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Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. Alright, once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk. And thank you so much for your support. We are on site right now. right this very moment, we're gonna be here for a week we are in Austin, Texas. And we are at the O M, G. Fourth quarter. I think it's the standard screw. And everybody's tripping about how to be how to how to use standards to make our life better, because this platform right here, right here right now, this platform is dedicated to you. Because you are bold, you are brave, you're daring greatly. You are changing lives and you are changing the world. That's why we celebrate industry professionals all around the world on this platform.
It is never too soon. Mitch is in the house. And it has been just an absolute joy to be able to corner him into a conversation. Let's get cracking. Mitch, thank you. Thank you, Scott. Glad to be here. Are you having a good? Can you this is not a conference, this is not a conference?
This is a gathering is that is it? That's what it is? Yeah, it's the older older experts are the brains that you can overlook? Did you see that? That was LightWave in media found that people here in the room? I'm telling you that it is true. Yeah. I mean, I, and it's, you know, it's a good feeling, Mitch, because I'm not the smartest, which is not really a hurdle. But I'm not the smartest guy in the room by any stretch of the imagination. And I and I think what you and and the rest of the, the OMG contributing members do is truly special work. And it is because you you're establishing and then it goes across the board. There's multiple organizations that are talking about standards that impact these, these important technologies innovations and, and just making things better. So that's that's, that's my that's my soapbox for today. There, Mitch.
All right. Before we get cracking with the conversation, give us a little background on who Mitch is. Oh, hi. Hi, everybody. My name is Mitch Tseng. I am a consultant. I have my own consulting firms. And but I have been following the development of the communication industry, I started when I was young, I started as a wireless communication for Nortel Networks. And then I'll go to Nokia. Right. So after that, my career is actually kind of riding on the success of the wireless communications. But when the world is actually engaging in the development of standards, a 2g, 3g, 4g, which is heavily involved with, I contribute to that part. But then when the world is going to the 5g, I actually find my new love that is IoT. At that time, we don't call it IoT, we call it machine to machine communications, m to m. So I kind of changed the venue a little bit, I left Nokia and then start my own consulting firm, and started working on this one. And to me, this one organization to start to order today's IoT work, they focus on the middleware definitions. And the later I joined, I see, which is the main body I'm doing right now as part of the I, O and G. And I've been major contributors for that organization.
And I gotta tell you guys, I mean,
it would be interesting to, you would never know, but it would be interesting to know, where we would be without organizations like OMG, and what you're doing because you're helping facilitating this, this progress, this, this adoption of, of technology and innovation, just because while we need it, you know, industry needs it, we need it in a big way. And we need to be able to have standards and sort of put those bumpers around it and say this is what you need to do and have that common lexicon. What's the problem we're dealing with? What what is that challenge that we're dealing with today with IoT and all of that stuff? What are we? What are we dealing with? The couple of things that we started but mainly but 1012 years ago, then as when we tried to exploit what is the machine-to-machine communication is originally people thought there's just some kind of silicon, SIS system on chip. And there will be you can build devices. And then later on, people find it oh, we just build a bunch of sensors. And if we can connect those sensors, if we can process that, then we can build this IoT, the Internet of Things, which is a big buzzword.
years ago, will you talk to that? IoT, you can even pick up a girl in the bar who talk about IoT, believe it or not?
That's here till Friday.
Yes. But then the thing is that gradually, in IC, we started building the framework document. We try to try to build a systematic way and the guidelines and then those, well, we don't have standards per se, but then it's kind of pretty pretty much the rule they should follow you
If you want to build a Iot, you know, versus a male infection. So we have been engaged in those parts. And then on top of that, we have many white papers. And then the most successful ones that we're doing is actually the pseudo so called a testbed process. Right now I'm in IRC, I'm also serving as the chair of the testbed Council, right? What we do is that we get the ideas from the people, and then turn them into reality. And then we do the testbed and test drive to prove that the idea should work.
And that's important. Nobody really wants to take a test drive and have them be the guinea pig of whatever technology that is being promoted at the time. And, and but again, so you painted a picture that all of a sudden, everybody just like, hey, yeah, now we can have our equipment, communicate with equipment, and you know, and be able to do that, and I'm gonna plop a device there, plop a device there, plop a device there, and then be able to just sort of magically be able to collect all that data and, and not just sort of dig up the whole world and running cables and everything. And that's where you, you shine. Yeah, that's how we started because in a conventional communication world that of course, you know, the wires and cables. And then when we go to IoT, all the sudden the wireless become the major part of the carriers for their part. And, of course, the the wireless industry. And along with the 5g development, we have a lot of colleagues in those a major telecom vendors, they're talking, they're bragging about, oh, by year 2020, there'll be 53 billion with a B 53 billion devices. Right. And, of course, originally, I talked to my colleagues from the same company, they kind of downplay it a little bit. They say, Well, maybe by 2023, Adobe 27 billion, still a big number. But the thing is that, how do we see that because you probably actually, like today, you've probably run into a lot of IoT devices, but you just don't feel right. And then I think the industry has been glossed over that you say, Hey, we've got a lot of IoT devices out there, but we don't feel it. What do you mean by that? Well, this device is maybe hidden somewhere, right? Just around you. People thought that the IoT devices, just your cell phone? No, it's more than that. Right? Just like inside inside this hotel, for example, there are so many sensors over there even like those like smoke detectors, whatever. They are all connected, right in the modern hotel. And then of course, like when you go to thermostat, your thermostat, people like your room. Yeah, people always talk about that part. But the truth is, in IoT, you actually you need to focus on the verticals. And unfortunately, this is also the parts cut overlook by many vendors. Right, for example, like I'm capable engineer, and then I designed some wonderful board. And I can talk to some sensors and wisdom communications. And they thought, Oh, I am in IoT business. But the truth is, when you have device and the you don't have a service associated with that, right, the device, it is just a piece of metal or piece of the electronics equipment lying on your shelves. So in I in ICU, we learned it a few years back, so So if today, you're in IoT business, and then you and you feel like you're not successful, that's probably why you didn't reach out to us by them. Because otherwise, we will tell you that IoT is not a traditional business, that one day of traditional means like, you buy one, you're going to design one and sell millions. IoT turned out to be a very, it requires a lot of customization. And also, when you get the idea is not enough, you need to have a business model behind that. You need to build a business in we call the verticals, from one end to the other music from the service on the top, all the way down to the sensor and actuators. You need to make sure that everything is there. Right. Otherwise, you have no business. So that's why a lot of people try and flop.
