The Human Side of Digital Transformation at Scale

Last week, we initiated our flavor of “digital transformation” at a hospital in California that is assessed to have high quality health care services for improving the quality of life within its community. We deployed our Internet of Things (IoT) solution in specific operating rooms. The client said to us that it was “very critical” and if our work wasn’t done properly, it would leave the hospital in “a very precarious position.”

One of our trusted team members performed the deployment. We did not use a “Systems Integrator” but we hope to begin to court integrator partners in the future. As we consider the process for doing so, we have to make considerations in business development as we juggle multiple variables: Is our firmware working optimally? Is our software working optimally? Is our database working optimally? Is our cloud server working optimally? Is our deployment team functioning efficiently? Is the client being responsive to our needs, for example, for connectivity credentials?

Going from a five person operation where every individual has a dedicated role allows me to easily count the variables at 30KFT. The idea of entrusting our deployments to a systems integrator generates mixed emotions: On the financial side, I welcome the capital support to be able to scale effectively and ramp up our innovation. At this time, I am currently conceptualizing a deployment for a pharmaceutical warehouse in Tennessee that would use voice activated report preparation on-demand. On the tactical side, I worry about our future involving multiple channel partners selling our products and managing our risk in the marketplace. I am concerned because unfortunately, edge technology is not as simple as flip the switch electricity.

We know how to make reporting automated and affordable but when it is also “critical” and “precarious” for the client, it requires a level of sophistication that isn’t seen very often in the marketplace. It requires us to be “bulletproof” and emerging technologies are not built like that. They are typically built to be de-bugged as situations arise: Try it, Break it, Fix it. The truth beyond the hype is that hospital buildings, like the facilities managers we interact with, vary and we have to adapt to the needs of each individual client given their specific situation. Scale is easiest when it is completely uniform without any variations. Monstrous corporations like Google and Microsoft are allowed much more leniency to endure agile deployments in comparison to crafty startups led by POC. (Our team is currently Chicano, African American, Filipino, Mexican and Anglo.)

We are currently negotiating with five channel partners. Everything we say to each other at this juncture is mutually beneficial. We’re so excited about the future. What remains to be seen is how complicated things get as they scale. We’ve provided 20 hospital IoT solutions in the last quarter 2019. I am trying to picture what our responsibilities to our clients are when we meet our goal of 250 clients per year, or 62 deployments per quarter.

As an aspiring next generation Yogi Berra type, here’s a great quote from him that can be attributed to scaling an IoT startup: “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.”

For more information on Mesh Candy, please connect with Sergio C. Muñoz, Member of ScaleLA, Board Member of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), Signatory at PledgeLA and EVP Business Development at Mesh Candy:

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