Talk of Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere, but we hear much less about how to manage the predicted billions of devices it will involve. Here’s where new business processes come in – appropriately enough called Process of Things (PoT).
Let’s back up a bit. Business process management (BPM) has its roots in workflow systems that focus on people. It has been adopted across many industries, and now intelligent BPM (iBPM) is extending the orchestration of participants from humans to systems and intelligent ‘things’ to achieve specific business objectives. And the processes iBPM manages for IoT are…all together now…PoTs.
A PoT model allows us to rethink the processes that enable IoT, but the model faces some interesting challenges, for example:
- many connected devices from a variety of manufacturers;
- complex developer ecosystems;
- exponential growth of service APIs;
- unprecedented growth of IoT data and devices; and
- multi-cloud service delivery.
Big, really big, upsides
But, if we can overcome these challenges, the upsides are massive: From cities to innovative businesses, from intelligent buildings to farmlands and residences, PoT generates value for ecosystems. It allows the redesign of collaboration models for partnerships, enabling them to gain greater value offers from catalogs of new products and services. These next generation products and services are how industries can revamp their value proposition in a disrupted world and differentiate themselves instead of being commoditized.
Achieving these upsides is the driver for the TM Forum proof-of-concept Catalyst project, Process of Things (PoT), which is championed by Canadian operator Telus and Vodafone. They are supported by participants Accenture, Pega, SAS and Zira.
Partnering for PoT is essential because:
- sophisticated and complex solutions can be delivered to customers;
- partners can focus on core competencies;
- new products and services are developed faster; and
- changing customers’ demand are satisfied quickly and easily.
The PoT relies on two main elements. The first is the business application itself, which is connected to the IoT platform. The second is a new partnering solution – a central system that governs and manages multiple partnerships and interfaces with web applications is essential to synchronize and coordinate the partners’ relationships. This is because the service provider doesn’t ‘own’ all the services are offered by the ecosystem, rather the value is derived from different combinations of elements from various partners to offer customers new and exciting products and services.
Data does it
Further, the PoTs allows them to use data from all the partners to inform, support and generate new business ideas and models, and so generate greater return on investment for all the partners than they could have achieved individually. Gestalt in other words – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
As more data is generated by and about humans, machines and things, it can be used to generate ever-more value. For example, by collecting data about vertical applications, which are based on several processes, in an automated and integrated way, there will be opportunities to increase revenue, decrease operations costs, and improve efficiency, productivity, accuracy and profit.
In summary, PoTs can establish complex partner relationships and do much more than manage those relationships. By being always on and connected to the partners, PoTs can help build and execute a different enterprise strategy by leveraging virtual, complex catalogs, offering new services and monetizing the client behaviors.
The Process of Things (PoT) Catalyst will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! In Nice May 15-18 – don’t miss it!