Market Signals: Acceleration on Tap for Connected Operations in 2021
CEO John Cunningham
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IntelliShift Team

The interest in our Connected Operations market is accelerating….

It’s been a strong start to 2021, so I wanted to highlight some exciting momentum we’re seeing in the Connected Operations market that IntelliShift and our fantastic customers have been pioneering for a number of years. I spoke broadly on this topic at our inaugural ConnectedOps 2020 virtual event back in November. If you didn’t get a chance to attend our stellar lineup of customer, partner and product sessions, you can check it out here. At that time, I delivered a short welcome keynote highlighting some of the Connected Operations trends we were seeing in 2020 and it’s quite clear to me now that the pace is accelerating.

In the short time since, we have already seen an increase in activity in three core areas:

  1. Growing media coverage and interest in Connected Operations platforms
  2. Broad customer feedback on how Connected Operations platforms are having a large impact on their business and KPIs 
  3. Existing market participants shifting their positioning to better capture this fast-growing Connected Operations market opportunity 

We have seen increased media interest in our Connected Vehicle and Asset Operations strategy and vision, and our CTO Ryan Wilkinson has been on the front lines talking about the future of Connected Operations and technology.

Food and Logistics magazine recently highlighted Ryan’s thoughts: 

Many food and beverage organizations are implementing advanced, connected operations solutions that help seamlessly collect and analyze in-the-moment, actionable insights to better manage their mobile workforce and assets, and efficiently deliver on all customer expectations. Today, as it’s more important than ever that companies ensure that their goods arrive to customers on-time and protected, they must be able to adapt and respond quickly to evolving customer needs and stay ahead of day-to-day challenges.” 

He was also featured in a Construction Business Owner magazine article late last year highlighting the benefits of this technology

“By automatically unifying and analyzing specific data sets, such as inspections, engine diagnostic codes, and upcoming routine maintenance needs, advanced solutions can facilitate smarter servicing, enabling companies to perform regular preventative maintenance, minimizing vehicle and asset downtime, better managing costs, and eliminating potential risks at jobsites or on the road.“

We have been talking to our customers about Connected Operations for years now, and in Q4 2020, we conducted our first ever Connected Operations Insights Survey. With responses from over 230 of our customers across various company sizes and roles, it is clear that they recognize the value of a unified platform rather than a disconnected set of point solutions.

The full report will be published next month, but I wanted to share a few highlights with you now to underscore the value that a Connected Operations platform brings.  

We asked the group, “What were the top pain points that your Connected Operations Platform addresses?” Their ranked responses were:

  • 27%: Wasteful and redundant processes
  • 24%: Inefficient and/or error-prone manual processes 
  • 21%: Lack of tools to bring together disparate data and draw insights from it
  • 19%: Inability to share information across teams and departments
  • 19%: Too many mobile operations point solutions not connected to other tools and solutions, reducing real-time visibility

We also asked, “What were the key use cases and benefits achieved since using a Connected Operations platform?” The responses covered three core areas: visibility, process optimization and time savings / productivity.

For visibility, 78% of respondents say they have more visibility into fleet operations now that they are using a Connected Operations platform.

Regarding process optimization, we saw a broad array of responses across a long tail of use cases. Specifically, we asked, “Which processes or workflows have you seen material improvements in your operations?” and received these responses:

  • 50%: Routing 
  • 37%: Driver communication
  •  34%: Evaluating workforce performance 
  • 34%: Reporting to management
  • 30%: Asset management
  • 27%: Operator safety
  • 24%: Compliance

For time savings and productivity, we asked, “How much time have you saved (on average) per week since implementing a Connected Operations platform?” Their answers:

  • 57%: Saved 1-5 hours per week on process or workflows
  • 16%: Saved 6-10 hours each week
  • 10%: Saved over 10 hours each week

I’m also pleased to see that other players in our market who have traditionally positioned themselves in the broader IoT market are now repositioning towards the Connected Operations opportunity.

Most recently, Samsara has refreshed its positioning on their website homepage, redefining themselves as “The Connected Operations Cloud.” Prior to this month, the company had referred to itself as “the leader in Industrial IoT.” I think ultimately this change comes at a time when the larger organizations that we work with daily are looking for the ability to solve broader, more impactful data and process challenges across their siloed operations.

The reality is that this is a large, growing market and we will continue to see more entrants reposition themselves in the near future. It’s exciting to see that the vision we’ve built with our customers is now taking hold in the broader market landscape.

We look forward to helping enterprises solve even more complex process challenges in the areas where we excel. Though this market will become more crowded, we will continue to differentiate ourselves. We are not focused on shipping boxed, pre-packaged solutions in a repeatable way. We have put customer experience at the core of what we do every day, and this is what helps generate meaningful outcomes for our customers. This also requires a consistent and complete customer journey from onboarding, to project management and installation, to ongoing customer success – all while offering the ability to configure and iterate on new solutions that solve our customer’s unique enterprise-grade challenges.

We look forward to the continued momentum we’re seeing and hope you’ll follow along as we pave the road ahead for the future of connected vehicle and asset operations.

By John M. Cunningham Jr, Founder and CEO

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