IoT, Big Data, and safety plays
Following MOQdigital’s win with their medical records solution, it turned its attention to another client, Laing O’Rourke, whom had been working with the company to develop a system to gather and analyze data supporting IoT hard hats.
Laing O’Rourke is an international construction and engineering company that does work in very challenging environments such as the Australian Outback. Together with MOQdigital, it developed a “smart” hard hat that measured the vital signs of the 5000-6000-member staff in the field on any given engagement. Fitted with sensors to measure heart rate, body temperature, an accelerometer to measure helmet impacts, and a GPS to track location, the helmet monitors these data and passes them to an Azure cloud to be analyzed, allowing the team to determine where someone is on a work site and monitor important health indicators. These potentially lifesaving devices can send warnings up to 30 minutes before someone realizes he or she is in danger of heat stroke–potentially saving lives.
Using Microsoft technology meant that Laing O’Rourke and MOQdigital didn’t have to develop as much technology themselves, accelerating the development of the system and allowing helmet prototypes to be built within months.
Working with Microsoft and becoming an ISV
The path to developing its own IP was a learning process for MOQdigital. When setting out to make this transformation, Badran recommends looking objectively at the work you’ve done in the past, examining what you did well, and what you could improve on. “What can we learn from our previous engagement? What can we put together that saves us effort tomorrow based on the things we learned yesterday? There’s no such thing as a mistake. The only mistake is to not make a mistake.”
A challenge that MOQdigital and other ISVs can experience is that IP innovations can be limited by the needs of their clients. “[IP] innovation for MOQdigital is limited to our next customer opportunity. A customer comes along and says ‘I need this.’ Without a customer, I cannot really take an opportunity forward.”
Badran also attributes part of MOQdigital’s success to the relationships he has with Microsoft and MPN. “Connect with your partners at Microsoft; explore those relationships, nurture them. We’ve had some exceptional help along the way. Going into some of these engagements arm-in-arm with Microsoft validates what we do and what we bring to the table. In the customer’s eyes, this gives the opportunity a lot of credibility. ‘Wow, Microsoft are coming in as part of this’ whatever the relationship might be, whatever the function of each party, it really helps–it’s much stronger when we work together.”