How Sensor Vendors Benefit from a Unified Network

Using existing network infrastructure shortens deployment time and expands the potential reach for new IoT devices.

Connectivity is Crucial for Every IoT Device (not just sensors)

Think of every low-power wireless device in today's smart enterprise including actuators, lighting, digital signage, and electronic shelf labels. These edge devices need continuous cloud connectivity, but due to their small size and power restrictions Wi-Fi just won't do. In the early days of IoT, sensor makers often created their own low-power wireless gateway in order to support their sensor business. But this requires a lot of ongoing effort:

  • Designing and producing the gateway hardware
  • Maintaining the software platform on the gateway, including security expertise to satisfy customer Infosec requirements
  • Developing a management platform to monitor thousands of gateways in a deployment

Often once companies start down the path of building their own gateway, they start to look towards something "off the shelf," but highly commercial IoT solutions rarely just work off the shelf, and this turns into another custom engineering effort. This is why IoT device makers should embrace existing networks and avoid the burden of creating a specialized network just to provide data connectivity.

What is a Unified Network?

Simply put, Unified Networks provide ubiquitous connectivity while offering the ability to preserve business models. They are typically deployed in Enterprises much like a Wi-Fi network, with the intention to provide connectivity to a heterogeneous group of sensors.

A Unified Network:

  • Manages network access securely at scale 
  • Manages channel congestion, network priority, performance  
  • Includes advanced resiliency features like quick gateway failover to maximize uptime
  • Offers tools to improve battery life of sensors 
  • Has in-depth diagnostics to detect anomalies, suggest opportunities to optimize the network, and features to automatically fix issues 

Crucially, sensor vendors can configure their integration with a Rigado Unified Network to send data from their sensors only to their cloud destinations, and vendors who monetize the insights from their sensors will still be able to protect their sensor’s data in transit. 

Built-In Security and Networking Benefits

Another major benefit of Unified Networks is leveraging a common security approach. Commodity sensors vendors can avoid the complexity of gateways and security audits, and just provide a sensor that provides standard data. The Unified Network can be configured to send this to other cloud analytics platforms for analysis.  

Non-WiFi Unified Networks also solve some of the pesky security issues that IP networks typically cover. Instead of having a wide open IP connection to other resources on the network or even to the Internet, the Unified Network offers the enterprise tools to manage access and monitor security. Sensor companies no longer have to worry about rigorous penetration testing or adding complication to their products to meet ever changing security standards. The Unified Network does that for you. 

A Continuous Fixed and Mobile IoT Network

These benefits continue outside the fixed wireless network when deployed on existing telematics devices. Just like using the existing WiFi network in a building, a Rigado Unified Network can use mobile gateways from companies such as Cradlepoint to seamlessly hand off sensor connectivity as assets move through the supply chain.

For sensor vendors, this opens up the possibility to offer both fixed and mobile sensor devices as a combined offering without having to also build and sell dedicated gateways for each environment.

Grow Your Sales Pipeline with Unified Networks

We've seen why Unified Network makes more sense than staffing a large team for undifferentiated network layers, but there's one more benefit to consider: the sales opportunities you can generate by aligning with a Unified Network. Any place a Unified Network is deployed becomes a sales opportunity that has a lower Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). Imagine a new sales opportunity where your customer can demo your sensor in days, not weeks, because you can ship a simple, self contained sensor device that “just works” when they receive it. And after a successful pilot, rolling out your product or service is as easy as sending more sensors. You don’t have to worry about complicated site surveys to know how many gateways to deploy or lengthy installation projects that require regional contractors to get on lifts or ladders during off-hours to pull new Ethernet cables and install new gateways. 

In short, as a sensor provider you can focus on your strength of creating devices that solve critical business problems while avoiding the complications of edge gateways, IT integrations, and security compliance.

Learn More About Rigado Unified Networks

Rigado deploys Unified Networks using highly secure IoT Gateways, spare radios on Wi-Fi Access Points, telematics equipment, and more. Contact Rigado today to learn how you can lower your cost to develop, sell, and deploy sensor products with Unified Networks so you can focus on your differentiated product value.