As IoT deployments continue to increase, it's clear that managing SIM cards is becoming more critical for IoT companies.
At 1oT, we've worked with numerous IoT customers to understand their needs when it comes to SIM management. Our licensed 1oT Terminal has been used by connectivity service providers to support other MNOs and MVNOs.
In this two-part series, we'll explore connectivity management platforms (CMP) from the perspectives of connectivity service providers and customers. This article will focus on IoT companies' expectations for connectivity management.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, it's crucial to provide customers with a simple and efficient way to manage their SIMs. API support allows them to roll out devices and manage connectivity with device management.
Managing SIMs one by one is no longer an option for IoT companies striving to automate their internal processes, including manufacturing and Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) and deploying devices on a larger scale.
Moreover, IoT customers need to easily access and analyze their SIM usage statistics using their internal analytics tools. This can be achieved by fetching usage data through the API and integrating it into the IoT company's "data lake" for easy SIM-to-device level comparisons.
By offering an advanced API, IoT customers can successfully move past the initial proof-of-concept phase and scale their operations to new heights.
When it comes to SIM management, no one wants to be burdened with managing them. The expectation is that connectivity should work seamlessly without any additional operational tasks.
However, this isn't always the case.
Sometimes, devices don't function as they should. They may not connect to the network, consume more data than expected, or experience a drop in connectivity during a network outage. Additionally, devices may fail to reattach to the network after a firmware update or if they are stolen.
A reliable CMP can quickly identify and troubleshoot these issues. IoT customers appreciate having the ability to set up workflow automation rules that allow them to specify triggers and follow-up actions.
For example, if the IMEI of the SIM card changes suddenly, the SIM should be suspended as it could indicate theft. Similarly, proper action can be taken if data consumption is unexpectedly high.
During the proof-of-concept phase of IoT projects, only a few individuals are responsible for managing the SIM. At this stage, user permissions are not a concern.
However, user permissions become crucial as the company expands and more people join the product team.
For example, what if someone from the finance department needs to review invoices without involvement in SIM management?
Conversely, what if someone tests the hardware but should not access financial information? This is where granular and flexible user permissions come into play. Since modern CMPs contain sensitive information, user access management is critical, especially for IoT companies that must comply with risk assessment policies or ISO 27001 standards.
IoT projects are complex and have many components, making monitoring every detail difficult. However, incorporating intelligent technology into the CMP can reduce the need for manual management.
For example, the CMP can learn from usage statistics to detect anomalies.
Data analysis is also time-consuming, but a CMP identifying potential improvement areas can simplify this significantly. This includes listing all active, billable SIM cards that haven't used data in months or detecting SIM cards that frequently switch between multiple networks, leading to service degradation.
Accessing the vast data stored on SIM cards can be complex without compromising the platform's performance. Despite the high value of particular data points to users, presenting them can cause technical difficulties.
In today's fast-paced IoT world, CMPs are expected to operate at lightning speed, whether it involves loading pages, executing specific actions, or fixing error messages.
IoT companies require reliable connectivity management platforms that meet their high expectations. A good CMP should provide
an advanced API for easy SIM management,
streamlined workflows to quickly identify and resolve issues,
secure user access management to protect sensitive information, and
efficient background technology to reduce manual workloads.
Stay tuned for the upcoming part two of this series, which will delve deeper into connectivity management platforms for connectivity service providers.