Elisa Introduced Its IoT Platform At The Elisa Idea Garage Event

On the 20th of January the Elisa Idea Garage event was held at the Garage48 HUB Tallinn co-working space. Elisa invited its most forward-thinking business clients from various sectors, like security, waste management and commerce to find out how IoT can solve their existing real-life problems.

The Elisa Idea Garage 1-day workshop was organized by Garage48 in co-operation with the Elisa business innovation unit. The goal was to brainstorm solutions, validate the chosen ideas and find out what could be built to solve their problems during the upcoming Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2016 hackathon in February. Priit Salumaa from Garage48 and Jüri Teemant, the Head of Business Customers Unit at Elisa, held an open discussion to find the most promising ideas for potential development. 

The New Services Development Manager at Elisa Eesti, Merli Üle, gave an overview of the Elisa IoT platform and spoke about how IoT (Internet of Things) will soon influence our future. The Elisa IoT cloud-based service- and development platform enables databases, objects, sensors and hardware products to connect with the Internet. When using the platform, all the operations are analyzed and used in automated solutions. Think of a car that can send its data directly to the repair service as it starts to brake down, instead of the car owner sending the information via an app. It has been also said that IoT will bring out the fourth industrial revolution.

IoT requires change in mindset both by the organizations and the end-consumers. As an organization we need to take into consideration the needs of the end-consumer and think how to build products that actually answer their real-life needs. This means that IT in an organization becomes even more important as it moves to places that are not yet affected by IT systems. Indeed, IT development is expensive even for big companies, meaning we need to carefully analyze new opportunities. 

IoT will make the customer experience also more personalized. We are already collecting and producing lots of data, but are not using it. Now we raise the questions: why are we talking to entrepreneurs? It has been evaluated that IoT will benefit the organizations and their applications. For example: currently a patient sends its health parameters to the doctor, which is pretty convenient already. But it would be even more valuable, if the doctor could sync the patient’s data with the health institutions in order to produce better health services. So it pays off to think how the data could be put into good use by working together with other institutions.

At the second half of the day, the brainstorming session begun under the guidance of Garage48 technical mentors. Garage48 firmly believes that the best working results are achieved when combining team members with various skills and knowledge. Thus the teams were formed up of Elisa experts, the business clients and Garage48 mentors, who then came up with a list of out-of-box ideas. After a short break, the ideas were narrowed down to those that could be actually developed into a prototype at the Garage48 hackathon. To be considered for the hackathon, the idea needs be positively answered by these 3 questions: Does the idea solve a real problem? Can we monetize the idea? Can we make the idea happen?

The last part of the evening was even more active. All of the chosen ideas were presented in a 90-second elevator pitch format on the stage. The Garage48 mentor Elise Sass and Priit Salumaa gave feedback to the presenters, evaluating the idea itself and the potential. The pitch mentors also gave tips how to improve their stage presence, use body language and conduct the structure of a pitch. A total of 12 ideas were pitched to the audience. 

The presented ideas are now ready to be produced into a working prototype at the hackathon in February, which makes us excited to see some of the first real prototypes made for the IoT platform of Elisa.

Read more about the Elisa IoT platform at http://elisa.fi/elisa-iot/kilpailu/

Huge thank you to Jüri Teemant, Merli Üle, Priit Salumaa, Elise Sass, Indrek Rebane, Martin Grüner and Meelis Viiding.

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