Greater complexity requires more cooperation

Closer cooperation and long-term partnerships. When projects involve the Internet of Things, it’s impossible to deal with the increased complexity alone. So says Petra Sundström, Director Idea and Innovation Management at Husqvarna Group.

Husqvarna Group is the global leader in using the Internet of Things to create added value for consumers. Two obvious examples are the Husqvarna Connect service for the self-propelled lawnmower Husqvarna Automower and the new Battery Box business project. Both were exhibited at the IoT arena at Elmia Subcontractor 2017.

“The possibilities associated with connected products that have one or more related service are almost endless in purely mathematical terms,” Petra Sundström explains. “Data from products can be turned into automated, optimised and inspiring solutions and functions in so many ways in the forestry, gardening, parks and construction sectors we are active in.”

An important part of Husqvarna Group’s success has been developing an IoT strategy and using it as a base when IoT features are to be implemented into the Group’s products.

“For us, the most important aspect of an IoT strategy has been to strategically prioritise what opportunities we should invest in,” Sundström says. “Our three vital areas – Husqvarna Fleet Management for professional customers plus Gardena Smart Garden and Husqvarna Connect for the consumer market – help us to create the specs for how our products should talk data, what backend we need, and to focus on a holistic, cohesive qualitative customer experience.”

Last year’s IoT arena exhibited products from a number of sectors where connected technology is being used to increase customer value. The focus lay on more efficient processes, giving the product added value, and new business models.

“My biggest takeaway from that is the broad interest that Elmia Subcontractor proved these issues have right now,” Sundström says. “Previously, it had a lot to do with the big companies and what they might understand and look at. But now that there are more applications, the technology is more accessible, and, not least, the market has gotten started, the demand for skills and assistance from subcontractors is also increasing. It’s no longer possible to cope alone with the increased complexity that we’re facing.”

What do you think is important for a supplier in the IoT sector?
“The biggest change now, given the increased complexity we’re facing, is that we all understand that we must work together more closely, as less-obvious answers and specifications are available. Today it is more a matter of having long-term partnerships that are based on trust and expertise.”