I interviewed Subhash Chowdary who discussed Internet of Things in Logistics.
Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Well, the last job I held was the chief architect of Apple Computer. So, one of the things I had worked on at Apple was the architecture for now what is known as the Smartphone, which involved the entire ecosystem for supporting such a thing as a personal digital assistant. So, data warehousing, web services, portals, metadata, all of that, the whole architecture for that. And we published it, so it's in print, available, and it was adopted by large corporations at that time, and then it kind of paved the way for the success of the personal digital assistant and the success of the iPhones.
After that, I actually started a couple of software companies. I went into becoming an entrepreneur and founded a few companies building out those technologies that Apple did not want to build, like data warehousing, web services and all those things. So, I built that out while the hardware was being developed at Apple. So I did that, and now I'm working on supply chains using what I think is the next generation of stuff that, beyond the human interface, devices to...without human interfaces, which is what I call the internet of things.
What is the internet of things in logistics?
I specifically wanted to differentiate internet of things in logistics from just the internet of things, because the internet of things is a very broad topic. It covers everything and anything. And so, just to bring whom scope and context, I wanted to talk about IOT being applied to logistics which has been, I think, one of the oldest or the longest implementations of anything to do with technology has always gone into the logistics of moving physical stuff from somewhere to somewhere. So, IOT has been, in practice, and I think, in logistics, as long as M2M has also been there for machine-to-machine communications.
Specifically talk about logistics to put some scope around the context of IOT.
Why is the internet of things in logistics important?
Well, as long as we want to have a good life in the world, you have to rely on logistics to get you the stuff from wherever they are manufactured to the point of consumption, and then also now it was logistics of taking it and destroying it in such a way so that they're recycled and not thrown into dumps.
Logistics will always be there. And it's very fundamental to the existence of human beings as long as we're on this planet or even planning to go to other planets. So, that's why I think logistics and IOT go together, and it's one of those fundamental things that could be there forever.
How is the internet of things in logistics done effectively and where have you seen success?
So, in IOT, logistics has been there in pretty much every aspect. Everybody want's to know when they ordered something, when they will receive it. They want to know the supply chain. Everybody talks about visibility. We talk about security. We talk about digitization of the supply chain. So, all of these things, really today the underlying driver of that is the internet for communications — the status as communicated, people place orders, e-commerce works that way, the Ubers of the world, self-driving cars, trucks, all of them use some form of the internet of things. So, there are devices; there are senses; all of these being used at multiple levels. Even to the moon shots of trying to launch a cargo route to Mars, for example, the space shuttle going back and forth.
All this involves some sort of IOT and the logistics of all the components that go together to make that happen.
And then, on the other side, the other 99% of the world, actually is going to see a revolution, just how we saw the internet affecting people all over the world. I think the internet of things is going to affect the lives of the other 99% in more ways than we ever imagined the interest or the smart phone to have done.
So, that's where I think there's a huge potential for breaking that viscous cycle of poverty, the climate change issues, all those things,and now are directly addressed using IOT. This applies to agriculture. It applies to how we know where the banana republics are being created, the pollution of the water is taking place, the Bangladesh factory. You cannot deny that there was a factory with a thousand people killed that nobody knew existed, that they were sourcing from. You cannot see the profound impact that it can have on the entire concept of visibility in logistics, supply chains, and things like that.
Thanks for sharing today. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make about the internet of things in logistics?
Well, I think this is a very early stage of the cycle of IOT in logistics, I think, in terms of the new technologies coming in. There's a tremendous amount of progress, innovation taking place. I think we're completely going to change a lot of things. We can't cover all of that in such a short time, but I think we are at a very exciting point in time where everything that we know of as today is likely to change in the area of logistics. So, the entire 3PL industry that we are all familiar with is now going to be replaced with what I call a digitized version of 3PLs, which is third-party information logistics.
So, there's a whole bunch of industries that are difficult to cover in such a short period of time. I'm excited about it.
Thank you. And I'd love to have further interviews with you in the future to share with our community, if you'd like.
Sure. I'd be happy to.
Thank you, Dustin.
About Subhash Chowdary
CEO at Aankhen Inc.