10 things to consider in your telematics make vs. buy decision
Telematics can be a game-changer for businesses if implemented the right way. Unfortunately, while some businesses may consider improvised or piecemeal solutions in an effort to contain costs, their efforts almost always end up costing more and being less effective.
At Proemion, telematics is our core business.
Our experts can tailor a telematics solution to your business requirements and help you maximize ROI for the time and resources you invest. The choice of whether to make or buy a telematics solution is up to you, of course.
Consider these ten factors during your decision-making process:
The value of time
The aspect of time is perhaps the most important thing to consider when you are weighing in-house solutions versus solutions from a vendor who has products available that could help your business today. How much time can you devote away from your core business to build a team capable of producing something that you could simply purchase? There's a reason that people say, "Time is money." Delaying implementation of a solution by months or years will cost more than you might save by creating something unique to your business.
Hardware types and changes
Technology is constantly evolving. Can you keep up? Telematics providers like Proemion stay on top of firmware updates and other system changes that can be time-consuming. Experts can also help you understand the pros and cons of variations in wireless technologies such as cellular, satellite, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth®.
Integration with existing equipment and tools
Engineering expertise is required to meet the challenges that inevitably arise when introducing new solutions with existing equipment and tools. How much time can you spare from your core business to solve these issues? For example, companies that have existing service tools should consider service tool integration to avoid the complexity of adding new tools and the associated learning curve. Can you spend the time and resources necessary to develop an in-house telematics solution?
Connectivity and carriers
The amount of use-cases you can address with your connectivity solution is heavily dependent on the connectivity type. There are three types: "wired" connection, local wireless connection via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and global wireless connection via the mobile network. When you decide on a connectivity solution, if you're implementing an in-house telematics solution, you'll have to manage multiple issues on your own, including carrier contracts and activation/deactivation processes and tools; connectivity problems; billing, and certifications.
Transparency of cost
When assessing monthly recurring charges for cloud-based solutions, it's essential to have transparency regarding total costs. For example, some payment models are based on low monthly costs but include additional fees for report generation. While such models appear cost-efficient at first, as your need for insights grows, such price models may end up being more expensive (and result in a higher total cost of ownership) than price models that have a higher fixed fee per month.
Cloud storage gateways
Gateways are complex and require technical skills for setup and troubleshooting. In addition to unexpected challenges, routine responsibilities can be time-consuming, such as raw data decoding, filtering, scaling, parsing; and diagnosing issues with devices and APIs. Bundling the data together to view via a dashboard or an app is another challenge to meet in-house.
Software apps and services
The value of telematics data is in the insights you can gain and processes you can automate to produce efficiencies for your business. The ability to quickly and easily access information is the key to ROI on your telematics investment. You will need to create or buy software to do the job, integrate it with the other parts of your telematics solution, and keep it updated and running smoothly.
Data center management
For companies with in-house expertise to manage a data center, freeing resources to deal with telematics data can be an issue. In addition, handling external data requires a new level of security, reliability, and performance, especially if your telematics solution is customer-facing. Redundant connections, systems monitoring, and biometric security are among the protocols you will need to implement and maintain if you're committed to developing and supporting a telematics solution in-house.
Security is important. Regardless of one-way or bi-directional communication, you don't want data being intercepted and read. That said, bi-directional communication requires more security because, when you have the ability to change the parameters of your machine, you need to make sure an outsider can't send unauthorized signals to your device and create a safety issue.
The benefits of synergy
When you work with an expert partner, you gain from their experience and the experience of their other customers. Trends that are developing in your industry or other industries that affect your business might be overlooked if you're working in a silo. Interacting with companies that have a more extensive network or simply a different one can inspire unexpected and creative solutions to your business challenges.
These ten considerations make the difference between success and failure.
In today's world, businesses must be able to adapt quickly. The solutions you have in place must be able to support your current needs as well as unknown future needs. As your organization matures in telematics, you will identify new use-cases that can improve the way you do business. Your telematics solution should not be a limitation but should be flexible enough to support your changing business over the long term.
Why Proemion can help you achieve your objectives
The skills and processes required by developing and implementing a telematics solution are foreign to many, if not most, businesses. At Proemion, telematics and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are our business. For more than 30 years, we have been working with CAN technology and its application in mobile machines. We can help you identify the proper use cases for your business today and evolve your solution as your business changes over time.
Proemion works with some of the largest OEMs in the world. Our flexible solution and modern practices have sparked significant improvements in how they continuously introduce new capabilities and how they run their businesses.
We offer clear technical ownership and the complete value chain from hardware, SIM management, cloud platform, security, and service & fleet management portals, to guarantee you and your customers get a reliable and consistent operational experience.