Mobile

How the Internet of things could transform the enterprise

Image Credit: A-R-T/Shutterstock

It’s an exciting time to be in enterprise tech: We’re seeing tablets go from video streaming screens at home to salesforce-enabling tools in the enterprise. Meanwhile, wearables like Google Glass are going from hiking trip cameras to repairing jet engines at GE.

The “consumerization of IT” is in full swing: When the workforce learns to love a technology for personal reasons, they will find a way to bring it into the office.

One of the most challenging and exciting aspects of my job is figuring out how to transform consumer technology into enterprise solutions.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, the technology giant synonymous with innovation launched its much-anticipated HomeKit, which promises to seamlessly connect your home to your Apple devices.

This is a great example of the “Internet of Things” in action — a revolutionary concept that is generating a lot of buzz with consumers.

HomeKit will use Siri to control your home using third-party home automation systems and iOS 8. This will run the gamut of useful daily activities from your mobile device, from turning on your lights when you walk in the door to controlling your security system and connecting other household appliances.

What’s exciting for me in my role in an end-user computing business unit is to imagine how this HomeKit revolution will migrate into the “Smart Office” and ultimately the “Smart Employee.” I’m also motivated by the challenge of figuring out how all these communicating “machines” will meet the stringent security regulations many of our corporations require.

Today we are implementing technology that connects traditional devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile devices for one seamless experience that enables employees to work at the speed of life. Much in the way you can start a Netflix movie on your tablet and finish it on your smart TV, we have created the same seamless experience for your work life across devices.

Now imagine some of the ways the Internet of Things might work in the enterprise.

  • Say you have a 6 a.m. conference call with colleagues abroad that is canceled overnight. Your corporate email would communicate with your alarm clock to allow you sleep in.
  • When you’re leaving the house, your car detects the location of your upcoming meeting and automatically sets up navigation.
  • En route to the meeting, your vehicle detects an accident or traffic jam that will make you late, so it will automatically alerts the meeting attendees of your new ETA.
  • When in the office, your smartphone or device serves as your corporate badge, allowing access to a building with restrictions based on your role in the company.

While this may sound futuristic, some companies are working to make this vision a reality.

In the past, I’ve blogged about the impact that big data, mobile, and cloud technologies could have on the Internet of Things, so it is great to see some of the vision I articulated starting to become a reality.

Now, what do you think of Apple’s new HomeKit? How do you see the Internet of Things in the Enterprise working at your company? Where do you see the “Smart Office” going? Share your thoughts below in the comments.


Sanjay Poonen is the executive vice president and general manager for end-user computing at VMware.

 

 

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33 comments
Travis Wrangham
Travis Wrangham

At home I want my alarm clock to trigger coffee maker in the kitchen. A fingerprint sensor in shower to personalize water temp and pressure. Remote start the grill from iPhone

For the office I want to login as soon as I sit in my chair into everything I want, email, virtual desktop, other systems. I personally do not care for navigating to things from a device, I think that impairs us. I would like to see video chat apps get better and more dependable across wan. I also would like an Ibeacons or other technology for physical access. Why do I have to wear a badge or hold up something? Lots of ideas and cool stuff coming for sure

Ray Blanchard
Ray Blanchard

1)  Square on every office and meeting room that helps me rapidly find meeting rooms/offices

2)  Predictive maintenance on everything and over-the-air updates and diagnostics (think Tesla OTA updates for everything)

3)  Intelligent inventory that enables me to find anything, anywhere, anytime


Marius Kalytis
Marius Kalytis

Then awake at 9am trying to realize what has happened and why your alarm didn't work

Jerome Harper
Jerome Harper

If you are US-based and have team members in the UK this is not an abnormal conference call time.

Chandan Miskin
Chandan Miskin

Yeah like we all have 6 am meetings everyday ! Common... Craze for Smart phones/devices managing everything is taking things too far...#BecomingDumbHumans

Jessica Hoffman
Jessica Hoffman

Imagine the alarm clock takes the meet ing for you. It takes notes, shared, makes a joke about feedback on the conference call.

Leland Smith
Leland Smith

If you have a reminder on your meeting and it's canceled the reminder won't sound. No need for this "internet of things."

Bojan Land
Bojan Land

What are you a robot who can't adapt to real life or something? You wouldn't panic, you'd look at your watch and it would say "Meeting Cancelled" and you'd feel great the rest of the day for having slept a bit more. This is amazing tech!!!! Yay!!! :)

Ralf Lippold
Ralf Lippold

Car manufactures run their operation from this early in the morning on. With commuting distances of over one hour, a solution putting to practice technology in this way perfectly makes sense. Disclosure: I was on the workforce at BMW Plant Leipzig for five years, and over an extended period of time I started with the shopfloor folks at around 6am

Adam Reed
Adam Reed

Me too. No one wants a panic attack before breakfast.

Stefan Caliaro
Stefan Caliaro

That would just mean that everything would become much more real-time than what these other non-web things are today.

Rae Alton
Rae Alton

Nope, sorry, we're too busy investing in YO.

Eric Gonzalez
Eric Gonzalez

Another reason why we're running out of IPV4 addresses. This is why we can't have nice things.

Ben Nash
Ben Nash

Horrible example. Really that's all you could think of?

Jayesh Bagde
Jayesh Bagde

Who in the right business sets up a meeting at 6 in the morning

Debraj De
Debraj De

I work on Internet of Things! It's really super exciting and fun to work on future IoT applications!

Richard Ortega
Richard Ortega

Imagine if they all used a similar protocol and didn't try to make their own ish. Maybe we could get something like USB did for wired devices

Nathan Thorin
Nathan Thorin

Imagine your alarm clock *mistakenly* gets the message that the big meeting got moved from 6am to 7pm, because the new secretary enters it wrong and you sleep in thinking it's Sat, and miss the meeting of a lifetime ending your career.

Robin Deng
Robin Deng

i dont want software to make my decisions for me

Carlos Rocha
Carlos Rocha

wait a minute... 6AM MEETING WTF!? WHAT HELLHOLE BUSINESS IS THIS

Bruno Parisotto
Bruno Parisotto

I believe this is already possible and its chance for many entrepreneur to explore this field, this new smart era. Smartphones were just the start, the smarter things get at our homes, the faster our lives will be and the more opt to use it, the more cash you get. I don't understand why big companies are wasting their times building watches when we need smart homes, smart devices and a connected environment, I thank them anyway, they opening me a door instead of forcing me to build a window in the wall. Nice article though VB.

Ted Iannuzzi
Ted Iannuzzi

I would likely have a small heart attack and then probably smash it into tiny little pieces before it had time to explain

Melanie Matheu
Melanie Matheu

I would wake up freaking out because my alarm clock 'malfunctioned' sorry but true.

Anand Vasudevan
Anand Vasudevan

My coffee machine starts grinding 15 mins before and my 'get out of his bed' alarm goes off to her 60 mins earlier......

Jose Murga
Jose Murga

Imagine if your 6am is cancelled and then moved to 6:30am, but you forgot to upgrade to fix the bug that allows the reinvite... :) Avoid transatlantic meetings on the edge, all the time

Arvindh Balakrishnan
Arvindh Balakrishnan

The brain matters too - I wake up 5 minutes before every alarm I set !!!