Among the many prevailing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) predictions ARC and others have made, is the emergence of new sources of competition and new business models. The market for asset reliability software and services and APM is no exception. IIoT is rapidly reshaping how assets are managed. This is being driven in part by the availability and broad usefulness of machine learning technologies and technologies capable of dealing with massive amounts of data, and by the availability of modern cloud application platforms. It will play a role in every company’s product and service offerings and can disrupt or transform businesses and entire industries. Case in point, Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB).
Hartford Steam Boiler, part of Munich Re, is a leader in equipment breakdown insurance. HSB has a vested interest in minimizing its losses among its existing client base. The company’s CEO, Greg Barats, has publicly stated that insurers need to become service providers, further stating that insurers are at risk of becoming redundant by technology companies. Provision of asset management services is one means to this end. As such, HSB is acquiring or investing in IIoT startups for asset performance management purposes. The company’s venture arm has acquired startup mobile app platform, Waygum, and platform provider Meshify. It has invested in connectivity provider Helium, predictive machine diagnostics company, Augury, and cloud platform player, relayr. While HSB is a newcomer to asset performance management (APM), these investments are a logical extension of the company’s existing inspection and engineering services business.
Another example is Stork, a subsidiary of global EPC Fluor Company. Stork is now offering a portfolio of professional services focused on business imperatives such as license to operate and risk management, asset performance, and maintenance cost reduction. It may be that new market entrants such as these, not bound to support legacy solutions in the marketplace, who will emerge as best suited to serve the SMB market.
Once thought to the be the realm of OEMs, these examples demonstrate that new sources of competition from unexpected corners are rapidly adopting IIoT to offer APM software and services to create new sources of aftermarket revenue.