In this week’s podcast with the Pod Group’s Sam Colley, CEO, and Felix Ontañón, Director of Research and Innovation, we discuss IoT connectivity and what is an Enterprise Network Operator (ENO). They share their insights on the IoT landscape, barriers to adoption, and information about their recent acquisition by G+D.
The ENO strategy allows hardware manufacturing distributors, the companies creating the IoT projects, with the ability to be their own operator along with the benefits that come from it. Allowing companies to have more ownership and control over their project coupled with greater privacy.
Sam Colley has focused his career on working in the telecommunications sector and the M2M/IoT communications market. He joined Pod Group in 2011 and contributed to the geographic and financial expansion of the company. Since 2019 he has been the CEO and focused on developing new global markets and increasing Pod’s footprints in existing ones.
Felix Ontañón is part of the Research and Innovation department at the Pod Group, where he works heavily in IoT connectivity and creating innovative technologies to overcome connectivity challenges. He is particularly interested in LPWANs, SIM card applets, eSIM/eUICC, Edge Computing, and Artificial Intelligence for IoT and has recently led Pod Group’s Open Source Community initiatives.
About Pod Group: Pod Group, A Giesecke+Devrient Company, is an Enterprise Network Operator (ENO) dedicated to providing IoT connectivity solutions to put the ownership of the IoT network into the hands of the enterprise by offering managed services on both public and private spectrum.
This episode of the IoT For All Podcast is brought to you by Losant.
Check them out at Losant.com
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(01:33) Introduction to Sam and Felix
(03:48) Introduction of Pod Group
(06:40) What is the enterprise network operator strategy?
(12:30) Use cases Pod Group clients are deploying
(16:25) Barriers for IoT adoption
(26:50) What barriers need to be removed to progress IoT?
(31:15) How does ENOS address the barriers of IoT?
(34:45) Impact of Pod Group being acquired?
– [Voice Over] You are listening to the IoT For All Media Network.
– [Ryan] Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of the IoT For All Podcast. I’m your host, Ryan Chacon. And today’s, we have actually two guests from Pod Group, the CEO, Sam Colley and Felix Ontañón the Director of Research and Innovation, both of which have a ton of experience in the IoT space. For those of you maybe unfamiliar with Pod Group, they are an enterprise network operator ENO, dedicated to providing connectivity solutions to put ownership of the IoT network into the hands, of the enterprises by offering managed services on both public and private spectrums. So today we’re gonna talk a little bit about, enterprise network operator and what that means and strategy behind it, why it’s important as well as talking a bit high level around the barriers to adoption, the barriers to deployment, that we’ve seen in IoT and how we can also overcome them. And then we finally wrap up about the new acquisition that they just recently went through, and the importance of that and what that kind of means for Pod Group’s future. Before we get into that, customers choose Losant because it’s unique, low-code approach to application development, offers a level of agility and speed to market that is hard to find anywhere else. Losant provides a foundation and lets you focus on delivering the IoT applications, your customers require. Start now, and see how the internet of things can transform your business. Visit Losant.com. Losant.com And without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the IoT For All Podcast. Welcome Sam and Felix, to the IoT For All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.
– [Sam] Thanks for having us.
– [Ryan] Yeah, I’d love it if we could start off. Yeah, absolutely. Let’s start off by having you both kind of go around and give a quick introduction about yourself and your background experience, things we think would be really interesting and relevant for our audience to get a better sense of who they’re speaking to. And Sam let’s start with you.
– [Sam] Sure, yeah. So yes, obviously Sam Colley up in IoT for 10 years now I think, so started with pods, in our European office actually. And then kind of moved to the US by eight years ago and now on the west coast. And really kind of been in this connectivity journey, pretty much since I guess IoT started to become more mainstream. I mean, still M to M I think back then. So it was a while back and you know, certainly there were no billboards with IoT on, like there are now, so that was like, even less context when people ask what I did, but now I can kind of point to those as you’re driving along the highway. But yeah, so I think, you know, just been kind of really seeing the evolution, obviously been through the kind of, the period of hype around IoT, which obviously hasn’t necessarily been achieved yet, but still I think it will be one day once things start coming together. And yeah, it’s been a really interesting journey and I’ve kind of seen, you know, all the different parts of the ecosystem evolve and seeing kind of like the new technologies come along and you know, it’s been really interesting to see that and be part of that. So yeah, that’s kind of my background.
