Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager has proven itself to be a really good way to manage network connectivity for small-footprint distributed enterprises. Now transportation-related organizations like emergency services, police, shipping, metropolitan buses, school buses, taxis, and commercial fleets are discovering the benefits of NCM as well. One of the main reasons why is because NetCloud Manager makes the deployment, management, and monitoring of vehicle fleets very easy.
Closing Security Gaps
The Heartbleed bug grabbed headlines earlier this year because it allowed hackers to, among other nefarious things, access credit card transactions over HTTPS. Organizations like city bus and taxi companies that were accepting credit cards needed to get out a firmware patch very quickly. Without the kind of central command NetCloud Manager provides, these companies would have had to bring in each bus or taxi and physically install the patch one-by-one.
Companies with NetCloud Manager installed the fix in just a few minutes on every device across their entire network. They didn’t have to locate the buses, take them out of service—or interrupt public WiFi. It was all done instantaneously, securely, and behind the scenes.
Managing Cellular Data Plans
NetCloud Manager also helps transportation companies improve the way they manage large data uploads (such as credit card transactions or security camera media files). They can use it to set routing devices to remain on for a period of time after the vehicle itself is turned off. During this time, big data files can be uploaded quickly and for free using the company WiFi, rather than by eating up their data plans. (This ability to use WiFi as WAN is unique to Cradlepoint solutions.)
Using Cradlepoint API Calls
Companies like ambulance services have discovered that they can improve critical data applications using NetCloud Manager. Ambulance companies (like lots of other emergency responders) often have network operations centers. These centers use vertical-specific solutions to capture on-location data and the status of each vehicle. By using API calls to link to GPS data captured by NetCloud Manager, these organizations can do a better job of keeping track of the location and status of each ambulance.
No Need for Static IP Addresses
One more thing that is getting a good response from transportation companies is that they can control fleets even when the IP addresses for the Cradlepoint devices in the vehicles change as their trains, buses, taxis, trucks, or cars move around. The system is also carrier agnostic. This is really important in Europe where it is normal for a vehicle to switch carriers as they move from country to country. As long as each vehicle has a connection to the Internet, NetCloud Manager will give companies a high degree of control over each vehicle’s network connection.
Scalable Deployment, Management, and Monitoring
It’s exciting to me as a product manager to see how the use of NetCloud Manager is growing quickly in the transportation business here in the U.S. and now across EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa). Combined with our new COR IBR1100 series of devices, NetCloud Manager is making fleet deployment, management and monitoring easier than ever.