Yeah, there were it was sort of a gold rush. Well, it is that because is well, there's a group of smart engineers, they think that they can do electronics, and they can make computers, and they know the communications. They know what to do how to do IoT. But the truth is, every every, every customers, every customers, when they wanted to have IoT services, their demand will be different, right. And normally, what I talked about is vertical, the vertical services are vertical, I always focus on that you have as the service, whatever you want to provide. And at the end, you have some sensors, but in between all the necessary links need to be there, then so when you have somebody asked you to do something that how do you check, you actually you're growing the business, you will have a successful design or services. I normally advise people that you check on two things. One is the data flow, data flow, because when in the last century we talked about last century, not that far away, right? The last century we're talking about communications means we connecting devices are connecting terminals. But now we have new concept we are moving data. Think about is like whatever we're doing, we actually just try to get the data moved, and so on.
You know, design the vertical, the first thing you check the data flow, once the data flow is there, then that means your designs, okay. But the other thing I think is much more important, but it hadn't been put enough emphasis on by the designer is that the cash flow, the cash flow means I am building a service. And if a service without being finance or being paid, that is a debt service, right? So, and then we are in business, we are not in charity, right? We ledger, so, you make sure that when you design a service, you make sure all the cash flow are there. Be careful on this part. Because sometimes the end user may not be the direct payer for a service. That one example is like, let's say, Nora, in Dallas area, we have some insurance company that will help me put a dongle in my car. And what they do is that they want to monitor my driving habits to determine my interest rate next week, next year, and the end user, but the people who actually pay for the services is actually the insurance companies, right. And those things tend to be overlooked because people, they they're designing the system, but they kind of forgot to talk about it, I need to talk to my client, I don't talk to the people who want the services, is to understand their need to understand their pain. And that unfortunately, cost a lot of business to become successful.
So this is interesting, a couple of points that I thought was, it's interesting that if you can just sort of like moving data. Yeah. And it is it's just from this device, whatever it is, let's say a motor. Getting it into wherever that that that in point. Yep. And in between, there's just hands off. And there's this, you've got a map that all out because I know that there are a number of companies that are just saying, Hey, we've got a device, and that device sits right there. Yep. And I got that. Now, I'm an IoT company. But I but it just sits there. Yep. There's so many other, do you think there's a value or a benefit? If I was a company that offered from that whole vertical? Like, if I came to you and say, Hey, Mitch, I see that I gotta get into the IoT game, or IoT or whatever the game, but I don't want to just sort of parse it out. I just need to have that complete picture. Yes. Is that the way to go? Actually, that's what it will be the way I recommend it, right. Because you can have like a break it apart. So you can have a multiple supplier for the stuff, that's okay. If you by doing so, if you can lower your cost, by all means doing that. But my worry is that the design because what your customer really want, right? They may not, they may not be able to will document it. So that means like, if you just get a get a contract a book about what they want, and at the end, they may feel want you to do out of adjustment over there. And then sometimes we designers after you design the system, it may be may not be in past may not be possible to do those modifications, or without without causing a lot of changes and delays. Right. So my recommendation would be yes, you probably should focus on whatever you're doing. And then you build it an end to end fashion. And then you try to talk to your customer closely. Right, just like I'd say, maybe well invite them to a Sunday night dinner or whatever, right? Just make sure you've maintained a good relation, and they understand what they really want. Is there a value of sort of incrementally approaching a project, let's say, Okay,
we see that this is sort of a low hanging fruit, this would be great to be able to collect data off of this particular asset, and then run it all the way through and get it into whatever the form that we need to get it into and be able to perform the analytics and then
you see it, is it it because I know that there are a lot of well challenges, a lot of stories that float around out there that it didn't go as well, because I've got a bitter taste in my mouth about IoT and these projects, or whatever it might be, I would want to go for some victories and say, See, I got it, and I got this and the ROI is there. And we able to get it to you know, be able to do that. Yes, God does carries a million dollar observation you just have many years ago, people kind of hung into this platform. Right? You see like a whoever company used to provide something there, there was a I have IoT platform, I can do whatever you want for that. But turn out that the IoT, the solid platform, yes, they can provide some kind of general capabilities. But on the other hand, I mentioned earlier, IoT is actually a very highly customized business. So your platform may be maybe okay.
For now, but what if like the project does, as you said, they want to have some kind of incremental changes and they might want to step up for another another step, then will your platform be viable have to support that? Yeah, right. Because if you design the...