As Hologram’s customer base has grown across a diverse set of industries, we've heard how customers use our dashboard in creative ways. Interviewing these customers revealed opportunities to improve the experience for teams and better fulfill our mission of helping organizations connect, launch, and scale any device anywhere.
Over the next few months, we plan to release various new improvements and features to better serve our customers. Today we’re excited to announce Preflight. Our patent-pending technology to improve the cellular IoT supply chain deployment cycle and the team members who manage it.
Preflight is a new dashboard feature tailored for enterprise customers that require a streamlined supply chain process. Preflight enables an automated connectivity lifecycle allowing Hologram Global Cellular IoT SIMs to move through a customer’s device supply chain requiring no manual interaction, configuration, or activation. Companies can now order 1,000 to 1,000,000 Preflight enabled SIMs and know they are automatically optimized to activate at the right time and with the right data plan.
Cellular IoT Deployment Built for Enterprise
Before Preflight, organizations would order SIM Cards and once they arrived would need to activate each card one-by-one or in bulk manually via our dashboard or programmatically via our API. Billing would immediately begin to accrue after activation. For large customers, this activation process tediously slowed the supply chain process and added unnecessary cost while a device remained in inventory awaiting deployment.
With Preflight the time spent adding new cellular devices is eliminated along with no fees while a device goes through manufacturing, testing, and inactive inventory. Below are the new features that make Preflight possible.
Automatic SIM Inventory to Account Association
No longer will enterprise accounts need to scan SIM Card barcodes or manually enter the 19-digit ICCID. Preflight automatically associates all SIM ICCIDs with your enterprise account when they leave our warehouse. All SIMs will appear in the organization’s dashboard "Preflight" tab ready to be configured.
Granular Activation Lifecycle Control
Previously Hologram SIMs could only be activated or paused. Now with Preflight, SIMs can be configured in three new modes before activation: Auto-Activate, Test to Activate, and Test to Hibernate. This allows organizations granular control over when a device should have access to Hologram's global cellular IoT network and begin its billing cycle.
"Ready" State for Automatic Activation and Test Mode Connectivity
"Ready" is the new default state for all Preflight SIMs. When in the "Ready" state, a customer's Hologram Global IoT SIM can still connect to any available networks in over 196 countries without beginning the billing cycle for the device. Preflight was built to eliminate the need for manual device activation so organizations can focus on their deployment success. With every Preflight SIM, the Hologram cellular IoT data plan is preconfigured for automatic activation at first use on the network or after using a limited amount of available test mode data or SMS. This means Preflight SIMs auto-activate from the edge device, not from the cloud!
For example, a European company may have units manufactured and tested in Hong Kong with each unit not being active for another month while they sit as inventory waiting for shipment to their end customer. Imagine the customer took the device home, unboxed it, and turned on the device. When the cellular module attempts to connect to a cell tower for the first time and transmits data, the Hologram IoT SIM automatically activates to begin accruing usage charges. First-use auto-activation ensures seamless deployment to production without adding additional process steps within your organization. In addition, network fees only begin when a device is actually active and producing value. With Preflight, these units would be verified working in Hong Kong without needing to be activated until they reach the final end customer.
Test Mode Enables Better Hardware Manufacturer QA
Another common use-case we see for test mode connectivity is when customers require third-party manufacturers to run end-of-line tests prior to shipping. Ideally, the customer would like these tests to run without the SIM needing to be activated incurring network charges and this is what the new Preflight test modes enable. QA testing at the manufacturer level is now simplified eliminating all unnecessary usage fees that come from early or immediate activations upon shipping. Preflight enables test mode by allocating a limited amount of free global data connectivity for each SIM. After the test data allotment is used, the device can automatically activate on a preconfigured plan or return to a hibernated inactive inventory state.
Customer Case Study
Fleetsu is a cloud-based Fleet Management Platform trusted by leading companies to monitor, automate, maintain, and analyze corporate fleets. For Fleetsu to expand globally, they needed a better way to automate hardware testing at the manufacturer and reduce friction from inventory to deployment. Hologram Preflight provided Fleetsu a software forward solution enabling cellular connectivity automation while also better aligning connectivity activations with actual data value.
"Hologram's Preflight capability simplifies the deployment process for both our team and our customers. Onboarding customers onto our Fleetsu Cloud Fleet Management Platform is now quicker and easier. Preflight is an example of how Hologram is a great partner understanding our needs from cellular IoT connectivity."
Adam Brunini-Ricketts - Head of Product & Customer Success at Fleetsu
Get Preflight for Your Organization
We are excited to announce Preflight is generally available to all Enterprise accounts. Customers have already begun to share how easy Preflight was to integrate and dramatic improvements in the automation of their supply chain process.