– [Ryan] Fantastic, Felix?
– [Felix] So I’m Felix Ontañón, the director of research and innovation for Pod Group. I being in IoT for eight years, more or less now, started working for both and implementing the first special of the connectivity management platform. Okay, that we have. We are having now again offering the third version of the platform, far way ahead okay. Of what I started to implement like a eight years ago okay. So I’ll say director of research and implement and innovation what have been trying to do it’s combining and getting into both the most advanced SIM technologies. So today we have, UICC SIM implemented and the ENO SIM. That I think something we will be maybe discussing today.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. Sam let me throw a question over to you real quick. Just can you talk through the company a little bit, more for our audience, so they can kind of get a sense of, more about Pod Group if for instance they, aren’t as familiar, as others are. I’d love to hear just kind of more about the background, the story and what you all are doing now and kind of the overall focus and impact you have on the IoT space.
– [Sam] Sure, yeah. So in Pod Group has been around in some form or another for nearly well over 20 years now. Originally it was a hardware company in very early M2M so is actually connected lockbox for deliveries and post people. And I think that was kind of before the age of Amazon. So I think maybe almost like a little ahead of its time, it was like you could unlock it with an SMS. And so they, I think turned out not to be too much demand for it. And then about 10, 11 years ago, it kind of moved on from the hardware business and then started to focus on this global connectivity as IoT began to kind of, as I say really kind of start to scale and this need for global connectivity or more than just local connectivity became more apparent. And so, you know, the support essentially at that moment in time became a global MVNO, in the traditional sense kind of, working with different carriers and reselling their services. And then really since then, it’s really been trying to kind of , evolve what it was, in the MVNO space. As Felix mentioned, we kind of really implemented a good CMP, very early on, and then that’s evolved into something a lot bigger and more impressive now. And really tried to expand globally, to make sure we’re kind of, we are able to provide, a very flexible nimble connectivity service. And so, we now have offices in, we have offices in Spain, UK, California, one in central America as well or Mexico and then also one in Hong Kong. And so, it really kind of expanded globally to be able to provide that local service around the world. And then, beyond that, in the last few years, we’ve kind of looked at what was happening in the connectivity space and the MVNO space and kind of, and the MNO space. And kind of looked at what was needed to really achieve the scalability and in IoT. And so we’ve evolved this concept into what we call now, the enterprise network operator concept. Which is really kind of something new in the market. And it is still very much a concept but the focus of it is really to deliver ownership of the different elements of IoT to the enterprises so they can manage them directly. So really that’s kind of the journey of pardon them as we were recently acquired as well by G and D that concept, we really wanna evolve into other parts of the ecosystem as well, which maybe we’ll talk about a bit later as well.
– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, we were going to kind of, I was planning on talking about the ENO strategy a little bit later, but maybe we can jump into that now, since you’ve kind of segued there a little bit from a background standpoint. And Felix, maybe you can jump in and talk a little bit more about, what the enterprise network operator strategy actually is, why it was built, the opportunity that was seen in the market to bring this to light. And then we can dive a little bit more into maybe the benefits and the versus kind of what’s out there in the market. And Sam feel free to jump in at any point as well.
– [Felix] So from as Sam said, okay so the, basically the strategy which enterprise network operator it’s providing, to the hardware manufacturers distributors. So the people that actually, at using the connectivity for IoT projects, providing them with all the capabilities that MVNO, like a both okay, already have, because we have the control of the connectivity. We have the control of the SIM card. And there’s a lot of stuff okay. A lot of power, that even we okay, as in MVNO, we already have. So providing all that capabilities. So our, the hardware manufacturers, distributors, the people that are actually doing the IoT projects, they can benefit and being their own operator, I would say, okay, that’s a very good point okay, from ENO. So, one of the aspects is the SIM itself that for a lot of people, which believe, okay, that’s the SIM it’s just that passive element, that you insert into the device for providing you with connectivity. But it is actually a pocket sized device that the operator control. And that small cell, it can provides with a computational power, cryptographic abilities and benefiting from that capability the SIM have, for implementing applications, embedded applications, inside of the SIM card. That can solve and help with IoT challenges. It’s one of the propositions of the ENO concept under the ENO SIM that we are developing.
