settlement kind of growing amongst the community. So definitely something I think our audience should really take note of. And if they’re not in the IoT space, start to learn more about IoT, understand how to adopt, tackle, benefit their business, plenty of content resources out there to do that. I did wanna ask as the last question here for audience out there who does want to learn more about Leverege, more about what you all are doing, any kinda topics we’ve discussed here, or just even follow up with questions and also potentially also the playbook when that eventually comes out, what’s the best way that they can do that, reach out, engage that kind of thing?
– [Eric] Well, we try to keep our website as up to date as possible in between all the other things we’re doing. But we just relaunched our website for the umpteenth time this year. So it’s pretty up to date and we’re doing a better job of keeping it live and continually updating it as well. So the toughest part is just remembering how to incorrectly correctly spell Leverege, which is L-E-V-E-R-E-G-E. So all Es, leverege.com. If you go there, we’ll probably put a link to this playbook and some other places probably in this video so that you can go get the playbook. We hope everyone finds it value. We have additional chapters and other things that we continue to add to it. Calum just did another deep dive on device selection. Again, we’re not a hardware company, but we’ve learned a lot of lessons from receiving hardware data and integrating hardware data. So we have a lot of good insights there that again, we want to empower good decision making for our customers up front. And then hopefully by becoming informed, they will see that what we’ve built is actually pretty special and can really help them accelerate the journey and reduce their risk while lowering their cost to do this. ‘Cause it can be kind of scary.
– [Eric] If you’re a company, like one of our customers, they’re a window and door company, they don’t know about connected products at all. They’ve never done this before. They build beautiful windows and doors. They sell them and they never talk to their customers for 20 years. Well now they want to build connected products. That’s a very different sort of pivot for them as a company, they didn’t have 24/7 support. They didn’t have a large IT team. So they have to transform internally before they can even do this. So it’s important to us that when our customers, when we do engage with them, that they’re educated and they’re buying for the right reasons and there’re as oriented as possible for success beyond even the software we provide. We know our software has tremendous value. Our customers have shown that, but beyond that, we want them to be successful as a business themselves and really realize the value of IoT and not be the three out of four that have in the past failed when they tried to do with IoT. We think if we can get it down to at least 50/50, we feel like we’ve made a great impact to the world.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. Fantastic, Well, both of you, thank you so much for your time. Great conversation. One of one of the best we’ve had in a long time, especially being able to talk at a high level and then really get into the details of not just the state of the industry, but also how to be successful and really deploy IoT to benefit everybody. So I really appreciate both of your time and look forward to getting this out to our audience.
– Thank you, thanks Ryan.
– Thanks Ryan.
– Thank you. All right, everyone, thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT For All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please click the thumbs up button, subscribe to our channel and be sure to hit the bell notifications. So you get the latest episodes as soon as it become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching and we’ll see you next time.