Where Carrier-Specific IoT Management Platforms Fall Short

IoT and edge connectivity is expanding exponentially. Data Prot estimates that by 2025, there will be 152,200 IoT devices connecting to the internet per minute, that includes consumer IoT. Despite a turn to IoT accounting for improved overall efficiency for 83% of organizations, limitations in how those networks are maintained poses new threats to IoT competence 

The Inherent Limitations of a Multi-Carrier IoT Operation

Device additions, device refreshes, IoT effort expansion, carrier platform additions/retirements, mergers, etc create a litany of compounding reasons constantly drive network expansions introducing millions of SIMs to existing carrier networks, diversifying enterprise device ecosystems.  None of it is possible with just one carrier so every company is forever compounding the challenges of running an IoT driven business – which is nearly every business today.

The carriers remain essential in an IoT effort, but they also present a material obstacle for every company – proprietary connectivity management platforms (CMPs). The ability to optimize and analyze devices aligned to carrier CMPs remains siloed and constrained.  The carrier-specific CMPs offer little to no integration opportunities with competitive CMPs or even other network data sources. While each carrier CMP can afford some dashboards and reporting, the inherent operational wastes every company faces in this legacy approach are limiting and costly.    

While the carrier CMP position is not going away, the limitations of their platforms on data visibility, device controls, security anomalies, data aggregation and a lack of unified analytics across all devices will impede the performance of any company’s efforts to run an advancing business relying on IoT.  Finally, a choice is afforded for every company to utilize an IoT lifecycle management platform to not only unify control of the numerous CMPs but also address their limitations.   

Capitalizing on an IoT Lifecycle Management Platform

The one constant in every business is the need to continuously evolve.  A vast majority of enterprises are advancing their internal and client operations by deploying more intelligent edge devices, including SD-WAN.  Companies are more dynamic by becoming what we refer to as edge first.  Ensuring those efforts and investments are both effective and sustainable requires a series of things historically impossible because of the divide between carriers and device manufacturers; 1) unified device visibility for greater investment control 2) real-time usage visibility vs the arrears view, 3) customizable business process automation at the device controlled by the company and 4) real time anomaly detection on devices to ensure the business is executing without vulnerability.   

Historically speaking, CMPs required every company to manage their business with input that was outdated.  With an IoT Lifecycle Management Platform every company now has an ever-expanding ability to refine business operations at the individual device, globally from within one platform that affords predictive and prescriptive analytics to continuously evolve business performance.  

Settling for anything less than complete control of your connected device network exposes your enterprise to financial sinkholes, data misconstruction and prolonged inefficiencies. What may seem like nice-to-have features in your IoT edge management platform are the must-have answers to securing higher ROI on your IoT investment.

Restricted, Gated & Tiered People Management Tools

Any successful digitization effort is not possible without employees effectively being engaged.  Success of distributed IoT efforts is no exception, but carrier-specific management tools are specifically engineered to throttle the ability to guard permissions impeding the ability to cater to your customers’ needs – internally or externally.

Dual Hierarchy 

Other platforms pigeonhole your enterprise into overly simplistic permission systems for MNOs. Allowing MNOs to sell into your network often means giving them more data access than is relevant to them, a security sacrifice that diminishes the appeal of pursuing these types of relationships.  

Look for platforms with dual hierarchy systems that allow you to gate data visibility for MNOs to only the connectivity that’s relevant to them. 

User-Based Permission Control

The flaws in a single-carrier platform permission system carry through to your internal efforts of analysts, financiers, and managers who are all working on your IoT efforts.  The carrier systems are largely geared to ratable based asset management on their side and therefore are limited in administration rights that align to helping any employee(s) run their business. Your IoT lifecycle management platform should offer customizable permission sets based on roles or individual users to ensure the security of your ecosystem. The more granular the permission per-user toggles, the better. 

Multi-tier hierarchy management

For enterprises working within a layered architecture with resellers, agents, and customers, maintaining the provenance of each device is a necessity in solid execution.  Yet, few carrier CMPs offer any hierarchy and even where it is hinted at nothing is common across the carriers.  This can quickly deviate into massive business impediment when thousands or even millions of SIMs are in play.  

