Recently, we organised ourselves into taking IoT much closer to existing enterprise IT systems like CRM, helpdesk, ITSM

Interview
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Below are the excerpts of our recent interview with Mr. Prabhu Ramachandran, Director, WebNMS

Let’s begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence and offerings in India.

WebNMS, the IoT division of Zoho Corporation is a leading provider of Internet of Things Platform and Solutions that maxi- mizes the potential of connected business infrastructure. Symphony IoT, the flagship product of WebNMS, is engineered to streamline enterprise operations by optiizing expenses and upgrading operational efficiency through proactive energy and remote monitoring of geographically dispersed assets, both fixed and mobile.

The platform addresses three key areas of enterprise business challenges viz. energy, remote site management and asset tracking. This key player in the market encourages an enterprise-ready ecosystem through its partners that includes, engineering service providers and system integrators, software developers and resellers, facility management companies, device manufacturers, OEMs, gateway and sensor manufacturers.

As far as Indian market is concerned, Symphony IoT would be congruous to smart city projects that involve large scale smart lighting, transportation, energy dis- tribution and savings, water and utilities management and large scale connected building management. We are looking to partner with SIs that specialize in IoT and also OEMs that are moving towards the ‘smart space’.

What have been some of the recent developments at your organisation?

IoT is the next big thing for Zoho as an organisation. We are  in  the  IoT  space  for over 6 years. Recently, we organised ourselves into taking IoT much closer to existing enterprise IT systems like CRM, helpdesk, ITSM and other tools. We enable collection of all machine and business data, across the last-mile, that tightly integrates with existing software and  tools,  aiming to make IoT more realizable as part of our day-to-day activities.

How important is real monitoring and analysis of data? Could you explain your technology offerings in brief?

ROI is a solid way to determine the actual result of any new installation/ software and it pays to be proactive when it comes to large installations. Though IoT based solar/ wind monitoring involve investements on the higher end, they’ve proven to reap larger benefits on the balance sheet over the years.  To  corroborate  the  results,  it  is  essential  to  deploy  real-time, continuous monitoring, preventive and predictive maintenance. Data over a period of time, say 5-6 years, is crucial in terms of overall growth of the energy enterprise. The WebNMS Sympony solar and  wind  mill management solutions deliver exactly what the renewable companies are looking for today – great technology that yield maximum returns within a considerable period of time. The cloud based solutions offer real–time data that is transparent, validated, timely and most important  of all, accessable by multiple devices across geographic locations.

What are the recent technological advancements in performance and yield data management?

With advancement of technology and availability of pocket friendly sensors, IoT solutions are becoming cost-effective and easier to adopt and deploy across verticals energy industry in particular. The solar industry with its high investment assets needs advanced monitoring solutions to sustain competition and weild favorable results. The solutions should be capable of integrating with the existing infrstructure and add benefit to the overall operations.

What are the advantages of having good quality solar monitoring systems in India?

Often today, we lack an effective com- munication infrastructure in place to help manage geographically-distributed solar units and PV panels. Multiple, proprietary systems provide fragmented results that only  leads  to  dead-end  dashboards.   At WebNMS,  we’ve  been  trying  to  create  a unified, integrated solution that offers real-time visibility, control  and  reactions  at granular levels. This includes trends on energy generation, peak results related to weather conditions, anomalous drop in energy and analysis of under-performing unit, comparison of energy usage across a city at a given time of the day and the likes. Typically, we’re trying to bring the mechanism of monitoring internet bandwidth into the sustainable energy space - more real- time and more mobile.

What is the future of asset and data management systems?

As sustainable energy grows to new heights, the industry will largely embrace IoT to monitor and secure multiple, remote end points. This is true especially in case  of mission-critical solar/PV assets. Real- time monitoring, predictive maintenance and deeper analysis of asset performance are what will drive and fasten adoption of solar rooftop  panels. For  newer  entrants, a tangible proof of ROI lies in being able  to clearly deliver efficiency and monetary benefits, backed by historical data of solar power utilization in comparison with con- ventional power.

Anything else you would like to add for our readers?

IoT in renewable is something new that we are trying to bring. By itself, IoT is the next biggest disruptive technology and we’re pretty excited to bring insightful software to the energy industry, that drives both, a greener and cost-effective environment.