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PTC x IoT ONE EP048 - Balance your three legged stool for maximum equipment efficiency - Preston Johnson, Platform Leader for IIoT and Digital Transformation Services, Allied Reliability
Friday, Apr 12, 2019

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC


In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss predictive maintenance, how to use best practice behaviors to drive best practice results, and predictive maintenance technologies. We also discuss framework of balancing the three-legged stool (people, processes, and technology), and 2 case studies of successful predictive maintenance implementation projects using the ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform.



1.             Predictive maintenance is a method for machine operators to get the maximum productivity out of any piece of equipment. It is especially important for asset intensive industries. 

2.             Predictive maintenance is the basis of digital transformation in other areas of the enterprise - it is not valuable to optimize a process with chaotic variables. 

3.             The main value driver in predictive maintenance is the cost of production per unit produced because it is an indicator of machine reliability, revenue, and operating costs, which all add up to the profitability of the production plant. Other KPIs to be considered when implementing a predictive maintenance plan are safety, environmental impact, and product quality.

4.             To determine if you are ready to adopt predictive maintenance, people and processes should be in place before the technology is implemented, to create a roadmap to build a balanced three-legged stool.

  • People: the right people and skills in the right positions
  • Processes: the mechanisms to identify maintenance tasks and the process to manage these tasks
  • Technology: ability to gather equipment health data

5.             Technology driving the adoption of predictive maintenance are the ease of connectivity and data analytics software tools:

  • Connectivity increases the ability of systems to pull data out of control systems while maintaining their security. The ability to add more sensors without adding significantly more cabling of infrastructure allows more parameters to be measured for a more holistic view.
  • Software for data analytics organizes the data into events and patterns using natural language processing, which makes the system more user friendly for the connected worker. 

6.             The decision to choose the software and hardware products depend on the understanding of business and operational processes:

  • Choosing hardware: The failure mechanisms for each piece of equipment should be considered. The sensors should be able to measure the failure mechanisms and collect the data that can help the organization to plan scheduled maintenance when it is operationally convenient.
  • Choosing software: The software must bring together business processes and maintenance processes to orchestrate maintenance activities effectively. At the minimum, it should bring together work order costs, maintenance schedules, condition monitoring data and identify flags that may cause problems in the future.

7.             The ROI for any predictive maintenance project can range from a few months to a few years, depending on how well the roadmap is built. The first step to any project should always be an analysis of the current state and picking the lowest hanging fruit to generate quick ROI. The ROI generated in the first stages should be reinvested into the process to multiply returns. 

Preston Johnson is the Platform Leader for IIoT and Digital Transformation Services at Allied Reliability, with a technical focus on condition monitoring technology and systems. 

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IIoT Spotlight Podcast EP 047: Understanding the State of, and Challenges in IoT Implemention in Heavy Asset Industries – Dave McCarthy, VP of IoT Solutions, Bsquare
Wednesday, Mar 06, 2019

In this episode, we discuss the state of the IIoT business from the solution provider point of view, and the direction of end user organizations as they are orientating themselves around IoT solutions. We deep dive into 2 case studies – 1 on the revenue side and 1 on the cost side.

What is the main obstacle to successful implementation in traditional industries? How does IoT change the relationship with customers? How did companies successfully generate incremental revenue and reduce costs using IoT?

Note: DataV Track will be packaged with another application by Bsquare. Find out more on their product page here.


Dave McCarthy is a leading authority on industrial IoT. As VP of IoT Solutions at Bsquare Corporation, he advises Fortune 1000 customers on how to integrate device and sensor data with their enterprise systems to improve business outcomes. Dave regularly speaks at technology conferences around the globe and he is also a frequent contributor to IT publications. Dave earned an MBA with honors from Northeastern University.

For over two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of corporate assets by making them intelligent, connecting them and using data collected from them to deliver better business outcomes.


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EP046 - The medium is the message: data visualisation for a digitally-enabled organisation - Kirsten Sosulski, Associate Professor of Information Systems, NYU
Monday, Feb 11, 2019

In this episode, we discuss the role of data visualisation, why we use it, and how it is changing based on new technologies. 

Is data visualisation a leadership skill? How do we create a data practice within an organisation? How should we think through the role of data visualisation in your organisation?

Kristen is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She teaches MBA, undergraduate, executive, and online courses in data visualization, computer programming, and the role of information technology in business and society. She is also the Director of the Learning Science Lab for the NYU Stern where she leads team to design immersive learning environments for professional business school education. 

