Top Three Industry Trends in 2019: Accelerating Digital Transformation

— Read Time: 4 Minutes–

In the early 2000s, a Fortune 500 manufacturer grew rapidly through an acquisition strategy. Immediately after the facilities’ operations were transferred over, maintaining and increasing the efficiency of all of their new and existing sites was a primary concern. Prior to the acquisition, the company’s approach to implementing new technologies was decentralized—and each site had a unique collection of systems and teams accustomed to their own operational procedures. 

They had an important decision to make, and they needed to make it fast. 

They could either continue their decentralized strategy and allow sites to evaluate and determine what technologies, in this case an ERP system, they would use in their operations—or they could attempt a full-scale standardization initiative for their operations, centralized around a single ERP vendor. The centralized approach would ensure every facility would work around a core technology that would connect seamlessly into corporate dashboards and provide visibility on an enterprise level. They chose the centralized, single-vendor approach.

It took them seven years…

As the market transitions from a state of uncertainty around Industry 4.0 and the changes it will bring, into a state of rapid implementation and scaling, it’s important to remember the lessons of the past. We’ve seen this play out before with ERP systems and other industrial technologies that are prevalent today. Change-management and corporate-wide implementations of new technologies are not new—it’s more of the same, but we have more experience now.

The industrial leaders that we work with are going into the fourth industrial revolution with their eyes wide open and are taking a measured and thoughtful approach toward innovation.

The following are a few of the trends that we’ve seen accelerating the pace, and success rate, of digital transformation and machine health initiatives mid-2019.

A Measured and Thoughtful Approach

The corporate view on digitization initiatives has gone from interesting science projects to programs that deliver clear ROI, fast. 

The key to increasing the ROI of these programs, and getting a leg up on your competition, is scaling aggressively. This has transitioned early conversations from being focused on smaller rollouts to prove the validity of the technology, into partnership consultations—regarding supply chain digitization strategies and the roadmap to company-wide implementation.

As a result, senior leadership teams and decision-makers are coming to the table with a much clearer process for how they want to drive innovation and scale across hundreds of facilities—and they require alignment on that vision from their partners and vendors. This creates stronger and more impactful partnerships because it means we’re able to create clear plans together, from the start.

Increased Centralization

Another trend we’re seeing across the board is an increased convergence between Information Technology(IT) and Operational Technology(OT). As more and more plant and operational data becomes available on the cloud, IT experts are becoming more involved in OT conversations. The main concerns of the IT experts are to understand what’s being done with the data on the physical side and how that data is being protected. 

This integration means greater centralization of technology selection within organizations. As recently as 2017, we saw individual plants selecting vendors and deciding on their approaches to machine health. But now, IT departments are getting more involved—they want to see the bigger picture and take an enterprise-wide approach so that all corporate stakeholders can access the data they need securely and efficiently. These decision-makers want to realize the full value of digitally transforming their facilities. In order to make this a reality, corporate stakeholders need all of their systems and information from individual facilities to roll-up to a centralized corporate dashboard to aid them in strategic decision making.                                                                                                                                                                                        

While a decentralized approach may allow for quicker and more customized deployment on a facility level, it takes longer to achieve and realize the benefits across the whole organization. But as organizations see increasing value from digitization, it makes sense to become centralized from the start—or potentially pay the price of seven years of cleanup.  

Starting with Machine Health

Depending on the company, industrial digitization may have different goals including just-in-time manufacturing, lights-out facilities or even new business model creation. What we’ve found is that wherever you’re aiming, digitizing machine health is the best place to start. 

Digital machine health minimizes downtime by preventing mechanical failures and ensures production goals are met—which has a positive butterfly effect throughout the entire supply chain. It also has the potential to re-invent how maintenance, operations and reliability teams work together. 

Today, there’s a greater awareness that simply capturing data from your assets isn’t enough. The existing data alone isn’t necessarily valuable or of the proper quality to be useful in diagnosing machine health. As one example, knowing the pressure of a pump alone doesn’t help with assessing bearing wear. You need to combine this operational data with a range of mechanical data, such as vibration, temperature, magnetic field data and analyze them together to get the full picture. Ideally, all mechanical data is consistently recorded and centrally gathered, instead of harvested piecemeal from a multitude of proprietary OEMs.