– [Sam] And just to expand on that. So really I think to Felix’s point, what the concept really is about as I mentioned before, delivering the ownership and control to, you know, it could be hardware manufacturers, or it could be the enterprises themselves. And that goes through the platform, the connectivity, the network. And as we’ve kind of seen the evolution of private networking, particularly in US with CBRS and then in Europe as well with a big push towards like campus networks and industrial IoT, there’s a need for a lot more visibility and control of the network, for these enterprises. And so, we’ve got the SIM card and I think there’s lots of elements on that, that are needed to really kind of deliver the NR strategy like Felix said, the eSIM element, the cryptographic security element, and then also kind of the idea of zero touch provisioning. But you know, lots of people talk about that, from the perspective of just connectivity, global SIM, zero touch provisioning. But what we’re talking about is, the ability to basically program your device like the APN, the ports, the IP’s, via the SIM channels securely, without having to pre-configure any of it in the device. So it kind of simplifies the whole supply chain from that perspective as well. And then, as we talked about private networks, I talked about private networks before, particularly kind of in industrial IoT, there’s a big need for local campus networks, again in supply chain logistics, it can be big at factories, but there’s also this requirement to roam on roam off and access the macro networks as well. So, you know, be more than just an island deployment. And so at the core network level, as an enterprise network operator, we’ve done a lot of integration to allow this roam on roam off concepts at the private and public network level. And then also obviously then deliver all of that in the platform for management by the actual enterprise or help a manufacturer themselves. So really, that’s the kind of example of how an ENO slightly different, is that it’s yet delivering the control and ownership to the enterprise as opposed to keeping it behind, a closed door.
– [Ryan] Yeah and what would most enterprises, use that for or what would they benefit out of being able to do that as opposed to kind of the existing strategy and offerings out there in the market now?
– [Sam] Yeah I mean, each of the different elements I think has different benefits. I mean, you know, at the SIM card level and having more control, we know with eSIM with zero touch provisioning and things obviously that’s just kind of, simplifying their own supply chain. They don’t have to manage multiple skews of Sims. You know, they can truly provision local services on a single global skew or they can use global services and they can then update that remotely, in terms of the SIM applications, the zero touch provisioning. Now, if you imagine you have, as an enterprise, you get five applications. Each of them required to speak to different clouds or have different conflicts on the device. If you have to manage the, if you have to program those in batches of 2000, now that is one of the biggest challenges actually to variety is actually the configuration of these devices, and customizing the configuration. Whereas, you know, if you can just program them all the same way, deliver them to the factory and when it turns on, it just pulls its conflict down, by the same channel, is a massive amount of efficiencies that can be created. And then on the private network side, it’s really what we’re doing today is private LTE networking, but that’s just a precursor to 5G. And I think, you know, 5G will, to some extent, probably revolutionize the way that, IoT devices are managed. And, you know, the ability to flash your network control, like in additional security all in the hands of the enterprise behind their firewalls is hugely advantageous for them. And I think that’s something. So the security side is something really that a lot of enterprises have said is kind of almost holding them back from deploying IoT because of the fear of, you know, the consequences of a security breach. With all that information.
– [Ryan] Can you take me through a little bit about, kind of who your target customer and audience is, when you’re approach, or I guess, implementing this strategy. And then at the same time, from a use case perspective, what are some use cases that maybe you’re comfortable sharing with our audience that your customers and clients are deploying, that you’re actively involved in?
