Jan Geldmacher, the president of Sprint Business, explains how his company is boldly venturing into the uncharted territory of IoT — and helping others follow suit.
President, Sprint Business
In your experience, when have IT solutions been beneficial?
IoT impacts how people live, how businesses operate and how society evolves. We’re living in a world where everything is connected now — and even more into the future. That’s all made possible by powerful networks. Sprint IoT is leading the way to shape that future. With developments in our 5G network, the largest wireless spectrum holdings available and strong technology/network investments — via our partnership with SoftBank — we are allowing humanlike, immediate interaction between sensors and machines. The result is enablement of a world where three million people sleep better; where there’s a 25 percent reduction in use of seeds and chemicals in farming; and where three million cars drive safely due to solutions supported through IoT.
What is an emerging trend within the IoT industry that readers should be aware of?
The explosion of connected devices, new sources of data and new business models. The fact is, businesses are competing in uncharted territory. At Sprint, we’re watching artificial intelligence and robotic technology progress at lighting speed — with intelligent robots already able to sense human emotion and facial recognition, while engaging in machine learning. We’ve launched Pepper — our robot — to help our Sprint Business customers accelerate how they innovate and transform so they may be more competitive and optimally positioned for the business challenges of today… and tomorrow.
How will IoT continue to revolutionize the customer experience?
One major trend that’s emerging is the “As-A-Service” model. This is forcing many companies to think about how they move into the service space — with many utilizing plug-and-play, scalable, consumption-based services powered by analytics, cloud and automation technologies. Examples include Airbnb, Uber and the like — while even large, traditional automotive companies are having to rethink the way they operate.
Within which industry have you seen IoT solutions have the biggest impact?
Transportation was one of the first areas where we saw the adoption of IoT in a dramatic manner. This industry has continued to evolve, and we are now seeing a government mandate for the adoption of electronic logging devices. This effectively is forcing an entire industry to go from paper to a digital format.
What are some of the challenges that IoT adoption experiences today, and how are they being overcome?
We have seen accelerated adoption of IoT and rapid development of underlying technologies. However, many companies are having to rethink internal infrastructure and go-to market plans to meet the changing demands of their customers. The reality is that IoT will create thousands of new business models and use cases. But that also creates the critical need for new kinds of networks to power all of that.
For some companies, new infrastructure is required. This new infrastructure must be prepared to deliver under the immense stresses of new, bandwidth-hungry apps. Low latency performance is critical for these to operate — while ensuring highly-secure, real-time, always-on availability.
Overall, companies are having to adopt a more collaborative mindset with a more integrated eco-system approach. Sprint Business — in addition to providing a network that’s positioned to tackle the demands of a changing economy with the absolute largest holding of wireless network spectrum and immense technology investments from SoftBank — is helping business clients to coordinate unique ecosystems. We pride ourselves in bringing together the right partners and technology for the benefit of each business. We believe that the most successful companies will step up to the plate and shape the future. We’re leading the charge in many ways, with our efforts ultimately benefitting businesses that rely on our converged solutions to conquer the challenges of the present and the future.