The industry has matured to a point where machine health and digitization has clear, immediate, big-picture benefits. The door is open wider than ever for digital transformation and real results.  

As we move into the second half of 2019 and IIoT adoption continues to accelerate, we expect more measured and thoughtful approaches to centralize technology implementation focusing on machine health, first.

Learn more about machine health, here.

Hannover Messe 2019: The Aspirations and Limitations of Industrial Technology

— Read Time: 2 Minutes–

It’s impossible not to feel inspired by Hannover Messe — the world’s largest industrial technology trade show. With over 250,000 participants and more than 6,500 exhibitors, there’s a dizzying amount of industrial and technological prowess on display, showcasing a wave of innovation and movement in the industrial digitization space.

After the weeklong show, it’s clear to see that digital transformation is going mainstream. It would be safe to say that if an organization visiting Hannover Messe didn’t have a top-down digital transformation strategy before attending, they’ll definitely be crafting one soon after.

Still, despite the breadth of sleek dashboards on display at Hannover Messe, many tech companies haven’t figured out how to break the barriers between the technology sector and the manufacturing industry— to prove value at a large-scale. Businesses today face daunting challenges to their digital transformation strategy when trying to operationalize their IIoT-enabled equipment. Adding more layers of complexity and providing more data isn’t necessarily helpful and lacking the “right” data can inhibit the digital transformation process.

As technology vendors and innovators, we need to alleviate, rather than contribute to the complex challenges and misconceptions associated with digital transformation.

One large manufacturing company spent an entire year trying to develop their own integrated approach to smart maintenance using existing data from their operational systems. They believed this digital integration approach would ultimately help increase productivity, but the project stalled and eventually failed after a year — due to the complexity of collecting, synchronizing, organizing and sanitizing the data. One hurdle they needed to overcome was when the OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) of their process machines refused to release crucial data. They are now working with Augury and have seen the benefits of working with a partner who has already developed a database of mechanical failures.

When I was walking the floors of Hannover Messe, it was strikingly clear that machine health is the foundation for digital transformation. Machine health is at the heart of industrial productivity; it unlocks efficiencies while optimizing other parts of the supply chain—and can help create new business models and revenue streams.

To capitalize on its potential, digital transformation needs to become more than a buzzword. It needs to translate into clear solutions that address the complex realities of global manufacturing operations and prove immediate value — starting from the foundation and building from there.

As global manufacturers turn to the tech industry to help them address their most complex challenges, it’s up to industrial tech-innovators to focus and actually solve the day-to-day problems with simple, powerful solutions.

Find out how Augury can help with your digital transformation here

A Major Milestone for Machine Health: Industry Doubles-Down on Augury

Estimated Read Time: 3 min

For nearly a decade my co-founder, Gal, and I have been on a mission to make machines more reliable. The notion that people around the world all rely on machines to live their lives, and we have the ability to make those machines more reliable, productive and reduce their environmental impact, has been core to building Augury and our products. While our mission remained constant throughout that time, the amount of change that the market underwent is staggering.

 

Seven years later, we are just as passionate and energized to continue pushing the market forward and innovating beyond the speed industrial manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers could have anticipated.

 

That’s why today’s joint announcements of our acquisition of Alluvium and our $25M in Series C funding is so meaningful. Just as our investors believe in Augury’s mission and growing market, we’re committed to continuing to push forward by making sure we have the right team to drive digital transformation for industrial and commercial organizations. Today’s news will allow us to grow and ensure we will set the pace of the machine health industry for the next ten years and beyond.

 

DOUBLING DOWN ON INDUSTRIAL, DOUBLING DOWN ON INNOVATION

Over the course of the last year, we have made substantial gains in the market and are now monitoring millions of hours of machine uptime, deployed across dozens of Fortune 500 companies’ facilities around the world and across various industries – from bottling plants and food manufacturing to pharmaceutical manufacturing, personal and home care, as well as utilities and commercial buildings.

