MiX Telematics Africa and Apex BI are demonstrating how it is possible to manage an ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT) environment.
The IoT sector is much hyped, but few realise that one of the most challenging aspects of a world of connected devices is how to manage the sprawling IT network it will create.
A vast number of smart devices, including in-vehicle telematics devices, connect to the Internet via the GSM (mobile) networks. Each one requires a SIM card in order to transmit data, creating a significant management challenge. With several hundred thousand SIM cards in use across Africa, MiX Telematics found itself at the sharp end of IoT long before the term was even invented.
MiX Telematics is a global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Its impressive range of solutions and services is sold in more than 120 countries worldwide, with over 750 000 subscribers to date – and growing.
The company’s products and services provide enterprise fleets, small fleets, and consumers with solutions for safety, efficiency, compliance, and security. These solutions rely on telematics devices to collect and transmit data to the MiX Telematics data centres across the globe.
According to Regan Erasmus, operations director at Apex BI, MiX Telematics Africa wanted a platform to efficiently monitor, control, and manage the vast number of SIM cards in its heterogeneous environment.
“The solution was what we refer to as ‘the power of knowing’ – essentially a way to integrate all the data into a single software platform where it can be analysed in order to provide real, meaningful business intelligence for the client,” says Erasmus.
Apex BI deployed its proprietary telecommunications expense management platform, Clarity. Clarity aggregates the data from the total universe of MiX Telematics SIM cards, issued by a number of different mobile network providers across the continent. The platform helped to eliminate manual processing of information, and made the automated analysis of this information attainable in order to provide critical operational and financial insights.
Clarity makes it possible to implement smart rules – in terms of voice, data, and SMS usage – for different customers according to their specific operational needs. In addition, MiX Telematics has a more efficient system to consolidate and process on-billing charges to the client.
“We have been using Apex BI’s Clarity platform for more than four years, and for me the greatest benefit is not just the ability to control and manage our sizeable and increasing number of SIM cards, but also that we have the capability to retain that control into the future,” says Gert Pretorius, MD of MiX Telematics Africa. “Clarity is helping us to drive down costs, while delivering a better and more cost-effective service to our clients.”