“Smart Connected Farms” are no longer a great idea for the future, but a reality. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) means farmers have access to more data than ever before, improving crop yields and overall operations. Gone are the days of estimation, as “smart connected” farm equipment can do everything from adjusting fertilizer output, optimizing plotted fields, and even analyzing the internal hydraulics of the asset for repair and maintenance.

IoT provides critical information and helps connect people to things and process. ‘Things’ such as tractors and combines contain sensors and software providing farmers with valuable information.  In the case of Ziegler CAT, their “smart connected” offering includes everything from water management software, internal hydraulics monitoring systems, and auto steering. To augment their smart connected farm ecosystem,  Ziegler CAT recently introduced a video-enabled service called Ziegler Onsight to visually connect the information from these ‘things’ to people for more accurate decision making.

Here is a glimpse of their video-enabled service capabilities:

 “I was looking for a unique video type solution that was both reliable and interactive, something that consumer grade software such as Facetime or Skype could not offer”

– Todd Hesse, Product Manager for Precision Ag Technologies at Ziegler CAT

Early on, Ziegler identified their top requirements including call reliability from low bandwidth environments, support for existing service workflows, an interactive experience, and enterprise grade control and security. They investigated a range of video solutions including consumer grade video chat such as Skype and video conferencing tools. After this investigation, Ziegler chose the Onsight platform from Librestream..

During the Proof of Concept phase, Ziegler initially deployed Onsight Connect software to a portion of their 45 Technical Communicators (TC) and 300 Field Service Technicians within the agriculture product division.  In addition to quickly proving out the technology and workflow, this short pilot program demonstrated strong results including faster customer response time, higher equipment uptime, and productivity gains. In some cases, Ziegler accelerated support resolution times by as much as 60-70%.

Now deployed across  Ziegler’s entire service organization, Ziegler Onsight is proving to be a critical tool within the smart connected farm and construction ecosystem.  Sending the virtual eyes and ears of TCs into the field has already delivered real results to Ziegler’s customers.

In one example, Ziegler was under pressure to quickly identify and replace parts during a preventative maintenance inspection in preparation for harvesting.  During the inspection, the technician called the TC at the dealership through Ziegler Onsight to confirm the replacement parts. The customer was with the TC, witnessing the inspection live and bought all the replacement parts on the spot. The technician completed the job that same day after installing the parts the customer brought back.

Ziegler expects that this video-enabled service capability will transfer to additional use cases and divisions such as parts, power generation, and mining divisions. As a leader in service innovation, Ziegler has embraced video as one IoT solution that drives value to customers.

Learn more about Ziegler CAT and their other innovative solutions.

This post was written by Dave Baxter, Director of Sales Midwest for Librestream Technologies.