When youre setting up and managing devices via Internet of Things or machine-to-machine connectivity, keeping costs low is usually a big factor. Especially as you scale up from prototype to full-fledged product to successful enterprise, the backbone data connection costs have to be under control for any business to thrive.
The key to a good IoT/M2M deployment is analytics that help you keep track of what your devices are doing and where you are in your billing cycle. By paying attention to seemingly insignificant elements of your data usage and billing plan, you can make costs more predictable and lower overall.
These top five tips can help you better manage your recurring IoT/M2M device costs:
- Use mid-cycle billing: Making changes to your plans in the middle of a billing cycle can help with planning when you might need more data for a brief period of time. This is a valuable tool for avoiding overages.
- Create thresholds: Lessen your risk of expensive overages by defining set usage limits for data, SMS, and voice on your devices. Work with a provider that lets you block traffic on your devices when they reach or exceed a specified threshold.
- Suspend unused devices: For industries in which devices are used sporadically such as medical patient monitoring or agricultural equipment its beneficial to be able to suspend service for periods of non-use. Make sure your provider lets you suspend devices on your schedule.
- Reduce overage fees: Your largest expense will often come from overages. IoT/M2M providers commonly offer tools, like AerVoyance by Aeris, to help you manage your usage, optimize your devices, control costs, and tailor data plans. Using these tools can lead to significant savings from reduced overages and better customization of data usage and devices.
- Use remote troubleshooting tools: Does your provider offer a method to troubleshoot devices that are displaying erratic behavior or consuming large quantities of data? IoT/M2M carriers that operate their own networks have real-time visibility into device behavior, resulting in faster resolution of issues than most Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) can provide. MVNOs, which are wireless communications services providers that typically resell data on someone elses network, typically have to open a ticket with their carrier partner and then wait for the network provider to resolve the issue, which can take up to 48 hours. But a carrier with its own network, like Aeris, typically can resolve an issue from within its own portal in 15 minutes or less.
You can take the mystery out of IoT/M2M costs by reviewing real-time usage and traffic reports in analytics programs from your provider, such as Aeris AerVoyance. These tools are can be the best ways to define and track costs. Usage and traffic information displayed real-time in a dashboard will help you to avoid costly overage charges. By running analytics on the data, youll be able to identify outliers, such as which devices are consuming the most or the least data. This can be especially helpful if youre monitoring a large number of devices with different usage profiles.
Take a look at this real world case study of how Aeris offers the lowest total cost of ownership: