Mobile Development Changing The Whole Application Architecture Of Companies

Simon Barton

I sat down with Kalman Tiboldi, Chief Business Innovation Officer at TVH, to discuss how mobile sensors and Internet of Things are enabling his company to move from corrective to predictive maintenance.

"Within digital transformation, mobile is imperative. You can’t just change one part of the company to be ready for it, but the entire organisation – everyone should be onboard," states Kalman. Throughout my interview with Kalman he reiterates the importance of mobile, and how enabling it is going to be crucial for customer satisfaction. It’s not, however, just about technological advancement. There is also a need for "cultural change", where the entire workforce understands how technology can benefit the company.

"Mobile development affects the whole application architecture of the company," states Kalman. And for him, the Internet of Things is central to this. The predictions around IoT are staggering. Cisco predicts that the market will be worth $19 trillion by 2020, while even the most conservative estimates come in north of $10 trillion.

Despite this, much of the rhetoric around IoT is still focused on looking at the industry as an upcoming trend. The truth, however, is that it’s already impacting organizations, changing business models and creating new revenue streams.

It is because of this that most companies are now looking to adopt IoT solutions. Kalman says: "No big player is ignoring the Internet of Things, it’s crucial." While IoT has a number of advantages, it’s the effect on the business model which Kalman sees as its greatest asset.

Kalman works for TVH Group, a global distributor of spare parts and related services for forklift trucks, agricultural tractors and aerial work platforms and operates a large rental fleet of those equipment. He sees the company integrating an IOT enabled fleet management suite which will allow them to move from their current corrective maintenance approach to a predictive model: "Managing IOT efficiently is imperative for us – we would like to change from corrective maintenance to predictive maintenance." At the same time IoT will enable TVH to improve other components like Asset Tracking, Remote Monitoring, Driver tracking and Security which will increase the global efficiency of the fleet.

The value of predictive maintenance could be considerable for TVH: "[predictive maintenance] allows for the detection of eventual problems before they happen - this saves time and is more cost effective." This reduces the time which vehicles are out of action, something which will be essential for the level of service the company offers.

At Mobile World Congress, Kalman discussed how this new predictive model will change the ways customers view them as a company. He says: "It will mean that OEM’s aren’t selling or we [TVH] aren’t renting anymore the machine, but the result of this machine,’ later adding, "having these machines functioning as efficiently as possible is crucial, and this is all about the IoT." By using sensors on mobile applications, data collection will make it possible for issues to be spotted ahead of time.

There are, however, challenges to overcome before the predictive model can be optimised. "GPRS is not powerful enough to power predictive maintenance – faster networks are needed to support the real-time interaction with equipment," says Kalman. Extending company mobility in this way is expensive, and could take considerable time to implement.

For the IoT in general, security also worries Kalman, calling it "one of the main concerns" while also highlighting the need to raise awareness: "everyone needs to know what it means," he says. Already recognized as an important issue, security solution providers are already starting to offer innovative services, so it seems that while more attention is needed, perceptions are changing.

In line with this, at Mobile World CongressIoT solution providers were inescapable, and for regular attendees of the event, it was a noticeable difference from years gone by. ""The Internet of Things has been one of the major changes at Mobile World Congress over the last two years – first it was just a conversation, now it’s a real issue," says Kalman.

It was very interesting to hear from Kalman and how he is playing a pivotal role in enabling TVH for a mobile future. His objective to use IoT to bring predictive maintenance to his company’s fleet management demonstrates his forward-thinking approach and willingness to embrace new business models.

It’s clear that IoT is not only going to impact the future, but also current business practices.