CARRICULUM VITAE Education, publications, experience, presentations, interviews, patents, and honors & awards.
Mark Benson, Chief Technology Officer
Accomplished C-level technology leader. Experienced in strategic, operational, and financial management of cross-functional teams in highly-competitive markets. Successful track record of defining and realizing pragmatic product strategies to meet the requirements of complex enterprises across multiple functions and verticals. Strong interpersonal and formal communication skills.
SKILLS: Technology Leadership | Product Management | Strategic Planning | Intellectual Property Portfolio Management | Software Development Life Cycle | Information Security | Competitive Strategy
Published a piece today in IoT Central for digital transformation leaders within organizations, and how rigid organizational structures, inflexible cultures, and lack of market insight increase the probability of creating an IoT platform that is fragmented, brittle, and ultimately more susceptible to failure.
ABSTRACT: Many IoT challenges exist due to a lack of industry-wide standards around proven success. Everyone starts from ground zero, and few have crossed the finish line. Based on experience working on IoT-innovation programs across a variety of industries, here are five key considerations regarding where to focus your efforts early on and how to move your company forward as you build, deploy, and launch the next generation of your product.
Published a piece in IoT Agenda on the organizational psychology of the Internet of Things, centered on the interplay between team structure and software innovation, and how Conway's Law shows us that organizational design should be thought of in the service of digital innovation instead of its inverse.
ABSTRACT: Smart connected products will redefine entire markets and the very nature of competition over the coming decade. Organizations attempting to build smart connected products across divisions, product portfolios, and markets are being faced with a stark reality: creating IoT projects are hard and building a long-term organizational competency around doing IoT projects with excellence is even harder. Based on real-world experience, this article covers five key barriers to digital transformation, an organizational competency model for how companies become masterful at IoT, four case studies, and five behaviors that successful organizations embrace to drive lasting behavioral change.
ABSTRACT: With recent advances in low-cost sensors and communications hardware, appliances are beginning to become smart and connected, enabling more relevant user experiences, increased after-market sales, and new ways to monetize data. This article discusses how Internet of Things technologies and business models are changing the way in which appliances are designed, developed, manufactured, and supported in a way that enables manufacturers to compete on the global stage.
ABSTRACT: Organizations attempting to build smart connected products across divisions, product portfolios, and markets are being faced with a stark reality: creating IoT projects are hard and building a long-term organizational competency around doing IoT projects with excellence is even harder. Based on real-world experience, this article presents five key behaviors that successful organizations embrace when starting an IoT journey. Finally, this article concludes by saying that smart connected products will redefine entire markets and the very nature of competition over the coming decade, and that the key to success tomorrow will be directly proportional to an organization’s ability to transform themselves into a digital enterprise today.
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things (IoT) represents new opportunities for manufacturers to capitalize on the value of data for their business. One of those opportunities is through leveraging an approach called machine learning, which is a branch of artificial intelligence that enables machines (or virtual representations of machines in the cloud) to learn new behaviors based on their external environments, internal health, and changing inputs. However, in order for machine learning to work, humans must be able to grok the context of how the machine data is collected, aggregated, and consumed.
ABSTRACT: For many companies, the internet of things has suddenly become the thing: a techno-competitive mega-trend that can no longer be ignored. However, creating an effective IoT strategy — and carrying it out with excellence — can be difficult and confusing.
In a recent survey, all CEOs in the Fortune 500 were asked, “What is your company’s greatest challenge?” The top answer was, “The rapid pace of technological evolution.” IoT is a prime example of the rapidity of this technological evolution. The methodology for companies to stay abreast of this pace and meet it with the talent required to navigate it is no small undertaking, but success in the process will define the parameters of technology competition over the coming decade.
ABSTRACT: As the Internet of Things (IoT) moves from early hype to production deployments, organizations that have historically made physical things now face significant challenges. Not only do they need to connect their products to the internet, but also support them. Because of this, many IoT innovation efforts take longer than expected or flounder without clear direction. Based on experience working with companies on IoT innovation programs across industries such as smart home automation, smart buildings and smart industrial equipment, this article describes five main symptoms of IoT programs that are destined for trouble and presents best practices for overcoming them.
ABSTRACT: Preventative maintenance programs are expensive, but downtime caused by equipment failures are even more costly. In this high-stakes endeavor, customers of industrial equipment manufacturers are looking for more visibility into machine health and especially, predicted machine health. This phenomenon is creating an opportunity for industrial equipment manufacturers to create differentiated and smart connected machines that provide granular machine health data that can be used to reduce operational expenses, increase product and process quality, and improve overall corporate competitive position.
ABSTRACT: The battle between hackers of IoT products and the businesses that produce them is an arms race that is escalating in erratic fashion. New advancements in technology have enabled new types of Internet-connected products, thereby expanding the overall threat surface and opening up new opportunities for would-be attackers to wreak havoc. As enterprises struggle to respond, their behaviors can sadly be classified as either naive or fearful, neither of which produce effective results. This article explains the IoT security arms race between corporations and attackers and makes key recommendations on how to “win” the race via thoughtful approaches that balance usability and security in a way that keeps the cost to attack higher than the reward of achieving it. Examples and references to several industries will be provided including technology, manufacturing and healthcare.
ABSTRACT: Although it has been known under different names over many years, the Internet of Things (IoT) is suddenly the thing. The ability to connect, remotely manage, and monitor networked devices via the Internet is becoming pervasive. And the incredible rate at which IoT is growing has simultaneously created one of the biggest threats and opportunities for growth in recent memory. However, building an IoT solution is complicated. Sensors, short-range RF networks, gateways, security concerns, web services, information technology (IT) maintenance and monitoring, web and mobile application development, and enterprise integration are all parts of the system that must be solved. Enterprises seeking to enter the IoT space often have expertise in building durable goods, but not networking, sensor networks, or IT. Additionally, these enterprises are often very diverse, with numerous divisions, product families, and business models that only further complicate the already-complicated world of IoT. This piece outlines a nine-step sequence to enable diverse enterprises to create a clear IoT strategy that cuts through the noise and complexity, and establishes a common framework that can be leveraged by connected product families across an organization.
