I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Prabhu Ramachandran, who previously led WebNMS, the IoT division of Zoho Corporation. He was instrumental in building its IoT platform and strategizing WebNMS for enterprise IoT technologies. With his 18 years of experience in the telecom and IoT spaces, he shares his valuable views with us today.
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You were a driving force in strategizing IoT technologies to enterprises all across the globe. By your experience, what do you think about the scope of enterprise IoT in India?
Prabhu Ramachandran: Thank you. I feel the scope of IoT technology in enterprise scale is not exploited well enough in India. One of the main reasons would be the mindset of leaders who still feel that spending on IoT means just spending on devices. There is still some resistance in believing the results.
In your opinion, what is the best strategy to advocate the use of IoT in an enterprise scale and attract customers?
Ramachandran: My theory here is you must make your value addition clear. This gets more efficient if you analyze your customers’ spending patterns more clearly. You have to do your homework right by considering their quarterly revenue. Considering all such factors, you have to draw them a clear path for adoption. If you just showcase your IoT technology like a sci-fi movie in a conference, it won’t work.
What is your advice to practice leaders starting to offer IoT-based services?
Ramachandran: You have to define your market well and design industry-specific offerings. Say you design a general internet-connected device tracking system and now want to get this working. Instead of calling it an IoT product, you can rebrand creatively and call it a “next-generation cloud-based supply chain technology.” This creates more traction than a generic IoT service. Once you penetrate and prove your value addition, you can scale up.
What are the must-have technical know-hows these leaders must possess? What technical background helps these leaders the most?
Ramachandran: I feel developing IoT services is more about connecting the dots. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and build technology from the scratch. Leaders should be aware of latest cutting-edge technologies so that they don’t spend time in those places where the desired service already exists. PubNub is a good example as it provides a complete infrastructure plumbing for real-time apps. Pros and cons of third-party APIs and platforms such as AWS, IBM Bluemix or Google Cloud should be well understood. Moreover, these companies will be adding new features frequently. Leaders who keep themselves updated will win.
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