Kristen book: Data Visualisation Made Simple https://www.amazon.com/Data-Visualization-Simple-Kristen-Sosulski/dp/1138503916

Twitter: @sosulski

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sosulski/ 

Email: ks123@nyu.edu


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EP045 - Taxation in Connectivity - Tony Susak, GM of Telecom, Avalara
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019

In this episode, we discuss taxation issues related to connectivity.

Who is liable for telecom taxes? How much is the tax liability? How do you prepare for the inevitable complications that come with this taxation?

Tony Susak explains what makes a tech company a telecommunications company in the eyes of tax authorities, and the importance of this distinction. He also offers advice on how to prepare your billing systems to hedge the risks of future taxation.

Tony Susak is the General Manager, Telecom of Avalara. Prior to joining Avalara, he served as the Director of Tax for AT&T, where his team had responsibility for calculating, filing and remitting millions of dollars annually across every jurisdiction in the U.S. and many jurisdictions abroad. Prior to AT&T, Susak held similar positions with Cricket Communications, Cingular Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and General Motors' OnStar division. In these roles, he also helped develop policy and influence legislation involving vehicle telematics and communication taxes.

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with transactional taxes, including sales and use, VAT, excise, communications, and other tax types. The company delivers comprehensive, automated, cloud-based solutions that are designed to be fast, accurate, and easy to use. 

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PTC x IoT ONE Industrial IoT Spotlight Podcast EP044: How to Marry the Business and the Technology – An Interview with Stephanie Mikelbrencis & Steve Sangster of Brock Solutions
Friday, Nov 30, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC

In this episode, we define what “real-time” means for software solutions, and the 3 key factors for digital success.

What does “real-time” mean for customers? What are the key challenges of the digital transformation? How can software providers and system integrators help customers in their digital transformation journey?


Key Takeaways:

  • Real-time solutions are mission critical regardless of whichever layer it is in. The solutions have to work; they are in the operations and control levels and they are controlling the operations. Real-time solutions bring together the product lifecycle, automation, and software realms.
  • The major problem most clients are facing is the inability to define and support digital transformation. 
  • “Digital” is commonly used as a catch-all term to describe all the integration needed to address typical challenges such as efficiency and supply chain coordination.
  • For each individual problem, different technologies could be considered and implemented. However, it is difficult to select which technology to use based on technical specifications only.
  • In reality, the existing infrastructure is not adequate. For example, there may be a mismatch of technology between the various acquisitions, businesses, and divisions that a company has.
  • Solution providers can take a multi-disciplinary approach combining consulting and workflow processes to help the client define and understand the scope of work.  
  • It is not easy to understand and translate business requirements into technical software requirements. Demonstrating software or business processes using a “day in the life of” approach, so that each party can understand the requirements in their own vocabulary, facilitates the alignment of business and technical requirements.
  • It is crucial to marry the business and the technology for successful digital transformation. Three factors are key: 
  1. The benefits of the initiative should be clearly defined, and used to create the scope of work.
  2. Executive buy-in is crucial to motivate people to use digital technologies. The use of digital technologies creates a channel for people to see the value created by themselves.
  3. Value must be created quickly and tracking must be consistent, so that customers do not need to wait to see value and the possibly of project abandonment is reduced.

Brock Solutions is an engineering solutions and professional services company specializing in the design, build and implementation of real-time solutions for broad based industrial/manufacturing and transportation/logistics organizations globally.

Find out more about getting quick wins designing for the enterprise in this PTC webcast

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PTC x IoT ONE EP043: How to Build Connected Apps for Digital Transformation Across the Entire Organization with Platforms – An Interview with Howard Heppelmann of PTC
Friday, Nov 09, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC

In this episode, we discuss what digital transformation means for traditional companies, the opportunity and risks it presents, and how to successfully drive it within organizations.

Our interview with Howard Heppelmann, General Manager of PTC’s Connected solutions business, aims to answer four key questions: What are the key challenges of digital transformation? What are the best practices in app development to drive digital transformation in organizations? What are the 4 technologies that will disrupt traditional businesses, and how?

