2

The Usefulness of Things

As a Tesla owner, I recently had the experience of calling Tesla service after a yellow warning message appeared on the center console of my car.” Check tire pressure system.  Call Tesla Service.” While still on the freeway, I voice dialed Tesla with my iPhone and was in touch with a service representative within minutes.

Me: A yellow warning message just appeared on my dash and also the center console.

Tesla rep: Yes, I see – is it the tire pressure warning?

Me: Yes – do I need to pull into a gas station?  I haven’t had to visit a gas station since I purchased the car.

Tesla rep:  Well, I also see that you are traveling on a freeway that has some steep elevation – it’s possible the higher altitude is affecting your car’s tires temporarily until the pressure equalizes.  Let me check your tire pressure monitoring sensor in a half hour.  If the sensor still detects a problem, I will call you and give further instructions.

As it turned out, the warning message disappeared after ten minutes and everything was fine for the rest of the trip. However, the episode served as a reminder that the world will be much different with the advent of the Internet of Things. Just as humans connected with mobile phones become more productive, machines and devices connected to the network become more useful. In this case, a connected automobile allowed the remote service rep to remotely access vehicle data, read the tire pressure sensor as well as the vehicle location/elevation and was able to suggest a course of action. This example is fairly basic compared to the opportunities afforded by networked devices/machines.

In addition to remote servicing, there are several other use case categories that offer great potential, including:

  • Preventative Maintenance – monitor usage data and increase the overall uptime for machines/devices while decreasing the cost of upkeep. e.g., Tesla runs remote diagnostics on vehicles and has the ability to identify vehicle problems before they occur.
  • Realtime Product Enhancements – analyze product usage data and deliver improvements quickly in response. e.g., Tesla delivers software updates that improve the usability of the vehicle based on analysis of owner usage.
  • Higher Efficiency in Business Operations – analyze consolidated enterprise transaction data with machine data to identify opportunities to achieve greater operational efficiency. e.g., Tesla deployed waves of new fast charging stations (known as superchargers) based upon analyzing the travel patterns of its vehicle owners.
  • Differentiated Product/Service Offerings – deliver new class of applications that operate on correlated data across a broad spectrum of sources (HINT for Tesla: a trip planning application that estimates energy consumption and recommends charging stops would be really cool…)

In each case, machine data is integrated with other data (traditional enterprise data, vehicle owner registration data, etc.) to create business value. Just as important to the connectivity of the devices and machines is the ability to integrate the data. Several Informatica customers have begun investing in M2M (aka Internet of Things) infrastructure and Informatica technology has been critical to their efforts. US Xpress utilizes mobile censors on its vast fleet of trucks and Informatica delivers the ability to consolidate, cleanse and integrate the data they collect.

My recent episode with Tesla service was a simple, yet eye-opening experience. With increasingly more machines and devices getting wireless connected and the ability to integrate the tremendous volumes of data being generated, this example is only a small hint of more interesting things to come.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
This entry was posted in Cloud Computing, Complex Event Processing, Data Aggregation, Data Integration and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Usefulness of Things

  1. Brian H says:

    In the recent Mexico crash, Tesla noted the telemetry, and within 10 or 20 minutes, reached the driver on his mobile to make sure he was OK. He took the opportunity to order a replacement!

    • Ivan Chong says:

      @Brian – great example of the value of connected devices. In this case Tesla had to correlate the vehicle/device with the owner contact data. I would guess their internal systems can easily establish this correlation. However, with traditional automotive manufacturers, owner data needs to be provided by dealers so it’s a non-trivial effort to correlate vehicles with owners, not to mention up to date contact info for those owners. Informatica’s products are often applied towards these types of business challenges.

      Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>