 

Our approach to machine diagnostics enabled our partners to avoid countless machine failures and increase throughput in their manufacturing facilities. We’ve built the first truly scalable solution for continuous diagnostics, one that includes hardware, software, automated diagnostics, and reliability support. Our technology is easy to implement, extremely effective, and we have an excellent team in place to help our customers along the way.

 

Working with our partners on their journey to digital transformation has been a humbling and inspiring experience for us. By actively listening to their pain points and aligning on a shared vision of where the market is going, we understood that the potential for our technology goes well beyond what we initially sought out to achieve. We identified new layers of value that we should uncover and deliver.

 

Our acquisition of Alluvium is a meaningful step into this new future.

 

Alluvium has approached the same challenges as we have, but from a different angle. They have built the ability to ingest any kind of operational data, derive learnings from this data using state of the art techniques, and turn that learning into accessible and meaningful insights. By combining Augury’s mechanical data and diagnostics with Alluvium’s operational data ingestion and insights, we are able to provide a holistic view of the production line for the very first time. We have been closely following Drew, Chris, and the excellent team they’ve built over the last three years and are really excited for them to join us on our unified mission.

 

INVESTING IN GLOBAL GROWTH

Believing in the industry’s shift to embrace AI technologies and seeing an uptick in digitization trends, Insight Venture Partners was steadfast to partner with Augury to increase the company’s global presence.  The emergence and maturation of IIoT and AI is creating a new horizon for connectivity that allows for enterprises to make informed decisions based on real-time, actionable insights. We are at the forefront of this trend, which will enable us to capitalize on the shifting market landscape.

 

Augury is in the unique position to break down barriers and bring together all the players within the ecosystem. Everything-as-a-Service is upon us, which is allowing OEMs to own more of the value chain, insurance companies to dynamically tie premiums to actual risk, and other service providers to move from physical services to digital offerings.

 

It’s an exciting time at Augury. Wait until you see what happens next.

Pump Systems as a Service with Predictive Analytics

The way we use machines is changing. More and more processes depend on machine support to maximize output and enhance production. As our dependence on machines continues to grow exponentially, so too does the need to optimize the health and efficiency of the equipment around us.

At Augury we’re committed to making machines more reliable while reducing their impact on the environment. We recently shared an announcement of our growing partnership with Grundfos – a world-leading pump and water technology company. The combination of Grundfos’ expertise in water technology and Augury’s knowledge within algorithm-powered machine diagnostics allows us to deliver on the promise of world-class condition monitoring and pump system optimization together.

Grundfos’ existing and soon-to-be customers benefit from new, digitally-enabled offerings that will transform the way they purchase, maintain and operate pumps. For Augury, this joint offering with Grundfos will allow us to further fine-tune our algorithms- leading to the creation of new and innovative solutions that will solidify our position as a leader in the predictive analytics space.

We are excited to show how our combined offerings will deliver more resilient and reliable pump systems and solutions, providing our customers with a competitive edge in their markets.

For more information about our partnership with Grundfos, get in touch!

The Need for Continuous Diagnostics: The Arrival of Augury Halo

We are standing in the eye of a perfect storm. To the unassuming bystander, this may seem like just another spring of AI (Artificial Intelligence) following two long winters, or a new attempt at reviving M2M (Machine 2 Machine) technology by slapping a sleek, young, tech-savvy name on it. But this time it’s different.

We are seeing a trifecta of forces pulling our market in different directions – going beyond buzz-words and into real, makes-total-sense ROI territory. These major trends – technology, market needs, and the shift from CAPEX to OPEX – have been lingering around other verticals for decades and have slowly found their way into our market. And when they’ll hit, they’ll hit hard.

From Data to Insights

Neither the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) nor Machine Learning are new concepts. The notion of having machines communicate to a central server (previously known as M2M) has fueled the rise of industrial titans like GE, Rockwell Automation and Siemens. What has changed is the exponential decrease in the cost of connectivity and low-power computing. Couple that with easily deployed cloud platforms and you have instant scale. The proliferation of connected sensors is upon us, and it may be trickier to navigate than you imagine.

