Why did we create DevicePilot? The founding Tale...

By Pilgrim - February 25, 2020

Our CEO Pilgrim Beart is a serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded AlertMe, which as "Hive" became the UK's first mass-market Smart Home platform, growing to 1 million+ homes served. The early days of AlertMe required lots of R&D to develop the hardware and software and get the proposition right, and - perhaps naively - Pilgrim initially expected that after they were over this development hump, scaling would be easy.

The reality proved very different - as the company grew from its first few hundred customers into the first few thousand, gradually the #1 everyday problem shifted from being R&D into being an Operations problem - questions such as "what have we deployed?", "is it working?" and "is the customer happy?". And this problem was growing exponentially.

Most IoT companies are in fact service companies (the hardware is just a way to deliver the service, and it's the service that the customer is actually paying for), so these questions are pretty existential - if the answers aren't good then you probably don't have a future. 

Most IoT companies have to grow exponentially, to ultimately deploy a lot of devices, and this growth typically goes something like: 10 devices for R&D, 100 devices for a trial, 1000 for first commercial trial and so on. The early R&D activity amortises with scale ($1m spent developing a product can be amortised against potentially infinite volume). But the costs of the later Operations activity grow in tandem with the number of devices: if you spend X to support each device, and you grow your device estate by a factor of 10, then you will now pay 10X to support them. Pilgrim went through a lot of pain because of this, and AlertMe ultimately spent years and $million's building tools to enable it to do operations better.

Armed with the epiphany that Operations is the big challenge as any IoT company starts to grow, Pilgrim set about creating a universal solution to this universal problem: DevicePilot. He was lucky-enough to meet co-founders Rob Dobson and Keith Reed who together had previously built a service monitoring and management solution for the telco market at Rob's previous company Actix, which provided great experience and a mind-set for how to do Operations well.

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Erik Fairbairn, CEO at POD Point:
Achieved 99% uptime across device estate

"We're totally data driven at POD Point, and if we can answer a question using data then we think that’s the best way - there’s no guesswork and you can use the facts.

Our DevicePilot dashboards have really let us get that actionable insight out of our devices."