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Ask the right questions to be able to provide the solutions your client needs.
When looking into the right solution for complex IoT projects, there is no room for trial and error.
You must get it right the first time around in order to avoid immeasurable financial damage for your clients.
To make sure you can provide the right solution right away, we created a checklist for you.
Simply download the checklist here and take it with you when meeting with your client, so you can ask all the right questions, in order to provide the ideal solution from the get-go.
1. Place of deployment
Complex IoT projects can be very challenging due to their location “in the middle of nowhere” so to speak.
Desert or South Pole?
They can be offshore, in the middle of the desert, near the South Pole, or even in a war torn area, far away from the regular power network or even human life.
Hence, the place of deployment is one of the key questions to ask your potential client.
Get as much detail as you can about the place or even multiple places of deployment, so you can provide the suitable solution.
2. Environmental conditions
For coastal and off-shore installations, for example, machinery will not only be exposed to extremely strong winds but also to UV-rays from the sun and, of course, (salt) water.
Hence, it is important to know whether the enclosure will need to withstand extreme weather conditions, extremely high or low temperatures, salt water or other challenging environmental conditions.
This means you would need to be looking into enclosures that are waterproof and able to withstand extreme weather conditions, amongst other requirements.
3. Power supply
The power question is key to a successful project, as without power, absolutely nothing works.
Due to the often remote locations, there may or may not be a direct power supply available. So, how are things powered on site?
Is Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC) existent on site, or none at all?
Try and get as many details as possible about the power situation on site, asking for its reliability in the past and/or possible challenges in the future.
4. Power backup
There is nothing more important than a backup power supply.
A power cut without a backup can have devastating operational and thus financial implications.
Is a power backup required or is one already in place?
If a power backup needs to be provided, for how long does it need to uphold the system and how much power does the backup need to provide?
5. Data usage
The amount of data that needs to be transmitted, as well as the intervals at which this is done, is also an important factor.
By asking about the data volume you can then determine the right application and power backup needed, in order to continue to run operations smoothly, at least for a limited time, in case an external power source is interrupted at the unmanned site.
Any downtime always means loss of revenue and perhaps even greater risks involved.
6. Cellular coverage
Communication is key to any successful IoT project as without a network connection, data cannot be transferred between devices without human intervention.
When meeting with a new or potential client it is therefore paramount to ask about what communication service covers the area; GSM/LTE/SAT?
If they already have used communication services, ask them to rate the quality on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very poor and 10 being excellent.
If none is available, take note of this also.
Even though communication services may already be available, if the quality is not as good as it is needed, you may be able to offer improvements where necessary.
7. Sensor technology
Unattended sites like midstream pipeline operations as well as a range of environmental applications including wind farms,
forestry monitoring and surveillance may need sensor technology to be put in place for all those places hard to reach or health hazardous for human staff.
In those cases the enclosure should be equipped for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or M2M applications. Hence, when visiting your client,
it is important to determine whether a connection to sensor technology is required, and if so, ask what fields of application it shall be used for.
Some complex IoT projects require special certification, such as TÜV and/or CB, to meet certain ISO standards or even required by law.
Make sure to ask what specific certifications are needed and for which aspects of the project they are necessary.
9. Terminal devices
Find out if terminal devices are being used and which ones.
10. Mission-critical application
Every project, every operation, every business has critical applications, where failure of the systems can cause major havoc, financial losses or can even put the entire operation at risk.
You should ask your new or potential client exactly what critical applications there are, if any, and what the implications of a possible downtime would be.
11. Special requirements
Whilst the points mentioned above are the most important ones to get started on your complex IoT project, there may be further special requirements your new or potential client needs or wants.
Ask about them in detail to make sure s/he gets the exact solutions they require and want – a content client will make your life all the more easier and helps you spread the word about your services.
So do be prepared to go that extra mile.
More than 4500 CPN enclosures installed worldwide
Around the globe we have executed thousands of successful IoT projects, including, among others, pipeline monitoring and control, well site automation and control,
environmental monitoring, control of remote alarm systems and the monitoring of offshore wind power plants.
CPN gives you all the experience you need to find the right solution for your complex IoT project.
Working hand in hand
We not only support you, we also support your customers every step of the way, wherever necessary.
We have access to a wide range of proven and reliable industrial components, such as remote terminal units, power supplies, battery backups, switches,
Power over Ethernet injectors and many more, allowing us to develop and deliver functional and reliable prototypes fast.
Experience and Knowledge for a successful IoT project
With all our CPN Enclosures being pre-cabled, thoroughly tested and ready for installation in the field,
you can speed up the development of any IoT project beyond expectations, increasing the number of projects you can serve simultaneously and thus increase your net gain.
Moreover, we keep you informed about all costs of the deployed solution throughout, so you, as the bridge between us and the client,
have a full insight into the financial side of the project – without any hidden costs.
Your client, on the other hand, receives all the information he needs, to feel comfortable that you are the right one to entrust with his project.
Partnering with us will help you get that signature under the contract faster than ever!