ABSTRACT: Analysts are predicting big outcomes for the macroeconomic Internet of Things (IoT) movement. The reality is that many organizations are facing internal dissonance in areas like: what the IoT is, what the strategy should be, and what things need to happen to execute on that strategy. How organizations respond to these challenges will define their competitive success for the next decade. This article presents the concept of IoT retrofits: a common-sense strategy to integrate in-field machine data into the enterprise in a way that reduces near-term risk, produces early success, and enables valuable insights that can be used to inform a long-term strategy.
ABSTRACT: With the pervasive growth of Internet-connected products, manufacturers are now being confronted with an exciting and terrifying set of truths: the opportunity to monetize the value of data has never been greater and the threat of new market entrants has never been higher. In order for manufacturers to transcend external competitive dynamics, they must first transcend internal organizational hurdles by transforming old ways of doing business. This article examines key steps to business transformation including the development of a cohesive IoT strategy, a clear view of customer needs, a viable business model, a reliable technology architecture, and agile organizational alignment.
ABSTRACT: IoT device fleets are becoming more pervasive. As devices are becoming connected to the Internet, new possibilities for how to use the data are opening up. For any IoT solution, maturity occurs in three stages: (1) connected, (2) managed, and (3) optimized. Data analytics maturity mirrors these three steps: (1) when devices are connected we can get some descriptive data about them; (2) when devices are managed, we can generate predictive analytics on them to figure out what might happen in the future such as with a motor failure; and (3) we can optimize devices and user interactions by using prescriptive analytics to provide closed loop feedback. This article lays out the foundations of data analytics and data science for IoT device deployments, and recommendations for success.
ABSTRACT: As devices all around us become connected to the Internet, manufacturers of durable goods are finding themselves with the uncomfortable responsibility of solving security and personal privacy problems. This article points key reasons why IoT security is hard, including pervasive physical access, resource-constrained systems, complex deployment topologies, and inadequate organizational capabilities. Manufacturers willing to embrace security as a cultural norm for their organization can position them to turn security risks into strategic competitive advantage.
An introduction to the art of controlling the thermodynamic behavior of computing systems with software.
ABSTRACT: This book introduces Software Thermal Management (STM) as a means of reducing power consumption in a computing system in order to manage heat, improve component reliability and increase system safety. Whereas most books on thermal management describe mechanisms to remove heat, this book focuses on ways to avoid generating heat in the first place.
Published by Springer, New York (2014). Available January 31st, 2014 via Springer and Amazon.
ABSTRACT: TI OMAP applications processors are powerful and flexible; this makes them well suited for managing difficult power and thermal constraints.
However, the complexity of OMAP parts is high and the ways in which to use them are varied and intricate.
This article addresses the problem of managing thermal performance in a battery-powered product design with TI OMAP processors, and also includes a special case study on the OMAP4430-based Amazon Kindle Fire.
ABSTRACT: OpenCL is a programming framework for managing heterogeneous computing resources such as CPUs and GPUs.
OpenCL can be used to accelerate computationally-intensive algorithms in a robust and scalable way.
However, complicated problems often require complicated solutions, and OpenCL is a complicated (and powerful) solution.
This article delineates the complexity of OpenCL in two ways: (1) by describing the architecture of OpenCL, and it's primary organizing principals (static model, dynamic model, memory model, and compilation model); and (2) by describing how to use OpenCL in real-world applications (creating, building, compiling, linking, executing, and debugging OpenCL programs).
The article ends with a summary of next steps for OpenCL, and recommendations for further reading.
ABSTRACT: As the state of the art in diagnostic devices evolves within the context of our flattening world economy, manufacturers are facing key defining challenges that affect not only business performance, but also users and patients: uncertain regulatory landscapes, increasingly-demanding user expectations, and tightening cost pressures.
By analyzing and implementing design patterns from adjacent industries, we can influence diagnostic device design by opening the eyes of the design process to create more nimble, innovative, and disruptive diagnostic products within an increasingly competitive climate.
08 FEBRUARY 2012
MEDICAL DEVICE AND DIAGNOSTIC INDUSTRY GUIDE TO OUTSOURCING
ABSTRACT: Cloud computing is an emerging trend. Consequently, more and more embedded devices are becoming connected to "The Cloud." Features that were previously included on the device are now being moved to The Cloud and provided as a service.
This trend not only requires a new way of thinking about system design, but also enables a new level of algorithmic analysis that is moving us closer to unlocking the true promise of device clouds: data visualization. (Retweeted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.)
ABSTRACT: As telehealth home care continues to evolve, the wireless and medical device industries face numerous challenges.
This article explores technology, patient, and standards considerations, in addition to the necessary improvements to wireless technology – all factors critical to the ultimate success of in-home health care management.
ABSTRACT: Medium to large medical device companies often strive to become vertically integrated: they might own their own silicon fab, design their own hardware, engineer proprietary protocols, build their own testing and deployment equipment from scratch, and design their own custom manufacturing processes.
Although there are good reasons for companies in regulated markets to become more vertically integrated (control over diverse processes, control of quality, and control of the supply chain), it can often cause a technology drift effect over time between the company's core competencies and industry trends.
This article discusses how outsourcing can be used strategically in key circumstances to gain valuable access to otherwise unavailable and diverse solutions from non-medical industries for medical device manufacturers thereby minimizing the technology drift effect.
