Managing the Internet of Things (IoT) – and everything else

Much attention is on to the “Internet of Things (IoT)” as more and more devices connect to, and data circulates in, the clouds.
Has your organization struggled with managing the expansion?

As enterprises leverage the power of devices providing data – from sensors embedded in everything from pallets, trucks, inventory and wearables – there’s a greater need for managing connectivity at cost effective rates. We call this the Management of Things (MoT) – the day-to-day operational responsibility of IT teams and AP teams. And it is a massive task.

Although the experts disagree on exactly how many devices to expect (Gartner predicts 20.4 billion by 2020, others range from 20 – 30 billion1), they all agree the adoption rate is staggering. It is a double-edged sword of opportunities and risk.

“A report from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the IoT could have an annual economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion by 2025 across many different settings, including factories, cities, retail environments, and the human body.”

Management of Things (MoT)

IoT Advantages

The sheer number of devices, and the potential data troves for enterprise users to mine, offers many advantages. For example, sensors spanning everything from fleet fuel consumption and idle time to pallet tracking offer improved efficiencies and reduced operational expenses (Opex). Understanding real world consumption and use of materials and products may create new revenue streams. However, the massive decentralization of devices is causing new challenges.

IoT Challenges

Data streaming from a multitude of devices brings management challenges to data security, tracking, and analysis. Connectivity brings additional hurdles of communications network infrastructure and expense management in a highly fragmented environment.

In the near term, IT managers must deal with the headaches of implementing reliable and secure connections embedded in devices, vehicles and inventory – among other “things”. The rise of “BYOT” (Bring Your Own Thing) compounds enterprise complexity and vulnerability in an immature IT infrastructure environment with no clear leaders in platforms and software.

In the mid to long-term, enterprise deployment of “things” with demonstrated value may bring new platforms, networks (see our page on SD-WAN) and expense tracking requirements.

MoT: Managing the network connection of things

Enterprises deploying sensors, devices, electronics, and other “things” adding to their network face a number of Opex management challenges. Huge bandwidth consumption related to IoT will likely require changes to service provider agreements and involve connections to new platforms, servers, private clouds, public clouds and platforms (e.g., Microsoft Azure, Thingworx).

Communications networks that facilitate these connections will span existing networks in place across the enterprise. For example: MPLS, SD-WAN and hybrid combinations. No longer a single service provider environment, enterprises now must establish direct relationships with (often) regional service providers. Each provider requires their own paperwork, contract, terms and pricing. When there is a troubled circuit, it is more difficult to determine who to contact and have the appropriate information available.

Identifying the specific circuit ID, service provider, and account information to report an issue – in real time – is a daunting challenge. Tellennium’s Integrated Management System (TIMS)®, resolves these issues by providing:

  • Instant access to Accounts, Circuit Details, and Provider Contacts
  • Bill Consolidation
  • Complete A/P Processing (including coding)
  • Contract Management
  • Support

Answering the MoT challenge: TIMS®

Our SaaS automated telecom-related expense tracking and auditing program, TIMS, answers the MoT challenge. Your team will have access to a detailed real-time and historical view of your communications technology infrastructure – inclusive of a complete inventory of services, circuits, vendors, contracts, contacts, expense allocations, payment history/reconciliation, changes – with audit and optimization options available for all services. This also includes total visibility into the complete AP management process, freeing you to manage operations.

We can handle all of AP telecom complexities including receipt of all invoices, scanning/imaging/EDI, coding, payment, dispute resolution and account reconciliation – and offer API integration options to your current financial support systems. We will manage all aspects of the communications technology AP process. If you are seeking expert assistance in the Management of Things (MoT) and would like to discuss the insights we see in implementation, call us (800) 939-9440 (or, click here).

Procurement guidance

In addition, if your IoT initiatives require expanded bandwidth, our consultative capabilities for procurement and carrier agreements are not tied to specific carriers. Since we do not represent carriers or equipment manufacturers our focus is on our customers’ best interests. Our expertise and daily involvement in this field means we know what the best rates are and the solutions that exist.

We have found that feature sets and capabilities across providers and equipment vary greatly. This leaves room for us to assist you in making an informed decision that is in the best interest of your company. In a dynamic and fast paced market where big named manufacturers are offering up new IoT platforms, cloud support and connectivity solutions, this guidance is crucial.

If you are seeking expert assistance in the Management of Things (MoT) and/or considering a shift to SD-WAN, and would like to discuss the insights we see in implementation, call us (800) 939-9440 (or, click here).