By: Joe Karbowski, Global SVP of Technology
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” said the Wizard of Oz to Dorothy and her trio of friends when they returned to the Emerald City. The mysterious man behind the curtain comes to mind when I read articles about the “Internet of Things.” Just what is this buzzword and how does it apply to business?
The Internet of Things (and yes, they’ve given it an acronym: IoT) is basically the vast network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity. These “things” allow our world to increase our access to information – as well as improve how we use that information – with the connected devices we use. All this works, of course, thanks to the Internet. What an Oz-like world we live in!
The IoT includes things like the microchips we embed in our family pets. These tiny chips let lost pets become identifiable when found. Another example: A heart patient who has a pacemaker. With a monitoring device, that implanted pacemaker sends data, wirelessly, to the patient’s physician who can monitor its effectiveness and prescribe changes telephonically. You get the picture.
What is common with most of these IoT solutions is that they do not require human intervention to “send” the data. A heart patient doesn’t have to remember to send their information to the doctor every hour, logging in to a patient portal and pressing the “upload” button. Data is communicated passively in the background. Additionally, no one is sitting on the either end of the wire just waiting to read each bit of information. Only when relevant data is made known, does a human or other perhaps automated response system need to be involved. This transparent exchange of data, and subsequent opportunity to respond only at relevant moments is why this technology has so many people excited.
So how does Asure Software fit in with the Internet of Things?
There are a number of ways our business solutions fit into the connected world, improving the employee work experience by seamlessly integrating them into the workspace Internet of Things. But more than that, Asure offerings ultimately bring better, quantifiable information to decision makers. Here are three quick examples:
- Our mobile solutions can proactively identify staff space usage patterns, and combined with both external and internal positioning (micro-locations) and wayfinding, provide a concierge-like experience to your employee. As your staff member nears the London office, their phone beeps onces and they are prompted:
“Welcome back Ms. Adams, I see you are nearing the Canary Wharf office and you do not have a workspace reserved. Shall I reserve the space you sat in last time? I see it is available for the rest of the day”.
- Our IoT beacon and sensor technologies talk directly to our applications to track utilization without human intervention. The tiny sensors used to determine how employees use space – from desk chairs to large conference rooms – passively gather data and upload it to the cloud, providing key analytics to CRE and facility teams in order to make effective decisions on multi-million dollar projects.
- Asure Software Time and Labor Management tools are used to better automate, track and simplify the punching in/out process. Labor costs continue to be at the top of the list for most businesses, so why not enable time keeping to automatically punch in and punch out employees when certain criteria are met? And, when using new beacon technology with GeoPunch, Asure can determine an employee’s location at their designated start time – validating their identity and clock that employee in and out with no human interaction.
The list goes on, and as the powerful Oz discovered – stepping out from behind the curtain and facing real life situations with real world solutions typically gets the best result!