MAY 2013 – PRESENT
Chief Technology Officer
Create, maintain, and grow 5-year technology roadmap for the company to ensure long-term stability and position in the emerging Internet of Things movement.
Oversee technical talent for information technology, design services, R&D, technical writing, and support services, including recruitment, hiring, career development, performance management, and retention for positions ranging from Vice Presidents to Directors to Managers to engineers and other administrative staff.
Speak at community and professional events as an industry thought-leader and communicator to further the M2M/IoT industry, and also grow Exosite brand strength in the marketplace.
Define and grow the company's intellectual property portfolio, including patent prosecution, trademarks, and software license terms, and contracts.
SEPTEMBER 2012 – MAY 2013
Manager of Software Development
Managed the development of the Exosite One Platform (1P), including requirements definition, architecture, design, development, test, deployment, scaling, maintenance, documentation, and federation.
FEBRUARY 2011 – SEPTEMBER 2012
Director of Software Strategy
Direct product software development activities and engineering talent, including recruitment, offers, reviews, training, career development, and mentoring to attract and retain top talent.
Develop and communicate corporate software strategy by analyzing, identifying, and pursuing technologies and partnerships that enhance and defend Logic PD's long-term stability and brand position in the marketplace.
Co-lead the Technology Roadmap Development program to identify and cultivate technologies that augment the company’s IP portfolio through a structured process that solicits and empowers innovation throughout all levels of the company.
Created and launched the 3rd Party Partner Program to select and grow business relationships that offer value-added options to customers, furthering Logic PD’s brand as a well-connected trusted technology advisor.
Established Logic PD’s Early Adopter Program (EAP) to provide key customers early access to Logic PD products hardware and software artifacts prior to general availability through distribution.
SEPTEMBER 2009 – FEBRUARY 2011
Director of Embedded Software Engineering
Directed service software development engineering talent, including recruitment, offers, reviews, training, career development, and mentoring to achieve $2.2M annual revenue with a $.9M gross margin contribution at 14% CAGR.
Developed business by presenting product development products and services to potential clients via project plans, statements of work, terms and conditions, and face-to-face consultative selling techniques.
Managed design service resource staffing issues by assigning personnel to product development projects using sales forecasts, yield projections, and resource modeling techniques.
Introduced Monte Carlo methods, tools, and processes to the business development team for quantitatively assessing design service program risk to aid in the pricing process for fixed-bid programs.
Acted as program manager for an ITAR-rated soldier vision system yielding $1.8M in design services revenue with 30+ team members over 18 months.
OCTOBER 2007 – SEPTEMBER 2009
Senior Software Engineer
Led a team of managers and executives to design, implement, and roll out an ISO13485-compliant Quality Management System and associated processes and tool for 125 employees under an aggressive schedule.
Led a geographically-distributed team to design a Linux and TI-OMAP-based next-generation portable video borescope.
Facilitated a software study group for 30 highly-motivated software engineers, senior software engineers, and principal systems engineers.
Led the Project Management Improvement Group to create a project management process and provide training and mentoring on that process.
Led a multi-discipline team of engineers to develop an Engine Trend Monitoring device for Turbo-Prop Commuter Planes and Homebuilt aircraft.
Participated in the Medical Practice Team to develop Logic's capabilities in the medical field, and to increase its brand awareness in the industry.
Led the Software Process Improvement Group to refine the software development process and provide training and mentoring on that process.
Developed an MFC application to control a heart lung machine (HLM) bio-pump using an XScale PXA255 Windows CE 4.20 hardware platform.
JUNE 2002 – OCTOBER 2007
Led a team of four (4) Senior Software Engineers to develop Logic's Software Development Process and associated templates and forms.
Wrote a U-Boot extension for managing a BoP (Broadband over Powerline) chipset for a traffic camera system.
Developed an inventory scanner system for bicycle shops using Windows CE, C++, and a PXA270-based Symbol Scanner device.
Managed a distributed team of engineers to develop the platform for a handheld wireless voice-controlled music and information system.
Developed a user-mode Linux application in C to read and write an Analog Devices 5245 digital potentiometer using I2C.
Developed a Linux Board Support Package (BSP) using C, gcc, binutils, and glibc for a brain-state assessment device based on a TI OMAP 5910.
Developed a Windows CE DLL to communicate over Microsoft ActiveSync RAPI (Remote API) to an automobile engine-analysis scope.
Led 7 engineers over 2 years to port pacemaker and defibrillator software applications written in C for the QNX RTOS to a new platform.
Developed a mapping application using Microsoft .NET, C#, C++, and GDI+ to manage an array of infrared laser radar devices and night-vision cameras.
Developed an application to streamline drug testing and associated chain-of-custody forms using Microsoft .NET, COM+, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Developed and executed automated and manual tests using an oscilloscope and signal generator to verify a safety-critical fiber-optic safety sensor.
Developed an application with a dynamic GUI that could be described in XML using MFC and C++ to program a family of industrial safety sensors.
MAY 2001 – JUNE 2002
Associate Software Engineer
Wrote a language and accompanying interpreter along with two (2) other Software Engineers to control a printer laminator/cutter/stapler/stacker device using C and an Hitachi H8S.
ABSTRACT: As the Internet of Things moves from early hype to production deployments, organizations that have historically made physical things now face significant challenges. Not only do they need to connect their products to the Internet, but also support them. Because of this, I’ve seen many IoT innovation efforts take longer than expected or flounder without clear direction. Companies learn sometimes the hard way that it’s one thing to talk idyllically about turning a product-centered business into a service-centered utopia, but quite another to actually make it a reality. This talk will focus on the five symptoms of IoT programs that are destined for trouble and will also provide solutions for getting back on track.
