The Future of Transport

The transport industry is under great pressure to deliver a quality, cost effective service in what are difficult times. Not only this, there is an expectation for businesses to do more to encourage growth and deliver results.

Passenger journeys in 2015/16 grew to:

  • 238 million journeys in the aviation sector
  • 252 million journeys on light rail
  • 1.6 billion journeys on British railways

According to Gartner, transportation CIOs are stepping up to take the lead in innovation. With an internal focus on digital transformation, their top three objectives are:

  • More revenue from better operations
  • Cost reduction
  • Engaging and empowering employees

Does Digital Transformation hold the key?

By using key enabling technologies as a foundation for change, businesses are able to develop disruptive and sustainable strategies.

To see more on how Cloud, Mobile, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are transforming the transport industry, and improving customer journeys, please click here.

May Newsletter – What’s New with TBS?

In the latest newsletter from TBS, we concentrate on productivity in the workplace.

Featuring our article inspired by the Stoddart Review, we look at TM Locate, that provides visibility of your workforce and what they are doing, and look at the latest technology from Samsung, the DeX docking station.

We also welcome Paul McGreggor, our new Customer Service Manager.

To view our Newsletter for May please click here.

To sign up to receive future newsletters, please email Rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

2017 Digital Predictions

As in previous years, we have examined some of the technology trends of 2016 and made some predictions on how key enabling and emerging technologies will be used by innovative businesses in 2017.

There have been some significant triggers here in the UK that will drive the adoption of technology in 2017.  These have recently been amplified by a report from Gartner, highlighting that the strategic challenges faced by UK plc are:

1) Developing better relationship with their customers
2) Reducing costs
3) Increasing revenue through better operations
4) Further empowering and engaging employees

Therefore, this year, we have focused our predictions on the digital technologies we believe will provide transformational change in 2017.

I hope you find our predictions interesting, and if you would like us to undertake a Digital Transformation Workshop for you, please contact rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

IoT in the Enterprise: A Pragmatic Approach

At the recent Empowering People with Technology Event hosted in conjunction with Samsung and Mitie, TBS brought together a line-up of elite industry experts who examined how consumer technology could be harnessed as part of a business’s mobile strategy.

Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst at Quocirca, delivered an informative session on ‘The Industrialisation of IoT and Wearable Devices’, explaining how the emergence of new technologies such as IoT and wearables could be used holistically to take businesses to new levels of efficiency.

As an output from the event Rob has created the following blog, providing an insight into the value being created through deployment of such ubiquitous technology.

IoT in the Enterprise: A Pragmatic Approach

There is a degree of hype surrounding the internet of things (IoT) with many wild ideas reminiscent of ideas for internet businesses during the dot com boom. Despite this, the combination of exuberant innovation and pragmatism is already paying off with some practical and tangible business benefits. However, it is important for businesses not to solely focus on the shiny nature of ‘things’ but to take a broader view with their digital connected strategy.

A recent event, hosted by Mitie, in conjunction with Samsung and TBS Mobility, brought together many important aspects that underpin how IoT technology and wearable devices could have a significant impact on businesses.

WIRED magazine gave presentation of current innovation in this area, which explored the potential for dramatic impact, especially for consumers. Only a couple of years ago many of the ideas would have seemed fanciful and far-fetched. All were based on current concepts ranging from working prototypes to customer ready products.

From ‘consumerisation’ to industrialisation

Consumerisation is important as it lays the groundwork for increased acceptance of technology in both the home and workplace. Recent Quocirca rsearch of UK company attitudes to IoT and wearable devices (“The many guises of IoT” report) has noted a growing appetite for the use of these technologies, especially if both line of business and IT are working together.

This is something that Mitie has addressed with the application of IoT and wearable devices to aid facilities management tasks. Many of the activities involved in managing, securing and cleaning workplaces and facilities may seem straightforward. They may not appear to be obvious contenders for the use of novel technology, but there are opportunities to streamline processes.

The simple repetitive task of cleaning toilet facilities is one area being addressed and has already provided interesting results. Most people will be familiar with the signed sheets outside on the wall indicating when a facility was last cleaned, usually once per hour. But this routine approach to maintenance ignores actual usage of facilities and consequent requirements.

By use of a simple sensor monitoring ‘traffic’ levels, Mitie has gained an understanding of usage patterns. In the past this sort of checking might have been conducted periodically and analysed after the event to establish new working routines. Now the data can be acted upon immediately and dynamically; if the facilities have not been used, then no work is required, but if usage suddenly rises (perhaps a large meeting or event), a message is sent directly to an operative to act.

The combination of IoT with the use of devices worn by the operatives – in this case Samsung smartwatches – means that the messaging technology does not get in the way or encumber the worker. Added to this the organisation does not have to provide what would once have been much more expensive IT to its workforce. The process has been streamlined, but service levels are also improved.

Incremental investment

The idea does not need to stop there. With some external data sources and analytics, a more predictive approach could be taken. Additional sensors could be added to check the use of soap from soap dispensers and toilet paper so that intelligent replenishment schemes could be put in place. It might seem unimportant to those not directly involved, but like other areas where processes can be semi-automated, real efficiency savings can be made. In low margin services where much of the cost is people, such as facilities management, efficiency makes a big difference.

The investment cost has not been significantly high either and this indicates a great way to apply innovative technology to improve a business process:

  • First, identify a business problem that could benefit from incremental improvement by gathering more data or applying some level of automation.
  • Next, look to technologies that are becoming commoditised by consumerisation so that employee acceptance can be readily achieved and propositions can be tested quickly and deployed relatively cheaply.
  • Finally, measure and analyse the return to plot next steps. It might require more investment or enhancement, or even for the current concept approach to just be made more robust. However, if the returns are already demonstrable and the decisions about the next level of investment are based on valid experimentation, then the next small leap is not in the dark.

With current levels of innovation, it is clear that there will be many new IoT technologies and concepts over the coming years, but businesses do not need wait. There are plenty of smart devices and sensors available to use today, and costs have already been driven down to levels that make enterprise applications worthwhile. It doesn’t require special IoT magic or even a CIoTO (Chief IoT Officer), just a bit of business led thought combined with smart IT application of what’s already available.

For more information, please contact rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com