PTC’s leading industrial innovation platform and solutions turn Industry 4.0 possibility into reality. Learn more about PTC's solutions with the ABI Report on Smart Manufacturing Platforms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Digital transformation enables companies to go from a rear-view approach to present and future real-time optimization of their businesses
  • IIoT app development no longer has to lie with the IT department, or within certain silos. Citizen developers in the business or operations can develop apps that are most closely aligned with their individual business objectives.
  • The traditional approach to app development results in individual departments hitting ceilings and failing to achieve synergy because individual departments optimize their own silos. Platforms are able to connect various apps and pool data so that the entire organization has transparent views and each department’s optimization can also benefit others.
  • The four technologies that will disrupt traditional businesses are: 
  1. IoT and analytics: the convergence of IT and OT to utilize data with analytics improve productivity
  2. Augmented reality: the empowerment of workers in highly labor intensive operations to become more efficient
  3. Additive manufacturing: the disruption that breaks the design and operational constraints of traditional manufacturing approaches and cascades down the value chain
  4. Digital technology platforms: the integration of technologies and applications in one plane that allows companies to move at greater speeds
  • IIoT will transform industries, companies, and products, Traditional companies need to clearly define what digital transformation means for them and the value they bring to market or risk becoming obsolete.
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PTC x IoT ONE EP042: How to Deploy Transformative IIoT Solutions at Scale – An Interview with Jeff Miller of PTC
Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC

In this episode, we discuss pilot purgatory in industrial IoT deployments and how to build scalable IIoT solutions.

What is the difference between proof-of-concept (POC) and proof-of-value (POV)? What are the 6 steps to IoT deployment success? What are the 3 essential components for building a successful IoT use case?

Jeff Miller is the Vice President of Advisory Services at PTC. The Advisory Services practice delivers pragmatic, actionable, success-focused advice that leverages PTC's industry leadership in IoT technologies and business solutions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proof of Concept (POC) is the proof that the technology will work technically in the existing organizational infrastructure and processes.
  • Proof of Value (POV) is the conclusion that problems have been addressed and value has been created and measured.
  • The gap between the POC and POV is the root cause of pilot purgatory scenario in which pilots fail to scale into organization-wide implementation.
  • There are 6 steps to successfully implementing IoT, and it is important that these steps are done in order: 1) Business strategy alignment, 2) Feasibility check (technologically and culturally), 3) Technology alignment (POC), 4) Use case identification, 5) Roadmap building, 6) Value measurement (POV)
  • There are 3 critical components to successfully build a use case: 1) Valuable: the problem that is solved has to be a real business problem, 2) Scalable and transferrable: technologies have to be crafted in a way that is meant to be scalable and transferrable from the beginning of the project, 3) Measurable: metrics should be agreed upon by all stakeholders and measure value created
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IIC x IoT ONE IIoT Spotlight Podcast EP041: Cybersecurity, reliability, and safety in an industrial environment - An Interview with Jesus Molina of Waterfall Security
Thursday, Oct 18, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by the Industrial Internet Consortium

We discuss the IIC's approach to security in an industrial context. 

What are the differences between consumer-facing and industrial applications of IoT when it comes to security? How did tinkering with a hotel lighting system evolve into securing industrial IoT systems? How should we view security and secure industrial IoT systems?

Jesus Molina discusses his views of security, common misconceptions around cybersecurity, and his approach to securing IoT systems.

Jesus Molina is the Director Of Business Development at Waterfall Security Solutions Ltd. He is also the co-chair of the IIC Security Working Group.

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EP040: Extracting value from data analytics - an Interview with Ed Kuzemchak of Software Design Solutions
Friday, Oct 12, 2018

Ed Kuzemchak of Software Design Solutions tells us what IoT really is and is not, and how to extract value from it. We discuss how Ed started his business on the premise of data analytics, and his view on the differences between consumer and industrial IoT from a data point of view. We also discuss where we are today in leveraging and extracting value from big data, and his 3 step process for path to product.

Ed Kuzemchak is the Founder of Software Design Solutions. Software Design Solutions provides consulting and embedded software development services. 


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IIC x IoT ONE IIoT Spotlight Podcast EP039: How to ensure connectivity for brownfield sensors - An Interview with Michael Hilgner of TE Connectivity
Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by the Industrial Internet Consortium

We discuss the IIC test bed for smart manufacturing connectivity for brownfield sensors.

What are the key challenges to implementing IoT sensors and technologies in brownfield environments? How can we ensure that all technologies and business processes have interoperability with each other? How will communication standards evolve in the industry in the future?

Michael Hilgner of TE Connectivity explains to us the challenges and best practices of implementing connected sensors in a brownfield environment.

Dr. Michael Hilgner has engaged himself in communication infrastructure and high-frequency components design in diverse roles throughout his career. In his current role as Manager Consortia & Standards at TE Connectivity’s Industrial Business Unit, he provides his experience to international standardization activities and industrial user groups in the areas of industrial networks, fieldbuses and cabling systems. In addition to his engagement at IIC where he leads the Smart Manufacturing Connectivity for Brown-field Sensors Testbed, Michael contributes to several Industrie 4.0 working groups to detail I4.0 requirements and technologies for active and passive infrastructure components.

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