Presented at Agile Day Twin Cities on the intersection of business, technology, and people as applied to Internet of Things initiatives.
ABSTRACT: The internet of things is disrupting nearly every industry. And as the last decade showed us, it takes a lot more than connectivity to win with IoT. This presentation takes a critical look at a product-first approach vs. a value-first approach for developing winning IoT solutions, and its corresponding implications for rolling out a successful corporate-wide digital transformation initiative.
Delivered a keynote presentation at Sensors Expo in San Jose on how organizations can leverage IoT technology to bring people together to drive a sustainable competitive advantage using a technique I call the Inverted Conway Maneuver:
ABSTRACT: Smart connected products will redefine entire markets and the very nature of competition over the coming decade. Organizations attempting to build smart connected products across divisions, product portfolios, and markets are being faced with a stark reality: creating IoT projects are hard and building a long-term organizational competency around doing IoT projects with excellence is even harder. Based on real-world experience, this presentation covers five key behaviors that successful organizations exhibit along their digital transformation journey as they employ IoT technology solutions to drive behavioral change.
Presented at IoT Slam in North Carolina on how organizations can build a long-term sustainable IoT competency, and in the process avoid catastrophic failures.
ABSTRACT: Organizations attempting to build smart connected products across divisions, product portfolios, and markets are being faced with a stark reality: creating IoT projects is hard, and building a long-term organizational competency around doing IoT projects with excellence is even harder. Based on real-world experience, this talk presents five key strategies successful organizations use to build a long-term IoT competency and prevent disaster along the way.
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things represents a new set of security threats to organizations looking to build a connected product portfolio. These organizations cannot afford the damage that will inevitably result from insecure technologies and practices — the consequences of failure are too high, not only for the performance of the business, but for the protection of personal privacy, safety, and security for its customers. This presentation examines the role of technology leaders in building a sustainable cyber-physical security competency at their organization that balances business concerns, technology constraints, and user needs in a cross-functional way.
ABSTRACT: Smart connected products will redefine entire markets and the very nature of competition over the coming decade. Organizations attempting to build smart connected products across divisions, product portfolios, and markets are being faced with a stark reality: creating IoT projects are hard and building a long-term organizational competency around doing IoT projects with excellence is even harder. Based on real-world experience, this presentation covers five key behaviors (and corresponding pitfalls) that successful organizations exhibit along their IoT journey.
ABSTRACT: With fast approaching energy regulations and increased competitive pressures, reducing energy consumption has never been more important for building managers. This talk introduces a series of smart Internet of Things (IoT) retrofit technologies that can be used to meet regulatory requirements, reduce operational expenses, and increase competitive position.
ABSTRACT: Although a staggering amount of information is beginning to be gathered every day from IoT connected products, the companies that have access to it are not necessarily using that data effectively. As Tim Hartford of the Financial Times notes, “Big data has arrived, but big insights have not.” Useful data analysis requires much more than the simple collection and summary of data. Companies must have a long-term IoT analytics strategy in place to provide significant, actionable insights that will fuel their business transformation into a connected product company. This presentation covers IoT analytics industry trends and advocates for a phased maturity model approach for creating a smart IoT strategy that starts with basic data collection and stream analytics, moves through descriptive/diagnostic analytics, and culminates in predictive/prescriptive analytics. This presentation ends with practical tips and architectural tradeoffs for creating a future-proof IoT roadmap based on connected devices and data.
ABSTRACT: IoT device fleets are becoming more pervasive. As devices are becoming connected to the Internet, new possibilities for how to use the data for aftermarket services are opening up. For any IoT solution, there are steps of maturity that occur in sequence: (1) connected, (2) managed, and (3) optimized. Data analytics maturity mirrors these three steps: (1) when devices are connected we can get some descriptive data about them; (2) when devices are managed, we can generate predictive analytics on them to figure out what might happen in the future such as with a motor failure; and (3) we can optimize devices and user interactions by using prescriptive analytics to provide closed loop feedback. This session will lay out the foundations of data analytics and how remote sensing technology can enable a new class of after service-delivery business models.
ABSTRACT: As populations rise and urbanization trends continue, water utilities are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the growing demand for water resources. Challenged by aging infrastructure, an aging workforce, and limited budgets, utilities must find ways to run more efficient operations. With modern inline sensing equipment, simple communications hardware, and a flexible software platform approach, utilities can use real-time sensor data to better manage the quality of their water networks and the efficiency of their plant operations. This presentation explains numerous benefits from using inline monitoring technologies to improve the efficiency of plant operations and concludes with an argument that the health of the water management industry depends on a thriving ecosystem of policy makers, environmental agencies, manufacturers, municipalities, plant operators, and users.
13 SEPTEMBER 2016
FROST & SULLIVAN GROWTH, INNOVATION, AND LEADERSHIP
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things trend is forcing organizations out of their comfort zones to rapidly innovate new technology and business offerings in order to remain competitive on the global stage. However, to succeed at monetizing in new technology spaces, organizations must overcome internal barriers to change such as technology debt, rigid business models, outdated user experiences, incumbent processes, skill gaps, and in many cases (sadly), a lack of strategic vision. This session uses interactive group discussion, frameworks, lessons learned, best practices, metrics, and business model case studies to help participants address these challenges at their organization.
ABSTRACT: As manufacturers begin creating smart, connected products, a flurry of IoT platform technologies have emerged. However, it is still in the early days of IoT platform maturity and many platforms suffer from a lack of features, security guarantees, scalability concerns, and inflexible interfaces. This presentation by Mark Benson, Exosite, explains the concept of an IoT platform, what problems it solves, and how to make buying decisions when looking for an IoT platform for your connected business.
