Bob Karschnia, VP & GM of Wireless, Emerson Automation Solutions [NYSE: EMR]

When we started our wireless IIoT journey at Emerson, the market challenges were different. While cybersecurity has always been a prime concern, our clients were apprehensive about the reliability and longevity of the wireless products. With time Emerson and other industry leaders addressed these primary issues and alleviated them. But now there is a new set of challenges to overcome. Today, the concerns are around integrating new wireless sensors in a mixed environment and generating rapid ROI.

Rising to the Current Challenges

The main hurdle for startups and other businesses in the industrial wireless technology arena is to standardize their offerings and to update it with the latest industry changes. In the last 12 years, there have been numerous industry standards that—albeit for a short time—gained popularity in dictating the requirements of environment agnostic wireless sensors. However, the multitude of such communication protocols makes it harder to choose the functional one for a specific client. One of the best ways to mitigate this issue is to learn from the success of others, and then start small and build to scale. For example, we have deployed over 50,000 wireless networks within the heavy industry, which allows us to test different deployment strategies and develop a series of best practices to help our customers.

  Businesses have to keep in mind that it is not just about selling a product; it is about offering an effective solution to address the existing industry shortcomings  

Another aspect to pay attention to is the target client base. Considering driving a better ROI is the primary need for any technological integration, a business also needs to take the prospective client’s area of business into consideration. This would help in finalizing a suitable solution that aligns with the client’s business needs. To bring forth this alignment, transparent communication from the early stage of client engagement is imperative.

An Innovative Approach to Overcoming Today’s Challenges

In the industrial wireless market, developing and selling just a sensor and a mobile application does not cut it anymore. Businesses need to find a delicate balance between both wireless sensors and apps to be the best. Gone are the days where companies would ship the products to their customers, and that would be the end of it. Now customers want businesses to ensure that they have a complete services portfolio, which can allow them to help customers install, implement, maintain, and, sometimes, even operate these wireless sensors for them. That being said, it is no longer just about coding; one needs to understand the application from a client’s perspective and apply those in unique use cases to develop impeccable expertise in both the sensor and implementation side of wireless technology.

  Today, the concerns are around the integration of new wireless sensors in a mixed environment and generating rapid ROI  

Besides, businesses have to keep in mind that it is not just about selling a product; it is about offering an effective solution to address the existing industry shortcomings. Having a future vision will always help in staying a few steps ahead of the customers and predicting their future needs. One can look at other industries, see what is happening, and try to use that as a guideline. “Lead customer approach” is the mantra that has helped businesses run for many decades. In theory, customers lead firms in the right direction as per their future requirements. Integrating the lead customer approach in our workflow at Emerson, we often come up with an idea and then engage with our customers about the different functionalities and performance parameters they require. Once a collective decision is taken, our team goes ahead and designs the final solution. As a result, when clients finally start looking for a specific solution, we have already built it, instead of taking years to build something, which will become obsolete in no time.

For businesses looking to foster technological partnership, it is essential to note that if they are envisioning to be the market leader in certain aspects of wireless technology, they need to meet specific market expectations or requirements. It is crucial to ensure that they have the best people—be it startup companies or established partners—working on the most critical problems in the industry.

It’s All About a “Winning” Mindset

It is stated time and again that passionate people make a big difference in the world. Unless business leaders are passionate about what they are doing and are persuasive in inspiring change across the industry, their efforts can go in vain. A right combination of passion and people in the organization can help businesses achieve unprecedented success through all the internal changes.

Finally, in the journey to change, there could be times when businesses fall short and get knocked down as they wade through new waters. In such scenarios, just like life, backing down is not an option for businesses looking to win; all they need to do is get back up, dust off their pants, and keep moving. Only then can they truly succeed.

See Also:

Top Wireless Technology Solution Companies

Top Wireless Technology Consulting/Service Companies

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