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2016 Vision Conference: Things Overheard

Panel: The Internet of Things (IoT)

Presenters: Ron Zink, John Deere; Kip Tom, Tom Farms (professional grower); Preet Gill, Bosch; Moderated by our friend Lisa Prassack.

This panel featured some rather thought-provoking backgrounds, Kip Tom being a 7th generation farmer from Indiana that recently dipped his toe into the political pool with a run for Congress in his local district, Ron Zink having an IT background from Microsoft prior to joining Deere, and Preet Gill who had an engineering background prior to heading up business development and corporate strategy for mega corporation Bosch.

Let’s get right to some of the quotes:

Zink on current state of IoT:

“As we think about the context for IoT, to me it’s the wild west right now. There are just many, many big companies rushing to create IoT platforms. You have guys like ATT and Verizon – with their pedigrees around communications it makes sense. You have industrial companies like Bosch and others looking to create IoT-based platforms in the industries they work in, and then there’s computing guys like Intel, Dell and Smart Things trying to create consumer IoT, along with the Microsofts, and the Amazons and the Googles…there’s nearly 100 companies thinking they will have IoT platform, so it’s not really clear right now which horse to ride on this IoT journey.”

Gill on what he sees happening in IoT going forward:

“What we will also see in ag and in other fields is a convergence of technologies. General Electric (GE) for example, they have a lot of different apps available. Someday you will be able to overlap different apps with ATT and GE; we will see more convergence of different technologies to provide real solutions…eventually the products which will really solve the customers’ needs will be the ones that survive and rise to the top.”

Tom on the next big break ag needs to embrace technology:

“I believe the next big lever to pull is the way we apply technology to farms and increase productivity and efficiency. We’ve got to create new business models, and start to look at farming as manufacturing – for producers like myself and others it’s not a lifestyle thing, this is serious business. We need to do our absolute best, and to do that we have to have the tools at our fingertips to make sure we run these businesses efficiently. That technology has been developed and adopted, but people aren’t leveraging it to the ability they need to – they’re not leveraging the data into analytics to make decisions. We need to collect data from every area of our far, and we believe that in the future it is going to come down as a differentiator to access the market. Producers that don’t embrace technology could be left behind.”

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