ABSTRACT: Most organizations leverage multiple software packages, each with their own data and dashboard systems. These systems are in addition to corporate dash-boarding frameworks that are used to drive business decisions. The Internet of Things represents an opportunity to aggregate data from multiple data sources into a format that enhances the efficiency of the business decision making process. This presentation examines the way in which the IoT creates both challenges and opportunities for business process optimization, organizational alignment, and technology innovation. The presiding conclusion in this presentation is that corporate dashboards are only useful when they are actionable, and if an IoT solution doesn’t have a clear path to create actionable results, a more basic approach should first be taken which seeks to understand customer and business needs prior to making a larger IoT investment.
ABSTRACT: A recent report by Forrester says more than 4 in 5 manufacturers say IoT will be the most strategic and important technology initiative this decade. With the emergence of smart connected products, it is becoming even more important to integrate the data from those products with enterprise IT. Because the IoT is an emerging digital ecosystem, it requires a integrative platform approach that meets near term needs yet is flexible enough to meet the long-term demands of the future. This presentation examines leading trends in modern IoT platform design and recommendations for building a lasting connected product foundation
ABSTRACT: IoT device fleets are becoming more pervasive. As devices are becoming connected to the Internet, new possibilities for how to use the data are opening up. For any IoT solution, there are steps of maturity that occur in sequence: (1) connected, (2) managed, and (3) optimized. Data analytics maturity mirrors these three steps: (1) when devices are connected we can get some descriptive data about them; (2) when devices are managed, we can generate predictive analytics on them to figure out what might happen in the future such as with a motor failure; and (3) we can optimize devices and user interactions by using prescriptive analytics to provide closed loop feedback. This article lays out the foundations of data analytics and data science for IoT device deployments as well as recommendations for making an IoT roadmap future-proof.
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things represents a new twist on the profession of business analytics. With the advent of smart and connected devices, new types of data are becoming available that enable business analysts to gain deep insight into not only how a business operates internally, but how its machines operate in the world, how they are distributed and sold, and how they are used by people. This presentation has three parts: (1) introduction to the Internet of Things for business analysts, (2) three case studies that show how business analysis is used in action on Internet of Things projects, and (3) perspectives on the future of business analytics as we live in an increasingly connected world.
ABSTRACT: Manufacturers looking to create profitable Internet-connected products are faced with numerous challenges: new technologies, new business models, a volatile competitive landscape, and an emerging set of customer needs and wants. In order to bring a connected product to market, these manufacturers must learn to embrace an expanding and ever-changing multitude of technologies and services that must be made to work in harmony. Doing this well depends on how effective an organization is at embracing change and transforming operations to support the new direction. This keynote panel presents key considerations and recommendations for manufacturers to consider in order to build a profitable and growing business based on digital customer experiences.
ABSTRACT: There is an epic battle going on right now between disruptive innovation and an immovable object. The disruptive innovation is emerging connectivity technology and service-based business models that are changing the way that consumers interact with their devices, their environments, and their data. The immovable object is the inability of large organizations to successfully make the changes necessary to become a progressive data-driven company that listens to its users. Here, a contrasting set of successful and non-successful case studies are shown along with recommendations as to how companies can make the difficult changes ahead in order to compete and compete well in our emerging digital economy.
ABSTRACT: The stickiness of a connected product brand is a combination of user experience UX relevance and the degree to which the product garners trust. As such, the product design process should carefully consider the UX to ensure that product features and usage modes are relevant, easy to understand, and enjoyable to use. By looking at a case study of an award-winning smart device enabled garage door controller by Genie called the Aladdin Connect as an illustration, we’ll examine how connected products are (A) becoming the new normal for consumers, (B) closing the intimacy gap between OEMs and consumers, and (C) enabling competitive interoperability in a way that is changing the competitive landscape and influencing consumer buying decisions.
ABSTRACT: Connected products and services are becoming the new normal in our lives. Companies around the world are building bridges to their customers, reducing operational expenses, and improving the strength and resilience of their brand. However, with great opportunity comes great risk. Security is the foundation upon which all IoT products are built, and if that foundation is unsettled or is breached, user experience may suffer, data may be lost, partnerships may be rocked, and brand trust may plummet. This presentation addresses available best practices, processes, and tools that will enable us to understand and mitigate security hazards that are unique to connected product deployments.
ABSTRACT: The growth of IoT is occurring at an incredible rate, justly raising alarms about security and privacy issues as we become increasingly reliant on these intelligent, interconnected devices in our lives and businesses. How are we to protect billions of devices from attacks and intrusions that could compromise our personal privacy, public safety, or business viability? Building an IoT solution involves securing sensors, devices, networks, cloud platforms, web applications, and mobile applications for diverse industries. This presentation examines the landscape of emerging security challenges posed by connected devices and offers a catalog of security deployment patterns that have been successfully used by some of the world’s most well known OEMs to deploy connected product fleets.
ABSTRACT: As the new connected device economy emerges, financial executives in healthcare, banking, industrial, manufacturing, energy, and consumer product companies are under increasing pressure to reduce expenses and create new revenue sources to remain competitive in the marketplace. With the Internet of Things, there are two kinds of companies: those that disrupt and those that will be disrupted. This talk explores ways that financial executives can lead their companies through transformational change to disrupt their industry by reducing costs, increasing operational efficiencies, and innovating new business models that connect better with customers, reduce business risks, and make it easier to comply with regulatory requirements.
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things is more than a market – it’s a new wave of the Internet. It is predicted that fifty billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. However, in order for us to get there, certain maturity milestones must be achieved by the global Internet of Things movement that enable that growth in each of the markets that it applies to. If these milestones are not met, the IoT will not meet it’s full potential. In this talk, a five-phase model of market maturity is introduced along with parallels in other historical markets that have made it through all the phases of market maturity and achieved scale of massive proportions. This presentation concludes with a list of actionable steps that attendees can take to break down walls, develop new technologies, and innovate new product ideas that solve real-world problems in a way that ushers the global IoT movement successfully through the five phases of market maturity and into the history books.
