CASE STUDY 9‐2 The “MyJohnDeere” Platform
“The customer is in control of the data and can share with dealers, crop consultants, and anyone in their network of trust-ed advisers; securely, from any internet enabled device,” says Chris Batdorf, a marketing manager at John Deere.
MyJohnDeere project was designed with the realization that there was synergy in linking together disparate sources of information into this “platform.” 27 Who would be interested in using this application? You might expect that John Deere customers and employees would be the only parties. But according to Accenture, a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, John Deere realized that there was value in opening access to its system to farmers, ranchers, landowners, banks, and government workers. The platform is useful for all those people because it integrates information about equipment, production data, and farm operations and helps users improve their profitability. 28
A farmer described how the John Deere Operations Center allowed him to upload a treasure trove of data about planting, spraying, fertilizing, and harvesting. He said that he accessed that information later not only to diagnose problems about the equipment but also to make decisions about the use of land and personnel. He said that he can send that information to consultants for real‐time recommendations on what to change even while he was harvesting. 29 A platform such as MyJohnDeere could introduce new capabilities that can provide strategic value to customers, other firms, and, of course, its host. According to Accenture, the platform integrated the Internet of Things with social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technology.
The combination encouraged the development of new applications over time and represented a recent pivotal technology trend. Such a platform provided reusable components that can evolve over time. 30
1. What governance approach did John Deere appear to have adopted? Did it fit the profile of an “old” heavy industry player?
2. What difficulties do you think an “old” heavy industry player such as John Deere encountered internally when proposing to develop the MyJohnDeere platform?
3. What difficulties do you believe John Deere faced externally among the proposed users?
4. How do you think John Deere might have overcome those internal and external difficulties? 5. What other parties might have been interested in obtaining the information in John Deere’ s cloud? What might they have done with it? Sources: Adapted from John Deere press release ,
“The MyJohnDeere Operations Center—New Tools to Manage Data” (August 21, 2014), https://www.deere.com/en_US/corporate/our_company/news_and_media/press_releases/2014/agriculture/2014aug21_mjd_ operations_center.page (accessed September 4, 2015) ;
Cindy Zimmerman, “MyJohnDeere Operations Center Connectivity” (March 2, 2015) ;http://precision.agwired.com/2015/03/02/myjohndeere‐operations‐center‐connectivity/ (accessed September 4, 2015) ;
William Lesieur , “Proliferating Digital Ecosystems through ‘The Platform (R)evolution’ —Accenture Technology Vision 2015,” http:// www.accenture.com/us‐en/blogs/technology‐blog/archive/2015/01/26/proliferating‐digital‐ecosystems‐through‐the‐platform‐%28R%29evolution‐acn‐technology‐vision‐2015.aspx (accessed September 4, 2015)