– [Sam] Yeah, I think it’s pretty broad. I mean, relatively horizontal in terms of the use cases for which we work in. But particularly I think, you know, around the ENO, you know, we are, I mean, we’ve traditionally, we’ve been very focused and worked with a lot of SMBs, and help them kind of go from being small companies to scaling into big IoT companies. And, you know, we wanna continue doing that as we move forward. With the ENO strategy, we’ve been talking a lot more to some larger enterprises, had some good success in the utility space, for example, where we’re working to deliver, particularly on the private networking side and this kind of ability to migrate from private to public or public to private even, you know, as private networks are deployed. And then, you know, even just kind of in, as the kind of like traditional businesses, like tracking, for example or logistics kind of evolve, you know, they’re becoming slightly more complex in themselves. You know, we’re moving into like dash cams and things like that, which require completely different usage profile. And that’s where this control of the SIM remotely to update cost control for the customer is really important. And then, you know, we’re seeing a lot now in retail as well, where again, just the level of control at the local level is really important. So I don’t know, Felix, if you’ve got anything to add to that in terms of where you see the use cases coming in from the device testing that we’ve done, et cetera.
– [Felix] Well, I would like to, to add a little bit more okay. On the, an additional case, okay. That we have with the ENO SIM. So leveraging the capabilities, of the cryptographic elements inside of the SIM card, regardless or beside of the Cedar touch provision in functionality. So the same helping devices, to the load configurations from cloud, but in the first time, you switch on. There’s another capability that the SIM, the ENO SIM can help with. And that we are using okay, with some customers. Which is if you want to opt for a cheaper hardware and reducing the manufacturing cost of your device, but you’re going to use cellular connectivity. The SIM card will be there. And the SIM card, it’s a cryptographic chip. So on the ENO SIM, what we have implemented is an embedded application. Inside on the SIM card. So the device can send the temperature sensor and immediately, what about the measurement, the SIM card encrypts the data and orders, the module, the device to upload the measurement encrypted to the cloud. That way, you do not have to implement the HTTP in TLS Crypto connectivity is stuck on your device firmware. Because the SIM card will be there and that can implement that part. Releasing more capabilities of your devices, for doing more smart stuff with sensors or for opting for cheaper hardware. So if you’re opting for cellular connectivity, concerns about the device manufacturing expenses, why not, take leveraging okay, that capability. So the crypto chip with simple S.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Yeah thank you guys for kind of diving into that a little bit more. I was very curious, kind of understand how that all works. How it’s being applied and kind of, you know, how it compares to what’s going on in the market now from an offering perspective that’s great. I do wanna break off from that just briefly. We might come back to it in a second, but talk a little bit more high level about a topic I think we really interesting to get y’all perspective on and that’s just, if we look at the IoT market and where it’s coming as Sam you’ve been involved in the space for a very long time. If we can talk about the barriers that you all have seen through your experiences, regarding what has really prevented IoT from reaching, its full potential. You know, there’s been a lot of projections, on how many deployments we’re gonna have, how kind of adoption is gonna look like and so forth. But there are a lot of different barriers that are kind of restricting that from happening, whether it’s, the market being kind of, at times, very fragmented, the technology seeming complex, you name it. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting kind of angles that you all could kind of approach this from. So I’d love it if Sam, you can kind of start us off, by just talking through, what barriers you’ve seen throughout your experience and currently now, to do IoT really reaching those, projected deployment numbers and adoption that we’ve kind of been promised for so many years? Sam, obviously.
