Stephen Wise Blog

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IoT business

What value are you creating with your IoT?

The increasing capability to digitize the physical world presents enormous dollar opportunities. IoT and its technology provides the ability to sense the world or take an action or both. For example, manufacturing applications include operations optimization, predictive maintenance, inventory optimization, and health and safety. McKinsey has suggested that the economic impact of IoT in factories will be valued at 1.2 to 7.7 trillion US dollars in 2025.

Most companies can explore the following over arching models: Transform business process; Enable new business models; or Combine with other advanced technologies like AI and blockchain. Developing a business model to reduce your costs or enhance the customer experience is the first transformation step.

Here are my top 5 tips for developing your IoT business strategy.


  1. Ensure the business case has clarity for how the company will capture value from the IoT solution internally or from customers.
  2. Executive sponsorship of the IoT portfolio of activities requires business led cross-functional support from all areas of the enterprise; IT enables IoT for the enterprise, not the other way around.
  3. Involve manufacturing and the frontline in up-front planning as monetizing IoT benefits depends on business process change and change to customer experience. For example, most implementations will require/suggest for things to be done differently as part of the future state – buy-in from those impacted is critical.
  4. Engage partners and internal resources to augment the new skill sets that will be required to maintain and use functionality. Networking and connectivity, Data science, and security will all be learning curves.
  5. Manage all your IoT initiatives as a portfolio to initiate/cancel, prioritize, and balance projects according to revenue, cost, resource availability, and risks.

The pervasive embedding of IoT hardware is a given. IoT is reshaping the way enterprises manage processes. Albeit, the usefulness and timing for when it is helpful that your fridge knows it will soon be out of milk is not clear. Nevertheless, the great value to be gleaned in Health, Transportation, Retail, Manufacturing, and so on is logical.

Monetizing the power of sensor-enabled data and knowing how to deploy is a disruptive change that should be on everyone’s business radar. 

Stephen Wise

Dramatically Improve Traction


Artificial Intelligence ABC

According to Google's CEO, “AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire”. The head of Tesla said AI was probably humanities “biggest existential threat”.

Artificial Intelligence isn’t a new concept. Check out the beautifully filmed movie, Metropolis, from 1927. There are other older references in literature. There are also many more recent research and practical applications of "Artificial Intelligence" over the last thirty years.

Today, it is a field of computer science dedicated to solving certain problems which otherwise require human intelligence – specifically, pattern recognition, learning, and generalization. The leap forward in the last few years is that we are gaining the ability to collect, store and analyze ever ginormous amounts of data.

Yesterday, we could write a computer program to predict when it is a good time to cross-sell or up-sell a specific product to a consumer. For example, based on some demographic data and purchase history. The explosion of travel/points programs in the 90's are good examples of this. You agreed to provide your purchase history and demographic data in return for points and the sponsor of the program received data useful for targeted marketing. In these programs, all the rules were hard-coded.

Tomorrow, we can start with the original algorithm to predict the cross-sell opportunity. Then merge it with ever ginormous data collected and the ability to analyze for new patterns. Instead of relying on the initial algorithm to predict the sales opportunity, the system will rely on additional characteristics that it detects and validates within the very data to alter the business rules it relies on. 


But how will it impact the industries around us?

According to the first futurist I followed, Roy Amara, "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run," coined by Roy Amara, past president of The Institute for the Future.

Here are sample industries and applications. Wherever we have complex systems – people can get overwhelmed by the amount of data and selecting the best course of action. AI is being applied in research setting today in many fields to use what we already know in better and faster ways.

Keep in mind Roy Amara.

  1. Medical
    1. Diagnosis, Drug design/mfr, ICU monitoring
  2. Education
    1. Guided learning, Automated testing and marking
  3. Manufacturing
    1. Quality checking, Supply-chain communication, Maintenance detection
  4. Energy
    1. Demand prediction, Supply distribution


I ask that you take a few minutes right now. Take a sheet of paper, write down the industry you are in at the top. Along the side, list of major business processes you have along the left. Then, along the right, write down some notes about cost savings you could reap if you were able to improve your ability to predict the issues during the process or the outcome.

It may be that one day, the implementation of AI to that process will lead to exponential benefits in your business.


P.S. Feel free to share your analysis via email – I’m interested your findings.


Stephen D Wise

Stephen Wise Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction


Stephen Wise Sales Funnel

How to Improve Sales Revenue in Your Company

A typical business goal is to execute the sales strategy and increase revenue by X% over the period. The sales process is an ongoing operational activity and is usually not suited to being treated like a formal project. However, the sales process needs to be managed and there are similarities between managing a sales process and managing a project.

