utility sector; university
46465932 - idea.

A Michaigan-based IoT solutions provider – Open Systems Technologies – has launched the OST IoT university as a way of bringing employees up to speed on all things IoT.

The in-house certification programme is designed to help employees better understand the technology behind IoT, but also how they can effectively work with customers to implement IoT solutions.

Says John Thayer, VP of sales and strategic business at OST: "We have three objectives for our employees: to build competence, confidence and a communication ability where they can effectively communicate our excitement about IoT."

"Now, the students who attended IoT University can move forward as ambassadors for OST, armed with the excitement that comes with the success of IoT projects we've completed."

The certification programme was developed and launched as a way for the company to hone its IoT strategy and assist principal consultants and account executives "become fluent in the value that IoT presents for potential clients."

The first ten account executives and principal consultants graduated recently after having undergone a four-month long programme of both classroom and homework projects. According to a release published on CRM.com "the six key aspects of IoT in the programme include business value thesis; user experience; architecture, including the architecture of the edge and underlying data capture and analytics; visualization and big data; managed DevOps and security; and edge applications."

These courses focus on the architecture and technology necessary for IoT projects  as well as the business value and user experience that are critical at the customer level.

"The unique thing about IoT projects is that from a customer's point of view, they're not simply an IT project [they] also impact customer service, product engineering and marketing, and sales," said Thayer. "Too often companies pay too much attention to the technology and architecture and not enough to the user experience and the edge."

The user experience course, for instance, helped employees better understand IoT product packaging and instructions, and if the user interface on the packaging and screens of smart devices were consistent with those on the complementary mobile application.

The company hopes to have at least 45 of their 225 employees undergo the programme and have made an online archive edition of the university's syllabus available.

"We are excited by the early success OST is having with our IoT University and the impact it will have in our ability to tell stories that resonate with customers while empowering our own employees through depth and breadth of knowledge," said Mike Lomonaco, director of marketing and communications at OST.