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Recap of Xively Xperience 2015: A Panelist’s Perspective

By R. J. Stangle / Oct 09, 2015

I’ve been to several IoT conferences and after a while, the predictions about how many billions of connected devices will be on the market by 2020, or how the time is now to start monetizing on the IoT opportunity, can get redundant. 

After attending Xively Xperience  last week, I am very pleased to say that this conference was anything but the typical IoT gathering.
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Xperience 2015 was a 200 person, invite-only IoT forum, dedicated to helping executives learn about the early challenges and successes of connected product initiatives from commercial IoT pioneers, industry experts, and visionaries – hosted by the Xively division of LogMeIn. Xively is an IoT platform designed to help IoT device makers build and manage connected devices.

What made this conference unique was that the goal was not just to sell tickets and a dream. The Xively team was genuinely invested in making sure that every attendee left the conference with concrete action items they could start working on as soon as they got back to the office on Monday.

IoT is Everywhere

One of the things that really stood out for me was the diversity of companies that are connecting their products and joining the IoT ecosystem. One of the panels had three companies, two of which had more than 75 years of experience, and you couldn’t imagine a wider range of offerings between them.

One was the CEO of Sureflap, which builds connected pet devices like feeding bowls and pet doors. The other was the CEO of Symmons Industries, which is a leading plumbing fixtures company. Finally, you had the GM of SATO, which specializes in thermal printers.

Despite the wide range of markets, products and services being offered by these companies, they did share common IoT challenges – a major one being whether to build solutions from scratch or purchase existing products or services in order to fill technology gaps.

Over and over, I heard stories of companies buying sensors, CPUs, IoT platforms and even partnering with technical support providers, so that they could focus on the value that they brought to their new products, which is the insights and expertise around their customers and the problems that they were looking to solve.

Focusing on what your brand specializes in was a common theme throughout the conference.

From the front lines of technical support

I was thrilled to have been invited to speak on the Building & Launching Successful Connected Products panel where I shared some of AppHelp’s learnings from the front lines of technical support. We experience firsthand the pain points that consumers are having with their connected devices.

While many of the manufactures that I spoke to after my talk told me that building an amazing support experience into their product was a priority, there were many that came to me worried about the fact that their products were launching in a matter of months – and they hadn’t even begun to think about how they are going to deliver technical support for their devices.

Supporting all the Things

The two technical support take aways that really seemed to resonate with the audience were that delivering effective, full scope technical support doesn’t just mean supporting your devices. It means supporting every device and operating system that your devices will need to connect to. This means hundreds of different OS, mobile devices, laptops, PCs, Web browsers and so much more. This also means that if your customer has a problem on any of these devices that might be preventing them from enjoying your device, that problem becomes yours to solve.

he other big learning for these IoT makers was that they should start thinking about how to deliver the perfect support experience as soon as they begin building their devices and not right before the support calls start coming in.

As more devices come to market with support tools and remote configuration functionality built into them,  end users of IoT devices will come to expect seamless support experiences, a trend which will heavily influence the adoption of connected technology.

If you are interested in finding out about how AppHelp can help you deliver high quality, full scope support for your connected devices, please feel free to reach out to us at: apphelp.sales@appdirect.com