In a short period of time, I attended PTC’s Liveworx and Hexagon’s events. Both talked about IoT. But they talked about it very differently.

So let’s put more specifics into this.

  • PTC’s vision is to capture information in the context of the IoT to enable people to make better decisions. Most of these applications occur late in the lifecycle in service or operation use cases.
  • Hexagon’s vision is to capture information, mostly from metrology, and feed that back into the manufacturing process. It closes the loop to increase quality. This application is in the development cycle, namely in the manufacturing stage. The focus here is to enable machine-to-machine (M2M) communication without a human in the loop.

Both are imminently viable use cases. Both can have a strong ROI for a company. However, given how wildly different these two approaches are, it is easy to understand how someone could become easily confused about how to apply the IoT in their company.

Like I’ve said before, it is important to drive this from the top down, identifying your company’s most serious and detrimental problems. Those are your opportunities. Then you need to go bottom-up, figuring how what these technologies can do. With those two things done, you can meet in the middle, matching a serious problem with capabilities enabled by technology.