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Managing IoT Complexity in an IoT Startup

If you are following my post, you must have known for some tips that I’ve shared about IoT Startup and some tips in creating great products of Internet of Things.

After you understand the survival kit of Iot Startup, here I brought you some tips on Managing IoT Complexity based on Jasper White Paper.

Making your IoT business great is not just with a great product and understanding each details of it. The phase is more than finding the right device  and rate plan, and turning on a modem. There are more layers of complexity.

These considerations and more need to be thought through carefully and aligned around the following six best practices areas.

1. Establish Automated Business Processes

Managing the day-to-day tasks of 1,000 or 1,000,000 devices cannot scale without automation. You should review the core business processes around maintaining your devices and automate as many of them as possible. Automating standard business processes ensures that you will be able to maintain high quality service delivery for your customers. It can also potentially increase the margins of running your IoT service by lowering support costs and preventing overage charges. Here are some standard business operations that are tedious to manage manually and will recur:

  • When a device exceeds monthly data usage, de-activate it.
  • If a device loses its connection, notify a technician.
  • If a device’s prepaid plan is about to expire, notify the customer and offer a different plan.
  • If a device makes too many connections within a 24-hour period, notify a technical service manager.
  • If a device exceeds its roaming caps, change the rate plan to one better suited for roaming.

2. Provide Real-Time Diagnostics and Support

Getting your connected device deployed is only half the battle:

  • How do you support devices once they are in the field?
  • Do you bear the expense of sending out a service technician?
  • Do you offer phone support?
  • Are there local personnel with enough training to do remote troubleshooting?

Even if you build diagnostics scripts into your connected device, it doesn’t mean your troubles are over. What happens if the device cannot connect to the network? That’s one of the most common support issues, and it could be caused by a network connectivity problem, device software or server software problem, or a hardware malfunction. But without a connection, it is impossible to get the diagnostic data you need.

You need the ability to conduct network diagnostics to quickly determine whether network connectivity is at fault. Determining this within a few minutes speeds problem resolution, significantly reducing your customer support costs.

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3. Focus on Accurate Reporting and Analytics

Many IoT initiatives focus on raw data collection around device activity. While useful, raw data alone will not enable you to drive innovation. How can you develop analytics that mine knowledge from your IoT data and extracts high business value in real time?

Your focus should be on measuring how well you’re meeting your key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs). Automated report generation and integration into existing business intelligence or other corporate reporting systems are key to making sure that your IoT initiative is a success.

You need analytics related to your deployed devices, network usage, rate plans, and resulting costs. This provides detailed insight into how your devices are using network resources and what it is costing you. Work with your operators to get real-time access to a granular breakdown of your invoices for connectivity services. Doing so means that you won’t have to wait until the end of the billing cycle to understand what you will owe.

4. Control Costs and Optimize Revenue

You need to easily analyze operator charges. Look for ways to automate the management of your network rate plans and the analysis of devices against rate plans to determine the plans that are most cost-effective.

It’s not enough to have reports for cost management. You need to enable automated changes against rate plans as well. Make sure you can change a rate plan when a rule is triggered. For example, if a device uses more data than expected, ensure that you can automatically switch it from your standard rate plan to a premium rate plan. The premium plan may have a higher subscription fee, but it could help eliminate even more costly overage charges than if the device were to remain on the standard plan.

5. Optimize the Customer Experience

Customers value service that goes beyond the standard, and they often remain loyal when businesses provide it. Spend time to ensure that you can reach out to customers for predictive service maintenance before breakdowns panic customers.

Look for ways to offer premium service contracts with a predetermined, proactive response to conditions that indicate declines or failures in device performance.

More service contracts lead to higher profits, so how can you easily add new services without requiring additional resources? What if you could offer premium service contracts that guarantee proactive equipment maintenance?

If you can continuously monitor critical health indicators for all your devices, customers can be sure their services will stay up and running, and they’ll be willing to pay a premium for that piece of mind.

6. Prepare for Global Scale and Operations

Enterprises with connected services often start with their offering in one or more centralized locations, and then deploy them all over the globe. This business model requires network services in multiple countries with multiple operators.

To scale globally, you must be able to manage a single embedded SIM in each device that can be remotely provisioned. Additionally, you must manage mobile operator profiles and policies for that SIM anywhere in the world. This meets the demand for more efficient and cost-effective global deployment models and enables rapid international distribution and device activation. Connected devices can be transferred seamlessly from one operator to another to take advantage of local operator support, comply with international roaming restrictions, and address cost constraints.

If international reach is a key part of your IoT business, you need to be able to change SIM profiles on-demand or based on predefined rules and trigger events. Reporting and audit controls, automated assignment to proper policies, rate plans and service conditions, with fully managed billing and contractual term compliance, are also essential.

About Girly Saputri

Girly is a Content Marketing at Eyro Digital Teknologi, Ltd. She is also a copy writer and likes cheeseburger. She writes about iBeacon and its implementation. You can find her on LinkedIn as GirlySaputri.

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