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Telematics IoT - Travelling Through Technologies

When considering the possibilities of connecting any machine, any equipment, any operator or even any jobsite to the Internet of Things (IoT), it rapidly becomes clear that the only limit in finding use cases and services is our imagination.

However, construction equipment manufacturers (OEM´s) and the entire eco-system of customers, rental companies and contractors, deserve practical examples and professional guidance to justify IoT investments, while navigating through the “digitalization” of a hardware-focused business segment.

From telematics to data driven services

At first, it was M2M - Machine to Machine - communication, a technology that was supposed to revolutionize our world. But it never really took off in a big way, due to the cost of embedding cellular connectivity in the end devices. Today, M2M has been superseded by the IoT, a better sounding term and enabled by smarter and cheaper options to connect random things to the Internet. 

Within the construction equipment industry, IoT really means that any object, machine or component can have a variety of connected “devices” installed. This allows various operating conditions, performance levels and physical states to be monitored. In addition, machine data can also be collected via various physical machine interfaces. Everything can communicate seamlessly and wirelessly, with data transported to a cloud-based backend solution. In turn, this enables the potential to utilize combined data sets to create valuable data-driven services.

Think big, start small, scale fast

In a market beset by compelling IoT visions, emerging technologies and inspirational new products and solutions, it may seem difficult or even confusing to select the right telematics platform. A platform that will add value short-term, and at the same time are powered by a strategy and scalability to provide additional longer-term services.

Big ideas and visions are very important, but keeping a close focus on solving real problems is key. Start small, build concepts that matter, and implement services following an agile and incremental approach. No one can solve every problem with one big solution. At the same time, it would take forever, cost a fortune and entail a lot of risk to develop a “one size fits all” telematics solution.  

Ideally, your telematics supplier is your strategic partner, providing product expertise, business insights and a solid strategy towards the inclusion new technologies and data driven services.  

Alignment of Technology, Software and Hardware

Telematics have often been anchored around a hardware device with a certain set of features, a backend portal for fleet management and a monthly subscription. Telematics customers’ priorities have made either the Hardware, the Software or the total cost, the most important element to justify the investment to include telematics in their fleet.

With the emerging and fast growing possibilities of telematics nowadays, the above elements are far more complex. More than ever before, it is important to balance the alignment of new technologies, great software and performance hardware, in order to secure the scalability and flexibility in your telematics platform.

Reducing complexity, explaining possibilities

One of the areas of development that has had a big impact on the construction industry is the use of wireless technologies to provide connectivity for construction equipment. People have become accustomed to a high degree of connectivity in their daily lives, in large part due to the widespread use of tablets and smartphones. The connected construction machine uses these devices combined with cloud computing, allowing for the storage and sharing of data, as well as widespread access to information and services.

In a forthcoming series of blog posts, you´ll be able to follow wireless technologies de-mystified, explained and mapped into the most relevant segments of telematics. Whether your construction machine, equipment, asset, tools or even operators have to be connected.  Whether it´s powered or non-powered equipment, or whether it´s stationary or moving

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