– [Sam] Sorry. And yeah, I think you touched on a couple of really important ones. Just then, in terms of like the fragmentation and things like cost. And I think, you know, they’re starting to be addressed now, but not necessarily completely. And we’re kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, in many ways, but, you know, there’s still a lot of confusion I think in terms of, the communication that’s used, the terminology that’s used. I mean, if we just look at the term eSIM alone, you know, like it can be used in five different ways, to mean five different things. It can mean just that the eSIM on the actual, the physical SIM card. It can mean, you know, the technology, it can mean a profile and really there’s no, we’ll never be in clear communication around, you know, how terminology should be used and that. We get questions from customers and, you know, it takes a while to educate them on that. And for them to really understand the power of, of what eSIM actually is, or UICC actually is. And then, you know, the same kind of confusion applies to network technologies. You know, NB-IoT, CAT-M you know, is it globally deployed? No, no. Can you access it anywhere? No. And yet that’s not really kind of it’s communicated as the future, but not necessarily, people aren’t necessarily told that, you know, this isn’t available in every country. You know, like if you want a global application, you’re gonna need some level of 2G fallback. And yet, you know, that 90% of the way through that device kind of build and development and all of a sudden they’re like, okay, I need to rethink this. And, you know, there’s still a lot of, I think, poor and confusing communication by a lot of different providers out there for sure. I think some of the standards have been somehow, underwhelming as well, just in terms of like the implementation at the GSMA level maybe. And, you know, when you look at how even eUICC is standardized initially, you know, it’s kind of the reliance on SMS, it’s kind of interesting. And, you know, is that a technology that we should be relying on when, you know, the future is data and, you know, is that holding things back because it makes the deployment somewhat clunky and those sorts of things as well. I mean, they’re kind of very small things in a big market, but they’re important when it comes to scalability and adoption I think. But, you know, in terms of the broader things, I think, yeah, fragmentation is huge. You know, there’s new technologies, new platforms every day, and, you know, hardware, software and connectivity really needs to be, you know, talking to each other constantly in that, will the data coming off it and the way that they interact needs to be SIM less. And I think that’s one of the big things that we’re looking to kind of address, moving forward. And we feel that as a connectivity provider, we can sit perfectly in the middle there and almost orchestrate between these platforms and, you know, the device management piece that the ENO SIM brings is our first step towards, you know, moving into that. So, you know, I think, that, and interoperability, you know, there’s so many things we could talk about for probably 25 minutes alone but yeah, it’s really interesting.
– [Ryan] Now lemme ask you, when you all work with companies and this is something that we haven’t really covered too much about, we’ve maybe touched on here and there, but when a company adopts IoT, there’s a certain kind of skill set and a certain understanding of the technology that often is required by that customer, by the end user and so forth. How have you seen that play into barriers for adoption? I mean, obviously we can, you can go down the path of talking about, you know, just the resistance from a legacy standpoint or legacy infrastructure standpoint, but then, but I’m thinking more along the lines of individual knowledge, skills that are needed within an organization to help these IoT solutions be not just adopted, but also utilized to their fullest extent. And as the company grows, how they can kind of expand on that. And I feel like that’s a skill set that’s really required within an organization to truly benefit. I’d be curious to kind of get your thoughts on how you see it.
– [Sam] Yeah, I think it’s a good point. And I think, you know, one of the things we did some work with one of the analysts a few years ago, and that’s really one of the reasons to see a new strategy also came about is the lack of these expertise or in-house knowledge of how to digitize or implement these implement, you know, networks and platforms, et cetera. To really manage and scale IoT within their own company or their own enterprise. And so, you know, I think it is a huge challenge because it is a, you know, an additional budget that lots of people don’t necessarily consider. They want, you know, the benefits and cost savings of IoT and the efficiencies, but maybe, you know, they haven’t got the initial budget to invest. And I think with the ENO strategy and the platform that we’re trying to build, is to try and take a lot of that administrative burden or internal requirement in-house requirement off the enterprise, and kind of deliver them with a much more SIM less kind of connect. Well, I guess, IoT management platform eventually, so that, you know, you don’t quite need the same level of expertise, right? You don’t need someone to manage five different things. You can have one person managing all of that centrally, you know, via a single pane of glass. And I think it, it’s a real challenge for enterprises, I think and is one of, probably another, one of the reasons that yeah, you know, there’s been lots of stops and starts, right? Enterprises dipping their toes, realizing maybe they’re not equipped and, you know, then pulling back because maybe, they’re not 100% percent convinced of the value in return when they have to make that investment. I don’t know, Felix, if you’ve got anything to add there from a more technical perspective.
