08 July 2022
Reading Time: 5 mins
08 July 2022
Reading Time: 5 mins
Selecting the right IoT connectivity platform for your organisation or project can be baffling. How do you arrive at a solution that not only delivers the connectivity and functionality you require today, but which can evolve as the technology environment changes and the business grows?
An understanding of what IoT professionals consider to be most desirable when choosing a platform can help to simplify the selection process.
Kaleido Intelligence and Eseye recently surveyed more than 750 enterprises about IoT connectivity. When we asked about the product features they wanted from their connectivity platform, high-quality technical and customer support came out on top, cited by 50% of respondents, closely followed by reporting functionality (47%). Commercial and technical flexibility (28%) and the ability to manage deployments and connections via a single pane of glass (22%) were also priorities.
When we boil these features down to the benefits they bring, we can see the importance of sourcing an IoT connectivity platform that reduces complexity while increasing efficiency, and which provides greater control over the IoT estate and the costs of running it.
We’ve used these insights to identify five core capabilities that should be on your ‘must-have’ list when researching and scoping out an IoT connectivity platform.
Wondering what a connectivity management platform is? Check out this blog post from Ian Marsden, CTO at Eseye.
An IoT connectivity platform should provide you with centralised oversight and management of your whole IoT estate, via a single view or portal – including any existing and legacy devices.
The IoT platform you adopt should incorporate a comprehensive database of information about each device’s capabilities and connectivity requirements, to support the management of processes such as subscriptions, network optimisation and security.
Find a platform which allows you to make changes and updates to software, security controls and SIMs remotely over the air throughout the device’s lifecycle. This will not only future-proof the deployment but also save a huge amount of effort and cost.
Optimising connectivity is essential to ensuring reliable and low-latency communications between all devices, the cloud, and your own enterprise systems. The IoT connectivity platform you select should allow you to pre-set network connectivity processes and rules to benefit from the right quality of latency and bandwidth, and change these over-the-air.
Look for a provider that enables you to customise your carriers. You should be able to choose multiple mobile network operators (MNOs) to get the best coverage and prices in each location – and easily switch to new ones to take advantage of a better quality of service or rates.
Our AnyNet+ SIM can be loaded with multiple network user profiles, and our Infinity IoT Platform™ allows devices to switch dynamically and intelligently to another cellular network if connectivity is lost to maximise uptime. But we also take flexibility a step further. Our Bring Your Own Contract (BYOC) option allows you to import your existing MNO contracts, billing, and hard-won rate plans when you join us.
Your chosen IoT platform should enable you to automatically implement business workflow processes and policies across the entire IoT deployment. This will bring significant benefits in terms of operational consistency and efficiency.
The best platforms will have robust security tools and controls built-in to protect data at-rest, and in-transit from the device and SIM all the way to the cloud. Plus it’s essential that your IoT platform supports governance, and compliance with regulations, including data sovereignty legislation. So you can act fast and protect your estate effortlessly.
Look for a platform with the capability to set and roll out security policies centrally to protect your people, systems and information from cyber-attacks or data breaches. Privileged Access Management (PAM), for instance, can be used to configure IoT systems so users are restricted only to the functions and areas they need to carry out their particular role.
A single view of all network operator subscriptions, packages, contracts and service plans will help you avoid the need to juggle multiple sets of details across multiple IoT connectivity platforms. Search for a single IoT platform that enables you to manage users and accounts, and order, activate and manage SIMs from a central point.
It should also simplify financial administration. See exactly what has been spent, right down to individual devices. This will help you to control costs by providing comprehensive information on usage for each device, based on the locations, networks, and services that have been used.
To support the tracking and improvement of performance, you need an IoT connectivity platform that provides metrics on thresholding, alerting and usage, pricing, availability, performance and SLA failings. Real-time data feeds will allow you to take action fast if there’s an issue that needs to be investigated and addressed.
You should be able to quickly and easily create ad-hoc or scheduled reports for areas such as finance, data usage, and device lifecycle. Look for a platform that integrates with your own systems, so you can generate tailored reports in a format that suits your business.
Ideally, the platform will make use of the latest AI technology and analytics to help you predict and rectify issues, proactively optimise connectivity based on past performance, and highlight trends and issues.
It’s absolutely critical that these five core capabilities are upheld by the feature that came out on top in our IoT connectivity research: reliable, high-quality support. Round-the-clock support from a global service desk will ensure maximum uptime, and avoid the need for technical expertise in-house. This is a major focus area for Eseye – we know from experience that it makes a huge difference to the success of a project.
The IoT connectivity platform you decide to implement needs to be the right fit for the size of your current deployment – and it must be able to scale up as your business requirements change.
This is why we created two versions of the Infinity IoT Platform™.
Both versions have built-in APIs that integrate seamlessly with new technologies and systems, allowing customers to adapt and grow the platform to take advantage of advances in IoT.
In short, your IoT connectivity platform needs to provide you with everything IoT in one place. A single, comprehensive view of your whole estate that simplifies how you manage your IoT devices and connections across multiple geographies and multiple mobile carriers. It should also help you to minimise total cost of ownership (TCO) while protecting the investment you’ve made. IoT mission, controlled.
Larry spent the last 26 years at Accenture where he was most recently responsible for all Cloud & Infrastructure solutions and partnerships globally. During his tenure, Larry ran the Enterprise Network Practice, was CTO of the Service Provider Network Practice which he then proceeded to run operationally. Larry leveraged a unique blend of deep cloud, network/5G, device, IoT/Edge and operations/AIOps skills and experience to help large enterprise, government agency and communications service provider clients transform their businesses, navigating an increasingly complex ecosystem to help them take advantage of the convergence and disruption in the market. Larry graduated from Dartmouth College with BA Major in Economics and English. Larry also holds three patents.
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