As companies embrace digital, more of their services require connectivity to keep the business running. Effectively managing the increasing complexity of this environment becomes a critical enabler for success. When an organisation does not have a proper connectivity strategy in place, challenges like SIMs installed in incorrect devices may become critical. In turn, this will have a compounded impact on other areas of the business.
“SIMs are much more than a piece of plastic in a technology-driven world: they provide businesses with ‘always-on’ access to their operations and often have a causal relationship with ROI. As soon as organisations start scaling to hundreds or even thousands of SIMs in the field, business and technology leaders quickly realise the risks associated with a lack of management. Decision-makers therefore require guidance on how best to leverage connectivity management to unlock the true potential of their digital transformation efforts,” says Louise Collins, strategic product manager at Trinity IoT.
Companies might be tempted to try and do everything themselves when it comes to their connectivity strategy. However, the costs of this approach (both operational and capital), as well as the associated risks, usually outweigh the benefits of working with a trusted partner who can manage the infrastructure on their behalf.
“High availability and scalability are two of the most important considerations of a connectivity management system. Attempting to build (and maintain) a holistic solution goes hand in hand with numerous challenges, from network management all the way down to operational functions such as SIM procurement, testing, and installation,” says Collins.
Much of the work is either labour intensive or requires expertise in technical fields. Further considerations include setting up and maintaining critical infrastructure elements from Access Point Names (APNs), to firewalls, and the radius of connected devices. What businesses initially think is a ‘one-time purchase’ turns out to be a 24/7 maintained infrastructure – especially when things go wrong, and systems go down.
“An organisation attempting a DIY approach should think about some of the following: Are there qualified resources available within the company who can work on the project full-time? (Remember, the system must be developed and maintained by a team.) Does the budget allow for new hires? What equipment/tools/infrastructure do they need to do the job? How much will that cost? Who will be responsible for recruiting a team with the necessary skillset? Is there enough office space to accommodate new hires?” adds Collins.
Partnering with a company that specialises in this kind of infrastructure support means consistent care for your connectivity system. For example, partners with a 24-hour support take responsibility for all critical responses, so companies do not have to scramble in the middle of the night to troubleshoot SIMs and contact network providers.
A connected industry footprint
Virtually every industry sector today is benefitting from cellular connectivity and the management capabilities provided by them.
Retailers display advertising content to customers via screens provided by digital signage companies. Think billboards. Since digital signage companies charge retailers for display time, they must comply with stringent uptime SLAs. If a screen has faulty connectivity and stops displaying content, every second of downtime is money down the drain for the signage company.
Armed response companies need to receive alert messages when an alarm goes off or a client pushes a panic button. Here, the importance of managed connectivity can mean the difference between life and death. Cold chain and refrigeration companies require accurate temperature readings and collection of data to pass health checks and quality regulations. Fast food companies need to pass orders and messages to and from clients, drivers, and to restaurants to ensure the correct food is delivered to the correct person as quickly as possible.
“The numerous benefits awarded to companies embracing the opportunities of the digital revolution will depend on connectivity, and more importantly, having access to a highly available and managed framework,” says Collins.
In the past few years, there has been a progressive shift from using siloed management systems towards an integrated and holistic management method. This translates into less time learning and adopting multiple systems, fewer resources spent on managing multiple systems, and more time spent growing internal business operations linked to their ROI.
“This has been a part of the Trinity IoT DNA since the organisation was founded. We started with what we were experts at – SIMs and cellular connectivity management. Over the years, we have since integrated elements of device management, mobile device management, and data integrations along with custom application work into our Connect platform to help customers across industry sectors unlock the potential of their device and networking environment,” says Ross Hickey, founder and CEO of Trinity IoT.
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