Digital Transformation in Smart Factory Settings | MachineMetrics’s Dave Westrom

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This week on the IoT For All Podcast, MachineMetrics VP of Business Development Dave Westrom joins us to talk about digital transformation initiatives and IoT adoption in smart factory settings. Dave discusses the types of settings where analytics solutions can really drive ROI and how he’s seen companies best utilize IoT to support digital transformation in the manufacturing industry. He also shares what these initiatives look like on the corporate versus factory level and how he’s seen corporate buy-in play a role in driving the success of these digital transformations. To wrap up, Dave also discusses his experience in the IoT space and some of the differences he’s seen in the business development space and how companies can drive success through both customer relationships and in-industry partnerships.

David Westrom is responsible for global business development at MachineMetrics. Dave has spent much of his career in executive team roles at innovative Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) companies. He has led business development organizations and driven strategy at three IIoT start-ups that experienced successful exits, including most recently ThingWorx (acquired by PTC) and Lighthammer (acquired by SAP).

Interested in connecting with Dave? Reach out to him on Linkedin!

About MachineMetrics: MachineMetrics’ intuitive and flexible machine data platform easily collects and analyzes data from any piece of manufacturing equipment to deliver powerful, actionable insights for factory workers in a matter of minutes, driving decisions from anywhere in the world at any time that go right to the bottom line starting from day one.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(00:59) Intro to Dave Westrom

(02:22) Intro to MachineMetrics

(07:42) Can you share some use cases for MachineMetrics?

(15:29) Have you seen a reluctance to adopt IoT and how do you handle that with potential customers?

(18:13) What differences are you seeing in digital transformation initiatives at the corporate level versus the factory level?

(23:16) How important is corporate buy-in when undergoing these digital transformation initiatives?

(26:10) Do you see companies often trying the DIY track first and, if so, what challenges does that come with?

(31:03) What makes business development in IoT different from other industries? Do you have any advice for companies who are struggling with it?


Transcript:

– [Announcer] You are listening to IoT for All Media Network.

– [Ryan] Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the IoT for All podcast on the IoT for All Media Network. I’m your Ryan, Ryan Chacon, one of the co-creators of IoT For All. Now, before we jump into this episode please don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, or join our newsletter at IoTforall.com/newsletter to catch all the newest episodes as soon as they come out. Before we get started, does your business waste hours searching for assets like equipment or vehicles and pay full time employees just to manually enter location and status data? You can get real time location and status updates for assets indoors and outdoors at the lowest cost possible with Leverege’s end-to-end IoT solutions. To learn more, go to IoTchangeseverything.com that’s IoTchangeseverything.com. So, without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the IoT for All podcast. Welcome Dave to the IoT for All show, thanks for being here this week.

– [Dave] Thank you, good to be here.

– [Ryan] Yeah, it’s fantastic to have you. Been looking forward to this conversation for a while, ever since MachineMetrics became a partner with us. So, this will be a good one. I wanted to start off by just having you give a quick introduction, talk a little bit more about your background experience. From my understanding, you have a quite unique background, being involved in a lot of different companies across the industry and connected industries. So if you could just elaborate on that and talk a little bit more about who, so our audience knows who they’re listening to.

– [Dave] Sure, yeah I’ve been with MachineMetrics for about two and a half years now. I’m responsible for global business development, which includes our partner ecosystem, strategic accounts, among other things. Prior to MachineMetrics, I was part of the executive team at a company called ThingWorx, which was an early IoT pioneer around application enablement, was acquired by PTC. Prior to that, I was part of the exec team at a company called Lighthammer, which was acquired by SAP and subsequently became their IoT platform. Before that, I have had various roles at companies such as ABB, General Electric, Wonderware, which is became Invensys, become Schneider, now AVEVA. So much of my career has been in the IoT, industrial software, enterprise software and solutions spaces.

– [Ryan] Fantastic, that’s awesome. Let’s talk a little bit more about the current company MachineMetrics. Tell me a little bit more about what the company does for the audience members who may be unfamiliar, kind of the role you all play in IoT, that sort of thing.

– [Dave] Sure, so MachineMetrics provides a very unique industrial Internet of Things platform. And I think to describe it or frame it would be perhaps to look at what’s available or traditionally has been available on the market in comparison, and how MachineMetrics is in that context. You know, there have been a number of statistics quoted by McKinsey, Cisco and others, that talk about a fairly high rate of failure of industrial IoT projects. And we attribute that to the options that have been out there in the past. The first option is really what I would call a package application or a package solution. Customers will typically get value out of the box in that, but have a very limited opportunity to innovate to extend the application, to add their own IP, to build their own applications. The second option is the more horizontal IoT platform, which allows you to build anything you want, but you gotta use the tools of that offering and it typically takes a long time to get to initial value. And oftentimes the projects just sizzle out. The first option you get some value quickly, but you’re very limited in your ability to expand, you have to conform your processes to the software, and often those approaches become obsolete. Second option you can do anything and everything, but it takes a long time to get to value. The third options are the customers that have had a traditional MES products, ERP solutions that try to shoehorn those into their discreet manufacturing assets. And oftentimes that is a nightmare. And even if they are able to connect those assets, the cost to maintain the code they write to do that is typically prohibitive. So MachineMetrics really offers the best of all the options. It’s unique in that it’s a true platform in that it has the ability to allow extensions, expansions, applications to be built, IP to be added, but it also comes with applications that are packaged in the products, so our customers who are discreet manufacturers can get to value very quickly and very rapidly. So it combines both and it really does so in a way that is unique. And that uniqueness lies in the automation of the data transformation or contextualization layer. So what MachineMetrics has done is basically, we connect to a machine asset, we extract the data and we automatically transform or contextualized the data so that it’s consumable not only in our packaged applications, but in other applications, and other tools. So again, the more traditional approaches that I mentioned earlier, you typically have to use a tool to model some sort of process, to graphical tool in many cases, then you’ve got a connector, you extract data. Then you’ve got to write all the code in between to marry that data into that model. With MachineMetrics, there’s a common…

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