By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC
The Internet of Things can create great new savings and efficiency benefits to organizations. But, considering the fragmented ecosystem, getting a machine-to-machine implementation up and running is no small feat. Aeris Communications is trying to take some of the hassle and time commitment out of that process by allowing customers to order and pay for M2M connectivity and SIMs online, and get that connectivity up and running in a day or two.
This is available through Neo, an Aeris microwebsite that enables users to see what services are available to them where; to follow a four-step process to select the number of SIMs they need and the type of connectivity they desire; and to use a credit card to pay for it all. With Neo, there is no volume commitment or minimum term.
That’s important because it both makes getting M2M connectivity a faster and easier process, and it makes M2M more accessible to a larger interest group, Aeris CMO Raj Kanaya told M2M Evolution in a conversation earlier today. Some developers might start out with only 50 SIMs and maybe just a month of service, he said.
“The simplicity, transparency, openness that Amazon brought to the computing market we are bringing to the M2M market,” Kanaya said.
“We are trying to take this industry into the Internet world,” he added. “Amazon is kind of our benchmark. They are really transparent about what you get and the pricing; that’s how we’re doing it too. It’s all available online.”
By comparison, today, the typical process for getting M2M connectivity involves the customer calling a service provider to set up an appointment with a sales person, possibly being handed off to a sales person at one of the carrier’s channel partners, sharing their deployment detail with the sales representative, signing a multipage contract, awaiting an invoice, paying for it, and then waiting for the SIMs to arrive and the onboarding process to begin.
The Internet is all about open access to information, Kanaya continued, and that’s what Aeris is doing here. Aeris is also embracing the concept of the online community with Neo. The company has created a support community, which it moderates, where users can post questions and review different community members’ responses. At some point, Kanaya said, Aeris may introduce experts as well as regular contributors to this community.
The GSM version of Neo launches today in the U.S.