The onslaught of data that will come from multiple connected sensors is enough to overwhelm even the most experienced facility manager. The key piece of the IIoT is not connecting to the internet, but rather, making sense of all the raw data. Machine learning algorithms have been widely used since the 60’s, but, thanks again to the accessibility of scalable cloud computing, only recently have they outperformed humans in specific tasks. We are now able to train algorithms to beat the best humans in tasks like speech recognition, image recognition or playing strategy games, as long as we have a vast amount of data on which to train them.

The Case for Better Infrastructure

While it may not always be top-of-mind, we all rely on mechanical equipment to live our daily lives. From power plants, to water utilities, office A/C and data centers that store all the pictures we share, machines basically run our lives. But things don’t always go as planned.

Not too long ago, New Orleans was slammed by a massive storm, resulting in eight to ten inches of rain in a matter of hours. People were forced to evacuate from their homes and neighborhoods after homes were damaged due to widespread flooding across the city.

The reason for this crisis rests on sixteen critical pumps. Those particular pumps, which are responsible for pumping water from storm drains to nearby bodies of water, happened to be offline due to planned maintenance and unexpected malfunctions on the day the storm hit. This means that sixteen pumps had the ability to uproot and disrupt the lives of over a million people.

We cannot afford to have the critical equipment that powers our businesses, cities and lives suffer from downtime.

While our nation’s aging infrastructure has been a source of political debate, the solutions aren’t simple ones – replacing all the vital equipment requires tremendous investments while current maintenance paradigms are outdated and inefficient. A move to a more advanced way of thinking, which leverages the advancement in technology to help machines around us be more reliable is required. Enter Predictive Maintenance.

It’s like 1999 All Over Again

The 1999 launch of Salesforce spurred the tech world into a frenzy. The company heralded a paradigm shift in how organizations purchase software – from paying a one-time fee for a typically over-bloated bundle that required frequent and costly updates, to paying an ongoing all-inclusive subscription fee for getting exactly what the customer wants. Over the following decade, Software as a Service (SaaS) would take the world by storm, changing not only the way organizations purchase software, but also how they operate and plan their budget.

IT managers loved SaaS – it took away the overhead of tracking and managing installations and updates of disparate systems, as well as provided a predictable way of projecting expenses. Gone were the days of annual spikes in expenses for an update or switching vendors.

We are currently experiencing the same in the industrial market as well. This shift will enable our industry to deal with its aging infrastructure without the upfront investment that has historically prevented us from reaping the benefits of advanced mechanical diagnostic technology.

The Need for Continuous Diagnostics

Today we are excited to announce the launch of our newest product – Augury Halo. Halo is the first viable solution for deploying continuous diagnostics at scale. Our sensors wrap your equipment with an invisible field that constantly listens and learns, so you can sleep better at night.

Based on an ever-growing Malfunction Dictionary that includes tens of thousands of machines, and working with over a dozen Fortune 500 companies, our algorithms have been trained to identify the first sign of a malfunction and provide the user with highly actionable insights and recommendations for next steps. No expensive training and no upfront investment are needed thanks to our Diagnostics as a Service (DaaS) pricing model, making Predictive Maintenance truly accessible to every facility.

We are standing in the eye of a perfect storm. By pairing internet-age and mobile-age technologies with pay-as-you-go pricing models, we have the solution to help our partners run their machines in a more efficient, reliable manner with less impact on the environment. And by doing so, help the rest of us that rely on machines on a daily basis, to lead healthier, safer lives.

Getting to the Next Level of Machine Reliability

–Read Time: 4 min–

Over the last five years, I have met with countless reliability engineers, facility managers, service contractors and hundreds of people who are responsible for the systems around us upon which we rely. Time and time again, I am met with a similar message: modern maintenance technology is largely inaccessible to the masses. We often take for granted just how much work goes into keeping the air cool and the hot water running. But in the absence of modern technology that is affordable to the teams who keep the lights on, this is becoming increasingly harder to do.

In a time where the majority of people are connected to the internet, innovations in connectivity and sensor technologies are rapidly enabling machines and devices to come online as well. While the internet has changed the way we relate to each other and understand the world, an even more rapid and significant form of innovation is emerging for the industrial machines that we use on a daily basis.

