No IoT without ERP
Whether new business models such as pay-per-use or predictive maintenance, the optimization of the supply chain, the automatic logging of machine parameters in the manufacturing industry or the tracking of position and environmental conditions in logistics: the Internet of Things (IoT) is a central component of numerous digitization strategies.
The ongoing development of 5G mobile networks and technologies and wireless standards already available today such as LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) or Sigfox (a global wireless network that connects objects with low energy requirements to the Internet) are further accelerating the demand for IoT solutions, because IoT projects are no longer slowed down by dead spots. However, many companies focus on IoT applications without paying the necessary attention to the downstream systems. The ERP software in particular should be considered in these scenarios: after all, the information obtained via IoT should be processed further in business processes - and that automatically and without interface problems.
A look under the hood: ERP is not just ERP
At first glance, many ERP solutions today are similar, the range of functions only varies in detail. However, there are significant differences when you take a look under the proverbial bonnet: ERP is not ERP - there are big differences between the ERP systems. By no means every ERP software is prepared for IoT-based scenarios today. So today there are still a large number of systems that stand alone and do not provide for any connections or extensions. If you want to get these systems IoT-ready, you have to invest a lot of time and money in individual interfaces - resources that are missing when developing new business models. Microsoft creates companies with its business platform and Dynamics 365 Applications have the added value of mapping such IoT scenarios using the latest technologies and services in an uncomplicated manner and without interfaces.
“Business models such as pay-per-use herald a paradigm shift in the economy across all sectors. Not all ERP software is prepared for this today.”Andrea Fiedler, consultant for digital transformation, KUMAVISION AG
Flexible, open, future-proof: Microsoft Dynamics 365
KUMAVISION relies on the technology platform Microsoft Dynamics 365. It includes not only ERP software (Business Central), but also CRM solutions for sales, service and marketing. In addition, supporting components of the Microsoft Power Platform can be incorporated into the holistic design of the solution architecture. The Business Intelligence application (Power BI) or integrate business workflows with Power Automate and of course a variety of Cloud based Azure Services. The Microsoft platform includes more than 200 different applications and services that can be used as required without any further adjustment effort. This also includes IoT services such as Azure IoT Central for connecting, monitoring and managing IoT resources. This enables companies to implement IoT projects quickly and easily without having to worry about technological details.
"IoT solutions only develop their full potential when the ERP system and other applications are able to start automated workflows with IoT data."Andrea Fiedler, consultant for digital transformation, KUMAVISION AG
The platform concept is not limited to the interaction of ERP and IoT. Microsoft has been consistently pursuing the strategy of achieving the most seamless possible integration of different solutions for several years. So offers Dynamics 365 a common database for all business applications. Isolated solutions and data silos are a thing of the past.
IoT out of the box
In order for Microsoft ERP and CRM software or business intelligence applications to be able to access IoT data, no extensive programming work is required, but a few preparatory steps and settings in the system are still necessary. KUMAVISION offers out-of-the-box services that further accelerate IoT projects and add practice-oriented "comfort functions".
The out-of-the-box services from KUMAVISION
|IoT Business Central Connect||IoT Field Service Connect||Power BI SmartStart IoT|
Access all IoT data in the ERP system:
Ensure that your field service can work more efficiently:
Evaluate your IoT data with just a few clicks:
Everything in flow? It all depends on the workflow!
Is IoT integration into the ERP software enough? Unfortunately, no. Because IoT integration is only the first step. IoT solutions unfold their full potential when the ERP system and other applications are able to start automated workflows with IoT data. Here, too, the ERP system must be prepared for new requirements. What this means in practice is shown in the following three use cases, which can already be easily implemented today with Microsoft technology.
"However, IoT only develops its full potential when it is embedded in a holistic digitization strategy."Andrea Fiedler, consultant for digital transformation, KUMAVISION AG
Use Case: Pay per use
Business models such as pay-per-use herald a paradigm shift in the economy across all sectors. Companies no longer only sell their devices and machines, but also offer their functions as a service. For example, there is still a medical technology device in the clinic. However, the clinic is no longer the owner, but pays per operation or examination. The manufacturer/service provider takes over the complete technical service and the timely delivery of consumables via automated workflows. A wide range of billing models is possible, ranging from flat rate subscriptions and prepaid cost models to pay-per-use scenarios. Billing can be based on processes created, units produced, hours of operation performed or quantities consumed. Here, too, the prerequisite is seamless interaction between the systems involved and the mapping of the necessary processes in materials management, service and financial accounting. Not all ERP software is prepared for this these days, with one exception Microsoft Dynamics 365, which enables workflows that are as flexible as they are automated, not only between company departments, but also between different applications.
Use Case: Technical Service
This use case shows how ERP software, mobile apps for field service and IoT complement each other optimally. Predictive maintenance ensures that the right service technicians with the right skills and the right parts are in the right place at the right time. Sensors continuously monitor the devices and transmit telemetry data via the Internet to the manufacturer, who analyzes this data - if necessary with the help of artificial intelligence. if e.g. If, for example, the operating or usage times or the temperature of a device exceeds a specified limit value, there are indications of imminent failures. The same applies here: IoT solutions only develop their full potential when they are embedded in integrated workflows. If limit values are exceeded, not only is a service technician qualified for the respective device notified, but at the same time a service order is created in the industry software, the required material is ordered from the warehouse and the assignment is included in the route planning. The service technician receives all information such as telemetry data and error codes on an app for his tablet - also based on Dynamics 365. The use is also documented digitally - including photos, digital signature and transmission of the required spare parts and working times to the ERP industry software for billing and tracking in the device file. Back office and field service are much more closely interlinked and communicate in real time – assuming the ERP software can – how Microsoft Dynamics 365 – connect such mobile processes at all. Product management also benefits: It receives anonymous data on the behavior of the devices in practice, which provide important information for optimization and further development.
Use case: Production in a low-dust or clean room
The following example shows how ERP providers add practice-oriented functions to their solutions: Previously, environmental conditions such as particle density or humidity had to be recorded and documented manually in production. A time-consuming and error-prone process. If sensors are connected to the ERP software via the IoT, QS and QM-relevant information can be automatically monitored and stored directly in the respective production order. The KUMAVISION industry software for industry thus offers the possibility of calling up the manufacturing conditions of each batch at the push of a button. In the event of complaints, for example, the customer can be shown a clear overview of all relevant parameters directly on the tablet. Particularly practical: Your own employees can be informed promptly about anomalies by an automatically created post in a Microsoft Teams channel, so that countermeasures can be taken in good time. With Power Automate, Microsoft offers a low-code tool for creating such workflows that users can customize without much programming knowledge.
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
The use cases from practice clearly show the advantages of an integrated technology platform. It makes it possible to easily integrate new technologies such as IoT. It should not be concealed that the versatile Microsoft platform and Dynamics 365 Business applications also demands a lot from the Microsoft partners. In addition to ERP, it is also necessary to master a large number of other applications and services - smaller providers in particular will quickly reach their limits in terms of personnel.
The maxim also applies to IoT: “The whole is more than the sum of the parts”: IoT only develops its full potential when it is embedded in a holistic digitization strategy. Because in addition to technological competence, process and industry competence are also required in order to combine the available building blocks into solutions with real added value for the customer. KUMAVISION therefore invests in the expansion of the IT strategy and digitization consulting. A dedicated team of experts with different backgrounds advises and supports companies in the digital transformation - not only, but also in IoT projects.
IoT with KUMAVISION
The KUMA365 IoT Services bring everything you need to successfully implement your IoT projects.