Martin Brandl is the responsible IoT Project Manager at Umdasch Group Ventures, the Innovation & Future Hub for construction and retail. We asked him to give us some insights on his job and IoT.
Internet of Things (IoT) connects physical devices and everyday objects to the internet and enables the communication and interaction of people and “things”. Such devices can be tracked, remotely monitored and controlled and provide data to optimize processes and products. Applications are for example:
- wearables like fitness watches;
- smart homes and smart cities; and
- manufacturing machines with sensors delivering data.
Hi Martin, what is your role at Umdasch Group Ventures?
I am responsible for the IoT-Team. On the one hand, we are the explorers with a free space to create new ideas. We scout the newest technologies, analyze and test them and check if they have a potential for a use cases in construction or retail. This is the very creative part of our job.
On the other hand, we exploit the new technologies. We develop IoT hardware solutions and are key players in the new business development teams. We are very close to the customer and test the solutions directly on the market. It is a very exciting feeling to see the new technologies working successfully in the field.
Martin and Flo installing IoT devices on a construction crane
How did you discover the IoT theme for yourself?
Prior to that, I have been working for doka developing new tools and processes for the yard. A strong focus was on paperless processes and mobile solutions. We have already started very early to evaluate contactless identification and tracking technologies. In 2003, we had our first tests with RFID, GPS Tracker and the likes.
I have learned a lot, not only in the field of technology, also regarding different working cultures in other countries. I have developed solutions for our worldwide network and have implemented them in European countries, Middle East and USA. However, there were limitations to myself.
What kind of limitations?
I am passionate to innovation and new technologies. But in the operative business we always focused on the existing product portfolio and it had to deliver a short and clear return on the investment. So digital technologies, with a long-term effect or high potential but also high risk, had low priority.
So you joined Umdasch Group Ventures?
Yes, Umdasch Group Ventures started beginning of 2017 and they searched for an engineer for a track & trace project. I applied and became part of the team. Meanwhile I am responsible for all IoT developments and solutions.
At Umdasch Group Ventures we have a broad view on the complete construction and retail process. We can think in all kind of new solutions – nothing is impossible!
We work by trial and error – quick and dirty :-). This enables us to deliver very fast functional solutions. A new idea, develop a MVP, test together with the customer, adapt quickly, find the solution, think in business models, found a business … and Contakt – our IoT Platform for the intelligent construction process - was born.
Successful Demostration of Contakt for the Management
For me this is the best work environment – a combination of technology, creativity and strategy with a very open minded and visionary culture.
That is impressing; innovation spirit is in the air. Thank you, Martin.