As Agricultural Technology grows (pun intended) in popularity around the world, connecting all of these “things” is increasingly more difficult. International implementations face many obstacles. We focus on the issues with IoT SIM card use in worldwide operations. Some of the same complications occur in single country use as well. Streamlining these deployments saves time, money & headaches. This article focuses on one such case. We will discuss a soil moisture sensor company struggling with their multi-national deployments. We will cover their solution, their initial problem, the steps they took to remedy the situation, and the solution they chose.
The Customer’s Description
As a Start-Up, this company needed to grow fast and were sending their moisture sensors all over the world, and they had pilots currently running in 27 different countries. Their solution includes a mesh network of wireless sensors spread over the fields of a grower and all of the data aggregated in a gateway device that sends all of the data back to a server for analysis and reporting on their UI. The gateway device is a standard rugged router. It uses a 3FF global IoT SIM card powering the connection to the back end through cellular networks. The gateway required bi-directional proactive communication because they needed to reach the gateway from time to time on demand. Their sensors test the soil every 3 hours. The total amount of data per gateway averages 72MB per month.
They struggled with how they would put together a solution for all of these disparate countries, though. It takes time and resources to find an IoT SIM card provider in each country. Using these various providers further complicates matters because they had to manage multiple SIM management portals, multiple APNs, SKUs for each IoT SIM card provider, and several languages to deal with (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and German to name a few).
All of this takes time and resources. As a small company, their time really does mean money, because navigating all of the vendors, and programming their routers based on where the devices were being sent took time away from marketing and selling their solution. They estimated it took 47% of their time finding local cellular providers. Also setting up the new vendors’ APN’s and SKUs into their workflow, learning a new portal for SIM card management, etc., etc. That is all time when they could be building a strong sales funnel, meeting with new prospects, working on marketing efforts, and so forth. They estimated if they could focus 47% more time on these tasks, their annual revenue would grow over $1M.
What They Tried
Over the last 6 months they tried to standardize their connectivity providers to a smaller number. They thought this would solve the issues. What they discovered was that it did help, but the benefits were not sufficient. The CTO and COO still had to think about how devices needed to be configured for each country. They also had to manage multiple platforms which takes time to learn and implement different portals and the API’s each portal used (if they supported API’s). They also had different IP ranges to deal with, where a single IP range would be easier to manage because they could used a single VPN with a single IP range.
The OneSimCard IoT Sim Card Solution
We came to the table with our ears open. We heard their problems and developed a solution tailored to their particular needs. What we came up with was a single, Multi-IMSI, eUICC enabled Global IoT SIM card. Our IoT SIM card is used virtually anywhere in the world with a single APN. OneSimCard IoT covers 200+ countries and territories. A single APN means they are able to set-up all of their devices the same, regardless of the device’s destination.
We also provided the client a single private static IP range large enough to support all of their IoT SIM card deployments for the foreseeable future. We recommended an OpenVPN solution for their bidirectional proactive communication to their cellular gateways. Because it only allows one concurrent user, OpenVPN is a low cost alternative to our IPSec VPN solution. It provides the communication this client needed, though.
The client also benefited from the use of our OSCAR SIM management Portal. OSCAR is built in-house from the ground up. When a customer wants to make a change, we make that change quickly. This flexibility helps our clients by catering to their specific requirements without over-complicating the experience. OneSimCard IoT’s portal is cloud based and has mobile apps available on Google Play as well as Apple’s App Store. We also provide a full set of API’s to our Portal. This allowed the client to tie their portal to ours with only one set of API’s.
The benefit was immediate. Streamlining to a single provider gave the client back their valuable time. They now can concentrate more time and resources on revenue producing activities. In the first month since the change to OneSimCard IoT, they were able to implement 20% more solutions. They also were able to add 25% more new opportunities into their sales funnel. If 5% of these prospects close, this adds $1.5M in annual revenue.
If you have an AgTech solution, or any other IoT solution that needs connectivity, contact us. Our IoT experts will be happy to listen to your requirements and develop a solution just for you. The best way to reach is is by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch!