Arm: Four Steps to Embedded Connectivity
Arm believes that 1 trillion new IoT devices will be produced by 2035, and an increasing number of device manufacturers are helping make this prediction become reality. Following discussions with global companies, Arm recognises that complexity can be a barrier to larger IoT projects. Manufacturers can reduce much of this complexity by providing devices with embedded connectivity that ‘just works’. Whether you manufacture smart logistics devices (sensors, trackers, pallets etc) or any product with an embedded eSIM chip as a tracking and connectivity technology, the following elements need to be addressed.
Elements required for embedded connectivity
1. Take an eSIM
At 5x6 millimeters, the eSIM is around half the size of the Nano (4FF) SIM card. Unlike removable SIM cards, the eSIM is embedded during the manufacturing process – soldered into a sealed enclosure. It is extremely difficult to tamper with or remove an eSIM without causing significant damage to a device. An eSIM is also water resistant, an essential feature for any ruggedized IoT applications and especially so for the logistics industry. As an example, an end user may need a pallet shipped worldwide in incredible adverse conditions, resulting in the device being inaccessible for weeks at a time.
2. Add a bootstrap profile
Every eSIM is configured with a bootstrap profile. The bootstrap profile guarantees that the device can obtain connectivity, regardless of its geographic location, and be used to download local network profiles when a device is first turned on. It may also be used as a fall-back profile if there are network issues in the location where the device has been deployed. This is particularly useful for smart tracking devices that will require automatic initial connectivity as they cross geographical regions.
3. Link a management platform
A software platform that manages eSIMs is key to scaling IoT logistics deployments. The simplicity and automation provided by a connectivity management platform make it possible to enroll, deploy, maintain and track thousands of devices remotely. This is critical for logistics solutions, as the sheer number of devices which are deployed globally continues to scale exponentially.
4. Choose a network
The ability to change network operators without physical interaction is a major benefit of eSIM. A global network of MNOs is an important component of the eSIM ecosystem because no one operator provides the coverage to support a global supply chain. A manufacturer of smart logistics devices can provide the device with the bootstrap profile and let their customers choose the network that best supports their needs post-deployment, or remotely change operators as the needs of the deployment changes.
Interested in reading more? Check out Arm’s full whitepaper here!
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.