Everyone is talking about digitalization and exploring the opportunities it offers. These range from expanding the local internet bandwidth and eliminating paper-based business processes to the innovation of entire business models.
In view of the digital transformation, we asked ourselves what potential the new technologies have for our equipment rental industry solution, Sycor.Rental. How can we help our customers lower their costs, generate higher sales, or add value for themselves and their clients? The answer was readily apparent: Both in the rental industry and in the service sector, one often deals with mobile production machines, equipment, or systems. So the task was to connect these to Microsoft's cloud-based IoT frameworks and put their data to use.
Now we collect data from sensors or on-board units in the Microsoft IoT Hub or IoT Central Framework. There, we can set up specific monitoring according to the type of device/system. For example, the oil temperature spread for a machine can be defined and deviations above or below a "normal range" can be detected accordingly. Thus, the machines, devices, or systems can be monitored directly in the cloud, outside of ERP systems. Various events can also be visualized and different actions initiated as well. When a certain temperature is exceeded for example, an e-mail can be sent to a customer contact person or the service team, or processes can even be launched directly in the ERP system.
Naturally, the resulting data volume can become very large, very quickly and should not all be stored in the ERP system. Thus, the key is to import select data in what is called the Sycor.Rental Notification Center, for case-specific and partly automated further processing, and displaying it in a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Workspace.
Depending on the type of event, this makes it possible to generate the required ad-hoc measures, such as repair orders or less urgent activities (ticket or service order), and to send out notifications. Predictive maintenance is established through the intelligent combination of the service intervals stored in Sycor.Rental with the IoT data. The ultimate goal is to reduce downtime, lower costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
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