How can Wireless Improve Your Business?

Mark is President & Founder of Wardell Professional Development (, an advisory group that helps business owners plan and execute the growth of their companies. The author of seven business books, Mark also writes regularly for several national business publications, including Profit Magazine, The Globe & Mail, and CGA Magazine. Email him at [email protected]


“Wireless technology has been one of the most disruptive technologies – if not the most– in the last fifty years”- James Maynard, CEO, Wavefront.

Indeed a wireless revolution is underway. Today there are more opportunities than ever before for businesses to leverage technology, to market directly (unencumbered) to the world, and to engage customers in sophisticated ways. Depending on your business, you may see these ever-changing technological options as tools to make you much more efficient –or much more complicated. Here, I reach out to Alan Swain, VP Technology and Operations at Wavefront, to find out how the average business- large and small- can best leverage the latest mobile technologies available.

MW: Tell us more about the impacts of the wireless revolution on business and industry.

AS: Wireless technology has the fastest adoption rate of any technology we’ve seen in the last fifty years, maybe ever. Faster than the television. Faster than the PC. It’s changing how we shop, how we play, how we work. And we’ve just begun. Machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless is going to change every industry; increasing productivity, saving money, even saving lives. We’re going to have 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Monitoring oil pipelines from 10,000 kilometres away. Monitoring patients recovering at home. Watch out – the revolution is happening, and it’s M2M wireless!”

MW: So, how can the average business tap into wireless to achieve greater efficiencies?

AS: The answer is simply - in many, many different ways- tied to wireless machine-to-machine technologies that are really just now beginning to make an impact across almost very sector of our economy.

MW: For example?

AS: One example is FusionPipe’s ThoriumCloud, which delivers a company's information to their employees’ tablet, smartphone, or laptop, protecting the company’s data. Everyone within a company can bring their own personal devices into the office and access company data while conforming to crucial IT security policies. So if the tablet is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the data remains safe and secure. Streamlined and efficient.

MW: So if a business had a lot of field operators, this would be a great solution, right?

AS: Absolutely. Everyone’s connected, and all the data is up-to-date at their fingertips, no matter which device they’re working from. From transportation, health, energy, to real estate and sales, every industry sector can benefit from these technologies.

MW: What is the best litmus test for the average business to be able to understand if a particular wireless solution is the right fit for their business?

AS: As with any new business development, when adopting a new technology or solution, both costs and benefits need to be considered. Wireless technology, and especially M2M wireless solutions, are changing business by reducing costs and increasing productivity at decreasing price points.

MW: How have you seen companies using wireless to more effectively understand the needs of their customers?

AS: One great example of this is a program by RewardLoop. Unlike most mobile loyalty programs, RewardLoop has developed a simple, cost-effective way for local merchants to tracks dollars spent and items purchased. In under 30 minutes and for less than $100, merchants can launch on the RewardLoop wireless-based platform that integrates with POS systems and begin to track and reward customer behavior.  As a result, businesses are able to better understand their top customers and engage them with personalized, real-time customer loyalty relationships on their mobile device.

MW: How can wireless help businesses improve on actual mechanical efficiencies? This is an area of concern for some of my larger manufacturers and production companies.

AS: There is a great solution by Awesense Wireless that helps utilities reduce energy loss and increase profits with its line of measurement sensors. Mobile wireless smart sensors within a distribution grid help identify key areas of electrical loss, passed on to software where an analytics engine helps utility managers make the right decisions about grid efficiency.

Under the efficiencies umbrella, I’d recommend businesses explore some of the practical tools for mitigating network failure. For example, Colony Networks is a cloud based network software company. It tells a customer – via remote technology - when their network is about to fail, then switches traffic to a back-up network before failure occurs. Their system improves security, monitoring and reporting for edge networks.

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Great examples, thanks Alan.

When it comes to adopting new technology, the first step is always to have a clear understanding of your own business needs and challenges. From this point, investigate the options out there that may be able to help run your business more effectively. Do the research and learn what some of your tech-savvy counterparts are using. Ask around. According to Alan, the typical wireless solution is more cost-effective than the traditional counterparts. The key is to understand what you really need, so you can make the best possible choices for your own business. At least until the next revolution comes around.

By Adam

July 11, 2012