When Daniel Wu, an Engineering Manager for UHS Systems was looking for the right Internet of Things (IoT) cellular partner to help scale business beyond Sydney, the choice was simple. Vodafone’s IoT service shone against the competitors.
“Vodafone’s global roaming data SIM was really attractive to us”, says Daniel. “They offer service internationally in over 190 countries, and straight away their IoT network/service gave us a foothold in the international market. The Vodafone platform enabled us to sell our products in many different markets around the world.”
The other deciding factor was cost. Says Daniel, “Vodafone’s competitive price point was our ‘enabler’. Their team worked with us to design a system to suit exactly what we wanted to do globally.”
Engineer Daniel Wu has worked for UHS Systems since 2002 designing systems that caters to most security applications from small domestic installations to major commercial buildings, schools and correctional facilities. The company is now one of US company Carrier’s development centres and exports the technology to the world.
Says Daniel Wu, “We do the hardware and the software. It’s very sophisticated software that’s really about detecting abnormalities. We use M2M (machine to machine) SIM that provide connectivity between alarm panels and monitoring systems. And we have apps for your mobile phone. If you’re away on holiday, for example, you can connect to your door bell and talk to a delivery guy like you were at home. He’ll never know you’re not on the other side of the door.”
The IoT is becoming a valuable tool for Australian businesses
IoT refers to the network of connected physical objects that can communicate and exchange data among themselves without the need of any human intervention. In your home, that could be your phone communicating with your door bell, and then your alarm system following unusual activity captured by the camera on your automatic vacuum cleaner. The connection possibilities are endless.
Globally, the statistics are eye watering. McKinsey and Company estimates that IoT will have up to a $17.5 trillion (US$11.1 trillion) impact by 2025 and IHS Markit believes the number of connected IoT devices will increase 12% annually to reach 125 billion in 2030.
Australians are increasingly turning their eyes to the value IoT can add to their lives and businesses. According to the Vodafone IoT Barometer Report (2019) adoption has increased to 34%, up 5% from 2018. Of those who have adopted, 79% say IoT is enabling positive outcomes that would be impossible without it, particularly reduced operating costs, improved collection of data and increased revenue from existing streams.
Daniel Wu’s company was one of the first in Australia to embrace the IoT to scale its business globally, and it’s been a success. In addition to the domestic Australian market, today UHS Systems, as part of Carrier Corporation, sells its products throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal and other European countries.
“We have evolved into a multi-faceted operation. We tailor and build the device for our customers and organise the cellular connectivity and integration. The customer just needs a SIM card and to plug in the device. There’s no IP knowledge required by them, so it’s very straightforward”, says Daniel.
Vodafone’s global contract offers businesses an extra layer of data security
Vodafone is still the only cellular carrier in Australia to offer a one stop shop, with one global contract, using one global network and 640 partners. Businesses planning to scale don’t need to get in touch with foreign telcos and manage different contacts.
Vodafone customers have the ability to manage their own fleet of services, using their own Global Data Services Platform (GDSP), wherever coverage is provided. UHS Systems has achieved a solution that was originally developed and deployed in Australia, and, based on population, triple or quadruple their market size using Vodafone IoT services to operate in the U.S. for example.
Vodafone Group has more than 20 years of IoT experience and has been voted as a global leader in IoT by technology analysts. There are 1400 members of the Vodafone IoT team globally, and 85 million M2M connections on the platform worldwide.
Data security for customers is paramount, and Vodafone provides customers like UHS Systems with a dedicated VPN to optimise security. Vodafone supplies companies with their own VPN. It’s theirs to manage and provides an extra point of resilience and another level of product safety.
Vodafone’s end-to-end customer service
Another area that Vodafone prides itself, its end-to-end customer service, has made Daniel Wu and his colleagues extremely satisfied. “The Vodafone support has been brilliant in all the time we have been with them, and that’s now over a decade”, he says. “We know that if there’s a problem with an individual SIM the IoT team at Vodafone will address it and provide backup.”
It’s a focus on reliability and security that gives Vodafone an edge in the global IoT space. It’s also providing incredibly useful technology. Vodafone now works individually with health providers bringing hospital care into people’s homes with technology that can give pacemaker insights or detect if an elderly resident has fallen in the shower and needs help. At the other end, Vodafone provides IoT platforms for garbage collection services in Canberra, for global e-readers, and luxury carmakers.
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