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Leave Device Management to the Experts

By Tony Lapolito

You can’t choose between investing in great physical products and digital services anymore. You need to do both. EdgeIQ helps you bridge the physical and digital worlds with DeviceOps infrastructure software that will work with any device, any network, any application, anywhere, anytime. We’re standing by to show you how.

Any product manager’s job can be summed up in one word: change. Whether you are devising a new product to drive growth, undergoing digital transformation, or responding to a strategic directive from on high, your role boils down to disrupting the status quo. Change is imperative to keep the business thriving, but it also makes most people cringe.

That’s why when you say, “I have a breakthrough product idea that will change lives,” your customer/boss software team/marketing leads, etc. typically hear “Wah Wa Wa Wah Wa Wa,” just like Charlie Brown’s teacher. They are no doubt thinking to themselves, “There goes my kid’s soccer match. There goes my date night. Or there goes my Tuesday tee time.” For the foreseeable future, they know they are going to forfeit personal time due to your “cool new technology.”

Far-fetched endeavors don’t pay off

I speak from personal experience. Back in the day, I was a product manager and one of our customers was an Italian mobile telecom company. The customer’s product team wanted to stream soccer matches on flip phones (I’m dating myself) on weekends in local cafes. My fellow product managers and I rose to the occasion and attempted to build that service for them, but to no one’s surprise, it was a flop. As we flew to Italy, I carried a bag full of Netflix DVDs with me, knowing full well our streaming solution wouldn’t work on flip phones. We were about to ruin many people’s weekends for the foreseeable future on a far-fetched endeavor.

Since then, my mantra has been, “Let’s not F* up their tee times.” In other words, have empathy and find breakthroughs that make sense. If a $500,000 MRI machine can do the same job as a $2 million MRI machine, then why opt for the $2 million machine, even if it has a better user interface, produces images as clear as the Hubble Telescope, has the curves of a Ferrari, and plays Bose-quality music to the patient? The $500,000 model probably makes more sense.

Boring is beautiful

At EdgeIQ, I often talk about the mythical Connected Product MRI machine, mattress, and Gelato machine. Instead of devising these out-there, mythical devices, think about what is genuinely exciting or different about your product. Is the new “thing” worth having people sacrifice their personal time? During these days of digital transformation, where companies are going from building the best devices to using data to deliver innovative services, maybe so. In some instances, to the bold and the lost weekends go the spoils, but not always.

Especially when it comes to device management — what we call DeviceOps — the most boring part of the product is not only the most important part, but also the part that will almost inevitably f* up anybody’s tee time. When you get to the “boring” stuff like updating software, diagnosing problems, or securing the device and getting data off of it, remember that this is the part that needs the most attention. A failed software update will turn your MRI machine into a brick. A security issue could turn it into an evil robot. Any device failure will turn it into a useless money pit.

So, forget the sexy curves and make DeviceOps your top priority, rather than dreading it and viewing it as an afterthought. As a product manager, you first need to make sure the product works, is easy to use, and can move up the Connected Product Maturity Curve. This means it can be easily managed, automated, understood through data analytics, orchestrated, and monetized. Because at some point, you’re going to get a mandate to become an applications and analytics company and go from selling a product to selling that product as a service, so you need to be ready.

Leave DeviceOps to the experts
Advancing up the Connected Product Maturity Curve requires a sophisticated DeviceOps solution — and in this instance, you want to leave the DeviceOps drudgery to the experts. Tools for provisioning, wellness monitoring, alerts, event management, automation and orchestration are necessary, but why would you want to create them in-house when you can buy a purposebuilt DeviceOps solution and spend your time working on the exciting stuff that differentiates your business? Put your developers and engineers to work on the projects that will generate the most ROI and leapfrog competitors.

Think about it: would you build your own CRM system or database? Probably not — especially when a specialized DeviceOps solution will offer low TCO, positive ROI, and faster time-tomarket. With an off-the-shelf DeviceOps platform, your business is also future proof. As your business grows, any internal, homegrown device management system you’ve built has to stretch to work with different devices, interfaces, third-party integrations — the list goes on — and of course you have to worry about full-time maintenance.

Instead of taking all that on, rely on a purpose-built DeviceOps solution that is broadly applicable so you get away from siloed approaches, removing the risks and costs for you. DeviceOps is not thrilling like an iPhone or a Ferrari, but it is even more beautiful. It delivers instant ROI, and it will give you and your coworkers your weekends — and your tee times — back.

Want help with DeviceOps and business transformation? Should we be partners? Or would you like to join the team and be a part of our mission? Whatever the reason, let’s connect!

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