Agricultural equipment manufacturer relies on IoT to help farmers improve efficiency and increase profits

Farmers have always been skilled at observing their environment: weather, soil, crop readiness and adjusting their planting, harvesting and other tasks based on measurements, conditions and forecasts. Here we look at a recent project to IoT-enable these traditional farming skills.

Precision agriculture takes the age-old practice of monitoring the farming environment to the next level, using the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect devices and data analytics systems. The result is improved accuracy of agricultural management practices, enabling farmers to make smarter decisions, such as what and where to plant, fertilise or spray.

A global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural and construction machinery is capitalising on the recent advances in IoT by outfitting its farming equipment with sensors and telematics solutions to help farmers implement precision agriculture practices including:

• Managing a fleet of machinery
• Tracking machines
• Gathering real-time data on equipment status

The ability to monitor farm equipment in real-time enables farmers to programme exactly what and where each piece of equipment will plant, fertilise, spray and harvest. This saves fuel, improves efficiency and ultimately increases profits.

Business goals of agricultural equipment manufacturer

• Quickly expand into emerging markets while managing costs
• Maintain consistent product, including common modem and SIM card so the manufacturer can ship equipment anywhere in the world

Operational challenges

• Broad signal coverage for customers in new areas
• Manufacturing complexity, with different equipment parts for different countries
• Managing different rate plans in each new market

How Unlimit Control helps

• Allows the manufacturer to keep a single global SIM while they expand into new markets
• Ensures predictable costs

Unlimit Control accelerates equipment rollout and simplifies monitoring

Quickly rolling out connected machines in emerging markets and monitoring them is a significant challenge for the manufacturer. Unlimit Control automates the IoT service lifecycle for connected equipment and enables the supplier to include a single, global SIM during the manufacturing process. The global SIM maps the lifecycle of that device to its supply chain process from factory to distribution.

Unlimit Control is a cloud-based platform that enables companies to launch, manage and monetise IoT/M2M services for connected devices across the world. More than 4,000 companies across dozens of industries in more than 100 countries use Control Center to launch, manage and monetise their IoT/M2M deployments. Unlimit Control provides real-time network connectivity feeds, service diagnostics, and extraordinary automation options to enable visibility and control.

Organisations can use Unlimit Control to quickly troubleshoot issues and monitor for specific behaviour. Benefits include the ability to increase service reliability and lower support costs by setting rules to immediately address undesirable behaviour – proactively preventing service-affecting issues.

Lower operational costs with near zero-touch device lifecycle management

Customers can start with automated provisioning and then set controls to automatically manage device behaviour in the field. Manual interaction can be eliminated which saves time and money, reduces errors and enables the project to scale up faster.

Key capabilities of Unlimit Control include ability to:

• Automate the provisioning of SIMs, based on a device’s unique lifecycle and specific business model. For example, you might include data for factory testing, but only shift the device to a billable state when the user first connects it.
• Select post-paid, pre-paid, pooled or individual rate plans. Set high or low usage that varies by geography or type of data traffic.
• Streamline workflows with automation. For example, you can automatically change SIM states, rate plans and network services, and send notifications based on lifecycle stage or data usage.

Scale up easily as you grow

Whether an organisation is starting its IoT roll-out small and building up or if it already has millions of devices to connect, Unlimit Control is the smart way to manage a deployment. Delivered as a software-as-aservice (SaaS) proposition, Unlimit Control is purpose built for IoT and designed for infinite scale.

Unlimit Control offers great flexibility enabling customers to add capacity as you grow, taking full advantage of all of Control Center’s automation capabilities to truly optimise their businesses. The system integrates easily with front-end systems using a robust library of standards-based application programme interfaces (APIs) and customer can use rules-driven push APIs for more advanced automation and even deeper integration. Finally, organisations can extend their businesses into new geographies by using the same platform to manage deployments around the globe.

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