Interview with Olivier Jouve: Director of Offering Management, Watson IoT Industry Solutions

By | 7 minute read | January 16, 2017

Talking cognitive

Olivier Jouve is Director of Offering Management, Watson IOT Industry Solutions and Predictive Maintenance at IBM. He told me about what his job means, and how the Watson IoT Platform is connecting the physical world to the digital world.

Let’s start with what Offering Management, Watson IoT Industry Solutions and PMQ means?

Offering Management defines, develops and delivers differentiated offerings that focus on winning in markets and delivering iconic user experiences. We have defined a unique offering for Internet of Things focused on being the provider of enterprise IoT by enabling businesses to transform their industry with new services, offerings, and sources of revenue.

This offering is organized through a 3-layer model:

First, the Watson IoT Platform. It is the way to connect the physical world to the digital world. Data from all types of sensors are collected, secured, stored and analyzed in real time. Without the IoT Platform, there is no IoT project. It is a mandatory component.

Second, applications are the critical link between an organization’s transformation and the IoT Platform. For instance, Continuous Engineering, through the platform, uses and analyzes the operational data captured from instrumented devices to optimize the design. Models used today are digital representations of real-life designs – called digital twins. Manufacturers can get the necessary insights to update and refine design requirements almost in real time, not months or years after a product has been put in service.

PMQ, which means Predictive Maintenance and Quality is part of Asset Performance Management. PMQ predicts asset failure or quality issues so organizations can avoid costly downtime and reduce maintenance costs. In Japan, PMQ is used to monitor electric vehicles batteries. A battery failure, called “sudden death” in that industry is a major issue. It can detect very early signals and send recommendations to the driver through a mobile app to either change his driving style or head quickly to the closest repair facility. Furthermore, it is massively used in the Manufacturing industry to improve operational efficiency on key processes such as welding, stamping, casting, or injection molding. Customers can reduce scrap by up to 80% and reduce maintenance costs by up to 25%.

Third, the Watson IoT Industry Solutions. These offerings are industry use case focused and leverage IBM’s IoT applications and the Watson IoT Platform. Watson IoT Industry Solutions are how our customers are transforming their business models and disrupting their markets by creating new services around their connected products or improve the efficiency of their connected operations. For instance, the traditional go to market for an engine jet maker is to sell or rent an engine to an airline, but if this engine maker can instrument its engines through IoT and anticipate failures or any operational discrepancy with high accuracy, they can propose a “time on wings” based business model. They gets paid only when the engines are running. That’s the type of model that IoT enables.

Insurance companies have started to change their policy and charge you on “how you drive” more than “how much you drive” or any other traditional method. Because of the sensors available in your car or on your mobile, IoT enables to capture and analyze your driver behavior… how much you anticipate, how you use your brakes, etc. On an automotive shop floor, a car is painted in less than a couple of minutes by very sophisticated robots. Quality control has been human-operated so far with inconsistent outcomes, but if you put a camera directly on the atomizer and use cognitive to analyze the paint quality, you can pick up defects (runs, clouding, swelling, bubbling, etc.) in real time and apply corrective actions.

Finally, IoT Industry Solutions helps to dis-intermediate a channel or service partner. An appliance maker or an automotive maker can now directly talk to their end users and better understand how they use their products… so they can give recommendations down to “use this detergent with your dishwasher because the one you use can create leaks”!

We are bringing these solutions to our customers to disrupt their market in industries like Automotive, Insurance, Electronics, Manufacturing, Telco, Retail, Transportation, Industrial Products Energy, and even Agriculture!

What is your overall aim for the Internet of Things and how will you make it happen?

I’m focusing, through an industry lens, on three areas of business that are going through major transformations with the Internet of Things: Operations and maintenance, connecting with clients, and tracking product usage information.

But first, companies need to initiate their IoT journey and that starts by connecting their equipment to our IoT Platform… and we have the best in class IoT platform, ranked #1 by Forrester and other Industry Analysts. The platform comes with a strong ecosystem, federating IBM unique capabilities, from analytic to cognitive, with unique IP from our partners. Once their data is streamed in real time into our cloud, the transformation can happen through the models I have described. We make our customer’s transformation successful by making their solutions cognitive and by adding high value industry content, built from real life engagements and unique assets from IBM.

Where do you think IoT will be in the next 5 years?

What will happen in the next 5 years for our customers is probably much more than in the last 25. All industries are being disrupted by new IoT driven business models. Companies that don’t have an IoT strategy will be probably out of business in 5 years if they don’t start their journey now. The acceleration that we see is due to the very low cost of adding sensors on devices and streaming data to a platform and to the resulting business insights that are now available. It’s just a beginning – I believe only 12% of data captured is actually analyzed and it’s already changing the market, so imagine the nuggets that reside in the remaining “dark data”… the 88%.

What makes the IoT extremely exciting is the number of use cases that you can assemble very quickly once you have the data. Go to a Bluemix garage and you’ll see how customers can create very innovative applications in a matter of days, vs what previously took months or years, using our APIs, from the IoT Platform, Blockchain or Cognitive.

In 5 years, the Internet of Things will be Cognitive and this intelligence will be available at every level – from the device to the cloud.

What do you think the next big IoT breakthrough will be and where will it come from?

We are already engaged in the next big IoT breakthrough… It is Cognitive. It’s all about giving the 5 senses to our solutions: taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing! I started my career 30 years ago as a cognitive engineer and I’d have never imagined (though I dreamed a lot about it) the acceleration of the last couple years, in particular what Watson is bringing to the market.

Many use cases have still to be developed, it’s just a question of creativity, not technology anymore… Think that we can prevent hearing loss in construction workers by using cognitive, or automatically identify and categorize painting defects on the shop floor or identify roof damage after a storm using a drone. These use cases are amplified by the power of exogeneous data, like weather data or social media data.

Cognitive is making our world smarter and safer.

What are the three things different sectors could do to pick up steam in adopting Internet of Things technology?

Well, nothing will happen if these sectors have tons of equipment with sensors and don’t connect them to an IoT Platform. It can be done in minutes, literally. Second, they have to prioritize their use cases – what is the transformation they want to drive. Third, and that’s the one that is close to my heart, listen to what the data is telling them.

What is the story this data and the derived insights support and how can that be turned into business opportunities.

There are many entry points to pick up steam, from the platform, the applications or the industry solutions. We have starter apps that can bring your data to life in a minute, in Electronics, Automotive, Insurance, Manufacturing. If you are an automotive maker, go on Bluemix and you can start implementing a car sharing service or a fleet management application on the fly! If you are a maker of things, connect your data to Prescriptive Quality on Cloud and we’ll detect any quality issues way before any SPC (Statistical Process Control) method.

What will be the next big Offering Development that Watson IoT will be involved in?

Making cognitive ubiquitous – at every level of our Watson IoT Industry Solutions.

What would you say your biggest contributions to Watson IoT are?

As a Director of Offering Management, my biggest contribution is to bring the right talent and assets, in particular Cognitive, to anticipate the market and address the industry transformation our customers are going through. It is to deliver easy entry points so they can ramp up quickly with outstanding ROI and differentiators in the IoT value chain.

Find out more about the IBM Watson platform and cognitive solutions by visiting our website.