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things is on the verge of touching all aspects of our lives from the home to the office, factory, operating room, and battlefield. Although the future of IoT is yet to be written, its success will be found when technology is developed to solve problems instead of looking for problems. This talk focuses on the opportunities for local Minnesota durable goods companies to reinvent their product portfolios, reduce expenses, increase revenue, add product differentiation, reduce risk, make it easier to comply with regulatory requirements, and increase safety.
Presented at the 2014 M2M Evolution conference in Miami, CA, by Mark Benson.
ABSTRACT: Our world is changing. Devices all around us are becoming connected to the Internet. It is estimated that by 2020, 50-75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet – that’s ten devices for each person on earth. Many of these devices are high volume cell phones and tablets (mass production for vertical markets), but most are specialized products like appliances, toys, fitness trackers, environmental sensors, and industrial assets (mass customization for micro-vertical markets). In order for the Internet of Things to fully mature, these specialized connected products that will make up the backbone of the new connected economy, will ship in relatively low volumes (< 500,000 units) and must be easier and cheaper to make than they are today. To solve for this, a Micro-Vertical Engine approach is presented, which provides a process and set of reusable connected building blocks (hardware, firmware, networking, cloud, enterprise integrations, and user interfaces) that together can enable OEMs to rapidly deploy market-disrupting innovations that change users lives.
Presented at the 2013 Design West conference in San Jose, CA, by Mark Benson.
ABSTRACT: In the last decade the race has been on to find the next peripheral to enable better embedded systems designs. In 2000, it was LCD integration, USB, and CF; in 2005, it was touchscreen integration, hardware acceleration, and SD; and in 2010, it was cellular radios, WiFi, and security. The next peripheral on the horizon is The Cloud. This presentation gives embedded designers a view of what The Cloud can do for their designs and how to think about it in both technical and business dimensions. To make this relevant, a real-world example is given on how to internet-enable a CNC lathe with off-the-shelf products, treating a broad range of topics such as embedded radio modules, short-range RF protocols, network aggregators, cellular gateways, mobile (virtual) network operators, and application enablement platforms (AEPs).
ABSTRACT: The Internet of Things (IoT) movement makes grand promises to internet-enable everything from stop signs to kitchen appliances, each of which requires machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. However, the vocabulary has not been standardized, new product categories are emerging, and consensus standards are immature. This presentation offers three perspectives of what M2M means, how to think about and navigate the M2M ecosystem, and trends to watch for in the coming years.
18 JULY 2012
COMMUNICATIONS, MICROSYSTEMS, OPTOELECTRONICS, AND SENSORS
ABSTRACT: In embedded systems there is a science to choosing the right processor for a given design. Usually processors are chosen based on objective factors such as peripheral support, physical packaging, memory, architecture family, and software tools available.
This type of quantitative analysis lends itself well to spreadsheets and formulas that can help choose which processor is best.
However, for small high-performance battery-powered devices that have heavy processing requirements, thermal performance quickly becomes an urgent design issue to overcome and is often viewed as an elusive and opinion-fraught black-art.
Modeling, managing, and characterizing the efficient dissipation of heat in these types of devices is complex. Fortunately, there are new processors coming to the embedded marketplace that have advanced features for managing thermal performance.
This, combined with new advances in software modeling techniques and algorithms gives us a fresh playground to innovate new ways to manage thermals in a way that was not previously possible.
ABSTRACT: Slow regulatory cycles combined with the reality of fast-moving technology curves can cause new homecare telemedicine products to feel old to users that have the latest consumer technology in their pocket.
This presentation explores problems and potential solutions to combating this effect.
Problems include (A) fast-moving consumer technology keeps setting the bar for user interaction and design standards, (B) keeping current with latest technology often requires the creation of non-standard proprietary solutions, and (C) the desire to exert control over the safety and efficacy of a medical product causes medical device companies to naturally trend towards vertical integration, and trend away from horizontal market relevance.
This presentation presents possible solutions to each of these problems, but above all, argues that a careful and smart approach to interaction design is the key to wide-spread adoption and success.
ABSTRACT: Thanks to the laws of physics and the practical limits on rates of thermal heat dissipation, CPU clock cycles in integrated circuits are no longer increasing year-over-year at the same rate that memory densities are.
For this reason, we have seen a proliferation of multi-core CPUs for commercial desktop PCs, and are now beginning to see this trend impact embedded systems as well.
This presentation explains intersecting variables of performance, power, and complexity, and how these variables change dynamically in a multi-core embedded environment.
The primary focus of this presentation is to delineate tools and techniques for managing homogeneous and heterogeneous embedded cores through intelligent architectural decomposition, particularly when low-power design is a primary constraint.
ABSTRACT: Due to the recent increased rate of Android adoption for mobile computing platforms, a natural question arises for embedded product developers and leaders regarding how to engage with the movement and leverage its success.
By using the economic model of Cross-Elasticity of Demand (XED), we can come up with a framework that guides our thinking about how the changing price point for one product family (i.e. the adoption of Android), affects the demand for another (i.e. a given corporate software product roadmap).
This presentation attempts to introduce such a framework by analyzing (A) independent products in the marketplace, (B) substitute products in the marketplace, and (C) complementary products in the market place, with the goal of enabling intelligent and timely business decisions within a dynamic technical climate.
Interviewed this week for a TechTarget piece along with Harry Pascarella from Harbor Research, Dean Freeman from Gartner, and Doug Jacobson from Crestron Electronics on how to apply smart building technologies to multi-tenant properties in a way that delivers high value while meeting data privacy and security goals.