At Augury, we are combining two key shifts in the industry: Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. The intersection of these trends allows us to provide machines with the ability and awareness to optimize their own health and productivity. This helps machines become even more reliable and self-sufficient, which will greatly enhance and accelerate human productivity and safety.

There is little dispute that in the machine maintenance industry, Predictive Maintenance (PdM) has been shown to be vastly more efficient than reactive or even preventive strategies. PdM has been implemented for over 30 years, but has not yet extended beyond high-end markets. Currently only 12% of commercial and industrial facilities have a PdM program. Our goal at Augury is to bring the remaining 88% up to speed. By introducing smart sensors and cloud-based computing to the industry, we are making PdM more cost-effective and accessible, allowing it to trickle down into new markets.

At the crux of who we are and what we do is our proprietary machine learning algorithms. We are building out a massive database of mechanical data, organized by classifications of machine sounds correlated to what they indicate about machine health. Finding commonalities between the samples allows us to train the algorithm to identify similar issues in subsequent recordings. Therefore, the more data from machine readings that we feed into the algorithms, the smarter and more sophisticated Augury’s mechanical diagnostics capabilities become. Over the last year, we have grown our malfunction dictionary by 5,000% and are well on our way to having the largest data-base in the world.

These diagnostics capabilities are the beating heart of Augury, enabling us to empower technicians and engineers with the ability to really listen to and understand industrial machines in unprecedented ways. This will increase the reliability and extend the lives of industrial equipment, effectively modernizing industrial maintenance practices. This, in turn, will allow each of us to trust the machines on which our lives depend. Reduced outages, less downtime and consistent support for the ebb and flow of modern life.

The implications of such progress do not stop at the industrial market. Augury’s mechanical diagnostics will have a major impact on consumer markets as well. With our vision of “Augury everywhere,” your car, garage door and even your washing machine can have the ability to communicate with you to let you know what it needs to keep functioning efficiently. As machines around us become smarter and more autonomous, we will grow to expect more from them. We will expect them to be aware of their mechanical condition – to have a central nervous system. This is our goal at Augury – to ensure that every machine is aware of its mechanical health and will be able to avoid breakdowns. We are building the mechanical nervous system of the Internet of Things (IoT), starting with the industrial and commercial facilities markets.

In order to reach these goals, there is much to be done. Our most recent round of funding is a significant milestone in the path we are paving at Augury. This boost of capital will enable us to grow our sales and marketing efforts, forge new partnerships, engage with more enterprise customers, install more continuous diagnostics systems on more machines and ultimately, feed more data to our ever-growing malfunction dictionary. In short, the more we grow, the better our products become.

Outside of Augury, we look to the market for new ways to collaborate and come together as a society to help drive global progress. Open APIs, industry standardization and interoperability are all necessary in order to bring such innovation to new markets. As more machines come online, we will need to know that our equipment and electronics will alert us when something isn’t right. We at Augury, are doing our part to help us establish this long, enduring trust.

If you want to play an active role in the future of connected machines, join us.

WH-questions for starting up

This post is based off of a talk I gave in an entrepreneurship conference at the Technion (The Israeli Institute of Technology). The talk was given to undergraduate/graduate students who wish to someday start a company. The full presentation can be found here. It is written as a lecture – I basically pasted my notes. I hope it helps someone find the courage to take their first step.

Update: read the Technion BEC’s blog about the talk here (Hebrew)


Preface

Over the past couple of years, I’ve met with countless aspiring entrepreneurs. Over time I’ve noticed the same questions come up over and over again – Why should I start a company? When is the right time to quit my job? How do I start? Is my idea good enough? 
I call these the WH-Questions of starting up, and I’ll do my best to give the tools to answer these questions. 
I’ll start with a quick introduction to Augury and share a bit of our story.

Augury

Augury was founded three years ago. One bright day in August 2011, Saar and Gal quit their jobs and decided to work full-time on Augury. Our intention was to get to technological validation and market validation on our own funding, so we bootstrapped the company for two years before seeking outside funding.

