4 Top Challenges to Meet, to Ensure the Comprehensiveness of IoT solutions
IoT solutions are becoming increasingly common around us. They are in our homes for smart heating and alarm management, in our cars for smart parking, within our cities, and in our stores and malls.
Such solutions will answer the needs of customers by delivering new models for pricing, new value-added services and new ideas – all of which are being sought by customers in all sectors.
Solutions can be composed of many elements. They may be applications or devices, or could take the form of support or consulting services. The issue is to support all these elements with a flexible and powerful IoT management platform, and to relate connectivity and devices in the most efficient manner, without treating them separately. Unlocking the full potential of IoT lies in end to end support for selling, customer onboarding, offer definition and storage, and the management of IoT solutions including connectivity services, devices and applications.
How does it work and what challenges should be addressed to manage IoT successfully?
1. Making the sales catalog comprehensive
By not focusing only on one vertical, appropriate IoT solution management empowers you to create IoT solutions for verticals, connecting devices and applications, importing models and types of devices for specific areas, and creating appropriate offers to fulfill the needs of various businesses and their customers. It is crucial to be able to change the business model and customize solutions in line with the expectations of each customer, for example to propose smart parking with real value, or a charging model that is easy, clear and customer-specific.
2. Storing the whole inventory of various types of IoT devices
Ensuring all the means and capabilities to manage, deliver and monitor all physical devices, from simple nodes and complex sensors to multimode intelligent IoT gateways, enables a company to make further progress. It leads to enhanced sales processes, monitoring and device management platform integration. In such an ecosystem you can see full automation, not only in relation to device onboarding, but also in terms of customer onboarding, sales processes, monitoring, financials and reporting for all kinds of devices and services.
3. Creating vertical-specific pricing models
Using intuitive, recognized and vertical-specific parameters can bring certain advantages. For example, in smart rental the pricing parameter can measure the number of active devices per month, in healthcare the number of API calls, and in smart metering a the volume of data stored or consumed. It can focus on connectivity, or, apart from the network perspective, only on the physical devices. Sometimes, customers only need to see a monthly, recurring fee, but at other times the usage fee will be more efficient and clear.
4. Automating contract management
Without automated contract management, flexible sales negotiations can be very chaotic. The quoting process is long, so offers can change quite often. After each change, the quote should be stored, verified, agreed and finally signed off with the customer. Otherwise, the customer cannot see the earlier proposal, the sales representative does not know how to adapt previous quotes, and the contract cannot reflect all changes needed by the customer. In the IoT sector, where everything changes rapidly and businesses need to adapt to specific needs, this is a no go situation. For example, Comarch IoT Solution Management does not only include a customer database and associated onboarding processes, but also stores signed contracts with. With automated contract management enabling the quote lifecycle to be concluded with a contract that can be sent to the customer and stored in the system, the company saves hours of work.
Taking a comprehensive approach enables organizations to support more use cases, create any required pricing models, and ensure maximum flexibility for the company – which is the greatest benefit in an environment that changes so rapidly. IoT solution implementations should be focused on defining a great range of factors and potential scenarios that could speed up as many IoT-related processes as possible. Companies should treat the comprehensiveness of the solution as the means to achieve substantial returns on IoT investments within a shorter period of time and with less manual work and fewer corrections, as these are the main expectations of the business.