Hierarchies can only be efficiently managed and analyzed if each node of your IoT can be accurately attributed to the organization or subset that owns it.  The unique capability to automate SIM assignment within the IoT lifecycle management platform will allow any administrator to manage devices based on who is using them all the way down through your relationship hierarchy of customers, BUs and/or partner ecosystems.

Integrations & APIs

While choosing a connectivity providers is strategic, connectivity alone is intrinsically not strategic.  Essential for edge devices? Yes, just not strategic by itself.  Cross-carrier IoT networks sharpen demand for interconnected data and workflow.  Without the native integrations or APIs to enable them the ability to run a successful IoT effort is technically hindered.

Integrations with MNO & MVNO Platforms

Siloed data is the crux of single-carrier IoT management shortcomings. For operator information, disparate streams and unintegrated platforms breed operational inefficiency by segmenting your control across multiple dashboards.  

To streamline your device and data management, make sure your IoT management solution allows you to connect across global MNOs and MVNOs.  When required to not alienate legacy installed devices, the IoT lifecycle management platform can quickly onboard legacy CMPs in days to bring all brown field devices under one central management pane. 

Abstracted APIs

Though carrier-specific managers do offer APIs that can help ease data integration, they often only transfer information from point A to point B. Ever-expanding, multi-carrier IoT ecosystems, however, usually require several more layers of transitive data to establish a single source of truth. The APIs available from individual carriers fall short of achieving the uniform experience needed to holistically manage data as there is zero industry standard for how the carriers expose APIs for customers.   

The right IoT lifecycle management platform offers proprietary APIs that link all your data into one cohesive, easily deciphered dashboard. Essentially, you want APIs that can be utilized as abstracted middleware to filter your complex system. 

In-App Actions for Immediate Data Application

Carrier-agnostic data decisions are little more than fantasy when you’re limited to separate management software for each of your carrier partners. Not only do provider-specific platforms force you into managing your overall IoT data through spreadsheets, but also via very wide-ranging data sets each engineered by the individual carriers.  The lack of data standards impedes business productivity and very routinely inflates IoT execution costs 10-30% per month.  An IoT lifecycle management platform normalizes all data and workflow for operational gains.

Query Builder for Advanced Filtering

The smallest details can make the biggest impact in IoT. Millions of data points from thousands of connected devices are impossible to parse efficiently. Atomic analysis takes months to conduct, even if you have clear parameters set for your investigation. When your data is decentralized across multiple carriers, the filtering features seldom align, altering your analytic procedure from source to source.  

An IoT lifecycle management platform has advanced filtering, limitless cross-carrier notifications and detailed statistically based anomaly detection capabilities.  The platform that allows a business to query across their entire IoT ecosystem in seconds based on parameters they can set, evolve and save for future analytical instances. Control from within, not through the carrier.

Diverse bulk processing actions

Real-time data visibility is an undeniable perk all its own, but its pinnacle value lies in what can instantaneously be done to apply that information to IoT optimizations. For carrier platforms, the most an enterprise can typically hope for are realizations after each billing cycle that can only be applied to future operations on that carrier’s devices.  

An IoT lifecycle management platform offers robust, real-time bulk action options.  It enables the execution of bulk actions based on business specific determined filters. From plan changes to activations and deactivations, the ability to apply sweeping actions across carriers instantaneously will save your management team massively. Hours of logistical planning and rollout time, as well as costs associated with prolonged, ineffectual rate plans or anomalies, will be things of the past.

Ad Hoc Reporting & Notifications

A crucial element of IoT management is being able to substantiate and justify high-value decisions made across thousands of nodes. While spreadsheets may suffice for small-scale demonstrations, they cannot support diverse data reporting, nor do they offer visual flexibility for presenting heterogeneous data formats. Your data means far less if you’re unable to see it clearly and act on it quickly. 

Cross-carrier ad hoc reporting is a must for IoT management teams. In combination with advanced filtering, this functionality positions you to clearly communicate across decision-making roles where optimization can occur, or where cost-saving choices have already been effective.

For All of the Above and Control of IoT Execution, Get Simetric.

Simetric was engineered to fill the gaps in available carrier CMPs. As a single-pane SaaS solution, all your IoT data is aggregated into a customizable dashboard in real-time with immediate filtering and bulk action capabilities. Ad hoc reports put your data on display within seconds rather than months, and optimizations happen instantaneously through automation instead of per billing cycle.  

 Never settle for anything less than complete data visibility and IoT omnipotence. 

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