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EP053 - The first iteration of cybernetic workers - Gabe Grifoni, CEO, Rufus Labs
Monday, Oct 28, 2019

In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight podcast, we discuss the evolution of warehouse for commerce, and modern solutions and flexible service based business models to support the new business and competitive challenges in logistics. 


What is driving the development of industrial wearables?

How do you sell Hardware-as-a-Service?

What are the disruptive technologies to come in the IIoT?

Gabe Grifoni is the CEO of Rufus Labs. Rufus Labs’ WorkHero is the most advanced connected operator platform for enterprise. Comprised of machine learning software, rugged wearable technology, and superhuman support, WorkHero is a complete Productivity as a Service solution for the evolving workplace (Industry 4.0). Compatible with existing WMS/ERP systems, it connects workers to each other and to automation, allowing for optimal coordination between humans & machines. WorkHero provides our logistics, e-commerce, and fulfillment customers superhuman efficiency gains, safety enhancements, and zero downtime, while providing management with robust, actionable, visibility & analytics into their teams and facilities.

For info and demo: getrufus.com or enterprise@rufuslabs.com 

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EP052 - Empathy is the key to successful industrial design - Gordon Stannis, Director of Design and Strategy, Twisthink
Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss human-centric design and change management in high uncertainty innovation processes. 

  • What is human-centric design?
  • What is empathy in an industrial environment?
  • How to manage and communicate through the process of trials and failure?

Gordon Stannis is the Director of Design and Strategy at Twisthink, A business growth accelerator / innovation firm that partners with clients to imagine, develop and launch exciting new user experiences and products that “their” customers will love! For nearly 2 decades the Twisthink team has consistently unlocked game changing opportunities for clients in a broad range of markets including home, transportation, workplace, healthcare, sports and many things in between. Because at Twisthink, they’re not tethered to industry paradigms or mired by the day to day constraints of those industries. They flow between industries and can spot consumer, design and technology trends that affect them all. They’re entirely devoted to creating the ideal user experience which allows their customers to become market leaders and grow.


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EP 051 – Hyper converged infrastructure for scale and simplicity in IIoT, and other success factors – Satyam Vaghani, VP of IoT, Nutanix
Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss the adoption of hyper converged infrastructure to enable scale and simplicity in IIoT applications, how decisions migrate from IT to project managers and business decision makers, and the factors behind successful IIoT deployments.

Why must the OT understand the IT?

How to design an IoT application with strong value propositions for users?

What are the technologies on the rise that will drive progress of solutions available today and future potential solutions?

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PTC x IoT ONE EP050 – Machine vision and the importance of IoT data management platforms – JL Beaudoin, VP of Platforms and Innovation, Averna
Thursday, May 23, 2019

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by PTC.


In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss machine vision related to core components of testing and measurement systems, and importance of IoT data management platforms.


Key Takeaways:

  • The objective of connecting assets and making sense of data is to convince customers that the systems are built and work to do to the job as they are expected to do, by validating the quality of the design or the manufacturing process.
  • The best way to build a system is to have all assets with open communication standards. Communication protocols evolve – new protocols are built and existing protocols are upgraded to different versions. Sometimes, standardized protocols evolve to a stage where it is extremely difficult to communicate with other standardized protocols. In that scenario, it is necessary to reinvest in new components.
  • Manufacturers in slower moving industries can learn from faster moving industries by adapting proven technologies.
  • Successfully applying machine vision technologies depends on acquiring and saving the right set of data to solve current and future problems, regardless of the sources of the problems. The applications are very unique as the operating environments are very different and will deeply affect the final systems and processes, even if the methodologies remain the same.
  • Storing data for machine vision technologies depends on the standards in place. There are 2 main types: 
  1. Existing clear standards and structure: The technologies used will only need to comply with the requirements and connect the machine vision tool to the exciting solution to ensure that the data flow works well.
  2. No clear existing standards: The goal is to move towards connecting all assets first, before doing any data work. In this case, PTC Thingworx is the best choice as it can be used as a substitute for a standard platform for connections across disparate systems. It delivers immediate value for asset management by connecting many assets without transitioning custom or separate databases and analyzing the data flow to generate insights. It also works well for system integrators and consultants as they will own the intellectual property of all apps developed on it, which can then be used for other customers.
  • Managing processes is critical to successful system deployments. From design to manufacturing, quality is key. Processes involving the operations of, and data generated at, each stage must be accessible and disseminated across the entire enterprise so that suitable actors can take action for correction and optimization.



JL Beaudoin is the VP of Platforms & Innovation at Averna. He combines product management skills and international sales experience to spearhead innovation at Averna. He is also leading the PTC ThingWorx partnership to ensure that Averna’s customers and benefit from the flexibility and value of the platform in order to reach their goals with their industry 4.0 requirements – including real-time visibility and optimized asset management at their facilities. Averna is a Test Engineering leader, delivering innovative test expertise and quality solutions for numerous clients in wide-ranging industries around the world. https://www.averna.com/en/home/


For more information on PTC’s solutions for manufacturing, please visit: http://www.ptc.com/en/industries/manufacturing/

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PTC x IoT ONE EP049 - How Merck uses open innovation to improve R&D efficiency – Sophie Sun, Managing Director of Innovation Hub China, Merck Group
Monday, Apr 29, 2019

*This episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by PTC.