– [Felix] Well, actually what I think is that, developing, implementing an IoT project, it requires a variety actually of skills first okay. You need the domain knowledge of the problem you are trying to solve. So the IoT vertical either is agriculture or in trucking positioning and utilities industrial okay. That’s very necessary because you’re implementing an IoT project for solving a business problem or an enterprise problem actually. And along with that at, from my perspective, I think that some companies has more, that I implement in the IoT projects. They are more focused into building the cloud solution. Then they are lacking the connectivity knowledge and the connectivity challenges. They perceive connectivity as a commodity maybe, if they are focused into implementing the cloud solution or the IoT application on the cloud. Then if the company is more focusing into distributing the hardware, for solving different vertical solutions or for different vertical solutions, they are lacking the knowledge on the connectivity as well. And maybe on the IoT application development. So it’s like a three or four, even four different skills sets okay. That would be needed a quick from my perspective, the main of knowledge, hardware, connectivity and in the platform and software okay, and the cloud.
– [Ryan] All right.
– [Felix] From Pod I think that we are covering very well okay, the connectivity part and also the additional knowledge that we offer to our customers because we know okay, about the hardware, we care about the hardware of our customers. And we accommodate the connectivity to the all hardware, when onboarding them, helping us to feel okay the part in. And I think that that’s key okay, for companies in the IoT to provide not only your part of the knowledge, but being aware okay. If that there say too many different skillsets and the more you have, the more the solution or service you will be able to provide to your partners customers.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. I think the understanding that yes, a lot of these technologies are complex. The market at times is fragmented, depending on how you look at it, but there’s a lot of emphasis to be put on the power and the impact of working with a company like Pod Group and others. Who really understand the IoT side of it, the connectivity side, the hardware side, you know, people work with systems integrators, who are kind of in charge of understanding at all. But that the partnership side of things, I think is what’s really driven this community or this industry forward for so many years. And there’s a lot of, I think, to be said about the importance of that when companies are out there looking to go find a company to work with, who has the right partners, who has the right understanding of the full scale of a solution needs to be developed. Now, one thing you mentioned was the domain authority, which I think is very important as well but often times that comes from the customer cause they are the ones living in that space. And they’re the experts there. So understanding how to really digest that information from them and collect the right information from them in order to help advise them on the right path forward. So that the pieces that are put together for a solution are correctly chosen, whether it’s to meet a certain, you know, ROI or some kind of objective internally for them, because for them, if they don’t have the, if they can’t justify from an ROI respective they can’t get the right buy-in From upper management, it’s sometimes that’s where it kind of dies at the pilot stage, along with many other reasons as to why that happens. Let’s say, I’m, I wanted to ask you, what do you think we need to be thinking about? Or the industry needs to see, for a lot of these barriers to be removed or start to kind of fall down a bit for us to be able to see adoption increase. We’ve kind of talked a lot about the, what those barriers are, but from your perspective, in addition to what you all are doing, are there other things in the industry you think that need to happen for adoption to kind of grow and those deployments to be more successful?
– [Sam] Yeah, I think it kind of touches on some of, of what we talked about before, but I do think to your point that partnerships are really key. I think this idea of interoperability, you know, you don’t, as a company like pocket, we’re not gonna necessarily own every element of the stack. You know, we’re not gonna build our own IoT platform. You know, there’s so many out there already that are doing a great job. But, you know, as a customer or as an enterprise, they need to be able to kind of like manage that pretty SIM less to either from the IoT platform, needs, manage that connectivity from there or devices from there and possibly even their hardware from there, or they need to be able to do it from say the kind of CMP that we’re providing. And so I think, you know, building these partnerships and these kind of integrations across the three main silos and breaking down that it’s a super basic level, but like hardware, software, and connectivity, you know, as I mentioned before, they really do need to be kind of like talking to each other very seamlessly. And it can’t be a lot of work for the enterprise to do that. Because to your point, you know, the technical expertise internally maybe may not be there for them to be able to go and build all of those integrations. And I think that’s a real challenge. I mean, we do it for a living and it’s a challenge. And, and so for someone just to come and be, you know, jump in there and try and pull it together is even even more difficult. So, you know, I do believe that, you know, these partnerships are needed. I think that ecosystem needs to be open. I think it needs to be agnostic. I don’t think any one party can say, you have to use us for this and we’re not allowing you any flexibility in that, because if that’s the case, then you start creating like micro silos and then just interoperability is still lost. And I think, you know, I think the ami nos is really starting to see that with east end but they really need to kind of be less protective over the network. And if they’re delivering a good quality network and the app prices that allow IoT to scale, they will be successful even in the world of eSIM where it maybe it’s slightly easier for someone to move away from them. But then it puts the accountability on them to deliver the right service at the right price to the customer so they can scale their IoT. And so I think, yeah, so I think there’s a lot, sorry, Ryan go.
