Is digi-talk just empty words?

What is preventing small and medium-sized companies from putting their industrial internet solutions into practice? DNA gathered IoT World Alliance representatives and #iotnextlevel challenge participants and solvers under the same roof to think about it. 

Mark van den Berg, IoT World Alliance Chairman and Commercial Product Manager, Internet of Things at Dutch teleoperator KPN, has a clear idea of the challenges faced by SMEs: digitalisation is not seen to offer solutions to concrete solutions, but as empty talk that is difficult to grasp.
“An oft quoted example of an IoT solution is the smart fridge, but would anyone actually buy one for their home? No, because it doesn’t solve any real problems. This is why DNA’s #iotnextlevel challenge is such a great idea: let’s find solutions to genuine problems faced by SMEs and their customers.”
DNA’s Paula Miettinen, Director, B2b Marketing, can also see faults in old-fashioned working methods. 
“The old way is to acquire just one partner, or for the company to handle everything itself. This will no longer work for industrial internet solutions, as these days you have to search the entire partner ecosystem to find the best implementers. A good example of this is #iotnextlevel challenge participant Snellman Pro, which has asked for its customers’ opinions from the outset.”

Creating networks is important

Van den Berg’s network at KPN is made concretely accessible to companies via KPN’s IoT Academy. At the Academy, small and medium-sized companies sit around the same table with digital solution experts. The goal is to quickly create a minimum viable product that companies can immediately test in practice. According to Van den Berg, many companies only realise what the real challenges are during these workshops, when they are forced to consider the company’s situation from a new perspective.
“If you keep repeating the same things, your results will also remain the same. Our method is to ask companies attending the Academy what changes and solutions could be implemented in a new way using the IoT.” 

Similar cooperation to the #iotnextlevel project is also being done outside Europe. Chris Kyritsis, Executive Committee Member of the IoT World Alliance and IoT Product Portfolio Manager – Global IoT Enablers at the Australian company Telstra, tells us about his experiences. “We at Telstra do (similar #iotnextlevel projects) with university students and the results are often quite amazing. DNA's #iotnextlevel sounds like a great project that will certainly boost IoT awareness all over Finland and bring real solutions to customers.”
Randy Bryson, IoT World Alliance Chairman and Director, Global M2M & IoT Partnerships at the Canadian company Rogers Communications, likes the start-up spirit of DNA’s challenge.
“The companies entering the #iotnextlevel challenge are not the best-known international consultants – many ideas and creative solutions are coming from start-ups. In particular I noticed how, with DNA’s support, these small companies’ solutions can help businesses of all sizes to come up with new ideas.”