Today we are releasing Housekeeper, an easy-to-use configurable IoT dashboard for data visualisation and alarm management. Housekeeper is purpose-built to enable our enterprise customers to better leverage Waylay for building, packaging and offering IoT solutions to their own customers.
Housekeeper is targeted at IoT B2B end users whose primary focus is on business-centric operations and services and who value capabilities centred around ease-of-use.
Understanding IoT user personas in a complex stakeholder ecosystem
The value chain of a typical B2B IoT solution can get very complex very fast. In B2B, there may often be several intermediary stakeholder organisations, each of them having multiple users who need different functionalities and often different access levels to what is usually the same IoT platform.
Industry analyst firm Machnation has identified five different types of IoT users within an enterprise in their excellent article Designing a best-in-class IoT platform UX: a look at personas published earlier this year. They identify the platform admin (an IT specialist), the operator (a business user, vertical domain specific) and three (!) different types of developers as the main user personas of a B2B IoT platform.
Pictured: Housekeeper UI
Although five is already a handful, in practice we have seen even more user types within the IoT solution chains that our customers are part of. One easy example that comes to mind for a sixth type is the data scientist, a profile that is often brought in to work on advanced prediction, anomaly detection or other models developed on the vast amounts of IoT data that are collected.
Persona teams are also discovered, set-up and engaged at various phases in the adoption of the IoT platform. As new user personas are added, the UX of the IoT platform tends to underperform, and there is an increasing need to create new UIs on top. But this is not always easy and can add significant delays to the estimated time to market of a solution.
More than visualisation - a smarter, easier way to work with IoT data
At Waylay we have many customers that are not the end-users of the Waylay platform, but rather are using it to create IoT offerings towards their (usually enterprise) customers, who may use parts of the solution to provide extra services to their customers. So what we typically see is a B2B2B..2n sort of value chain.
The further away from the first platform customer we move, the narrower the interest in the underlying technology and the higher the value of a good UX and easy to use UI focused on the business problem.
Housekeeper addresses the challenges that we have seen our customers struggle with today when it comes to shielding their own customers from the complexity of the underlying technology, while at the same time empowering them to benefit from its capabilities.
Pictured: Housekeeper UI
In Machnation terminology, Housekeeper would be meant for the "Platform Operator". The platform operator's responsabilities vary based on the vertical and use case they are in but the commonality is that they all conduct business rather than IoT domain tasks.
Housekeeper enables these users to visualise IoT data in order to monitor key business KPIs but also gives them an easy to navigate environment with a friendly interface towards some of the most powerful features of the underlying Waylay platform. Users can configure and monitor alarms in real-time, create actuations, acccess time series analytics insights and more. For a detailed technical description of all the features, see our technical documentation page.
Like Gartner in one of their recent research papers, we believe that organizations will only gain competitive advantage from IoT technologies if they make them simple, useful and intuitive for users. Enterprise architects and technology innovation leaders who understand how users want to use IoT technologies — and in what environments — will be interested in what Housekeeper has to offer.