In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss the leading digital technologies in healthcare and medical devices in China, and why open innovation makes sense for innovation in traditional and deep-science industries.

Key takeaways:

⁃               Open innovation collaboration allows 3 parties to leverage each other’s strengths:

Start ups strong in technology can leverage the domain knowledge of industry leaders to build out practical use cases and solutions

Industry leaders can access the technological expertise of the startups

The academia and government to gain practical information from private sector to guide policy and programs


⁃               Domains deeply B2B and scientifically dependent are primed for open innovation as the technology development cycle is long and expensive, so it is ideal to partner with actors who have technical or industry expertise, as it is highly expensive for any individual actor to do it on their own. 

⁃               Merck’s Accelerator program focuses on engaging startups for 3 months to allow existing businesses to access technology that will be the future of these sectors. There are 3 engagement formats: incubation within the group, M&A or investment by the corporate VC program, or work together with internal R&D teams.

⁃               However, innovation programs are not enough to achieve efficiency in R&D, mindsets and skillsets of internal staff and processes need to be changed to accept and embrace new technologies and changes.

⁃               The difference between startups from Germany and China is the market readiness of Chinese startups. In China, startups are able to test their product more due to the faster pace of adoption of digital solutions and concepts in both the market and the government.

⁃               Two main successes are a track and trace solution throughout the supply chain to maintain safety and quality standards, and a joint venture to develop a platform for data insights to develop better solutions for patients by understanding their purchase behavior and needs.


Sophie Sun is the Managing Director Innovation Hub China and Vice President Strategy & Transformation China at Merck Group. Merck Group is a leading science and technology company in the Healthcare, Life Science, and Performance Materials sectors headquartered in Darmstardt, Germany, and active in 66 countries worldwide. 


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PTC x IoT ONE EP048 - Balance your three legged stool for maximum equipment efficiency - Preston Johnson, Platform Leader for IIoT and Digital Transformation Services, Allied Reliability
Friday, Apr 12, 2019

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC


In this episode of the IIoT Spotlight Podcast, we discuss predictive maintenance, how to use best practice behaviors to drive best practice results, and predictive maintenance technologies. We also discuss framework of balancing the three-legged stool (people, processes, and technology), and 2 case studies of successful predictive maintenance implementation projects using the ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform.



1.             Predictive maintenance is a method for machine operators to get the maximum productivity out of any piece of equipment. It is especially important for asset intensive industries. 

2.             Predictive maintenance is the basis of digital transformation in other areas of the enterprise - it is not valuable to optimize a process with chaotic variables. 

3.             The main value driver in predictive maintenance is the cost of production per unit produced because it is an indicator of machine reliability, revenue, and operating costs, which all add up to the profitability of the production plant. Other KPIs to be considered when implementing a predictive maintenance plan are safety, environmental impact, and product quality.

4.             To determine if you are ready to adopt predictive maintenance, people and processes should be in place before the technology is implemented, to create a roadmap to build a balanced three-legged stool.

  • People: the right people and skills in the right positions
  • Processes: the mechanisms to identify maintenance tasks and the process to manage these tasks
  • Technology: ability to gather equipment health data

5.             Technology driving the adoption of predictive maintenance are the ease of connectivity and data analytics software tools:

  • Connectivity increases the ability of systems to pull data out of control systems while maintaining their security. The ability to add more sensors without adding significantly more cabling of infrastructure allows more parameters to be measured for a more holistic view.
  • Software for data analytics organizes the data into events and patterns using natural language processing, which makes the system more user friendly for the connected worker. 

6.             The decision to choose the software and hardware products depend on the understanding of business and operational processes:

  • Choosing hardware: The failure mechanisms for each piece of equipment should be considered. The sensors should be able to measure the failure mechanisms and collect the data that can help the organization to plan scheduled maintenance when it is operationally convenient.
  • Choosing software: The software must bring together business processes and maintenance processes to orchestrate maintenance activities effectively. At the minimum, it should bring together work order costs, maintenance schedules, condition monitoring data and identify flags that may cause problems in the future.

7.             The ROI for any predictive maintenance project can range from a few months to a few years, depending on how well the roadmap is built. The first step to any project should always be an analysis of the current state and picking the lowest hanging fruit to generate quick ROI. The ROI generated in the first stages should be reinvested into the process to multiply returns. 

Preston Johnson is the Platform Leader for IIoT and Digital Transformation Services at Allied Reliability, with a technical focus on condition monitoring technology and systems. 

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IIoT Spotlight Podcast EP 047: Understanding the state of, and challenges in IoT implemention in heavy asset industries – Dave McCarthy, VP of IoT Solutions, Bsquare
Wednesday, Mar 06, 2019

In this episode, we discuss the state of the IIoT business from the solution provider point of view, and the direction of end user organizations as they are orientating themselves around IoT solutions. We deep dive into 2 case studies – 1 on the revenue side and 1 on the cost side.

