Background and challenge

Lacking the resources of a large-scale enterprise, a startup Industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions provider sought assistance in bringing a new low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) product to market. The company retained L.E.K. Consulting, which subsequently developed a detailed plan for evaluating likely opportunities within specific IIoT subsegments. This allowed the client not only to determine where to prioritize R&D and new business development activities, but also to determine which strategies would be most effective at achieving initial market-entry success.

Approach and recommendations

We began by researching current trends fueling LPWAN adoption to get a sense of the likely addressable market for LPWAN, as well as which IIoT applications could potentially be captured by the client. We conducted a full assessment of IIoT use cases across different industries and end markets, using specific criteria and screening methodologies (such as interviews with key industry decision-makers) to determine which markets would be appropriate for the client’s network platform. As part of this discovery, we proposed focusing on a pair of target user segments, and crafted a point-by-point strategic plan to bring the client’s IIoT solution to these prospective users. This included drafting product profiles in conjunction with the client to share with specific market participants, with the goal of further refining the client’s LPWAN value proposition.

To further refine its approach, we used feedback from market participants to gauge the strength of the client’s solution relative to competing firms in the IIoT segment. Finally, by mapping the comparative advantages/partnership models of different analytics providers, we were able to create a criteria checklist with which to evaluate the suitability/benefits of potentially pairing with a partner firm to broaden market access and accelerate product adoption.


Using extensive research into the unique market dynamics, tech applications and level of competition within a number of industries, we generated a road map for targeting segments most likely to respond favorably to the client’s new technology, including a comprehensive commercialization playbook for both of the two prioritized end markets identified by L.E.K.

From there, we provided the client with a prioritized list of potential partners and also drafted a detailed list of next steps on behalf of the client to acquire the capabilities, data, and financial and operational resources needed for implementing the market prioritization/go-to-market strategy. Ultimately, we see these efforts potentially unlocking approximately $500 million in new market opportunities for the client.

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