How to outage-proof your IoT business
Outages in cellular IoT are more than minor inconveniences, they take a significant toll on business operations and profitability. “Outages are the most painful to experience and one of the hardest problems to solve," says Mike Georgoff, Chief Business Officer at Hologram.
On our recent webinar, he shared insights on what causes outages, real-world financial and brand impacts, and crucially, how you can effectively mitigate or avoid downtime. Catch the recap below, or access the full webinar recording here. (Plus, don’t miss the sneak peek of Hologram’s Dual-Core SIM, a breakthrough solution designed to end outages for good.)
What causes outages?
"IoT relies on a complex set of variables and elements, all of which need to go right consistently and regularly for an IoT device to perform as intended,” said Georgoff, kicking off the webinar.
Here’s a few of the most common issues that can go wrong:
- Core mobile infrastructure failures: When this infrastructure encounters issues, the ripple effect can be massive, disconnecting devices from the network.
- Network overload: This can occur when too many devices try to connect to a single carrier network or a localized tower, overwhelming the system.
- Software bugs in cloud-based systems: More of the telco world is now run through cloud service providers, introducing a greater risk of software bugs.
- Hardware and environmental challenges: Failures in device hardware, like batteries, along with extreme weather conditions, can disrupt IoT connections.
Why some outages are worse than others
Catastrophic outages are the most severe and disruptive, Georgoff says, often lasting several hours to days. “If something goes wrong with the mobile core infrastructure that prevents the device from attaching with or connecting to any networks, that means no connection is possible.” These outages can have complex root causes, and unfortunately, most major networks are prone to experience them multiple times a year.
The real-world impact of outages
Outages clearly disrupt operations – but their impact extends far beyond this, with financial losses, damage to your brand’s reputation, and even legal risks.
- Financial loss: Outages can halt revenue-generating processes and expose your company to unexpected operational adjustments. If you have uptime guarantees, failing to meet these promises might lead to contractual penalties and customer compensation.
- Brand and reputational damage: The hidden cost of outages is often more detrimental in the long run. As Georgoff notes, outages erode consumer trust and can tarnish your brand's image. Ultimately, this might give competitors an edge and lead to longer-term loss of market share. Additionally, there's the possibility of legal and compliance risks.
How to mitigate and prevent outages
No one has the power to avoid catastrophic outages altogether, but there are several critical steps that can reduce the risk of more minor outages and the impact they have:
- Make regular system updates: Keep firmware up-to-date, with the ability to make over-the-air changes. Monitor system health proactively to stay ahead of potential issues.
- Choose reliable hardware: While less costly hardware is tempting, opting for higher-quality materials may prevent potential outages and keep devices running longer.
- Develop an outage response plan: It's essential to have a clear action plan for outages. Determine who will take charge and how you'll communicate with customers.
- Improve fault tolerance and recovery: Thoughtfully designing devices to recover quickly after faults can decrease the duration of outages.
- Employ redundant connectivity solutions: Look for dual connectivity solutions that seamlessly switch to a backup in the event of a failure.
Introducing Hologram’s Dual-Core SIM
Hologram’s mission is to eliminate catastrophic outages, for good. “That’s why we built our Dual-Core SIMs,” says Georgoff, “offering two completely independent mobile core networks. So, if one network fails, our technology seamlessly switches you to a backup.”
Each Dual-Core SIM doubles your network resilience. When an outage happens, the SIM can automatically switch to a functioning provider – dramatically shortening downtime.
Hologram’s Global Dual-Core SIM provides two global roaming profiles. For US and Canada, Hologram’s Premium Dual-Core offers primary connectivity with Tier-1 carriers Verizon and TELUS, with a global backup option.
“We’re proud to say it’s the industry's first truly fail-safe connectivity solution,” says Georgoff.
What to remember
Outages aren’t going away, but your approach to them can make a major difference in their impact. It's important to understand root causes, take steps to mitigate the fallout, and proactively ask your providers about outage protection, so you have the best possible partner at your side.
It’s time to outage-proof your business. To get early access to Hologram’s Global Dual-Core SIM, reach out to our sales team anytime at email@example.com.