Success Stories: Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Digital

Collecting operational data as well as data that provides context provides true value to businesses digitalizing their processes.

As businesses take stock of their performance and set the course for a new decade, they recognize that the benefits of digital transformation are tangible, measurable — and undeniable.

Mithun T. Dhakar, General Manager of Developer Relations for HERE, explains, “The potential for saving time and money is immense when a business transforms digitally.”

“The fact of the matter is,” he adds, “if you want to address customers where they are and satisfy their demands, you have to be much more flexible and nimble in order to survive as a business.” Dhakar points out customers demand the conveniences a connected operation provides — from knowing exactly where their pizza or food delivery is to having an ETA down to the minute when they hail a cab using a ride-sharing app. “A truly connected operation removes guesswork and replaces it with accuracy. Customers have come to expect this functionality to be a part of their ever-digitizing lives,” he says.

Successful Solutions Connecting the Physical and Digital

Dhakar shares examples of how HERE clients are successfully meeting the challenge of digital transformation, creating opportunities for new insights, more efficient operations, and greater customer satisfaction.

FreightHub, Europe’s first digital freight forwarder, leverages HERE Location Services (Routing API) to predict truck delays, give customers reliable ETAs and warn drivers about incidents on the road.

Dhakar says freight forwarders move 130 million containers each year, and for each container, they can write as many as 80 emails. Each container would have a paper record traveling by air as well. “In short, this lengthy, messy paper trail was the extent of the data that was available around freight forwarding, and a recent study found that up to 40 percent of all transportation data is inaccurate or incorrect,” he says.

“The guys from FreightHub jumped on that opportunity to disrupt the supply chain industry. They injected location technology into the old-school world of freight and replaced an unreliable process of manual paper-heavy tracking with a comprehensive freight platform. The result is customer delight!”

Singapore-based Raxel Telematics is another success story of a company that bridged the gap between physical and digital. “Having access to digital data or generating data is a step forward, but not enough on its own,” Dhakar says. “For example, no matter how many sensors your telematics data sources have, the data is not valuable if it is not put in context.”

Raxel’s solution provides information such as driving speed, the types of roads commonly used, road surface conditions, route and the time of day the vehicle is most often in operation. “These data points are captured and analyzed to understand driving patterns and behavior, and, eventually, to increase driver safety,” Dhakar says.

Dhakar comments that some industries, such as supply chain and logistics, are just beginning their digital transformation while others, such as ride-hailing and ride-sharing, have been revolutionized. Regardless of where they are in their progress in bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds, however, be assured that digital transformation is a goal among all industries in every market. “I can’t think of an industry that hasn’t been disrupted by digitalization,” Dhakar says.

Advice for Developing Solutions that Connect the Physical and Digital

Dhakar advises developers to think about solutions from two perspectives:

  • How to connect and process the data so it creates a useful service for the end user
  • How to make sense of the processed data for internal analytics to continue making builds better

“It’s all about having access to the best data quality and putting the data you are working with into context. Data from devices can’t do the job on its own,” Dhakar says. “It needs context to help you make sense of it, analyze it, and get real value from it.” 

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.

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Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.