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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Simon Cooper, CIO of ServicePower (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Mar 9th 2014

Sramana Mitra: Can you elaborate on that? Can you use an example to explain what you’re talking about?

Simon Cooper: If you take a large retailer, for example, they may be using SAP as their primary system. Then, when they source work out to third-parties and they want to get data back in a timely fashion, there’s a mixture of third-party software that they use. They might just be using QuickBooks application or another might be using some of the SMB software that’s specifically designed for saving appliance space.

With all these different packages – some of them hosted, some of them sold on-premise, and with a mixture of interfaces – it becomes a lot for a client to actually write all these different integrations and manage all of that. With us being the sole middle broker of all of these, it makes sense for us to create an integration point that makes it easier for our client to integrate their SAP to a single point to send and receive all that information and remove that complexity for them.

Sramana Mitra: I see. If you were to start a company today, where are the white spaces that you would look at for new ideas?

Simon Cooper: There’s certainly a big play now when you think about the Internet of Things and the connected devices. The whole M2M [machine to machine] space has a lot of applicability for field service since a lot of the work is actually going to be maintenance, installation, or servicing.

Having good quality data that can be fed from these devices really helps the whole supply chain from start to finish; not only from past diagnosis through to actually determining the skill set needed to go and repair it, but also to start to look at things around the do-it-yourself type of repairs. If the end-consumer or even some semi-qualified person in the field has the right instructions and access to the right parts, they could be able to perform that repair at a potentially different price point than other folks out there. There’s a lot in that area that can be exploited.

Another area that we’re seeing growth in is wearable technology. There are wearable devices that can also be related to field service. When you start to think about not just the devices in the field but also about the human that’s out there, you’ve got a variety of ways to provide them information either through heads-up displays or watch-based panel type display that could actually be tracking and providing them information along the repair route. You can also use them for health and safety aspects. You can actually use biometrics harnesses and wearables to track the safety of an individual who’s out on the road on their own doing field repairs and installations.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you very much for your time.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Simon Cooper, CIO of ServicePower
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