Companies that make fire extinguishers, for example, are not first and foremost information security companies. So, when they start adding sensors and smarts to these products, they don't always follow even industry best practices for security, let alone the fact that IoT presents a whole new set of security vulnerabilities that we're all just starting to hear about now.
Interviewed by Forbes for a piece on the challenges companies face dealing with cloud migration initiatives.
One of the biggest challenges companies face when migrating to the cloud is the gap in skills required in order to operate cloud workloads efficiently and securely at scale. Modern software architectures, cloud security concepts, virtualization tools, optimization patterns for metered services and auto-scaling techniques are areas of competence that many organizations struggle with.
Interviewed by Forbes for a piece on artificial intelligence (AI) and how its use will impact the way companies do business going forward.
Much of the fear with AI is due to the misunderstanding of what it is and how it should be applied. Although AI has promise for solving complex social problems, there are ethical issues and biases we must still explore. We are just beginning to understand how AI can be applied to meaningful problems. As our use of AI matures, we will find it to be a clear benefit in our lives.
“[Electrical contractors can] differentiate themselves by having knowledge about what these smart building technologies are, how they are installed and configured, and how they can be operated in a way that maximizes energy use and ease of service.”
With industrial, the social situation is much different. Someone wearing a hardhat fitted with sensors isn’t worried about how it looks. In industrial uses, the outcomes are what matter. If you can show that wearing a helmet with sensors can make workers more efficient, that this product can save money, that’s what matters. So it doesn’t surprise me that AR technology is finding a second life in terms of industrial use.
Many companies get into a large IoT project only to realize it demands extensive expertise in hardware, software, security, marketing, and other areas. Mark Benson, chief technology officer of Exosite and member of the Forbes Technology Council, offers sound advice, saying smart companies “start their journey with simple discrete IoT applications that provide short-term economic gains and insights about what customers value, both of which inform the organization’s long-term IoT strategy and journey toward becoming a digital company.”
Interviewed by Labiba Boyd on Modern Tek News for KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM on how the Internet of Things is affecting smart buildings, and how organizations building connected products can do so in a way that builds long-term sustainable differentiation.
Interviewed by Forbes for a piece on net neutrality in light of the recent posture taken by the current presidential administration and its impact on the future of the Internet of Things.
Ubiquitous computing and pervasive connectivity are the fuels that feed internet of things growth. Without strong net neutrality laws, the bright future of IoT grows dim, as the threat of unnatural financially driven restrictions by ISPs will throttle the last mile of connectivity for smart connected products, which could ultimately stifle the long-term health of the U.S. economy.
Interviewed by Jack Sweeney for a Middle Market Executive audio piece on how traditional businesses are being transformed by embracing Internet of Things technology, adopting new software platforms, and revising their go-to-market strategies to optimize cost and create additional revenue streams.
Remember that end users play a crucial role in security. Consumers should understand the crucial role they play in cybersecurity, especially in regard to IoT devices, which have become increasingly accessible and vulnerable to hacking incidents. Consumers can make great strides in protecting themselves by using devices from reputable manufacturers, and protecting sensitive information like passwords and login credentials.
Although total victory over hackers may be impossible, we can combat their efforts via a balanced approach that focuses as much on mitigating exploits as on preventing them. Develop a security strategy that can only be beaten by physical attacks, limits the scope of attacks to individual devices, and secures data at each step in the pipeline based on whether it is at rest, in motion, or in use.
Interviewed by Forbes in a piece on machine learning and analytics:
The road to advanced analytics and machine learning starts with basic connectivity and data collection. This journey includes pinpointing the questions that need to be answered with data analysis, identifying the data needed to answer those questions, and putting processes in place to gather the correct type and amount of that data to properly support machine learning.
[...] companies that address sensor network deployment via a crawl-walk-run approach tend to achieve the greatest cost efficiencies, says Mark Benson, CTO of Exosite, a Minneapolis company that develops IoT software. "Key to building a cost-effective sensor network that scales in an efficient manner are [organizations] that start small, learn quickly and grow over time, all while ensuring that they are focusing their measurement efforts on the parameters that are closely correlated with finding anomalies and trends that make an impact on the business.
Der Schlüssel zu einem wirtschaftlichen Sensornetz, das effizient skaliert, sind Organisationen, die klein anfangen, schnell lernen und im Laufe der Zeit wachsen. Dabei konzentrieren sie sich beim Messen auf die Parameter, die eng mit der Suche nach Anomalien verbunden sind und Trends, die sich auf das Geschäft auswirken.
ABSTRACT: Internet of Things (IoT) “platform” has become a term as nebulous as “cloud” was a decade ago, partly because the technologies are still taking shape. However, there are clear differences between an IoT connectivity platform that serves industrial markets and those for the consumer IoT, such as reliability, security, and integration with highly specific enterprise services like building and plant management systems. But since Industrial IoT (IIoT) platforms touch so many parts of both the operational technology (OT) on the plant floor as well as backend IT operations, who should control them? Mark Benson, CTO of IoT software platform vendor Exosite gives his opinion.
ABSTRACT: Today, there’s no shortage of bold strategic visions for the Internet of Things. But none of these can be realized if organizations lack the skills needed to identify or invent the right types of sensors, gather the data those sensors produce, secure that data and make sense of them across various business units. In short: They need talent to turn IoT potential into reality.
ABSTRACT: From fitness trackers to smartwatches, wearable computing has made a splash with consumers. But most enterprises have yet to venture into the market. PwC found that just 3 percent of companies were investing in wearable technology in 2015–down from 6 percent in 2014. "Limited success stories and the risk of failed or ineffective implementations are causing CIOs to proceed with cautious and careful optimism," says Mark Benson, CTO of Exosite, which develops software to help companies visualize Internet of Things data.
