When implementing system solutions with cellular IoT connectivity, OEMs must carefully balance cost, performance, and dependability
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) work diligently to integrate multiple technologies to work together seamlessly to bring value and reliability to their customers in a single integrated package. From kiosks and traffic control cabinets to surveillance and digital signage systems, every screen, camera, enclosure, button, and connectivity solution is a commodity.
When developing plans for IoT integration, OEM considerations should go beyond cost of components alone. If low cost is the top priority, end users are at risk of unreliable, vulnerable, and poor performing systems. Additionally, if OEMs choose the wrong partner or connectivity solution, their end users may be unable to connect to the Internet, process transactions, or efficiently service their integrated systems.
The relationship between OEMs and IoT integration
OEMs and IoT system integrators tailor hardware and software offerings to unique environments in industries such as finance, manufacturing, smart cities, construction, utilities, and logistics. IoT routers play a significant role in these complete solutions, providing cellular IoT connectivity for data communication, payment processing, environmental readings, operational data monitoring, augmented reality, and more.
What should OEMs consider when planning for integrated IoT solutions?
When it comes to IoT for OEMs, the integration of a wireless edge router as part of their final product can unlock great value and potential for end users looking to take advantage of valuable data. However, there are important considerations OEMs must reflect on to ensure they’re providing high-quality IoT connectivity for the best value.
#1: What purpose does the IoT device serve?
The purpose of each IoT device will largely determine the type of enclosure an OEM must build to house it. For example, an OEM system that includes IoT sensors built to control traffic signals, intersection security cameras, and car counting systems will likely require an enclosure able to withstand heat, cold, extreme weather, and vibration.
#2: How can connected ecosystems (including sensors and video cameras on a shared network) be integrated?
OEMs should take stock of Ethernet, serial, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth® wireless technology connectivity options available on IoT routers to ensure they can accommodate connections from other sensors or devices in the final environment. Additionally, an ideal IoT router will be able to support incoming data protocols and deploy containers for seamless communication across the network.
#3: What incremental value does integrated IoT provide above the current system?
In many cases, an OEM already has solutions in place that have worked for a long period of time, and it may be easier to avoid reinventing the wheel. However, integrating an IoT solution that is more affordable, more powerful, more scalable, or easier to manage will provide increased value and flexibility to the customer.
#4: What type of environment will the IoT router be housed in?
In situations where a customer doesn’t need or cannot afford a NEMA enclosure, the IoT router may need to be ruggedized to withstand extreme environmental conditions. For example, most kiosks don’t need a NEMA enclosure by design, but in the case of something like an electric vehicle charging station along a highway, they may need protection from heat, rain, and snow.
#5: What are the raw hardware specifications and capabilities of the IoT router?
When it comes to IoT integration, OEMs must carefully weigh their return on investment. This means researching available solutions to determine if device speeds, connectivity options, size, and cellular broadband compatibility have room to grow with expanding enterprises.
#6: How much functionality can be extended to other uses?
Particularly when dealing with Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions, OEMs may need to sell into an environment that has a mix of equipment and software from various generations that must all work together. In this case, the ability to utilize containers, SDKs, and APIs is imperative.
#7: How much growth should the end solution accommodate for?
The size of the business that an OEM sells to matters. While one IoT integration solution may be good for a large enterprise, others may be best suited for businesses in need of a single router. Either way, the ability for a solution to scale will save IT costs and headaches in the long run, even with small increments of growth.
#8: What security requirements must be met to protect the enterprise network?
As networks expand, so does their attack surface, making comprehensive security a fundamental expectation of IoT integration. Layered security out of the box should include built-in policy-based protection capable of scaling to protect any network size.
#9: What is the cost of the final solution?
OEMs will often have a good, better, and best solution to offer their customers, and the components included in each offering will contribute to the incremental resale value. Cost to the OEM also includes the ability to deploy a solution with minimal follow-up.
#10: How complex is the IoT integration process?
The complexity of an OEM system can vary depending on where a company is in their product development cycle, as well as the overall budget available for engineering costs. By selecting IoT integrated solutions with zero-touch deployment and advanced extensibility, OEMs and their customers can save valuable time, money, and resource expenditures.