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Five Lessons Service Providers Learned From Deploying IoT Solutions

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  1. Service Providers are realizing that do-it-yourself horizontal IoT platform solutions are hard to implement and manage. To truly reach the full potential of serving their mulitvertical customer base, Service Providers are partnering with IoT Platform Service Providers to get into the market with plans to own “pieces” of the solution for themselves. For example, AT&T partners with PTC to leverage its IoT development platform API, etc., to address the cross-vertical market but owns a big data solution, M2X, because of the high-value proposition of managing the data. (This is where equipment providers can really add value within the Service Provider's ecosystem.)
  2. Service Providers are realizing the end-to-end solutions are more lucrative than point-to-point solutions. In providing more than just access connectivity Service Providers are seeing up to 10x return on connectivity by offering the end-to-end solution. This includes backend big data/analytics along with full managed services down to the access device (for example, fog solutions where the analytics can occur at the edge and fed back to the core).
  3. Service Providers realize that IoT return on connectivity (ROC) is not immediate. On average, Service Providers are estimating it takes about three years to see ROC. This time to ROC factors in the setup, trial period, and actual deployment phases.
  4. Confidence in Service Provider security is still the number one inhibitor for large enterprises. Enterprises are still worried about allowing Service Providers to manage their data. This concern is more prevalent with mission critical/life dependent enterprises such as hospitals and the military. This is ironic since Service Providers NEED to gain these customers to realize their true value in the IoT ecosystem. If equipment providers can provide a perception of a secure IoT platform infrastructure, in addition to educating the enterprise as to how to discern between sensitive and dark data (useless), then they can add great value to their Service Provider offerings.
  5. Service Providers are realizing their marketing, selling and billing strategies need to be subscription oriented. IoT is essentially a business process because the access devices are actually physical and digital in nature. As such, digital finances, such as Google micropayments, etc., which fit the IoT usage profile, can be real valuable to customers, ranging from retail to big enterprise. Service Providers see that they need to change their BSS systems to fit the new subscription models that IoT requires. In fact, Service Providers are realizing that the business needs to come first before the “things.” Adding “things” is now becoming a business process that must be linked directly into the BSS infrastructure. A new term coined by Devicify as “Connected Product Management” is now becoming a real to consideration.
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