ABSTRACT: Currently MSP boasts a lively, innovative IoT scene that produces connected devices, and systems that make them easier to use, for businesses and consumers alike. There’s even a movement afoot to rebrand MSP as “IoT Alley” in recognition of its historical and contemporary contributions to the field. (Though Boston-area techies claim ownership of the “IoT Alley” label too.) Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying that MSP is leading the march toward a future in which even the most mundane objects — furniture, apparel, lawn sprinklers — plug into the cloud and communicate with the wider world.
ABSTRACT: There was a time not many years ago when 3U-size processor boards were among the smallest embedded computers imaginable. This form factor, 100 by 160 millimeters, or about the size of a paperback novel, opened a multitude of new applications for embedded computing, such as avionics for large unmanned vehicles, electronic subsystems for armored combat vehicles (vetronics), and portable electronics for soldiers on the battlefield. In that era, 6U computer boards were the standard, and 3U circuit cards were amazingly small.
Today, however, those paperback-book-sized embedded computing modules are starting to look large and clunky compared to the newest generations of small-form-factor embedded computing modules. Engineers are shrinking today's computer boards to the sizes of smartphones, credit cards, business cards, sticks of gum, and even postage stamps, which is encouraging systems designers to rethink their definitions of small-form-factor embedded computing.
Interviewed by Gareth Halfacree for the print edition of Linux User & Developer Magazine on the topic of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and its implications on licensing, micro-economics, and Android adoption rates for non-consumer (military, aerospace, industrial, medical) embedded devices.
ABSTRACT: With the release of Android 4.0, aka 'Ice Cream Sandwich', Google's mobile platform is open once more. While plenty has changed, some things stay the same - and we've got together with some industry names to find out the pros and cons of this latest release.
A method for configuring network access parameters for a smart object to access a network is disclosed. The method comprises connecting, by the smart object, to a network using a first network access device. The smart object uses a wireless networking protocol to connect to the first network access device. The method further comprises authenticating the smart object with a server on the network and receiving network access information from the server. The network access information relates to a second network access device. The method further comprises using the network access information to connect to the network using the second network access device.
A smart object establishes communication with an application provider server computing device by sending a request to a manufacturer server computing device to identify a second server computing device; receiving a response from the first server computing device with an identifier indicating the second server computing device; and using the identifier to establish communication between the smart object and the second server computing device.
The invention provides systems and methods for providing a unified single-scan user interface for accessing and managing a remotely located device throughout its life cycle, including cellular network provisioning, cloud data provider registration, initialization and activation, as well as providing end users with easy access to the device and its data. The end user simply powers the device on and the device automatically connects with the communication network and the cloud data provider. The device comes to the end user already provisioned and paired and activated with the cloud data provider and the communication network provider. The device is capable of monitoring operational and/or environmental parameters comprising physical and/or chemical data which may be monitored by a mobile device. The mobile device may also initiate modification of the manufactured device's parameters.
The invention provides systems and methods for providing a unified single-scan user interface for accessing and managing a remotely located device throughout its life cycle, including cellular network provisioning, cloud data provider registration, initialization and activation, as well as providing end users with easy access to the device and its data. The end user simply powers the device on and the device automatically connects with the communication network and the cloud data provider. The device comes to the end user already provisioned and paired and activated with the cloud data provider and the communication network provider. Device-specific data is, at manufacture, encoded onto machine-readable labels and complied in a table within a remote database. The present invention thus allows identification and provisioning of individual devices using a mobile device such as a smartphone or the like.
The invention provides methods for providing a unified single-scan user interface for accessing and managing a remotely located device throughout its life cycle, including cellular network provisioning, cloud data provider registration, initialization and activation, as well as providing end users with easy access to the device and its data. The end user simply powers the device on and the device automatically connects with the communication network and the cloud data provider. The device comes to the end user already provisioned and paired and activated with the cloud data provider and the communication network provider. The end user may provision the device by scanning an optically scannable identification label having device-specific data embedded thereon using a mobile device such as a smartphone or the like.
The invention provides systems and methods for providing a unified single-scan user interface for accessing and managing a remotely located device throughout its life cycle, including cellular network provisioning, cloud data provider registration, initialization and activation, as well as providing end users with easy access to the device and its data. The end user simply powers the device on and the device automatically connects with the communication network and the cloud data provider. The device comes to the end user already provisioned and paired and activated with the cloud data provider and the communication network provider. Further, the user account, or accounts, for the use of the device is both active and recorded for billing by the various service providers supporting the device use, i.e., the communication network provider(s).
Forbes is one of the most iconic media companies in the world. The Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Members are selected based on their technology expertise, leadership in a high-growth business, track record of industry recognition, and community impact. Mark Benson was invited to the Forbes Technology Council in 2016 and is a regular contributor on Forbes.com.
Through its recurring online publication, HP Matter provides in-depth insight and expertise on a variety of trending topics and quickly evolving industries. Each issue features Executive Corner interviews with thought leaders in fields relevant to the issue’s topic. Their October, 2015 issue (The Energy Issue: Exploring the Resources that Power Economies) featured Mark Benson and examined the convergence of energy and technology, as well as the shift of the energy landscape towards connectivity in an effort to enable greater efficiencies, reduce consumption, and improve consumer experiences.
TECHdotMN cultivates and reports on Minnesota's high tech ecosystem and the early stage ventures within it through a mix of unique audio/video features and written word. TECHdotMN's Meet a Minnesota CTO series gets up close and personal with Minnesota’s chief technologists. In May of 2015, TECHdotMN featured Mark Benson.