From autonomous cars to smart homes to self-repairing jet engines, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is redefining how businesses operate. But game-changing applications aren’t limited to revolutionary innovations or high-tech manufacturing. Indeed, a variety of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can benefit from cost-effective and easy-to-deploy solutions that address basic requirements.
Today, the combination of shrinking margins and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many master agents and channel pros to rethink their business models and expand their portfolios of offerings. As they assess their options, the potential of IoT solutions to help SMBs compete more effectively can’t be ignored.
Here are three examples of how channel pros can leverage IoT capabilities to help their customers.
Any business that operates in remote environments or uses vehicles or movable assets needs connectivity that doesn’t rely on wired network infrastructure. Recent innovations are creating new possibilities to address this longstanding requirement. Emerging IoT-enabled eSIM technology, which enables remote SIM provisioning of any mobile device, can link data-collecting sensors to analytical platforms to deliver robust connectivity to hundreds of global cellular networks. At the high end of the IIoT spectrum, this capability enables applications such as oil rig monitors that gauge wear and tear on equipment and smart pacemakers that track a patient’s heart function 24/7, regardless of where he or she travels.
At the SMB level, eSIM-based wireless connectivity can help a wide range of businesses operate more effectively and efficiently. A construction firm developing a new subdivision in an exurb of Omaha or Kansas City, for instance, needs on-site internet access to efficiently order supplies, get updates on customer orders, and communicate with municipal officials. Accessing existing MPLS networks is, at best, a problematic and expensive proposition. An eSIM solution, meanwhile, delivers flexible, easy-to-deploy, and affordable connectivity.
Retailers, for their part, can use eSIMs to support digital signage or set up a POS to process transactions from a mall kiosk or pop-up location. Healthcare clinics can use eSIMs to establish Wi-Fi hotspots in parking lots to administer COVID vaccines. Even the smallest business can benefit. An independent food truck operator, for example, can create an eSIM-enabled hotspot to efficiently process credit transactions and provide guests with free Wi-Fi service.
Key success factors for eSIM solutions include interoperability across multiple carrier networks, flexibility in terms of integrating into existing environments with minimal customization, and ease of deployment and access to customer support.