What is the main obstacle to successful implementation in traditional industries? How does IoT change the relationship with customers? How did companies successfully generate incremental revenue and reduce costs using IoT?

Note: DataV Track will be packaged with another application by Bsquare. Find out more on their product page here.


Dave McCarthy is a leading authority on industrial IoT. As VP of IoT Solutions at Bsquare Corporation, he advises Fortune 1000 customers on how to integrate device and sensor data with their enterprise systems to improve business outcomes. Dave regularly speaks at technology conferences around the globe and he is also a frequent contributor to IT publications. Dave earned an MBA with honors from Northeastern University.

For over two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of corporate assets by making them intelligent, connecting them and using data collected from them to deliver better business outcomes.


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EP046 - The medium is the message: data visualisation for a digitally-enabled organisation - Kirsten Sosulski, Associate Professor of Information Systems, NYU
Monday, Feb 11, 2019

In this episode, we discuss the role of data visualisation, why we use it, and how it is changing based on new technologies. 

Is data visualisation a leadership skill? How do we create a data practice within an organisation? How should we think through the role of data visualisation in your organisation?

Kristen is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She teaches MBA, undergraduate, executive, and online courses in data visualization, computer programming, and the role of information technology in business and society. She is also the Director of the Learning Science Lab for the NYU Stern where she leads team to design immersive learning environments for professional business school education. 

Kristen book: Data Visualisation Made Simple https://www.amazon.com/Data-Visualization-Simple-Kristen-Sosulski/dp/1138503916

Twitter: @sosulski

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sosulski/ 

Email: ks123@nyu.edu


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EP045 - Taxation in connectivity - Tony Susak, GM of Telecom, Avalara
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019

In this episode, we discuss taxation issues related to connectivity.

Who is liable for telecom taxes? How much is the tax liability? How do you prepare for the inevitable complications that come with this taxation?

Tony Susak explains what makes a tech company a telecommunications company in the eyes of tax authorities, and the importance of this distinction. He also offers advice on how to prepare your billing systems to hedge the risks of future taxation.

Tony Susak is the General Manager, Telecom of Avalara. Prior to joining Avalara, he served as the Director of Tax for AT&T, where his team had responsibility for calculating, filing and remitting millions of dollars annually across every jurisdiction in the U.S. and many jurisdictions abroad. Prior to AT&T, Susak held similar positions with Cricket Communications, Cingular Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and General Motors' OnStar division. In these roles, he also helped develop policy and influence legislation involving vehicle telematics and communication taxes.

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with transactional taxes, including sales and use, VAT, excise, communications, and other tax types. The company delivers comprehensive, automated, cloud-based solutions that are designed to be fast, accurate, and easy to use. 

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PTC x IoT ONE Industrial IoT Spotlight Podcast EP044: How to marry the business and the technology – An Interview with Stephanie Mikelbrencis & Steve Sangster of Brock Solutions
Friday, Nov 30, 2018

*This episode of the Industrial IoT Spotlight podcast is sponsored by PTC

In this episode, we define what “real-time” means for software solutions, and the 3 key factors for digital success.

What does “real-time” mean for customers? What are the key challenges of the digital transformation? How can software providers and system integrators help customers in their digital transformation journey?


Key Takeaways:

  • Real-time solutions are mission critical regardless of whichever layer it is in. The solutions have to work; they are in the operations and control levels and they are controlling the operations. Real-time solutions bring together the product lifecycle, automation, and software realms.
  • The major problem most clients are facing is the inability to define and support digital transformation. 
  • “Digital” is commonly used as a catch-all term to describe all the integration needed to address typical challenges such as efficiency and supply chain coordination.
  • For each individual problem, different technologies could be considered and implemented. However, it is difficult to select which technology to use based on technical specifications only.
  • In reality, the existing infrastructure is not adequate. For example, there may be a mismatch of technology between the various acquisitions, businesses, and divisions that a company has.
  • Solution providers can take a multi-disciplinary approach combining consulting and workflow processes to help the client define and understand the scope of work.  
  • It is not easy to understand and translate business requirements into technical software requirements. Demonstrating software or business processes using a “day in the life of” approach, so that each party can understand the requirements in their own vocabulary, facilitates the alignment of business and technical requirements.
  • It is crucial to marry the business and the technology for successful digital transformation. Three factors are key: 
  1. The benefits of the initiative should be clearly defined, and used to create the scope of work.
  2. Executive buy-in is crucial to motivate people to use digital technologies. The use of digital technologies creates a channel for people to see the value created by themselves.
  3. Value must be created quickly and tracking must be consistent, so that customers do not need to wait to see value and the possibly of project abandonment is reduced.

Brock Solutions is an engineering solutions and professional services company specializing in the design, build and implementation of real-time solutions for broad based industrial/manufacturing and transportation/logistics organizations globally.

Find out more about getting quick wins designing for the enterprise in this PTC webcast

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