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3 October 2014

Jasper Technologies Hosts Panel on Cultivating an Internet of Things Business

San Francisco, California – October 3, 2014 – Jasper, the pioneer in cloud-based IoT service platforms for the Internet of Things (IoT), brought together an international panel of AgTech leaders for a dynamic discussion about how the Internet of Things is transforming agribusiness. The group, which gathered yesterday in downtown San Francisco, shared lessons learned and best practices for delivering new services and scaling an IoT business regionally and globally.

“Tonight’s panel demonstrated that agriculture, as an industry, understands that the Internet of Things isn’t about things, it’s about service. They are using embedded connectivity to increase crop yields, preserve precious resources, make sustainability and profitability synonymous, and more,” said Macario Namie, vice president of marketing, Jasper. “To these visionary companies at the forefront of IoT, the benefits of converging the digital and physical worlds aren’t theoretical. They’re innovating and executing at a scale that has real impact today on their business, their customers and the planet.

The lively discussion was moderated by Andrea James,  vice president of Dougherty & Company and included a distinguished group of panelists,  including Charles Schleusner, manager, product marketing and strategy, John Deere; Michael Gilbert, founder and CEO, Semios; Matthew Sandink, co-founder, Smart Watering Systems; J. Matthew Pryor, CEO, Observant; and Michael Gomes,  vice president of business development, Topcon Precision Agriculture. The panelists shared the triumphs and challenges of deploying an IoT service business to address critical issues such as drought response, crop yield optimization and pest control.

As leading agriculture innovators, the panelists also discussed what it takes to build and scale a successful IoT agribusiness, highlighting the impact and benefits of transitioning from a product to services business. They presented insightful strategies for leveraging IoT to not only make dramatic productivity improvements but also to develop entirely new business models that generate new, sustainable revenue sources.

Primary takeaways from the conversation included:

  • IoT isn’t about “things,” it’s about service. “Things” are a means to an end: By embedding connectivity into them, companies can deliver an incredible array of new services and experiences that enable them to scale regionally or globally.
  • With John Deere’s fleet telematics technology, farmers can collect data that helps them optimize planting and spraying from season to season, ultimately increasing productivity.
  • Topcon Precision Farming leverages optics, sonics and GPS in conjunction with mechanics to streamline and automate agriculture operations like harvesting, spraying, fertilizer applications, seeding and transplanting.
  • Harnessing the power of sensors, Semios and its metered pheromone delivery systems have automated the pest counting process and disrupted pest mating patterns to minimize or even replace pesticide use.
  • Agriculture irrigation accounts for 70 percent of the world’s freshwater use, meaning drought response and water conservation is more salient to agriculture than to any other industry. Success of those efforts hinge on IoT adoption. Smart Watering Systems provides a soil moisture monitoring system for more efficient irrigation processes that decrease water waste.
  • Observant has helped agribusinesses lower energy and water usage costs with its custom, solar-powered and autonomous wireless devices.
  • Ultimately, every successful company will become an IoT business. As the panelists discovered firsthand, the benefits of IoT are too great and too critical to ignore. “It’s not if, but when,” the panelists noted at multiple points during the discussion. 
  • The largest challenge – and opportunity – facing agribusinesses today is providing service beyond product. J. Matthew Pryor, CEO of Observant pointed out that in order to transition from a product business to an effective service business, companies must demonstrate concrete benefits. Fellow panelists agreed. “In the product business, when part of a machine breaks you can get the customer a new part in 24 hours and keep going because he already bought the machine,” said Charles Schleusner, Product Marketing & Strategy, John Deere. “But in the service business, if we’re not reliable, we have to give them a refund. There’s no business unless we’re reliable. Customers are used to the service-based model and paying for what they get, but only willing to pay if they see results.”

“Farmers are the most resourceful people on the planet – give them a tool and come back after a few years and see they’re using the tool in a number of ways,” said Michael Gomes, VP Business Development, Topcon Precision Agriculture. “The Internet of Things is just beginning to start. We’re just starting what will be a number of decades of opportunity, potential and productivity.”

About Jasper Technologies, Inc.
Becoming a connected business means becoming a service business. And that’s where Jasper comes in. Jasper is the pioneer in cloud-based platforms for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the defining player in the Service IT category. The Jasper Platform empowers enterprises and mobile operators of all sizes to deploy successful IoT service businesses on a global scale. More than 1,500 companies, including many of the world’s top brands, have chosen Jasper to fast track their connected businesses. Mobile operator groups worldwide, representing over 100 network affiliates, partner with Jasper. Founded in 2004, Jasper is based in Mountain View, California.

For more information, visit www.jasper.com or follow us on Twitter @Jasper_IoT.