While an intuitive interface is crucial, it’s also not the whole story. Part of my role when I’m out in the field with customers is to remove silos, not just when it comes to data, but also between different industrial specialists.
For example, while a process control operator might receive an alarm about equipment in poor condition, this information is of little help if they’re not connected via an integrated maintenance system or there’s not some kind of dashboarding through to the maintenance guys.
On the other side, the IT guys are just collecting the data and inputting into algorithms, but they don't have that boots-on-the-ground maintenance background. It’s only when these departments are properly connected –– in every way –– that customers start to see results.
These kind of communication problems can often only become obvious when you nurture long-term customer connections. My ‘check-ins’ with longstanding clients are how I discovered a lack of domain knowledge was preventing some of our customers from understanding what their data really means. And the solutions to this type of problem doesn’t have to be complex. In some of the cases I had evaluated, the solution was something that we could implement very easily, like adding a couple of sensors or simply monitoring temperature and vibration information. This kind of holistic evaluation is where I think ABB really shines.