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Vianet Smart Machines MD Says ‘Let’s Work In Harmony To Promote Our Sector!’

Vianet Smart Machines MD Matt Lane is the first vending industry thought leader to accept our invitation to discuss how the IoT will impact upon the vending industry going forward. Here’s what he has to say…

Vianet Smart Machines
Matt Lane

I’ve been around the industry long enough to remember when there was a great song and dance about something called ‘telemetry’ and how it was going to revolutionise the way our industry worked. I can clearly remember hearing a very successful operator saying in exasperation, ‘don’t mention the ‘T’ word’ in exactly the same way that Basil Fawlty once demanded of his staff, ‘don’t mention the war!’

We should be able to laugh about that now but frankly, back then there was injury caused to the credibility of connected vending machines that has still not properly healed. The net result of this is that, instead of being ‘the elephant in the room’ – a major problem or controversial issue which is obviously present but is avoided as a subject for discussion – there are still many people who think connectivity and The Internet of Things is, for vending at least, a white elephant.

Frankly, at Vianet Smart Machines we have, in some ways, been part of the problem. We’ve been one of the plethora of potential suppliers of IoT, cashless and connectivity solutions to the vending industry that have been waving our own flag and saying, ‘buy me, buy me, buy me!’

So has every other Tom Dick and Harriet who believes their solution is the one you need, if you are to profit from the advantages incumbent in connectivity.

We’re all eager to sell solutions to problems that some still believe don’t exist in their businesses. So we need to get back to basics; to re-examine that much-maligned ‘T’ word, ‘telemetry’. Put simply, telemetry for vending is an automated communications process by which performance measurements and other data are collected from machines at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted for monitoring.Vianet Smart Machines

At Vianet Smart Machines, our mission is to connect the assets of our vending customers – that’s to say, their vending machines – to the IoT, or the Internet of Things. Installing our device sends data back to you, via our IoT platform. Real-time information enables you proactively to  improve the performance and utilisation of assets, creating transformational opportunities for growth.

The trouble is, that last paragraph reads as though it might have been cut and pasted from a Doctor Who script!

Those of us whose occupations demand that we are ‘in the know’ when it comes to the future of technology in vending are almost tearing our hair out at the apparent lack of urgency the industry is showing in terms of investigating the benefits incumbent in our new, connected world.

Maybe if we tech-people got together and worked together – for a while! – towards the mutually beneficial objective of removing the veil from the eyes of the vending industry, then at last our entire sector could make a quantum leap into the future.

Discuss!

Planet Vending would like to thank Matt Lane for his valuable contribution.
Planet Vending’s Vianet archive is HERE.
The Vianet web site is HERE

Are you a vending industry thought leader? You’re invited to take this space NEXT WEEK to share your insight on how the IoT will impact upon the vending industry going forward. Get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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