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June 15, 2015updated 30 Aug 2016 12:24pm

Q&A: Taking IoT from business problem, to business insight

CBR's Joao Lima sat down with Wipro's at Alan Atkins, Vijayakumar Kabbin and Vijay Anand at an exclusive roundtable at LiveWorx in Boston.

By Joao Lima

Customers often do not know what IoT is and think they can "buy a bag of IoT", according to Alan Atkins, VP at Wipro.

Speaking with CBR’s Joao Lima at LiveWorx in Boston, Atkins said the company goes into the senior part of enterprises to help them "realise the benefits of IoT as an enabler at the C-exec level".

Wipro’s business model includes a consultancy framework arm to do this. Vijay Anand, Practice Director IoT Business Solutions at Wipro, added that "half of the people the company talks to, do not know what IoT is."

Atkins said that the education side of it is going into these clients and "looking at the business problems is key at that level".

He said: "We go from the consulting part to the managed operation side, and through the various parts."

Anand added: "We start with the customer and try to understand what their business problems are. We do not go to clients with a pre-defined set of solutions and technology to sell."

Smart cities and utilities

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Wipro is involved in smart city projects around the world, and mainly in India where the government announced a $2 trillion fund to smarten up cities across the country.

Vijayakumar Kabbin, general manager for industrial automation and IoT at Wirpro said: "We are part of the core committee for smart cities in India, which defines part of the services and how a smart city can be implemented.

"We have an initial blueprint of how a smart city can perform."

Anand said: "Smart cities go beyond IoT. There are a lot more other things that make a city smart in terms of establishing end to end smart cities and also in terms of bringing ‘ smartness’ into smart cities using connected objects into them."

In the UK, Kabbin said Wipro is involved with the major water companies. The enterprise was awarded a £10 million deal with Bristol Waters last year to monitor, support, maintain and develop the entire IT infrastructure and associated software systems of the utility firm.

Wipro is also involved with Thames Water, where it manages the Application Support and Maintenance portfolio for the company.

Wipro eyes security

Atkins said the company will be looking at cybersecurity more seriously in the near future. He said: "This is one of the big areas we see being important moving forward. "

The company sees a necessity to work on its defences due to the amount of data being produced by connected services because; "as more data becomes achievable, when someone lives their home premises, they have more security issues coming in", according to Atkins.

He said: "Security is certainly a thing we will focus on and we will put a lot of effort into that as well as the prescriptive side of the business."

Wipro does the total end to end part of IoT, not just doing an application or a platform. Atkins said: "We are taking it right from the business problems to the business insight.

"We have the product engineer services; we go right from the embedded device, to pull data from a piece of equipment if it doesn’t have that interface already, all the way through various things like the data acquisition, the analytic levels and to business insight."

The business insight can take the form of a recommendation, a result in saved energy, and then the company gets paid on a share basis.

Atkins said: "The differentiators we have are the product engineering services, the fact that we have in-house analytics, the business insights and a command on centre."

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