It has been fairly common practice over the last few years for IoT connectivity vendors to sell some combination of hardware and connectivity bundled together. Some hardware vendors deploy MVNO offerings, or resell connectivity, while connectivity providers often have device portfolios. In many cases, the main motivation for clients was claimed to be the desire for a ‘one-stop-shop’ where they could conveniently buy both hardware and connectivity. The value of this has always been overstated, not least because the combination is unlikely to provide the cheapest option. Most enterprises would value lower cost over the claimed additional convenience. However, in the last year (and going into the future), the pendulum has swung in the other direction, i.e. more demand for bundles. This is not because of convenience, however. It is because of the growing need to build IoT solutions where all of the elements are optimised to deliver the best performance in constrained environments. All of the various constituent elements of the solution need to be considered together, and in terms of how they interoperate.
This report looks at the drivers for greater integration, the elements of an IoT proposition and the ways in which they need to be optimised to work with other elements, and assesses the capabilities of the relevant vendors of hardware and connectivity in terms of their ability to deliver optimised integrated solutions.