I’m often asked why it is important to have a dedicated INOC (IoT Network Operations Center), as opposed to many other operators, who send their IoT customers to their regular NOC. If we’re talking about technical knowledge there isn’t a huge difference. But we’re not a network operations center in the traditional sense, as we don’t manage the network itself. Tele2 manages the network and gives us support in that area. At INOC, we are more a hybrid of technical support, network operations, and service operations. This means we have taken all aspects of these functions and created this department to meet the particular needs of our IoT customers. Why? Because their needs are often unique and out of the scope of regular NOC support, which focuses mostly on the home network. But because 90% of our customers are roaming outside of the home network, we need to be following how they’re doing in the roaming network and address challenges they may have.
The thing is, IoT is still a relatively new industry. When you call the regular service desk they will check the network, see that it is up and running, and that technically your devices should be working. We, on the other hand, will not stop there. In fact, checking the network is just the first step for us. Once we check that, we will investigate and even if it’s one device, we may reach out to our roaming partners or anyone else who can assist. We do this because many of our customers have mission-critical solutions and that one device may be a matter of life or death, so it needs to be up and running. And while healthcare or utilities are important, we know that for all our customers, their solution is mission critical, because the longer there is a problem, the more loss of time and money, so we see them all as vital.
Let’s break it down: we are technical support for our customers for incidents they report, such as something not working as they expect. More importantly, though, is that we are specifically monitoring our customers and their solutions – and we’re not just monitoring the network, but also how our customer’s solutions are behaving. This allows us to be proactive and address challenges right away, often before the customer even knows there is a problem. We have had many instances where we have sent an email alerting them to a problem hours before any calls came into the desk.