Managing the "presentation" layer: I get asked a lot about what is required to manage a successful M2M solution. There are a lot of moving components, and it can be daunting. Once you have made up your mind that you want to proceed (developed a business case, secured funding), you now have to decide the right combination for the solution to deploy (hardware, software, cellular technology, etc). But....you're not done. You have to manage these devices while they are in the field.
There are 4 important stages to managing a device, and we are going to address them in their own blog:
1) SIM / Activation Management
2) Device Management
3) Application enablement Management
4) Managing the "presentation" layer
What is a presentation layer? Well, it is anything that allows you to make sense of various pieces of information. For example, it can range from a system that emails notifications out to you when a particular valve is closed, it can be a map that allows dispatchers to see which repairperson is closest to a particular customer or it can be a database where information is stored for future use. Really, it depends on how you want to access the information, do you want it sent to you in real-time and how your business needs to use the information to improve your productivity.
For many customers, they have spent time and money creating or customizing their own system. This could be a database where information is stored, a system that Customer Service staff uses to find information for clients or a map used to dispatch vehicles. While there are some great 3rd party solutions out there, these customer want to use a new solution to improve the functionality of a system that they are invested in. This is where the first three layers of management come into play. The first three layers manage all of the components (cellular network connectivity, the mobile device and retrieving only the information that is needed) and present the information into a manner that the presentation layer can use. Using a combined approach greatly reduces integration issues, deployment time and the learning curve for staff (since they are using a system that they are familiar with)
For other customers, they may be either using manual systems (yes, pen and clipboard is alive and kicking) or may be looking to reduce their in-house IT staffing needs by outsourcing a solution. For these customers, a solution combining all 4 layers makes the most sense. These solutions, by the nature of being a package deal, are well-tested and can be deployed quickly. Common solutions that fall into this area include Vehicle tracking, tank monitoring, security systems and more.
As always, let Novotech know how we can help you with your M2M needs.