Firms are racing to drive innovation in the Internet of Things, hoping to enhance their businesses and cash in on the IoT opportunity but there is so much more to it than simply coming up with great new ideas.
In the background, service providers involved in IoT face security concerns, the need for data aggregation from various existing OSS/BSS systems and the constant pressure to provide the best quality of experience to end-customers. Introducing new services to increase customer satisfaction is not an end in itself; naturally, operators also need to focus on maximizing their revenue, introducing new revenue streams and maintaining a competitive offer.
To enable all this, these new and existing services and systems must maintainable and managed in a centralized way, but without interfering with each other. This can be done by strategically using all the data that emerges from them. This brings the major challenge of centralized data management.
Conquering data dispersion
The amount of data that service providers need to gather and manage today grows exponentially with the number of new services being deployed. Clearly, the more data sources, the harder it gets to maintain new systems and ensure top-notch service quality. Especially when those systems operate simultaneously and share data with each-other.
The answer to overcoming scattered data is the aforementioned centralized approach to data management. That in turn, can only be achieved by deploying a centralized service enablement system that can integrate data from multiple sources including: service endpoints, the core network and dozens of external OSS/BSS systems.
An obstacle may be that those new and existing services tend to operate on multiple device management and telemetry protocols. That’s why implementing a unification layer is essential for protocol-agnostic device coordination and collecting, aggregating and processing service data coming from different sources.
By integrating this centralized data, operators can bring business intelligence to a completely new level and run in-depth and cross-service quality analysis for a successful business transformation.
The growth of IoT saw service providers increasingly decide to introduce new B2B/B2C services through establishing new IoT programs. However, consistent and profitable IoT projects aren’t an easy goal to accomplish, especially as they normally involve creating IoT environments with millions of connected assets and, at the same time, deliver end-to-end connectivity to completely new verticals. But, no matter the services or the verticals, what needs to be delivered is high-level device connectivity.
Today, the most common way of enabling such level of connectivity, is using modern-day LTE networks or improving this existing infrastructure by introducing new technologies such as LTE-M and NB-IoT. That, in turn, brings another challenge of managing and monitoring hundreds of thousands of SIM cards. With that in mind, operators are obligated not only to be able to manage the data from the SIM cards in a centralized way, but most of all to be able to always show the cards’ status to its owner and make sure they are always operational.
Furthermore, enterprise customers are likely to request to have complete insight into the equality of services they are being offered. In that case, that includes checking the SIMs’ SLA status in real-time and being able to contact the provider’s customer care at an instant.
Going even further, if the cards are to be installed in mobile assets, operators may also need to provide their customers with data about SIM cards’ location showcased on a map. And as one would expect, all this gathered data should be available in the form of reports.