– [Ryan] No, no, go ahead.
– [Sam] This is a lot around, I think that really, and I think that’s the first step, really is just kind of creating these partnerships. That’s interoperability. This is kind of yeah, open kind of agnostic type approach to it. And that’s one of the things we kind of believe quite heavily in. And I think, yeah, I think there’s no single and people say all the time, but there, there is no like single answer to fix any one single problem. And so really it’s kind of opening the eyes of the enterprise to all the different potential services that are available. So that they can pick best in class for what they’re trying to achieve for a specific application. But not have to use a different provider, a different platform have a different supplier, but you know, can access it via partnerships or whatever else.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. Yeah I think there was a point you made about, what companies that you work with. Not only come in understanding, but also want to know or need to know to be successful. And I think the easier we can make that buying process and the earlier they, or the more knowledge they can come into a conversation with a company like you all with at least a base level understanding of what’s going on, but then know that the trust or put the trust in you all to put this together, build it, take care of the things so that they can get back to operating their business and they can start seeing the benefits of the solution that would be then developed or and deployed within the organization or for their customers. I think it’s very important to also, consider is how we are educating them. The potential customers, but at the same time, making the adoption as easy as possible for them. Because the last thing they want is another system that they have to work with that creates headaches and that drives up costs for them in any kind of capacity. So I think those points are very, very valid. And the last thing I wanted to ask you all before we wrapped up here is, now it’s tied back to the ENO strategy that you have and into those barriers that we’re talking about, which ones does that does the ENO strategy really address in your mind or kind of, where was it, I guess initially built to address, to help bring down some of those key barriers that you are able to have influence over?
– [Sam] Yeah I think that the initial, you know, the concept as well will evolve over time. Initially we’ve developed it, you know, primarily to look at, you know, the connectivity silo, right? All of these kind of disparate technologies within that, as I say, private networks, eSIM, multi NG to some extent, global connectivity, all these things. And then even, you know, the various different types of pricing models and the billing and administration of those that are needed, whether it’s a two month bundle a year long bundle or a monthly bundle. All these sorts of things, that also weren’t really being addressed. You know, so initially that, you know, was kind of just built or designed to really simplify the connectivity silo. I think then as you know, obviously we progress with that. With that implementation. You start to touch things like device management and that’s where the ENO SIM comes into it, which Felix talked about before. And so, then you start to start solve these problems that aren’t necessarily directly related to connectivity themselves, but, you know, you can start to solve incrementally within the same platform, as you say, the connectivity management. And then, you know, as we’ve kind of gone down the path of, zero touch provisioning, you know, we started the engagement more IoT platforms and so what level of integration is required within an IoT platform for customer to be able to use the IoT platform, to successfully manage their services. They’re sort of starting to look at things from the perspective of the enterprise first and then look at what we can deliver as a service from the platform point of view. So, you know, I think where it will evolve to, is probably very different to what the concept is today, but it’s trying to move the, move the conversation away from megabytes and minutes when people talk to us and how can we kind of help them, solve other problems within active stacks that are somewhat related, but not, not actually connectivity. I’m not sure if that answered your question.
– [Ryan] Absolutely. I mean, I think anything that we can do to help understand and help showcase things that are being done to bring down those barriers, to adoption, to those barriers, to deployment. And I think, you know, even some companies are very niche focused and some are more broad focused on what they’re able to provide to bring to the market to, to help that. So I think what you all are doing is fantastic in, and really helping bring or bring down some of those barriers to adoption and help companies really understand, especially on the connectivity side what’s going on and what’s best for their solutions. So that’s fantastic. But so the last thing I want to ask you before we kind of, as we finish up here, is two things. One is, as our listeners out there or watchers now that we’re on video, have more questions, want to follow up, engage further. What’s the best way to do that? Is it through email? Is it through LinkedIn? Is there some part process like to push them towards?
