Streamlining IoT connectivity for efficient Smart Building device management

IoT-enabled commercial smart buildings

In Smart Building device development and management, the critical role of reliable IoT connectivity in enhancing operational efficiency cannot be overstated. Businesses are faced with the limitations imposed by single-network solutions or the complexities of managing multiple single networks.

These traditional approaches introduce significant challenges, including achieving interoperable and redundant connections essential for uninterrupted service, to implementing scalable solutions that ensure long-term efficiency and security.

This article highlights the importance of redundant, reliable connectivity, and the ability to manage connectivity at scale. It also underscores the advantage of partnering with an innovative IoT connectivity provider that transcends the constraints of single-network dependencies.

It presents readers with a blueprint for integrating an IoT connectivity solution that not only meets the immediate demands of Smart Building device manufacturers, but also offers the flexibility to adapt and scale as needed.

More specifically, it will look at the following:

  1. Current challenges with Smart Building IoT connectivity
    1. Network reliability and operational complexity
    2. Connectivity in remote locations
    3. Scalability and management of connectivity
    4. Adaptability to network changes and regulatory compliance
    5. Flexibility and support from connectivity providers
  2. How emnify enables IoT connectivity in Smart Buildings
    1. Unlocking multi-network access with the emnify IoT eSIM
    2. Maximizing device uptime and lifecycle
    3. Reducing cost and complexity
    4. Expert support and flexible IoT connectivity
  3. Case study: Clarity’s air quality monitoring success and growth
  4. Discover how the SuperNetwork scales  and simplifies smart building IoT connectivity

1. Current challenges with Smart Building IoT connectivity

Incorporating IoT into Smart Building device ecosystems is essential for enhancing efficiency, responsiveness, and sustainability. Yet, the incorporation of these technologies presents a series of challenges that can impact operational efficiency, escalate costs, and complicate scalability. Among these challenges are:  

1.1. Network reliability and operational complexity

A single-network approach in Smart Building IoT device deployments often leads to challenges in network reliability and increased operational complexity, significantly impacting both operational efficiency and customer experience: 

  • SKU management: Using multiple SIMs for device deployment across various regions or countries can introduce SKU management complexities. By adopting a single SIM solution that connects globally, device manufacturers can streamline their SKU management process, reducing operational expenses and removing the need for extensive on-site testing and validation. 
  • Costly site visits: Changes in an operator’s coverage can trigger the need for site visits to swap SIMs, further increasing operational burdens and costs. This requirement for physical intervention not only adds to the direct expenses but also extends the downtime of IoT services in Smart Buildings. 
  • Customer experience impact: The trial-and-error method to identify reliable networks in deployment regions incurs additional costs and can negatively affect customer perception. Delays and the perceived unreliability of services due to network issues can undermine the value proposition of Smart Building solutions. 

1.2. Connectivity in remote locations

In areas where cellular connectivity is unreliable or simply unavailable, satellite is considered as an alternative. However, leveraging satellite connectivity for use cases in remote locations presents its own set of complexities: 

  • The requirement for separate hardware for cellular and satellite connectivity complicates the solution and escalates CAPEX costs. 
  • Managing another network provider for satellite connectivity introduces additional operational costs and complexities. 

1.3. Scalability and management of connectivity

When using a single carrier approach, scaling building connectivity across various locations is hindered by the need to manage different operators and issues that come with this strategy, such as: 

  • The lack of a unified view and the necessity to navigate different portals for each operator complicates connectivity management at scale. 
  • Different operators’ unique configuration requirements for devices necessitate additional development time and resources, further escalating operational costs. 

1.4. Adaptability to network changes and regulatory compliance

When relying too heavily on a single operator, your IoT business’ regulatory compliance is dependent on the actions of just one operator. Operators’ network changes and the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and regulatory requirements demand greater flexibility: 

  • Manual operator switches due to network changes are impractical and costly, requiring significant field service time. 
  • Compliance with frameworks like NIST in North America and equivalent regulations in other regions underscores the need for remote control, visibility, and updates. 

1.5. Flexibility and support from connectivity providers

The need for tailored connectivity plans that can adapt to varying project needs and regional requirements is often unmet by traditional providers: 

  • Inflexible contracts and lack of adaptability to evolving business needs can leave Smart Building businesses constrained, unable to optimize operations or costs efficiently. 
  • Lack of support in your time zone and language. 

By acknowledging these challenges, Smart Building device manufacturers can seek solutions that effectively address these complexities, paving the way for more reliable, scalable, and secure IoT systems in Smart Buildings, that ultimately help IoT businesses achieve successful outcomes and customer experiences.  

2. How emnify enables IoT connectivity in Smart Buildings

2.1. Unlocking multi-network access with the emnify IoT eSIM

The emnify IoT eSIM is the start of a streamlined, global deployment process for a business. Each eSIM provides access to over 540 networks in 180 countries, including optional satellite coverage. This means device manufacturers can deploy devices globally with the assurance of uninterrupted connectivity and the highest redundancy levels, eliminating the complexity of multiple SKUs.  

Devices automatically switch between multiple local networks per country, ensuring they stay connected without manual intervention. This translates to reduced field testing and a significant decrease in time and resources spent on determining network compatibility. No more single operator dependency.  

2.2. Maximizing device uptime and lifecycle

The emnify IoT SuperNetwork ensures uninterrupted service by intelligently switching devices to the best available network—cellular or satellite. This capability is crucial for maintaining device uptime in diverse environments, from urban centers to remote locations.  

For instance, a smart weather station in a remote mountain area remains operational with satellite connectivity when cellular signals are weak, thus extending the device’s lifecycle without the need for physical interventions. 

2.3. Reducing cost and complexity

The SuperNetwork revolutionizes IoT connectivity management by consolidating it into a single, comprehensive platform, regardless of the network carrier or connectivity type.  

This unified approach allows for remote and scalable connectivity management from a single platform. Automated SIM lifecycle management, including provisioning, activation, and configuration, streamlines operations, enabling global scaling without the typical complexity of using a single operator for different regions or countries.  

This streamlined approach not only curtails operational expenses but also minimizes the time and effort spent on resolving connectivity issues.  

2.4. Expert support and flexible IoT connectivity

As a strategic IoT connectivity partner, emnify ensures Smart Building device manufacturers are supported 24/7/365 with IoT expert assistance that spans from onboarding to troubleshooting. This support includes live, in-person guidance, equipped to provide real-time analysis and actions based on cross-network insights.  

Flexible data plans are designed to adapt to the specific requirements of different smart building systems, devices, use cases and regions. SuperNetwork IoT connectivity provides a path for faster expansion into new markets, and automatic scale as your IoT Smart Building business grows.  

3. Case study: Clarity’s air quality monitoring success and growth

Clarity, a leading environmental monitoring provider, recently expanded its air quality monitoring network, utilizing the SuperNetwork to deploy sensors across 85 cities worldwide.  

Relying on the SuperNetwork for IoT connectivity for thousands of sensors, Clarity has transformed environmental monitoring across 55+ countries, achieving a 91% improvement in cities’ air quality data footprint

This reliable, redundant IoT connectivity allows for the seamless management and troubleshooting of thousands of sensors globally. Notably, in over 10 cities, Clarity enabled air pollution monitoring for the first time, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and minimizing the need for hands-on technical support.

“We partnered with emnify as our business was scaling up and we couldn’t have made a better choice. Without such a global and flexible communication platform, we wouldn’t be able to scale to so many locations so quickly.” Paolo Micalizzi, Co-founder & CTO, Clarity

4. Discover how the SuperNetwork scales  and simplifies smart building IoT connectivity

The emnify IoT SuperNetwork provides reliable and globally redundant IoT connectivity, with access to 540+ networks in over 180 countries. This benefits all SuperNetwork customers, from smart building device manufacturers to solutions providers and systems builders.  

Customers gain the ability to manage multi-network connectivity at scale and optimize it through deep cross-network insights. Additionally, quick integration with cloud-based IoT applications and services is streamlined. The platform enhances security for Smart Building devices and data, offering increased visibility and control.   

emnify not only streamlines the operational aspects of IoT deployment but also provides the strategic support and flexibility needed to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of Smart Building technology. 

If you’d like to learn more about how emnify can enable your Smart Building project, download the Solutions Brief here.

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