Samsara Construction IoT Insights From Beyond

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IRONPROS joined about 1,000 fleet management professionals, including Samsara partners and customers, at Samsara Beyond. Here is a wrap-up of insights from the event, many of which have implications for the company's broader path as an integrated platform for internet of things (IoT) for physical operations--including construction.

While some new tools have to do directly with the physical assets Samsara customers track, a new forms tool that could streamline tasks like inspections could signal a low-code- no-code future that could enable customers to not just rely on Samsara's API-first architecture to integrate with construction-specific software products, but build out more functionality to meet construction needs direclty in Samsara.

 "Connected forms will allow customers to digitize different processes across the business," Samsara Chief Product Officer Jeffrey Hausman said. "We have use cases in mind to start with, but the same concept can be applied more broadly to add text and videos and serve that to the workers where they need it—on tablets or other mobile device. This data can not just be for the driver, but will give field workers the ability to customize the product. We offer a host of developer tools and connectors for people who want to leverage our data to provide value in other software."

Hausman cited as an examle customer Liberty Energy, which has added functionality to show where their vehicles were in the context of tax implications that hinge on where the equipment is operated. This enabled them to save $10 million by optimizing equipment allocation with a mind on tax regimes.

Hausman and Samsara CEO Sanjit Biswas also discussed with IRONPROS how the product would support not only contractors tracking and transporting heavy equipment, but field service management teams visiting multiple sites each day for installation, repair and service of customer-owned assets, as is common in mechanical, electrical and plumbing, HVAC and other trade disciplines.

"We can be used in any type of field service," Biswas said. "We have a number of customers doing utility and telecom work, where you are concerned about having the right equipment on site, but also about theft. How do you track and understand utilization and down time? Samsara helps with that."

Samsara's APIs can be integrated with field service management software for construction, and ServiceNow is an established Samsara partner.

New Products

At the event, Samsara launched new functionality for smart trailers, mobile experience management and a new find-my-asset tool for unpowered assets.

Here, we discuss new product for smart trailers with Paul Bischof to discuss new functionality for smart trailers and unpowered assets. This includes tools essential for contractors transporting heavy equipment on flat bed trailers.

General Manager for Smart Equipment Alexander Stevenson discussed with IRONPROS how Samsara's new gateway for unpowered assets to wake up on demand, saving battery power while providing near real-time visibility of assets that do not have their own internal power supply.

Investments in Next Gen Equipment Automation, Connectivity

Apart from investing in its own solutions through its substantial research and development budget, Samsara announced the launch of its seed stage investment fund in technology startups, along with initial investments in fuel card vendor AtoB, Bluedot and its electrical vehicle charging technology, and Hubble Network, which is launching Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity by satellite.

The final startup funded in the initial round is Polymath Robotics, which is combining remote operation of equipment with automation to lower labor costs associated with operating heavy equipment. The company is preparing to launch its first commercial product, for bulldozers. The product set combines automation via edge computing and direct access to connected equipment via Samsara's platform.

Customers Share Insights

Samsara customers also brought valuable tip-of-the-spear insights, including Rasmussen Group Safety Manager Sajid Ordagic. Ordagic laid out the different use cases where eight of the company's divisions are using Samsara dual dash cams, HD camera connectors and site cameras.

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