Connectivity across multiple platforms and devices is crucial to almost all businesses. It has shifted from simply being a convenience to a necessity. IoT has increasingly become a critical part of connecting the various forms of technology within a business.
Use of IoT in business is only going to increase in the near future. The IoT industry is projected to grow from $1.9 trillion to a whopping $7.1 trillion by 2020. In fact, many industry thought leaders, including Forbes, project the IoT industry to spur the 4th industrial revolution.
We spoke with Rachel Ewing and Forrest Derr of Altaworx, based in Fairhope, AL, about how IoT is impacting businesses' techonology. Forrest Derr, Director of Technology and Marketing, gave us insight into how IoT technology is being integrated into businesses that were previously unchanged for many years.
"Vending machines, for example, now have the capability to monitor inventory and let a distributor know when a certain product is low," says Derr. "This not only allows them to send the right product at the right time, but takes the guess work out of what to have on-hand when refilling the machine. IoT technology drastically increases the efficiency of this business. Altaworx can facilitate the connectivity between the machines and the distributor."
IoT is even impacting horses. Using devices like Trackener, equine farms can monitor the location and health of their horses from their smart phone. IoT technology alerts the horse's owner when they need to contact a veterinarian.
"Horses typically don't show outward signs of distress when they're sick. They fall over dead," explains Derr. "Customers can also use this technology to view a horse's stats when deciding whether or not to purchase a particular horse."
"Altaworx is even working to integrate similar connectivity into school buses," said Derr. "The technology exists to track the location of a bus as well as which child gets on or off the bus and at what time. We are able to facilitate connectivity that transmits information to the school as well as the child's parents. It gives parents and school administrators peace of mind."
Altaworx also recognized a gap in IoT technology— the dreaded internet outage. We have all been in a store when their ISP has an outage and the store is crippled in many aspects. There is no POS, no inventory management system, and no instant alerts if a food cooler's temp rises. To address this issue, Altaworx created the Wireless LTE Broadband Network Failover for Businesses. What exactly does that mean?
Rachel Ewing, Marketing Coordinator for Altaworx, explained it like this, "Think about your smart phone. When your internet goes out at home, you turn wi-fi off on your phone and use LTE to run your apps or surf the internet. This product works in a similar fashion. When a business' ISP has an outage, the Wireless LTE Broadband Network Failover for Businesses takes over. Many customers never know that they have experienced an internet outage until they receive a notification from us."
The need for constant connectivity is not exclusive to big businesses. Reliable connectivity is critical to a small businesses as well. Think about how many small businesses use card readers plugged into a tablet. In the event of an internet outage, those small businesses could not securely accept credit card payments. If they are subscribed to a data plan through their cell phone provider, they could use that. However, they could risk data compromise. An outage can result in significant missed profits since up to 80% of consumers pay for every day transactions with credit cards.
Utilizing Altaworx's Wireless LTE Broadband Network Failover for Businesses enables seamless and secure transactions at all times. What's more, this product is priced in a way that businesses of all sizes can afford it.
"Plans are completely customizable, so we can get a business on a plan that fits their needs and budget starting as low as 1GB per month." Ewing said. "Major network providers don't offer that level of customization. Small businesses also don't have the need or the budget for the large volume packages offered by the major providers."
IoT's rapid adoption within the B2B segment has made IoT an integral part of conducting business. Altaworx has created a unique niche for themselves by recognizing the need for uninterupted connectivity of this industry. We would like to thank Forrest Derr and Rachel Ewing of Altaworx for taking the time to provide insight into this fascinating technology.