Submitted by Larry Bellehumeur on 

M2M - Business Benefits & Rationale


Quick...what is the first company that comes to mind when I say the term "Internet company"? 

It might be an ISP (AOL, Verizon, etc).....it might be an online retailer (like Amazon).....it might be an online auction site like E-Bay.....or it may be a site that you use for social media such as Facebook or Google search. 

However, in today's business world, pretty much all businesses fall under this term.

The definition of an Internet business now might include companies that:

- Use email regularly to communicate with customers, suppliers and business partners

- Receive orders via an online customer portal or have an E-Commerce business

- Process Point of Sale (POS) transactions over an IP connection

- Have remote assets located in 3rd party locations that have connectivity over IP (such as a remote kiosk)

- Regularly update their own web page themselves

With that in mind, it’s clear there are very few businesses that would NOT qualify as an Internet business in this day and age.

Given that most businesses (regardless of size, vertical or location) are becoming more reliant on their Internet connection, businesses need to deploy redundant solutions to back up that connection now more than ever.  It once was a luxury to have more than one path to the Internet.....not any more. While I am in the business of selling cellular modems for applications like this, it is important to note that you can use ANY two types of networks to properly back up your Internet connections (be it cellular, satellite, private radio or landline).  It just so happens that cellular provides the best bang for the buck!

Why your business needs to back up its Internet connection now:

Keep your business up / Protect your revenue  
If you use your main IP connection to process transactions (both incoming transactions and processing payments), Internet downtime is something you can easily measure (if not, send me a note and I can work on an ROI for you).  It also applies to your level of customer service.  Many businesses (ranging from restaurant chains to big-box retailers) allow you to place an order online and pick it up at the retail location.  When there is a disruption to the main Internet connection, these orders may be processed on the web page (and a confirmation given to your customer), but you would never actually receive the order at your location!  This provides not only a potential for revenue loss but equally important, it can hurt your image and affect your level of customer service.

No Internet connection to your main office = no email on smartphones
So, you only have a few people in your main office.....is backing up your Internet connection all that vital?  Well, it may be, since the Internet connection in your office going down also prevents all of your remote workers from getting their emails!  It also likely restricts their access to key services such as inventory levels and the status of customer orders. 

It's worse than just no email and no financial transactions for most businesses that use the "cloud" a lot...
As more and more things more into the cloud, it is amazing how damaging the lack of connectivity can be......here are some scary thoughts:

  • Many companies use cloud-based tools for document creation and management (such as tools such SharePoint and Google apps)....at least, you can use them when your Internet connection is up!
  • Do you use an online system for your company's Finances, such as Quickbooks?  How can you run your business's finances without an Internet connection for a few hours, or worse, a few days?
  • Does your business use the Internet to send real-time inventory information for JIT (just in time) manufacturing?  Or, do you use perishable goods in your business that you need to have real-time status updates about all the time?  Losing connectivity can mean a disruption in your business or the possibility of running out of key items during busy times.
  • In the world of M2M, much of the information that is generated from remote devices is hosted on remote servers, which you need your Internet connection to access

Finally.....many organizations simply cannot have downtime, regardless of the cost.  Bring down the cost with cellular connections....
When you run a vital dispatch center (such as one used by a public safety agency or a regional control center for a major courier), you simply CANNOT HAVE Internet downtime.  Many of these organizations realize this, and they have deployed very expensive redundant connections.  Most of these companies will see no drop in reliability (but a big one in price) by using LTE-based connections as a method of method of backing up vital connections.

As always, let Novotech know how we can help with your M2M needs, such as antenna selection.  You can visit our web page @ www.novotech.com.  As well, feel free to reach out to me directly ....larry(@)novotech.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@NovotechM2M) and you can follow me personally as well (@LBNovotechM2M).