Michael Campbell

Michael Campbell

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Michael’s Musings: Digital Transformation for Connected Product Businesses

Wouldn’t life be easier if business transformations just happened because we willed them so?

But we know that Digital Transformation is much more complicated than a board mandate, giving someone a trendy title, or creating an intra-organizational task force. And I have yet to meet a real wizard that can magically transform any product into its digital equivalent.

I work with dozens of executives and managers who wrestle with what digital transformation means for their businesses, their products, their customers, their partners and even their careers. The organizations we work with make, sell and support physical products with complex technology stacks and dozens of components. These businesses are envious of their friends in banking, retail, hospitality, entertainment or even just software. Digital transformation in those markets largely meant moving from paper to digits. Then the digits were moved from on-prem servers to the cloud with serverless computing and APIs to expose, integrate and automate processes behind the scenes.

Many of these companies already provided a service-based product. So moving to an “as a Service” business model was an evolution, not a revolution. I don’t mean to trivialize these changes. They do require thoughtful product management, new pricing models, new billing systems and more. But for traditional software and services businesses - there was no need for an entire new technology stack requiring completely different organizational DNA.

The world of Connected Products is an entirely different story.

Physical products were already complicated. They have electrical and mechanical components, multiple semiconductors and compute modules for data processing and memory, not to mention complex embedded software. Twenty+ years ago, manufacturers started connecting these devices to networks for remote monitoring and periodic software updates. While customers benefited from the new connectivity features, the primary benefactors of remote access were internal stakeholders - mostly field service and customer support teams.

The floodgates opened.

It didn’t take long for the entire Connected Product value chain - product managers, engineering teams, operations and support organizations, customers, resellers and more - to see the power and possibilities. Everyone wanted access to data and events. With the right systems in place, device data could be federated globally to various systems and applications.

Senior management and shareholders saw a new business opportunity.

Software companies moved aggressively to SaaS models and away from perpetual licensing. Hardware-based product companies wondered if they could do the same - and how. This is an existential opportunity - find a way to convert a simple hardware product into multiple new services and even the holy grail of device as a service (DaaS). Connected product companies got their first glimpse of recurring revenue beyond a maintenance contract. Everyone in the value chain has been devising plans to deliver this transformative value, and to monetize it.

For hardware-based companies, this truly involves a new technology stack, a different group of software engineers and product managers, an entirely new ecosystem in the cloud. For the past 10 years I’ve watched the same CEOs and other leaders wrestle with how to do this, and when.

Persevere!

Michael

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DeviceOps: The Foundation of your Digital Transformation Journey

It seems cliche, but it’s true, that a journey to the mountain’s summit begins with a first step at its base. Organizations that aspire for digital and business transformation must commit to taking those first and foundational steps to achieve their “summit” goals.

As with any organizational transformation - the changes cannot be implemented by a single person or operational unit. There may be a Chief Digital Transformation Officer in your organization, but her job is setting the strategy and coaching the many teams necessary to achieve the organization’s goals. That’s why Digital Transformation is more often referred to as a process - not a technology. It’s also a perpetual journey, not a final destination.

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Introducing CRM for Machines: A Connected Devices Platform Service

Only 25 years ago, most businesses relied on spreadsheets (or a rolodex) for the entire sales process. From key contacts, to prospects, deal statuses, and more - we stored everything in these tools. Some larger companies used Siebel or another similar legacy CRM vendor. However, these tools were only available to the few large companies that could afford it.

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Digital Transformation of the Connected Product Economy

Download our Digital Transformation whitepaper to learn how connected product industry leaders are successfully leveraging technology to disrupt old ways of thinking and doing, while creating new ways to monetize value and delight customers.

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EdgeIQ Use Cases & Industry Solutions Handbook

EdgeIQ Use Cases & Industry Solutions Handbook

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EdgeIQ Announces New Financing Round to Expand

BOSTON, MA (July 21, 2020) EdgeIQ today announced it closed a new round of funding that will allow the company to accelerate its product development and go-to-market initiatives. EdgeIQ provides software that enables and accelerates digital transformation for connected product companies.

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Software: The Most Critical Element of Any Connected Product BOM

The other night I was marveling at a story that I read about the Open-AirVentGT.

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OnLogic Partners with EdgeIQ to Launch IoT Orchestration

New industrial devices offer simple setup and enhanced reliability for IoT monitoring in challenging environments.

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PaaS Isn’t Passive (Income That Is)

I’m annoyed. Our hard work is being undone by those on the inside.

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2019 Review and a Look at What's Next

We are a customer-driven, problem-solving software company. And in 2019 we helped 300% more customers than we did the year before. Why?

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