Heading for the golden age of innovation

Mexia prepares for the business of outcomes

Seven years ago Dean Robertson started Mexia, a highly-successful integration consultancy that helps large organisations like banks, insurance companies and superannuation funds with their digital integration capabilities.

But even though the past seven years have brought more than their share of excitement, it’s the here and now that really gets him going.

“I think even in the whole time that Mexia’s been running, I think right now is actually now the most exciting,” Dean says.

“I think the last seven years have been a dress rehearsal for what is about to happen to the industry.

Cloud computing was exciting, but it was also a difficult time because a lot of customers didn’t quite understand, because cloud computing is still very much a technical sale, whereas IoT is a business outcome.  And I think this is where we’re going to be able to add that most amount of value.”

Put simply, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the game-changer. Ask Dean what IoT means to him and his enthusiasm bubbles over.

“It means the biggest business opportunity for us that we’ve seen since the advent of the internet,” he says. “It also means that as a personal user of devices, a much richer experience in our day to day life, in our work life, and in our home life.

“The opportunities that present themselves with the physical world interacting with the digital world, it’s so unfathomably deep that it’s the most exciting thing that I think we’ve looked at from a business point of view in a long time.”

For the business world, IoT means transforming the business model, Dean says. The future lies in automated and more efficient business processes where business systems can interact with devices, performing transactions without the need for human intervention.

Solutions Mexia is working on include working on an app that examines office usage – understanding when desks are being used, meeting rooms booked and filled, providing an external visibility as to who is in the office and when in order to provide analytics on energy consumption and office occupation to be able to determine whether there is a need for new premises or whether spaces could be better utilized.

The company is also working with a water utility customer, designing a system to provide real time data on water flow, salinity and the workings of various valves around an entire geographic area so decisions can be made which reflect what is happening at the time, rather than based on historic data which may or may not be relevant.

“The ability for our customers to change the way that they earn money, the way that they interact with their customers, the services that they can provide for their customers – it needs to be completely different and I think a lot of people don’t even realise yet how different the world is going to be once we actually unshackle the human out of the business process and allow the companies to provide e-commerce platforms to their customers without requiring huge amounts of back office staff.”

Dean points out that an IoT solution is not merely devices talking to the cloud, but a collection of capabilities, including the “amazingly powerful and deep” Microsoft Analytics stack.

“To be honest, we think Microsoft is the only vendor in the market at the moment that provides a full stack solution from device connectivity all the way to the enterprise systems. They’ve got products and technologies that run in the cloud, that run on premise, they’ve got a developer ecosystem that is the best in the world, they’ve got a business partner ecosystem that Mexia is a part of that is the best in the world.”

Dean describes the advent of IoT as “the icing on the cake that enables our life to be so much more productive, so much more efficient, so much more accurate, so much safer.”

“There are health and fitness tracking devices to understanding your body’s health and be proactive, and are telling you to get to a hospital if you need to. Cars can talk to other cars and be safer on the road. Our fire alarms can be talking to our internet service provider and automatically calling the fire brigade if there’s a fire. It’s bottomless, if you start thinking about all the scenarios.

“I think as human beings, we’re living at the start of a golden age.”

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