Success Path
Everything you need to implement IoT for remote monitoring

Assemble Project Team

To achieve your IoT use case, you’ll need an experienced team. Explore the skill sets and experience your project team needs. Determine whether your organization internally employs the right talent. Hire outside resources to bridge any gaps if needed.

Understand skill sets needed

You’ll need a variety of contributors to implement IoT. The number of team members will vary, depending on the scope of your use case. Having experience implementing ThingWorx will be a major advantage. PTC, experienced partners, or systems integrators can often fill gaps in skill sets and experience.

Although their titles may differ, typically you need the following team members.

Solution architect: As the lead technical resource for your Industrial IoT application, a solution architect will design the overall solution. They’ll also coordinate efforts across the infrastructure and development team.

Skill sets needed:

  • A blend of technical and application architecture expertise
  • Strong communication and leadership skills
  • Strong background creating solutions on the ThingWorx platform
  • Experience with connectivity solutions
  • Experience with systems integrations design, including the use of REST APIs
  • Proven track record in building performant and scalable solutions

Software engineer: Software engineers will develop applications under the direction of a solution architect. IoT solutions development work will typically requires using Agile software development processes. Depending on the scope of your project, you may need more than one engineer.

Skill sets needed:

  • Familiarity with full-stack development
  • Proficiency in common development languages, specifically JavaScript, Java, and Python
  • Experience with the creation and use of Java Extensions
  • Experience using Eclipse, a Java IDE typically used for ThingWorx development
  • Experience in the development of systems integrations, specifically using REST APIs

IT administrator: Your IT administrator maintains your organization’s IT network, servers, and security systems. They’ll also play a role in building and operating your IoT application.

Skill sets needed:

  • Experience working with scalable, performant systems with a specific focus on the added challenge of high-scale connectivity
  • Knowledge of maintaining redundancy and high systems availability to avoid unplanned outages

Data scientist: The data scientist will work to extract meaning from and interpret data. They’ll use tools and processes to fetch the data and analyze it to understand how the organization is performing.

Skill sets needed:

  • Ability to extract, analyze, normalize, and organize data
  • Experience with machine learning algorithms and training machine learning models
  • Deep knowledge of descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive data analytics

Embedded developer (edge): This developer builds agents and other software that run on the devices processing your IoT data.

Skill sets needed:

  • Experience developing agents with SDKs for different programming languages
  • Strong understanding of network communications protocols (i.e. J1939, Modbus), policies, and best practices

UX/UI designer: Although not critical, a UX/UI designer will design the look and feel of the application interface and make it easier to use.

Skill sets needed:

  • Proficient in CSS, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and/or Sketch
  • Familiar with user-centered design principles
  • Experience designing mobile, tablet, and desktop applications

Business process consultant: Although not critical, a business process consultant will help determine how to best intersect new technology with your business processes to improve efficiency.

Skill sets needed:

  • Thorough understanding of your organization and specific business processes as they exist today
  • Experience with process modeling and the creation of future processes
  • Experience partnering with stakeholders to gather business requirements

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Assemble your project team

Find out whether your organization employs people who have these skill sets. If so, ask the employees whether they can make themselves available to contribute to the project. Get their manager’s approval if needed. You can do most of the work remotely, but team members should be on-site to gather requirements and for the go-live stage.

Determine outside resources needed

Typically, organizations hire contractors or consultants to bridge skills gaps and achieve their use case. If internal employees are non-existent or unavailable, hire outside resources. Verify that the individuals you hire have the right skills and experience to meet your project goals.

If you purchased a Success Plan from PTC, you have access to IoT experts who will support and guide you. Customer Success Management can help you plan, implement, and measure your IoT initiative. Your PTC Customer Success Manager will ensure you have the right mix of resources on your team. They’ll help make sure each contributor has extensive experience with the ThingWorx platform and is well suited for the role. If you don’t have a Success Plan, contact your sales representative.

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Identify project stakeholders

Stakeholder support will be a key asset throughout your IoT initiative. Cultivate buy-in at various levels of your organization, from high-level business leaders to frontline workers. Your most important stakeholder will be at the executive level. Identify a well-respected, well-connected executive champion who will advocate for your initiative on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the people who champion IoT solutions, you’ll also need end users to test them in the real world. Identify a manageable group of workers who will test and provide feedback on early-stage applications. These workers should represent your ideal end users. They’ll help you identify urgent fixes and opportunities for improvement before you implement ThingWorx on a larger scale.

Possible stakeholders may include:

  • Corporate executives
  • Service organization leaders
  • IT leaders
  • End users

Create a team communications plan

Determine how, when, and to whom you’ll communicate throughout your IoT project. Your stakeholders will have different needs, depending on their role.

As you plan how to communicate with your stakeholders, answer these questions:

  • How frequently will you share information? Some stakeholders will provide daily feedback and direction on the project, while others may get involved on a passive, less-frequent basis.
  • What’s the best channel for that information? Emails, calls, or meetings may work for some stakeholders and not others.
  • What information is most important to which stakeholders? Be careful to avoid communication overload.
  • What do you need from your stakeholders at various points along the timeline? Establishing key milestones or successes in these communications will help to maintain momentum and excitement.

Keep in mind that your stakeholders’ involvement and communication needs may change over the course of the project. Modify your approach as you go.

Plan feedback mechanism

While it’s important to communicate, it’s also imperative to listen. If stakeholder communication is only coming from one direction, you risk missing valuable feedback or opportunities to address concerns. Establish channels for soliciting and responding to feedback across your organization. Make sure stakeholders know how to get answers.

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