Augury develops a system that automatically diagnoses machines based on the noises that they make. By listening to a motor or a pump, we can tell if it’s working properly, if it has a malfunction, and even what type of malfunction it has. For example, sometimes when you drive your car, you can hear the fan belt is squeaking, and you know that it is loose and you need to replace it or tighten it. Now, it doesn’t even matter if you’re driving a Mercedes or a Toyota – a fan belt sounds like a fan belt. That’s because specific failures have unique patterns that we hear and recognize.

What we do is connect vibration and ultrasonic sensors to a smartphone and pair them with Machine Learning Algorithms. 
So you can say that we’re like Shazam – but for machines.

Our technology can be used across the board, from factories all the way to our homes, where you have the dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and air conditioner. And that’s where we want to be – inside everything that has moving parts. We are building the mechanical diagnostics platform of the Internet of Things.

Disclaimer

Before we dive in, I’d like to start with a disclaimer. Like every piece of advice you will ever receive, I am also guilty of bias. Every person looks at the world through his own set of glasses that paint the world based on his past experience, good and bad. Without noticing, we implant our experiences into the advice we give, sometimes hurting the person in front of us. 
The first and most important advice I can give is to be fully aware of this, and learn how to read between the lines. There are no right/wrong answers, as much as everyone would like to believe there are. For every suggestion I give here, I personally know a founder that did the exact opposite, and succeeded nevertheless.

Where?

The easiest question for me to answer is, “Where should I start building my company?” Of course, this varies based on the type of product you are developing, but in general I’d stay away from the largest startup hubs and go for the second-largest. In the U.S. it would be NYC vs. SF, and in Israel it’s Haifa vs. Tel-Aviv.

There is something amazing about second place – everyone is fighting collectively to prove that it’s as good as number one. This gives an amazing vibe in the smaller, more intimate community – everyone is helping each other instead of being in a cut-throat competition. It’s also easier to become a thought leader and to find great talent. We found our piece of heaven in downtown Haifa for our R&D center, and NYC for our headquarters.

Why?

Why should I risk my career, quit my job and become an entrepreneur? 
For starters, you’re reading this post, so I’m guessing you’re either tremendously bored, or you have the inner drive to build something and make an impact.

The way I see it, the real question is, why not? 
The most-given answer is that startups are a bet – you have a 1/100 chance of raising money, 1/1,000 chance of succeeding, etc. And they are probably right – your startup will probably fail, but that’s beside the point.

There’s an analogy I like that compares career building to investing in the stock market. When you invest (wisely) in the stock market, you combine high-risk investments (like stocks, options) with low-risk investments (bonds). The same is true for your career – you need to balance some high-risk, high-reward jobs with low-risk, stable workplaces. When you look at it this way, building a company isn’t a bet – it’s a calculated risk. An investment.

If you are fresh out of university, your annual salary is probably $80K–$100K. Now, what will happen when you forfeit this income and invest two years of no-salary work? You’re basically “investing” $150K–$200K of future income, which is analogous to the cost of an MBA in a top-rated school. Assuming you dedicate this time to learning and building, I assure you that even if after two years, your startup fails and you don’t see one dime out of it, you’re in a much better place than you would have been if you stayed at your current workplace. You’ve gained experience, you’ve made connections and you look differently at problem-solving and risk management.

When?

When you feel ready.

When I finished my engineering degree, I didn’t feel ready. I knew I was going to open a company in two years, but didn’t know the best path that would help me gain the right tools for building a company.

I spent a number of months with this dilemma and decided to seek help. I went out and asked some very smart people, all successful entrepreneurs, from different backgrounds. One had a PhD; one came from a large company (IBM); and one dropped out of his bachelor’s studies to start his company.

The answer was surprisingly unanimous: you should start at a large, established company in order to learn the foundations of a company – the corporate culture; the product development cycle; the different groups and flows. Only then will you know what to aim at when you build your own company. On top of this, it will give you more time to learn and develop as an entrepreneur – you’ll read books and blogs, go to meetups and conferences, and slowly, you’ll feel more confident to take the next step.

How?