– [Sam] I mean, we do have a contact form on the website, podgroup.com where people can kind of, you know, put the details in and then we’ll reach out to them. But also, yeah, I mean, any of us are available on LinkedIn, direct messages are always welcome. And then also we have, we do have, you know, 24/7 phone line that goes straight to like an account manager. And you can just call us and we’ll be happy to help you that way as well. So pretty, yeah, pretty much any way you’d like to contact us, you can do it or just direct email as well. I think it’s pretty easy to do that.
– [Ryan] Okay. And then the last thing I wanted to ask is just, you know, what does the future look like on your end? I know we’ve touched on it with the ENO strategy and the potential there, but just generally the company I know you all were, I believe recently acquired, correct. And what does that kind of do or how does that impact, kind of the future plans for what you have going on?
– [Sam] Yeah, so we were acquired by G+D, obviously, you know, one of the leaders in east salmon and SIM cards and security in the market today. I think they have more ease platforms deployed than any other provider in the world. And I think they were really interested in this strategy and also looking, they’ve got a great vision, beyond just what they’re doing today as well. And I think what initially that acquisition gives us, is complete ownership of the connectivity stack from the east, from the SIM-OS, from the plastic itself, all the way through to the core network that we’ve implemented. And then also the management platform that sits on top of that. So, you know, the amount of, kind of technology, we can evolve a bit like the, SIM that Felix was talking about and control over the app, but it’s on the SIM and no control over the eSIM platform. And, you know, starting to kind of, I guess, innovate around the existing standards today to deliver more value to the market is, is kind of, I guess, phase one, but then, into the future, you know, we’re really looking beyond, as I said, just the, the connectivity piece and looking at how we can really help deliver, value, be it at a hardware level or an additional software level in order to kind of easy enterprises burden and really accelerate this growth that we know IoT can achieve. But it’s still somewhat behind the expectations. Felix I don’t know if you’ve got anything to add there.
– [Felix] Well, maybe okay. For the future, one of the holy grails, that a lot of people is looking for it’s the convergence of a lot of different technologies into something more easy. So as you said, Ryan, that people can benefit from out of the shelf, okay. From all this, every single care in IoT. So one particular aspect, okay on this SIM card itself is like that I believe that it can play a very good role. It’s not only me obviously who thinks that, in converging device identity, device connectivity and device payments. Have a look, this smart card in the end, this smart card can be the SIM card for connectivity and ID card for identity, the credit card for payments in the end, it’s the same ship. It’s software only what makes a smart card for payments. So I foresee given the some research groups or interest groups that, that are ready okay. And even from some movements of the GSMA, that’s something that we might see in the future, is that the SIM card itself, it’s turned into a convergence small unit that can host inside all software. So, hardware can benefit from making connectivity, identity and payments, everything inside of the SIM. I wish okay, from Pod now that we are, with the handle for G+D and K as well, we can help okay. In standardizing some of this convergence stuff and providing that for the wide worldwide audience. Okay, that will be great. That’s part of our interest and the stuff we are making products okay and research now.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Well, thank you all for that. I think I’m very excited to kind of see, what comes out of Pod Group, you know, G+D kind of, as we progress here now, as you all are required by them. And I think a lot of the things we talked about today, are super fascinating that you have going on. So very excited for our audience out there, please check out Pod Group check, see what they’re doing, reach out if you have any questions or wanna consider working with them in some capacity. But gentlemen thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. I think this conversation was fantastic and I really appreciate you being here.
– [Felix] Thanks for having us, Ryan. I appreciate it.
– [Ryan] All right, everyone. Thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT For All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please click the thumbs up button, subscribe to our channel and be sure to hit the bell notification so you get the latest episodes, as soon as they become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching.