There’s a lot of buzz these days surrounding the “Internet of Things.” Unfortunately, the term itself is fuzzy, leading to ambiguity and misunderstanding of what it actually means. A shame, because the underlying concept is one that promises to revolutionize the way we measure, consume, and track so much of what we do in our daily lives. Personally, I prefer the term “Universal Mobility,” but my personal campaign for its adoption seems to be losing. Sigh.
A thorough definition of “Internet of Things” is available on Wikipedia, but here’s my quick-and-dirty version:
The “Internet of Things” is an umbrella term that refers to the ongoing trend of making almost every conceivable device able to connect directly to the Internet.
Simple enough when it’s stated that way, right? But pretty mind-blowing when you ponder it for just a little bit. Virtually any physical thing you can imagine, from your sunglasses to the soda machine in your employee lounge to your lawnmower; all of them connected directly to the Internet with no need for an intermediary device. And this is not sci-fi—the technology is pretty well-seasoned and already in play.
So that leads us to the big question: Why? What’s the point?
Actually, there are three basic points. Let’s use the examples above to illustrate each one:
Pretty radical stuff, but it only takes a moment to realize that the examples above aren’t that far-fetched, and similar capabilities already surround us. Here at Aria, what inspires is the ease with which the benefits of Universal Mobility (c’mon… you can’t blame a guy for trying) lend themselves to recurring revenue models. Let me try to wrap this up with a hypothetical business model that encompasses all three:
Imagine a “smart” ski lift ticket which could:
But here’s what’s really cool: even if you don’t love the idea above as much as I do (hint-hint Vail Resorts!), the technology and monetization engines needed to accomplish all of this are here right now, and all that is needed to make these things a reality (or whatever similar crazy stuff you can dream up) is creativity.
People like being “connected,” businesses like repeat customers, and consumers like flexibility in how they pay for products or services. And Aria is thrilled to be sitting at the nexus of Universal Mobility (yes, I’m going to keep doing this) and the Recurring Revenue Revolution.
Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems
Check out Brendan’s thoughts on Recurring Revenue & Internet of Things.
Brendan O’Brien has been in the subscription services business for over 20 years, and is recognized as a pioneer and thought-leader. It’s fair to say that he introduced the world to cloud billing, and innovated database-driven, enterprise-grade web applications for companies ranging from Medical Manager, to Wright Express, and LaserLink. All this before the concept of “cloud” was even on the horizon. Brendan is trained as a professional stage actor and classical tenor.