We are big believers of the Lean Startup movement (/Customer Development). I admit that today it has become so over-hyped that it is frequently used in a negative context. Truth is, only 50 percent of founders that say they “do lean startup” really understand the essence. I urge you to take your time and immerse yourself in the infinite amount of content available on the web.

One very hard point to wrap your mind around is that your technology is not interesting (especially if you’re an engineer). It’s what you can do with it that matters. They say that technology is nothing but a bridge between the present and the future.

The real questions you should be able to answer are:

Now ask yourself, what’s the fastest way to answer these questions? I’ll give you a hint – go and talk to potential users and customers. Before you feel that you have the answers to these questions. there is no justification to write even one line of code.

What?

Is my idea good? Do you think I will succeed?

I found out that I am a very bad judge of ideas. In fact, no one cares what I think. Or what you think. The only questions that matter are the ones we stated above. 
There are three types of entrepreneurs:

In the meantime, open your eyes, be curious and talk to a lot of interesting people. I suggest you select a market that you care deeply about and you are willing to spend 4–5 years in. Then talk to everyone you can in that market – understand their daily routine, what bothers them, what can change with new methods and technology. Everywhere you look there is huge potential for disruption – you just need to find it and run with it.

 

Here we go

It is with great pleasure that we announce today that we have accomplished another step in Augury’s journey: We have recently closed our first round of funding.

After two years of bootstrapping, we’ve decided it’s time to ramp up our team and start running. When we first started working on Augury, we wanted to prove the technology works and to validate that there is a real business opportunity for Augury before bringing in outside investors. This decision gave us complete freedom to navigate the Customer Development waters, set up experiments, fail fast and change directions. Towards the end of last year, we felt like we’d achieved problem/solution fit and proven our technology – so we hit the road.

Our new partners

Today we can announce that we’ve closed our seed round, which was lead by First Round and included Lerer-Hippeau Ventures, Orfin Ventures, Demarest, and other amazing people that believe in Augury. We feel privileged and fortunate to have found such amazing investors to back us – we’ve found real partners for the journey and we couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.

[Update: Read Howard Morgan, our partner at First Round’s post on the funding here ]

With new funding comes great responsibility. Now it’s our turn to prove that we can accomplish what we set out to do.

It’s time to kick a** and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of gum. 
 Duke Nukem

Winning NYC

On October 7, Augury joined 13 other Israeli startups in New York City as part of the [IL2NYC | http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/top-israeli-startups-visit-nyc] delegation that was organized by the NYCEDC (Economic Development Corporation). It was an intensive week packed with meetings and panels that culminated in a pitch event in front of 200 NYC-based investors and businessmen. Guess who won the event?

The teams

We were fortunate to be accompanied by amazing teams from very different fields – fashion, connected toys, fin-tech, enterprise software, and e-commerce.

These included: 
AdCore,Brayola, Cellepathy, Choozer, Connesta, Curiyo, Fashioholic, Roomixer, Seebo, Senexx, TotalBoox, Viewbix, and Zazma.

It didn’t take us too long to bond and become very good friends – we wish all the best to all of them, and good luck!

The program

The week was meticulously organized by the NYCEDC team – Sri Swaminathan and Justin Kreamer – along with David Bratslavsky from the USI (U.S.-Israel business council), who hosted the final event.

The week gave us a chance to taste the rising startup scene in NYC and tackle the toughest questions – why should we choose NYC over San Francisco? How do we open our U.S. operations? What are the legal issues, immigration issues, etc.? 
We were hosted at some of the amazing companies that came out of NY – AppNexus and LivePerson, for example – who opened their doors and shared their stories. We also had panels with NY-based investors and angels who talked about the differences between the NY ecosystem and the Silicon Valley.

All in all it was an amazing week – and they managed to convince us. When the time comes, we’ll open our headquarters in NYC. In the future, NYCEDC will host market-specific delegations instead of geography-specific. If you can find the time and money and manage to get in, we assure you it will be worth your while.

The pitch event

The final event was held at the Silverstein Suites in the NYC Financial District. Before the pitch event, we had a speed dating-style event with NYC investors.

