By Anton Le Saux – 03/05/2017
As we’ve been seeing over the last few years, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is rapidly reshaping every aspect of the business landscape. Operational efficiency, quality control, decision-making, relationships with customers, and transactional opportunities are all being enabled and enhanced by M2M applications. With access to real-time data and clearer analytics, organisations are becoming smarter and nimbler, which is allowing them to better manage their devices and quickly respond to rapidly changing conditions.
But while the benefits of M2M technology are clear to see and customers are keen to get involved, many resellers are struggling to specify the ideal connectivity solution for their customers’ individual needs. The key is understanding the difference between Managed Data and Mobile Data, and if you get it wrong, its no-win situation all around.
Let me explain…
Mobile data may look like the best value option on the surface but when your customer and their team start using it and experience under and over-utilisation of the data bundle, what initially looked like the lowest cost solution could actually be costing your customer a whole lot more. Your customer could have signed up to a 3gb per month bundle but find they’re only using 1gb a month so are paying over the odds. Or on the flip side, they could have signed a 500mb package but are using a massive 3gb a month and don’t realise the impact until an astronomical bill comes through the door.
This inability to monitor data usage closely becomes a bigger challenge for M2M and IoT solutions. Many M2M devices in the marketplace only use a very small amount of data each month – some as little as 10mb per month – so customers definitely don’t want to be paying for a large amount of data that they probably won’t use. This is enough of a concern with a single SIM, but imagine you were running a base of 5000 SIMs… the impact could be huge!
So how can this problem be overcome? The answer’s simple…with a Managed Data solution.
A Managed Data solution does what it says on the tin…it gives you the ability to manage your data and your SIM base as one. There’s no requirement to take a pre-defined data bundle – managed data allows you to buy only the data you need.
From working with our customers, we know there are lots of SIMs out there that use between 1mb and 10mb of data a month whilst others are using up to 500gb per month. Managed Data solutions allow you aggregate data across the whole of your SIM base, therefore minimising under- and over-utilisation and preventing the occurrence of bill shock.
Another benefit of using a Managed Data solution is visibility. By subscribing to a Managed Data solution, you’ll also have access to a management portal that allows you and your customers to monitor an entire SIM estate under one pane of glass – no matter which mobile network they’re on.
In addition, the management portal allows you to set up rules and alerts to ensure your SIM estate runs smoothly. For example, you can ask to be notified if a SIM is nearing its data allowance, you can set caps for high usage, or block any high data usage connections. Using this facility further reduces the chances of over-utilisation of data and bill shock really does becomes a thing of the past.