Digitising Physical Operations With Samsara’s Platform Team (2024)

As Samsara continues to invest in recruiting the brightest engineering talent, we explore the foundational work of the Platform Team and their driving passion to empower the people who power the real world.

Samsara is on a mission to improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of organisations that operate in the world of physical operations.

Our customers include those in construction, utilities, public transportation, and governments —organisations that revolve around vehicles, machinery, warehouses and depots as they move goods and people from A to B, build and maintain our communities, and provide essential services.

As a sector, physical operations has traditionally been underserved by modern technologies —until now. That’s because Samsara is at the forefront of digital transformation that impacts the lives of people who deliver food to supermarkets, construct schools and hospitals, keep the lights on, and more.

For instance, in the year to the end of March 2024, our AI-augmented safety systems prevented more than 200,000+ accidents, protecting frontline workers and their communities.

We helped to prevent around 1.4 billion kilograms of CO2 from entering the atmosphere thanks to reduced engine idling and improved fuel efficiency. And we digitised more than 240 million + workflows, not only consigning outdated paper processes to the bin but freeing up frontline workers to focus on more meaningful tasks.

But what makes Samsara unique is that these are not standalone solutions. Instead, they are part of Samsara’s Connected Operations Platform which sits at the heart of everything we do. Our SVP of Engineering, Rick Carragher, published an excellent blog on this, providing an overview of how Samsara’s engineers are building the future of physical operations.

All Samsara’s solutions revolve around the Platform

All of our products and solutions are essential to our customers. But none of them can be realised without Samsara’s platform. Why? Because our platform sits at the heart of our Connected Operations solution.

Our platform is not an abstract layer that sits between infrastructure and product. Instead, it ties together our range of solutions across hardware, firmware, partner integrations, and data analysis into one cohesive interface. We intentionally designed this from the ground up with a clear focus on customer experience and the flexibility to integrate future innovations.

In engineering, it's commonplace to think about a layered architecture. In that regard, we are the foundational layer. And inside the foundation layer, we have two layers. There's the infrastructure that helps all of our products run in the cloud. And on top of it, we provide shared components, which allow our product teams to build their services on top so that customers can access these products in one central place to harness their insights.

According to the latest figures, Samsara processes more than nine trillion data points during FY24 —something that is only possible because of the millions of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors collecting real-time information and sending it via the cloud to Samsara’s platform.

This information —everything from vehicle speed and engine emissions to equipment tracking and maintenance —is accessed via the platform. It provides managers with total operational oversight of their physical assets and operations. It also provides frontline workers with real-time feedback and time-saving processes to do their job well.

Of course, as the digital revolution sweeps across these industries, the appetite to do more with the data becomes even more pressing.

Customer solutions at scale offer a real engineering challenge

This is why we’re looking to do more with the trillions of data points aggregated into our platform and why we’re looking to help our customers manage all that data at scale.

Scaling by orders of magnitude, and doing so efficiently, are important challenges and there is inherent complexity. But it poses a number of questions. For instance, how do we make this vast quantity of data consumable by our customers? How do we create a configurable platform that can serve customers of varying size, geographies, industries, organisation structures, and operating models?

The challenge for our engineers is to create software that delivers critical insights to the right people at the right place and time. Our customers need quick, easy-to-implement solutions that move at the same fast pace as they do. These require our engineering team to work on a wide range of areas from data ingestion, data analytics, reporting, insights, multi-step workflows and action-taking.

Increasingly, AI will also play a big role in how we help customers leverage all of their data. Already, it’s removing the ‘human friction’ of people-driven processes allowing us to turn raw data into truly actionable insights. But the technology isn’t our sole driver. Our customers —and the impact our solutions have on the people who power our world —are always firmly in sight.

The people who work for Samsara are not only experts in their field, they also have a close connection with our customers. Their understanding of the daily experience of a physical operations worker in the field is key to improving the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of operations.

Our engineers are customer-focused and motivated by positive outcomes

That’s why —from day one —we set about building a team of engineers who are not only tech experts but also understand the enormity of what we do.

It’s something that James Wright, Engineering Director at Samsara, is particularly passionate about. In a recently published interview, he explains that as demand for our products and services grows we’re looking to expand our engineering team to help solve some of the challenges facing the industries with physical operations.

What we do here —whether it's saving lives through accident avoidance using our AI-enabled dash cams or automating millions of workflows to digitise the industry — has an impact on people’s lives.

It’s almost impossible for people to work at Samsara without a connection with the customers we serve and the work they do. It’s what motivates us. And it shapes our recruitment process too.

In fact, I would go further and say the people on our platform team have a customer obsession that simply doesn't exist within many organisations. Just like every other tech team, we’re always on the lookout for the best and brightest engineers. But we don’t just hire the smartest people who are only focused on the tech.

The engineers we recruit are not only highly skilled and curious problem solvers, they also want to make a difference. These are engineers who want to play their part in transforming an industry that has been underserved for decades. These are engineers who want to help reduce CO2 emissions and make the roads safer for everyone. It’s a big task with one thing in mind: to make the industry safer, more efficient, and more sustainable.

Learn more about Samsara’s open positions, and follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram for the latest updates.

Digitising Physical Operations With Samsara’s Platform Team (2024)

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