In the evening we moved to an auditorium that was packed with over 200 businessmen who came to network and meet the companies. Each team had 90 seconds to introduce their company in front of a panel of judges. There’s not a lot you can say in 90 seconds, so the pitch had to be laser-focused [What – Why – How].

At the end of the pitches, after more questions from the judges, four companies were selected by the judges (thanks Danny Schultz for choosing us). The companies were then voted on by the audience using the old “make noise to vote” method.

It was almost unanimous – Augury was selected as the winner of the event. 
We really enjoyed the event and the week and hope that this win will give us the much-needed backwind for the fundraising.

NYCEDC

One last thank-you to Sri and Justin from NYCEDC. I’m sure we’ll continue to work together in the future.

Direct Industry magazine

Augury was just featured in this month’s issue of the Direct Industry magazine. This month they magazine is focusing on the “Future of Manufacturing”. It includes a very good review of Industrial Internet/Machine2Machine/Internet of Things technologies and is very well worth the read. 
We were contacted by their editors due to our unique approach to Predictive Maintenance. It is heartwarming for Augury to be recognized as a thought leader in the industry.

Read the full article here.

From the article:

Low-cost Prediction Tool

However, one start-up believes it can provide predictive maintenance at a fraction of the price of the big data companies. Israel-based Augury has developed a predictive maintenance tool that plugs straight into a smartphone and combines both data collection with traditional vibration and ultrasound monitoring. 

 

“What we are doing is combining data with the old way of doing things,” says Augury co-founder Saar Yoskovitz. He says their vibration and ultrasound sensor costs as little as US$ 1,000, a fraction of traditional vibration and ultrasound tools used in the past, yet they adhere to the same industry standards (vibration: ISI 10816, and ultrasound: ISI 18436-8). 

 

But the big advantage of Augury’s solution is its user-friendly nature. “Anybody can use it,” says Yoskovitz. “Specific faults have unique vibration and ultrasound signatures and the sensors pick these up. In the old days, you needed a highly skilled technician to decode this data, but in our system, your smart phone will tell you exactly what is wrong with your machine.” 

 

Their device, which also comes with a web platform for recording and analyzing the data, has already saved one of Israel’s largest food manufacturers US$ 120,000 in motor replacement’s cost and downtime, by picking up on a fault on one of their cooling systems.

Beta start

Today we have accomplished another major step in Augury’s journey. We just began our first beta program with one of the largest and most respected service companies in the U.S. During the coming weeks we will deploy our systems in multiple branches across the states. Their technicians will use our platform on a daily basis, helping us build the largest machine-recording database in the world.

The beta will include six branches across the states, from New York to Los Angeles, and two very large facilities in the Philadelphia area. 
Our system will be used by 20 technicians on their daily routine to record and analyze pumps, fans and chillers. The usage and performance will be tracked by the partner’s global headquarters (using our management platform) and will be compared to the KPIs that were set beforehand.

The device that was given to the technicians is our fourth iteration of the hardware. It is a fully functioning prototype, with our production electronics circuit inside it. It has the same form, but is not as rugged as the final version (right image) will be. The final product will be military-grade, waterproof and dust-proof (IP-67).

We are waiting for feedback from the beta program in order to fine-tune and finalize the design before going into final production. All in all, 50 units were made of this version – 20 of them went to the first customer and we plan to have another large-scale beta in the upcoming months.

What’s an Augury?

au·gu·ry / ˈôɡ(y)ərē / [aw-gyuh-ree]

noun

A sign of what will happen in the future; prediction.

The work of an augur; the interpretation of omens.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, the Augurs were the religious officials (priests). Before going into battle, the emperor would approach the Augurs and ask them about the outcome of the war.

The Augurs would look to the sky, analyze the wind flow and the birds’ trajectories and then come up with an Augury – a prediction. The army would go into battle with a wholehearted belief that their god was behind them.


Similarly, at Augury, we analyze seemingly unrelated signals and come up with a prediction – is your equipment going to fail in the future? Are there any actions you should take now to avoid catastrophe?

Welcome to Augury – Machines talk, we listen

Alluvium has been acquired by Augury to provide unprecedented transparency into the health of your operation.