Problem Solutions uses the Savanna IoT platform to refine its sensing solution
By Drew Ehlers | March 29, 2019

Stories from the Edge: This Global Company Embraced a Startup Mentality to Accelerate IoT Innovation

Zebra and Problem Solutions develop new way to extract edge data from IoT sensors to monitor the climate, automate real-time guidance and alerts in manufacturing, warehouse and utilities settings

When we introduced Zebra Savanna™, we had to think differently. Zebra Savanna is our cloud-based data platform that collects and analyzes data to create insights that optimally mobilize action at the edge of the enterprise. We knew it had the potential to be a major force in the digital transformation of business.

In fact, it was so exciting, we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. We wanted to invite others in. The name kind of gives it away. As Tom Bianculli, Zebra Chief Technology Officer confirms, “Zebra Savanna is an open field upon which we can all graze and create together.”

Zebra created the Early Adopter Accelerator program as a technology incubator in 2017 and issued an open invitation to our partner community, as well as top software developers around the globe, to submit proposals. The idea was to co-develop applications utilizing Zebra Savanna data to lead the digital transformation of the enterprise and create entirely new solutions for customers.

One of those proposals was from Problem Solutions, a custom software and hardware product development firm. They wanted to create an interface that works on the Zebra Savanna platform to take edge data from IoT sensors to automate real-time guidance and alerts. In a real-world application, the sensors would monitor the climate in manufacturing, warehouse or utilities settings. If there were a gas leak or hazardous material situation, safety protocols would automatically be pushed to users, ensuring safe evacuation, avoiding injury or potential loss of life.

The Zebra team was excited about the possibilities and greenlit the project. Our developer team worked closely with Problem Solutions to create the interface – not from 10,000 feet, but in a real, roll-up your sleeves, get-into-it type of way.

A snapshot of the IoT solution framework created by Problem Solutions using the cloud-based Zebra Savanna platform

As Brooks Canavesi, Sales Director at Problem Solutions said, “I'm used to working with agile, lean startups, so it's not foreign to me. This was like that: very flexible, very innovative and very collaborative.”

The Accelerator program exemplifies how Zebra delivers a performance edge to the front line of business. By taking the power of Zebra Savanna and harnessing it to sense real-time situations and provide potentially life-saving guidance, we are empowering front-line workers, partners and our own Zebra employees, to capture their edge.

Zebra and Problem Solutions team members evaluating the application of IoT sensors on the front line

Partnering with innovators like Problem Solutions has been an amazing experience for all involved and energizes us for the future.

Zebra and Problem Solutions team members collaborate on an IoT solution as part of the Savanna Early Adopter Accelerator Program

Brooks sees amazing possibilities ahead. “The way that we think we can use Zebra Savanna today is not even going to scratch the surface of how people will leverage Zebra Savanna and what it can do five years from now.” 

We are working together to co-create the next generation of technology. And we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Watch the whole story here:

Transportation and Logistics, Field Operations, Manufacturing, Innovative Ideas, Inside Zebra Nation, Warehouse and Distribution, Public Sector, Success Story,
Drew Ehlers
Drew Ehlers

Drew Ehlers currently serves as the Global Futurist and the Head of Global Partners. 

He previously served on the Zebra Ventures team and in several product management roles for Zebra's Chief Technology Office where he was responsible for producing advanced machine-learning models and algorithms for predictive analytics to solve critical business problems for Zebra and its partners and customers. This included emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision and blockchain. 

He currently holds contributing board positions on the Global AIM Blockchain Council and the Retail Advisory Council for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at Northwestern University.

Mr. Ehlers has more than 19 years of experience within the B2B technology industry and has held numerous leadership roles. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President at Gallagher Bassett and Vice President of Channel for the North America region at Zebra.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Zebra Developer Blog
Zebra Developer Blog

Are you a Zebra Developer? Find more technical discussions on our Developer Portal blog.

Zebra Story Hub
Zebra Story Hub

Looking for more expert insights? Visit the Zebra Story Hub for more interviews, news, and industry trend analysis.

Search the Blog
Search the Blog

Use the below link to search all of our blog posts.