Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sprint increases control over connected devices

 
Steve Rogerson
April 29, 2015
 
Sprint has put more knowledge and control in the hands of businesses around the world with the launch of its next-generation Command Center 2.0. Companies can now connect, monitor and control device provisioning, billing and management globally to manage their M2M infrastructure more efficiently.
 
Available in more than 200 countries, Command Center 2.0 provides a centralised management platform across multiple technologies, and simplifies the job of device management in three key ways:
One-touch bulk provisioning– implementation of automated or on-the-fly device management features for one or thousands of devices;
Billing to fit business– dynamic rate plan capabilities and flexible pooling arrangements for greater control over costs and multiple customised billing triggers; and
Fast trouble resolution–array of tools to manage the needs of devices based on time of day, geography, usage, limits and more.
 
“Command Center 2.0 is a major enhancement to an already superb set of Sprint M2M services,” said Dan Shey, practice director for IoT and enterprise research at ABI Research. “Its unique combination of new technology and service provider partnerships offer any business a platform to cost effectively grow their IoT solution footprint both regionally and globally.”
 
In today’s world, devices as diverse as utility meters, digital signs, cameras, remote sensors, appliances and even pets and people can be electronically linked over wired or wireless connections, and they can share data to support a variety of new uses and increased efficiencies. With that efficiency comes the complexity of managing hundreds, thousands or even millions of devices. Kansas-based Sprint’s approach to device management is said to give businesses better visibility into the cost, performance and return on investment (RoI) of their entire M2M infrastructure.
 
“Command Center 2.0 provides a global reach that’s critical in the new landscape of business,” said Mohamad Nasser, senior director for Sprint. “No matter the company’s size, Sprint’s superior and nimble support teams ensure that tailored and flexible deployments can be carried out successfully. With the introduction of our new feature set, we’ve taken a service with a proven track record and created an even better M2M management platform.”
 
The platform helps all industries, including insurance, retail and transportation. Command Center 2.0 users report increased product sales, greater insight into their businesses, faster processes and improved productivity, claims Sprint.
 
Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank, not only supports the Command Center 2.0’s global extension but is also working with Sprint to use certain components of Command Center 2.0 for its customers.
 
“Sprint understands what the modern business customer wants in a connected device management platform, a simple-to-use portal that brings uniform control to devices all around the world regardless of radio access network technology,” said Hiroshi Akabori, vice president for SoftBank Mobile.
 
A Command Center user in the smart grid arena is Tollgrade Communications, which produces smart grid sensors with predictive grid analytics.
 
“Utilities rely on the real-time information from Tollgrade smart grid sensors to rapidly restore power to their customers,” said Erik Christian, vice president at Tollgrade. “The enhanced Sprint M2M Command Center 2.0 allows Tollgrade to more easily provision and troubleshoot our sensors on the Sprint network. By leveraging the Command Center 2.0 to create a proven and reliable communication support infrastructure for our sensors, Sprint is at the heart of shaping the modern grid and helping utilities bring the distribution network into the 21st century.”
 
Andrew Wilson, CEO of SecureNet, a provider of customisable smart home services, including home automation, video monitoring, environment control, energy management and interactive alarm control, added: “Sprint M2M Command Center 2.0’s loading activation feature and robust reporting capabilities are critical to our success and our customers’ satisfaction. With the pre-activation and billing on the Command Center platform, we can test and validate data calls to confirm there are no device, module, network or data centre concerns. We have unwavering trust in the Sprint Command Center portal.”
 
Greg Tunnell, general manager for Speedshield, said the ease-of-use and robust functionality of Sprint’s Command Center 2.0 platform helped keep his Melbourne, Australia-based forklift and industrial vehicle safety company profitable.
 
“The Sprint Command Center 2.0 platform is the backbone for our data transfer,” Tunnell said. “We ship thousands of our safety and telemetry system products to dealers across the US every year. We can’t afford to have any gaps in coverage. Our products must be able to communicate virtually wherever they are, even in remote locations. The Sprint Command Center platform provides us with that coverage.”