Previously known solely as a mobile communications service provider, Telus recently launched its IoT Marketplace to help enterprises discover this emerging technology and integrate it into their daily functions to bolster productivity and efficiency while reducing costs.
Telus’ foray into IoT was born out of its internal fleet management system, which is one of 38 services currently available on the Marketplace. Others include restaurant management services, an employee tracking system for solo workers, and the ability for businesses to design customized IoT solutions.
“We’ve been doing fleet tracking for quite some time, but it’s really transforming businesses right now because it’s like when smartphones first came out,” said Greg Stark, senior product manager for Telus. “Everyone was wondering why they needed a smartphone, and what it came down to was people and businesses could be more efficient if they had this technology. Fleet tracking is the first example of how businesses could drive efficiency by using IoT.”
The primary goal of the IoT Marketplace, said Stark, is to make IoT solutions accessible to all types of businesses, and to promote them as a means of helping them to complete tasks in a more efficient, digitized manner.
“The general idea behind our IoT Marketplace is to make it easier for our customers to deploy IoT solutions,” he said. “Typically, these are very complex solutions.”
Existing Telus mobile customers can combine their IoT Marketplace usage and their mobile phone plan onto one bill for an easier payment solution.
Aside from providing its enterprise customers with a host of management and tracking services, the IoT Marketplace also enables businesses to enhance their connectivity, an area that many companies have focused on lately.
“If you think about how technology has evolved over the years, this category is coming up a lot more now because people are realizing that you can connect more things,” said Stark. “You don’t need to just connect your phone; you can connect your fridge, your car (or) your people in a different way. Because of the advancements that have happened, there are a lot of players out there that build in this category, and it’s gaining steam and momentum behind it because companies are now at the point where they want to connect more things.”
These advancements have resulted in the creation of a highly fragmented market; something that Stark believes is the primary reason why now is the time for the launch of the IoT Marketplace.
“What we’ve found is that because the market is so fragmented, it’s such a great opportunity for us to help solve real customer problems,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for quite some time, and there are so many people talking about IoT. What we really wanted to do was make it simple for our customers.”
According to a study conducted by Telus prior to the launch of the Marketplace, only 13 per cent of Canadian businesses will have launched an IoT solution by the end of 2014. This figure is expected to increase over the next two years, with an additional 30 per cent of companies considering the implementation of IoT technology. If the growth continues as expected, it will generate $21 billion in additional revenue for the Canadian IoT market by the end of 2018.
With more businesses expected to jump on the IoT bandwagon in the future, Telus plans to expand the Marketplace beyond its current roster of services, and promote Canadian technology to its customer base.
“Our goal is to grow the number of solutions we can offer to our customers,” Stark said. “What we want is to showcase some of the great Canadian technology out there, so there’s an open call to anyone that’s building IoT today. If we’ve got more technology partners, we can increase that number of solutions.”
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