IoT Platforms: What is a Connectivity Management Platform (CMP)?
A Connectivity Management Platform (CMP) is an IoT platform made up of a variety of tools to put you in control of your IoT and M2M deployments. CMPs allow you to manage your IoT applications and projects on a single device, ensuring that your connectivity is always secure, reliable and cost-efficient from anywhere in the world.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right IoT CMP for your business…
SIM Administration and Provisioning
It’s important to remember the key function of a Connectivity Management Platform, management. The reason you are in the market for a platform of this calibre is to take control of your IoT projects and deployments, not just to visualise them. A basic CMP will enable you to:
- activate and deactivate M2M SIM cards
- monitor data usage
- amend tariffs
- create users, organisations and sub organisations
- allocate serial numbers
- apply security profiles
- create rules and actions
…all from a single hub.
Manage your M2M SIM Cards with NOVA SIM Management >>
Inventory and Connectivity Management
Keeping track of where and when your IoT SIM cards were deployed is no easy feat. Thankfully, your Connectivity Management Platform should take care of this for you.
In IoT CMPs such as InfiSIM’s NOVA, in-depth user management features give you the ability to inspect your connectivity at SIM, device and organisation level. Furthermore, you can group SIM cards using tags and search for specific SIMs by a vast array of criteria. This allows for a more efficient connectivity management experience.
Finding an IoT platform that makes inventory management simple is essential in the business world; wasting time trying to locate SIM cards can have a detrimental effect on productivity.
Having a detailed and user-friendly IoT CMP will simplify tasks such as:
- Confirming when a SIM was deployed
- Finding what device is equipped with a specific SIM card
- Confirming when a SIM is out of contract
- Identifying what invoice number is attached to a SIM card
Live Data Feeds
One of the main reasons businesses utilise Connectivity Management Platforms is to monitor data usage. Before deciding on an IoT platform, businesses must weigh up how much information each of their CMP options will provide them with and understand how much of this data can be viewed and amended in real-time. Examples of information that you may want to report on:
- EDRs (Events Data Records) – Session status in real-time, what is your SIM doing right now?
- CDRs (Call Data Records) – Number of completed sessions, number of bytes passed per session, number of SMS sent during session, time of individual session
- Roaming zones – where is your SIM connected?
- IMEI (device) – what device is your SIM being used in?
- Network – what carrier is your SIM connected to?
- Data pool usage – Data consumption of aggregated SIMs
When it comes to managing your Internet of Things, security is indispensable.
Connectivity Management Platforms such as NOVA enable you to set up rules and actions from within the platform. Specify whether you want to receive a notification or bar a SIM when:
- the platform detects a change in IMEI (device number)
- a SIM leaves a specified zone or country
- a SIM is approaching its data limit
- and more
Another powerful feature to look for is security profiling. By applying cloud-based content filters, you are able to whitelist and blacklist specific URLs and IP addresses. This ensures that your SIMs are only being used for their intended purpose and system integrity isn’t compromised. As a result of this network-based firewall, over usage of data through the misuse of SIMs is prevented, reducing the risk of unexpected bill shock.
As we’ve already established, CMPs give you the ability to manage and administrate your SIMs remotely from a central hub. Businesses usually require multiple staff members to access their CMP in order to manage their IoT projects effectively. If the correct permissions are not set up for each user, anyone with login credentials can make changes to your network of IoT deployments. For these businesses, and for those who resell or provide their own M2M services, it’s paramount that permissions can be set up within their IoT platform.
Same Platform Multiple Carriers
Most businesses using M2M/IoT require multi-network roaming solutions, so you may be surprised to hear that some CMPs are only compatible with a single carrier. Even if you currently use a single network to deliver your connectivity, it’s important to consider how futureproof each of your IoT platform options are. Ask yourselves the following questions:
- What would happen if the price of your existing tariff increases and becomes unaffordable?
- What would happen if your business expands into areas or countries not covered by your go-to network?
Having the flexibility to manage multiple carriers on the same platform gives you the confidence and scalability you require to continue with your IoT projects into the future.
Supports SIM cards of all shapes and sizes
There’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to M2M SIM cards. They come in a number of form factors including 2FF (mini), 3FF (micro), 4FF (nano) and MFF2 (embedded). Different devices are compatible with different form factors.
In some cases, when conditions are much harsher, industrial grade SIM cards are used. These SIMs are much more hard-wearing than traditional SIM cards and can withstand extreme temperatures (hot and cold), damp environments and dusty conditions.
As you deploy new hardware or upgrade your existing devices, different types of SIM card may be utilised. When choosing your Connectivity Management Platform (CMP), you should always look for one that supports traditional, industrial grade and embedded SIM cards of all form factors.
Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that’s taking the IoT industry by storm. This innovation considerably reduces power consumption in user devices and enhances system capacity, even underground or within deep urban infrastructure. NB-IoT deployments can last for 10 years in the field without being charged.
If your business is diving into the LPWA market, a feature-rich NB-IoT enabled platform is essential in order to get the most out of your projects and deployments.
White Labelled IoT Platform
If you are looking to provide M2M/IoT services to your own customers, a white labelled IoT platform may be worth considering. Add your logo and upload your corporate colours to your Connectivity Management Platform, enhancing your brand.
When it comes to IoT, most projects are growing continuously. As projects expand, businesses regularly need to deploy new devices (and therefore SIMs) into the field. In order to streamline the deployment process, it’s vital that new SIM cards can be ordered quickly and efficiently.
Some CMPs simplify the order process by enabling you to create purchase orders directly from your management platform. Ordering SIM cards from within your platform helps reduce lead times, meaning projects can be implemented faster.
API Ready Platform
In business it’s important to simplify the management and reporting of processes. Having multiple platforms often complicates and slows down these tasks. Fortunately, some Connectivity Management Platforms can be integrated with your existing systems through an API link. By pulling the information you wish to report on from your CMP into another platform, management and reporting is much less chaotic. Organisations waste less time flicking through different systems, enhancing productivity.
Although you may be looking for a new platform to manage your IoT projects, it’s likely that you have a number of existing connections already out in the field. It can be a very expensive and time-consuming task to replace these SIM cards. Fortunately, your existing SIM estate can be imported into your Connectivity Management Platform using CDR feeds (providing your CMP is equipped with this feature).
It’s important to note that you cannot use all the management features your CMP has to offer for SIMs that have been imported via CDR. However, this feature is very helpful when it comes to inventory management as your entire SIM estate can be viewed in the same place.
Who are InfiSIM?
We are an M2M and IoT provider for businesses all around the world. We work hard to provide the most effective and cost-efficient connectivity solutions possible whilst maintaining industry-leading security and efficiency.
At InfiSIM, we understand that every M2M/IoT project is unique. That’s why we don’t provide prebuilt tariffs. Instead, we work alongside you to create a bespoke IoT solution that works seamlessly with your project.
Our consultative approach to working with our customers doesn’t end there; we pride ourselves on being hands-on when it comes to account management. We’ll continue to work with you past the initial sale to ensure your connectivity solutions are being managed effectively, reducing wasted costs and increasing efficiency.