Informatica is the only proven Enterprise Cloud Data Management Leader that accelerates data-driven digital transformation. Informatic enables companies to fuel innovation, become more agile and realise new growth opportunities, resulting in intelligent market disruptions. The company offers end-to-end data management for IoT and streaming within a single platform.
In an interaction with EFY Bureau, Vishwanath Belur, Director – product management for IoT & real time streaming solutions at Informatica, talks about the IoT market in India, government’s role in IoT deployment, Informatica’s unique proposition vis-à-vis competitors and many more.
Q. Many opine that IoT is just a buzzword that industry Gurus have coined to create hype? Do you agree with that line of thought? Or do you feel that IoT is opening an entirely new market?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up an entirely new arena for customers to address their long-standing issue of connecting the devices and using the data to positively influence their decision-making process. IoT is also opening up an entirely new spectrum of use cases where customers can operationalise actions on the IoT devices in real-time.
Q. In your opinion, is the Government of India (GoI) playing any significant role in expanding the IoT market right now? If yes, how?
The GoI is definitely playing a key role in expanding the IoT market by starting new initiatives such as Smart City and Digital India. These initiatives can act as catalysts to drive the adoption of IoT technologies in India. Recently, the government announced a policy on IoT to promote the technology and its adoption in various fields, including the educational sector.
Q. What are your expectations from the GoI in terms of the initiatives they should take to make India an IoT-super power?
Even though the government has introduced the IoT policy, there is still a need to focus on four key areas to make India an IoT-super power:
- Promote IoT adoption as the key success criteria for the “Make in India” program by incentivising industries to adopt IoT technologies
- Promote open standards for communication between IoT devices
- Offer job-based skills development for IoT based automation
- Introduce IoT courses in classical science and engineering courses to increase students’ exposure to IoT technology and as a result reduce amount of time and the costs associated for companies to hire new talent with adequate exposure to IoT technology
Q. Are you satisfied at the rate of deployment of IoT solutions in India?
Pilot projects have been launched in many public and private sector organisations. However, they have not reached the production status for industry to reap the benefits of technology. The IoT adoption has been slow, but it has picked up significantly in the last 1-2 years.
Q. How do you see the IoT market evolving in the next 2-3 years?
I see the IoT market exploding in the next 2-3 years due to more adoption of IoT technology in private sector. IoT adoption growth will also be driven by government sponsored initiatives such as Smart City projects and automation of service sector such as heath, energy and security.
Q. Which industry segments do you believe will be driving a larger chunk of demand? Why?
I believe IoT adoption in India would be driven predominantly by manufacturing, retail and healthcare.
In the manufacturing sector, we are seeing the emergence of IoT use cases such as factory automation for operational efficiency and predictive maintenance for maximising uptime and disaster tolerance.
In the retail sector, due to online and offline presence of retailers, we are seeing real-time offer management use cases based on what customers buy and behavior analytics use cases on how customers shop at the store.
In the healthcare sector, big hospitals would like to make use of IoT data from medical devices to feed into clinical research processes to enhance hospital experience and improve patient outcomes.
Q. What’s your bigger challenge – acquiring customers or acquiring talent? What’s your strategy in resolving the same?
Because the market is nascent and the technology is not well understood by customers, we have a three-pronged strategy to address customer acquisition:
- Building awareness about the business benefits of IoT by highlighting success stories of our customers
- Building use case demos for specific industry verticals to show the power of technology
- Working with cloud platform vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, who complement our technology for IoT solutions as a managed service in their cloud
Q. What’s your strategy to create a differentiation for your solutions vis-a-vis your competitors?
Informatica offers AI- driven end-to-end management for IoT and streaming data within the Informatica platform. We use a Sense-Reason-Act framework for IoT data management with which customers can ingest data from IoT sources, apply business logic on the IoT data and operationalise actions on the IoT device – all on a single platform with the power of CLAIRETM, Informatica’s AI/ML engine. Our solution helps customers to take advantage of the open source technologies like Apache Kafka and Apache Spark for scalable and high performant streaming & IoT analytics while abstracting the complexity of technology. This is unlike our competitors, who have point solutions to address one or two areas of IoT data management.
Q. Any innovative strategy being planned or implemented by your team to create demand for your solutions amongst customers or channel partners?
We are building awareness among customers and partners by showcasing business benefits of IoT solution as well as building use case demos (for example, real-time retail offer management) to illustrate the power of IoT as well as the prowess of AI-powered Informatica platform. We continue to enhance the adoption AI/ML techniques in our solution to help customers reap the benefits of IoT technology and ML within the same platform.
Q. Who is the key decision maker for you – the technology decision maker or the business decision maker? With whom do you start the conversation – and how do you balance the interests of both types of decision makers?
The key decision maker for us would be the business decision maker, since most of the IoT use cases are business use cases. We start the conversation with the technology decision maker and show them the capabilities of the Informatica platform to address various types of data – be it relational structured data or IoT structured/unstructured data – while providing governance and control. In addition to technology decision makers, we approach business decision makers with the business use cases our solution addresses and the benefits of using our solutions.
Q. Have you come across any successful deployment of IoT in India that’s worthy of being noticed by other decision makers? If yes, can you share details of the same?
Indian Oil Corporation, which is a large oil retailer in India, had a very successful implementation of IoT use case for automating their retail fuel stations.
Indian Oil needed to implement complete, centralised, and agile controls on the retail side of both the Petrol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) businesses. Indian Oil deployed Informatica’s Enterprise Streaming Data Management solution consisting of the Edge Data Streaming and other real-time data integration components. This enabled better decisions on dynamic pricing of petrol/gas and effective monitoring of stock and dispensing units at the retail outlets. Case study can be found here.
Q. How would you describe your solutions to a non-technical decision maker at the clients’ end?
For the non-technical decision makers, we start with customer success stories and business use cases our solution addresses for the specific industry vertical (as mentioned earlier across industry sectors) and talk about how our solution addresses the end-to-end use case within the single platform (per our Sense-Reason-Act framework powered by CLAIRE). We talk about business benefits achieved by our reference customers to show the capability of our solution.