Entelec in Review: An Old Dog Needs to Learn New Tricks

By Jose Gallardo

Last week at the Entelec Conference, I visited with petroleum, natural gas, utility, and pipeline vertical market participants whose goal was to get a handle on Best Practices for Secure Communications Solutions to Support Remote Industrial SCADA and Industrial IoT (IIoT) Applications. What was quickly made clear, was that industry participants seem to immediately trust those whose perceived expertise rested solely on decades old relationships that were built by predecessors who have no idea what IoT was born to be.

During one of the sessions, a question was brought to an “expert panel” that focused on the connectivity of devices and the process of doing so in a secure and cost sensitive manner. To my disbelief, the question was answered by steering the company to a provider who would be able to setup connectivity when a 10,000+ SIM activation occurred. But what happens if a company doesn’t have 10,000+ SIMs to activate, or better yet, has no clue what steps to take in deciding which connectivity provider to choose for its small to mid-sized business that only needs 250 – 500 SIMs at a time? The questioner left the room even more lost and with more doubts about how and where to start.

After this eye-opening experience, I caught up with the IoT newbie to better explain his options, and within a few minutes together, he gained an understanding of not only his company's connectivity and security challenges but also its IoT readiness. How many companies are out there, like this businessman, who put their trust into resources/providers that have been used for decades and don’t have a clue as to what IoT is or how it can help generate profit, save money, or ensure compliance for both themselves and their clients?

As the ecosystem continues to grow with increasingly more end users trying to make buying decisions, we have to shepherd them in a direction which benefits THEIR bottom line. This will allow the business community to not only reach the self-imposed “billions” of connected devices quota, but to truly create a fully-connected world. Furthermore, it is up to us to find the end user NOT wait for them to try find us by way of antiquated “relationships”, which ultimately halt the upward trajectory IoT is on today.