Abstract concept of IoT elements over laptop computer

Why We Built Upon IoT ‘Solution Accelerators’

26 Feb 2019 by Amol Ajgaonkar

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers tremendous advantages for businesses that can successfully build and deploy IOT solutions and transform quickly. And now, in conjunction with solution accelerators from Microsoft, Insight is helping our clients go to market faster than ever.

In the last few years, businesses have experienced a seismic shift in how they’re run, what customers expect from them, and increasingly fierce competition for market share.

Newer, more agile startups are challenging larger corporations that, until now, were thought of as untouchable. Adding to the market mayhem is a readiness by consumers to spend money on unfamiliar products or brands. Big brands can’t assume continued customer loyalty.

To find, or keep, their competitive edge, companies are turning to the IoT. Connected, smart technology can be embedded in all aspects of a business — from operations and distribution to deployment and customer experience. Companies continue to discover innovative ways to integrate the IoT into their business in order to meet some key objectives:

  • Improve operational efficiency.
  • Reduce downtime.
  • Increase customer engagement.
  • Gather and understand the data that drives the business.
In case you’re not convinced: Discover driving stats and changing behaviors behind why digital disruption is crucial to business survival.

Although implementing IoT solutions offers many advantages, I’ve seen too many IoT initiatives stuck in Proof of Concept (PoC) purgatory. There are a few reasons for that:

  1. The business goal/vision isn’t defined, so there’s no real return on investment for the solution.
  2. The management team isn’t convinced of the IoT solution’s value.
  3. The technical solution is complicated with a large learning curve.
  4. The initial financial investment is too high.
  5. The logistics of procuring, installing and maintaining the solution is complex.

Chart displaying the business vision of an IoT process

The IoT challenge

IoT solutions are intricate in nature — they involve a combination of people, hardware, software and business processes. You have to think about selecting the appropriate hardware and define the process to procure and image it. You also must consider possible logistical issues, select the correct software solution that can be scalable and will provide a good user experience, and engage the people participating and/or affected by the solution.

Additionally, effort needs to be put into thinking about how the business/operational processes will have to change to work alongside the new solution. That’s not easy.

Chart displaying product and platform solutions

With so many considerations and technical questions to answer, some organizations are tagging a Systems Integrator (SI) to help them get over the IoT hurdle. This is a great option for businesses with small IT teams or short-term projects.

Worth asking: Is a systems integrator right for your organization? This article breaks down the purpose and value of an SI and provides key questions to ask.

Introducing solution accelerators

For other organizations with a dedicated IT team and long-term plans for continuous transformation, Microsoft offers a variety of open-source solutions in the IoT space. These third-party offerings are partially baked, plug-and-play solutions — they still require all the strategic planning and technical knowledge previously outlined in standing up an IoT solution.

But Insight now offers an even faster method. To help clients implement applications immediately and begin to experience the benefits right away, we’ve partnered with Microsoft to create out-of-the-box, custom solutions.

We work with clients to modify solutions to make them more relevant and owned by the client. By developing these end-to-end solution accelerators, we help clients quickly embark on their IoT journey.

The solution accelerators from Insight consist of:

  • Software components
    • Cloud and edge deployment
    • Processing components
    • Visualization
  • Hardware components
    • For each solution accelerator, Insight has defined the hardware required to achieve the goal. Not only can we procure, image, ship and install the hardware, but we’ll also customize it using our device partners, if needed.

These solutions offer tremendous value to clients, allowing them to focus on the problem at hand and see the benefits quickly. These are true turnkey solutions for devices, deployment and support.

Defining and implementing an IoT vision is a complex process. At Insight, we’re committed to helping clients manage today and transform for the future. Our solution accelerators were built for the benefit of our clients, to help you realize your vision sooner and drive meaningful outcomes today.

See the solutions: Find out how we help organizations leverage the IoT to improve communications during an emergency situation.
Headshot of About Amol Ajgaonkar

About About Amol Ajgaonkar
Chief Architect, IoT, Digital Innovation

Amol has more than 15 years of experience successfully implementing technology for business outcomes. He specializes in architecting and implementing IoT solutions using Azure for manufacturing and other industry segments. Amol has also worked with Microsoft Azure Sphere to embed security into cloud-connected devices to enable clients to focus on creating new products and services.

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