A sales process needs:

  • Management of key milestones and timing
  • Identification and assignment of people to assist
  • Encouragement of teamwork at client site and internally
  • Risk identification and mitigation planning
  • Tracking and reporting of selected metrics
  • Feedback/improvement loop

Management of key milestones and timing in the sales process

I recommend every sales team to work with an expert project manager to develop a template of tasks and estimated timing which gets stored in a central library. At the earliest reasonable time, the template should be fired-up and customised to suit the opportunity. That is, tailor it to needs by modifying the tasks that need to be accomplished, the estimated durations, and dependencies.

This plan, will guide all stakeholders to manage expectations and keep everyone on track for what needs to happen next.

Identification and assignment of resources within the organization to assist with the presentation

Once an opportunity has been identified, team members need to be called on for assistance in various parts of the proposal. It is important that the sales person ensure that everyone has time to take on the work, understands how to do the work, and understands when and how to report that the work is completed or that some sort of issue has caused work to slow down or stop.

The sales person may not have the authority to prioritise everyone’s time and therefore it is important to keep the lines of communication open.

Risk identification and mitigation planning

Sales people are able to identify unique risks because they are the closest to understanding the client’s expressed needs. These insights are extremely relevant. Combined with their own experience dealing with other customers, sales people can see risks that no one else can. Positive risks, those that have upside potential lead to new items in the sales funnel. Negative risks, those that can push a deal off the rails should not be pushed under the carpet.

The (negative) risks, should be identified and reviewed. Each risk has a likelihood/ probability of occurring and severity/impact on the sale should it occur. The sales person’s team and management should periodically develop and review tactics to reduce the probability and lesson the severity of impact, should it occur.

Tracking and reporting of selected metrics back to the team and management

Peter Drucker, has been paraphrased, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. The selection of appropriate measures and metrics is a cornerstone of sales management. Most sales people are keenly aware at all times of the status of their metrics and how much they are exceeded or failing short of their objectives.

In addition to short-term results, frequently communicating a sales dashboard may be more beneficial then you thought. The benefit is to improve organizational alignment with the sales strategy. Having visibility to the sales dashboard could be the trigger to makes those changes

Feedback/improvement loop

Deals get won. Deals get lost. The salesperson will obtain lots of knowledge about the client or at least they should. Knowledge represents a significant asset for most businesses. Left unmanaged knowledge tends to quickly fade. When deals are lost, it is important to learn from the process. Are there changes that can be made to the sales process? A lessons learned process and central repository for the post-mortem will help the next sales rep and also help when it comes time to review the process for a complete over hall or investment in technology to automate parts of the process.

Stephen D Wise

Stephen Wise Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction


$1 B Annualized Cost Savings from United Technologies Merger

United Technologies has proposed a merger and acquisition of Raytheon for a combined company valued at more than $100 billion. The architects of the deal have analyzed the strategic rationale. One of the quantified success metrics they announced is synergy of economies of scale leading eventually to $1 billion in annual cost savings.

Unfortunately, deal track records are not so good. According to The Art of M&A (Reed, Lajoux, and Nesvold), 55% of all mergers fail to deliver on the financial promise announced when the merger was initiated.

Why do 55% of all mergers fail to deliver?

Most assume that ensuring the deal success is the domain of the advisors, accountants, lawyers, and bankers. However, once the deal closes, management is left to deliver on the expectations and promises. I am convinced that the single biggest factor of merger failures is the lack-of a CEO sponsored Integration Program lead by a Project Manager.

Why is that?

Most post-merger activities run behind schedule. I believe a root cause is managers are assigned many of the activities as “business-as-usual” (BAU) work. Managers already have a day job and reporting structure so management of the resourcing, risks, issues, and decision making that was present during the pre-close phase has largely evaporated.

There is a high-level of uncertainty on any project and M&A is no different. It is critical that the leadership team responsible for crafting the deal remain involved. The teams responsible for progress and benefits delivery can get easily mired in firefighting and in-fighting. Sometimes this can be blamed on “culture-clash” but regardless of the label it is up to leadership to quickly identify and make key decisions for the team.

How do I fix that?

A Project Manager will assure there is a process to engage, manage and communicate to stakeholders the changes to the timeline, unresolved issues, new risks, and most important, ensure timely decision making.

In the case of the new Raytheon Technologies, the advisors, accountants, lawyers, and bankers have put together an impressive transaction overview. You can check out the announcement package here. Hopefully, in coming days we will also see demonstration of a strong Project Manager working closely with the CEO to successfully deliver on the annualized benefits everyone is so excited about.

Stephen Wise

Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction



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