Globally there has been a dynamic shift in business models across industry verticals. This shift has significantly increased the need and demand for remote and hybrid working environments. How big has this shift been? A recent AT&T study revealed that the hybrid work model is expected to grow from 42% in 2021 to 81% in 2024. With this change in business models comes a unique need for remote connectivity, accessibility, data spend and usage management, which all dramatically affect business continuity. Many businesses have turned to software solutions, such as Adapt IT Telecom’s APN-as-a-Service solution, to enable remote work and ensure the business runs as it should while managing connectivity costs effectively. Below we examine how this solution makes remote work and data and usage management possible for businesses.
APN-as-a-Service for remote work/hybrid environments
In simple terms, the APN-as-a-Service solution is based primarily on APN (Access Point Name) technology, which allows remote working for employees to access the internet anywhere, at any time, securely. This ensures employees have secure access and connectivity to their business networks and applications.
How does it work? The APN-as-a-Service technology allows a gateway between a mobile network and another computer network, i.e. the internet. For devices (phones, notebooks, tablets, and laptops) to make a data connection, it must be configured with an “APN” access code so that the operator can direct the APN user’s device to the allowed virtual private network (VPN). Once this pathway has been created, employees can connect to the necessary business networks and access the business information needed to do their jobs effectively from anywhere.
Other features of this solution include:
- Flexible connectivity options – this solution offers various flexible Data Connectivity options to suit a business’s unique requirements across the two largest mobile operators in South Africa.
- Real-time, in-session data control – you can control and manage data usage in real-time across any network. This allows you to identify problems or issues proactively.
- Integrated radius and data bundle management – this widely deployed technology provides authentication, authorisation and accounting for business network access. With this, you have real-time control over your data allocation and consumption.
- Static and dynamic IP pool allocation and management – this functionality enables you to segment connectivity and data traffic and apply business rules across different areas within the organisation.
- Comprehensive Report Library and Self-service analytics – you will have access to a Self-Service reporting library which will provide detailed insights that will allow you to make informed business decisions related to mobile data spend and connectivity trends.
- Secure data environment – the infrastructure is fully managed, ensuring all necessary security protocols and regulations are in place.
The Benefits of APN-as-a-Service for Hybrid and Remote Working Environments
From the above, it is clear that this solution has been developed to address the challenges and needs of businesses looking to adapt to remote and hybrid work environments. By implementing APN-as-a-Service, businesses can expect to take advantage of the following benefits:
- Enhanced collaboration – connectivity and accessibility allow for real-time collaboration and communication between teams, departments etc. This solution also makes access to organisational information much easier for employees, which further enhances collaboration.
- Efficiency data usage and spend management – with remote and hybrid working environments, there is a specific need for data usage and spend management. With so many devices needing to connect to the network, managing this and their data use, allocation, and overall spend can often be challenging for organisations, resulting in overspending. APN-as-a-Service helps you manage this in real-time, resulting in cost savings and effective spend management.
- Effective security and privacy – security and data privacy are significant concerns for organisations engaging in remote and hybrid working environments. With many network access points, the risk of a data breach is high, so it is critical to ensure secure and safe access and connectivity. APN-as-a-Service has several data security measures in place, including authorisation checks, the ability to impose specific business rules on access etc. This ensures that the business’s data is kept secure.
How APN-as-a-Service Improves Risk Mitigation and Business Continuity
From the above, it is clear that there are several benefits to the APN-as-a-Service solution. Two benefits we haven’t touched on yet include risk mitigation and business continuity.
Within the context of risk mitigation, this solution provides complete visibility over data use and spend. Why is this so important? Not tracking data use and spend effectively can lead to the inability to control out-of-bundle spend, resulting in unexpected bills that affect the business’s overall revenue. With this solution, data consumption is managed on the platform and updated every 60 seconds to give companies a real-time view of consumed data. This also identifies abuses, overspending, and opportunities to save on data and usage costs.
On the business continuity front, this solution ensures that your employees have stable, consistent and reliable connectivity to the business network and the information needed for them to do their jobs. This remote workforce mobility becomes essential in the case of natural disasters, global pandemics and other situations that may affect the ability of employees to come into the office. By having remote and hybrid working environment solutions in place, you can ensure that your business can run smoothly and efficiently, no matter the situation.
Over and above this, the APN-as-a-Service solution is quick and easy to implement, as shown by the deployment steps below:
- You will provide Adapt IT Telecoms with your unique connectivity requirements.
- Adapt IT Telecoms will request the SIMs from a 3rd party that handles Rica & Fica, activation and APN provisioning.
- Once the lines are active, Adapt IT Telecoms will provision the SIMs on our innovative platform, allocate data and set up alerts and business rules.
- The SIMs are then deployed to you, where you can allocate and manage all the data across both networks on the easy-to-use platform.
- The entire process takes approximately 72 working hours from order to deployment.
APN-as-a-Service in Action
Adapt IT Telecoms was approached by a leading retail solutions company that services brands and retailers across 60 countries. This particular customer had a base of more than 10 000 contract SIM cards deployed across multiple mobile operators and was struggling with managing the various contracts, data allocation, data bundles, and out-of-bundle charges. They also had no real-time visibility of cost and could not forecast effectively.
With the implementation of APN-as-a-Service, this customer was able to gain complete visibility and control of mobile data spend across the organisation. The company gained vital insight into data requirements, allocation and usage across the business.
This resulted in eliminating data abuse and enhanced cost predictability, which led to a 25-30% cost saving for the organisation.
From the above, modern businesses transitioning to remote and hybrid work environments need a solution like Adapt IT Telecoms APN-as-a-Service. This innovative solution ensures business continuity and risk management by providing secure connectivity, access to business networks as well as data usage and spend management. As the demand for remote and hybrid working environments continues to grow, businesses must ensure that they are keeping up with the times and prioritising workforce mobility. This new business model is the way of the future. The question you need to ask is, “Is your business equipped to transition to remote and hybrid work environments?”. If you answered no, contact us today for more on our innovative APN-as-a-Service solution. Let us help you implement the right technology to ensure business success and continuity.
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In my 20+ years’ experience within the information technology and telecommunications industry, I have assisted businesses in successfully delivering and managing various technology solutions and consulting projects to a multitude of organisations spanning across Telecoms, FMCG, Financial Services, Banking, Retail, ICT, Manufacturing, Public Sector and Mining. My strength and passion lies in the mediation of technology and business with a focus on successfully integrating software solutions that assist organisations in delivering on their strategic objectives through improved business insight to ultimately improve business performance. At Adapt IT I am privileged to work with an experienced team that is equally passionate about utilising technology to drive business efficiencies specifically focusing on Mobility.