Managing the IoT Ecosystem
A strong data management approach as part of a larger OSS strategy will be critical for delivering outstanding customer experience.
As the number of connected devices in the world keeps ticking upward toward the trillion mark, ecosystems for the Internet of Things (IoT) will need to deliver new capabilities and new levels of connectivity in order to enable the best possible experience.
The IoT ecosystem needs to manage everything from service provisioning and ordering all the way to customer engagement. The number of interactions must be tracked, measured and monetized, and service quality must be gauged on defined principles incorporated from product development and delivery lifecycles. As with any technology, the lifespan of the "things" is finite, and overall service quality gets tied to the device or end point.
Take a smart city for example where trash and recycling bins use sensors to alert waste management that they are full and require emptying. A data management failure at any level can create a significant impact on the remainder of the ecosystem. This could include inefficient truck routes or missed pickups, excess fuel consumption, increased and unnecessary traffic, etc. Any and all of these directly affect the experience of the ecosystem as well as individual users.
These potential challenges and others like them highlight the critical nature of operations support systems in the IoT world. Complex IoT ecosystems require service providers to have structured frameworks that support interconnected and centralized fulfillment orchestration, customer care and settlements. To meet these requirements, IoT ecosystems require technological foundations that enable:
- Easy access to IoT applications or services through functional marketplaces or platform strategies.
- Connectivity services for all devices, third-party partners and end users.
- Applications that work seamlessly across ecosystems—from the device to orchestration as well as service and business enablement.
- Operational support through the use of technology like embedded data analytics, which provides real-time visibility into service delivery, service quality and assurance.
Delivering Excellent Customer Experiences in the IoT
The business models that are emerging around IoT-related services must be built around technologies that can react in real time to the quality of experience. IoT endeavors will not be successful if they are based on simple, best-effort approaches. Instead, IoT must be intrinsically linked to data management strategies that ensure the ecosystem functions, supports the best user experiences and addresses problems quickly and with minimal disruption.
Service providers will need management tools that provide real-time views of the entire IoT ecosystem. With proper analysis and usage, service providers will be able to leverage the wealth of data that the IoT will create and discover what is needed to maximize end-user experience.