From a CMP dashboard, IoT manufacturers can do things like:
- Order SIMs and manage SIM contracts
- Control and monitor your available networks
- Define and regulate your devices’ data consumption
- Enable support teams to troubleshoot connectivity issues
- Change rate plan profiles
Regardless of where you deploy and how many IoT devices you build, a CMP is a must-have tool for IoT manufacturers that rely on cellular connectivity.
Smart devices use a range of data package sizes and a variety of technologies to enable connectivity. They may also frequently change networks and carriers.
The right CMP helps your organization collect, store, analyze, and respond to this ocean of data, so you can serve your customers around the globe. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a Connectivity Management Platform, and the key features you should consider when comparing platforms.
Benefits of a Connectivity Management Platform
The more IoT devices you have, regions you deploy in, and data your devices use, the more important your CMP becomes. Here are some of the main ways this technology benefits your business.
Simplify device connectivity
However long your device is designed to last, you want to be confident that you’ll have the tools to maintain and manage it for the entire lifecycle. But you don’t want to spend all your time monitoring deployments, either. A quality Connectivity Management Platform should give you the ability to automate processes, set parameters, receive alerts, and provision your device’s connectivity in real-time.
Reduce total cost of ownership
With a global CMP, you don’t need to establish new integrations and set up new contracts with MNOs every time you deploy in a new region. You integrate with the CMP, and the CMP enables your device to connect with the networks you need. Instead of juggling multiple carrier contracts for each deployment, you get a single, transparent contract with no hidden costs or fixed durations.
A Connectivity Management Platform doesn’t just facilitate connectivity—it protects it. IoT devices often lack the processing power to implement advanced cybersecurity features. A CMP helps secure your connections by providing those features at the network level, enabling VPNs, firewalls, encryption, and other security measures that reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your IoT network.
5 key features of a connectivity management system
As you compare connectivity management systems, it’s easy to feel like they’re all the same. But there are specific features and functions that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
Truly global connectivity
Wherever you deploy, you want your devices to work right out of the box. That means your connectivity management system needs to be compatible with carriers in every region, so your devices can access 2G, 3G, 4G, and Nb-IoT networks around the world. When your devices roam from one region to another, they should automatically connect based on your preconfigured network selection guidelines.
Comprehensive device management
Throughout your device’s lifecycle, there are several adjustments you may need to make at a moment’s notice, depending on what you see in the data and what your customers need. Your CMP should let you do things like:
- Activate or deactivate your SIMs in real-time
- Assign SIMs to your account without losing the configuration of your device
- Set data consumption caps and permissions on specific devices
- Aggregate data, SMS, and USSD usage across all devices
- Access real-time reporting on individual devices or customers
- Control your connectivity costs
- Enable process automation via API
Compatibility with all SIM form factors
SIM cards come in different sizes, known as form factors. They also come in different “grades.” Your SIM could be a classic SIM like you’d have in a cell phone, a specialized industrial-grade SIM, or an embedded SIM (eSIM). Whether you’re using 2FF, 3FF, 4FF or MFF2 SIMs, and regardless of the grade, you need a CMP that’s compatible with the SIMs you’re using.
Whatever style of SIM you use, your CMP should enable you to provision them in real-time Over-the-Air (OTA) to ensure the best prices, coverage, and accessibility.
Built-in security features
As an IoT manufacturer, you want your customers to trust that you can keep your device’s connectivity secure. Some of that happens in the manufacturing of the device itself, and your customers bear some responsibility for security, too. But a reliable CMP can bolster your cybersecurity capabilities as well by:
- Providing a private, secure network environment by default
- Enabling VPN access to the device cloud
- Controlling and filtering traffic via network-based firewall
- Creating closed user groups and preventing devices from communication outside of the user’s closed network
- Using a SIM-lock to prevent a SIM from working on another device
IoT security should be a concern every step of the way with your M2M application, and your CMP is no exception.
Wherever you’re located, wherever your CMP vendor is, whatever language you speak, and wherever you deploy, you need a vendor that can deliver 24/7 support. If your vendor can’t support you whenever you need help, you can’t support your customers.
It also helps to have a vendor that works with your currency, so you don’t have extra hurdles to navigate with payment systems and exchange rates.
Manage your connectivity with emnify
emnify helps IoT businesses maximize their efficiency with a future-proof Connectivity Management Platform. Save time setting up and managing your connectivity throughout the entire product lifecycle. Reduce your total cost of ownership. Deploy your devices in secure private clouds. emnify is a truly global, cloud native CMP built on the latest advancements in cellular IoT.
We also offer a transparent pay-as-you-go pricing model, which helps you optimize costs and retain flexibility.