Choosing your supplier based on not just your initial IoT needs but the needs you might have in two, five, or even ten years can mean the difference between failure and success. You can’t predict the future but you know your business and your goals better than anyone else and should plan accordingly.
Moving to a new supplier can be – and usually is – prohibitively expensive. Here’s why: just say you have 50 thousand SIM cards deployed and you need to both deploy more and also use several different types of technology across several regions. Unfortunately, your supplier doesn’t offer different types of technology, nor does it have roaming connectivity. Additionally, it wants to keep charging you the same rate you’ve always been charged.
Because you chose a supplier who lacks the flexibility you now need and you didn’t have a long-term strategy in place you’re not in a great position to renegotiate the terms of your contract. If you want to simply switch suppliers you may find that you’ll have to go out into the field and manually switch out SIMs, which is both cost prohibitive and labor intensive. The result is that you’ll probably end up multi-sourcing your connectivity in order to meet the demands of your customers, making your IoT solution all that much more complex. Why? Multi-sourcing means multiple platforms to manage, and multiple suppliers to overview for cost control and quality of service.
Living in an ideal world
In an ideal world from the moment you received your trial kit you were thinking long-term strategy and making decisions based on not just your needs of today, but also the needs you’ll be addressing in the future. Developing both a short-term and long-term strategy and involving key people in your organization, such as the CEO or the CIO, right from the start is key. A company-wide perspective, along with having the right people involved at ground level will help you successfully facilitate your company’s IoT transformation, as well as fully reap its benefits.
We don’t live in an ideal world, though. You have deadlines, you need to move fast, and IoT takes time to think through. The good news is that if you have fallen into a pitfall there are actions you can take.