Companies are constantly looking for ways to monitor and track the critical device information that resides in their remote assets. They also need to understand the environments in which their devices reside. But why? The traditional method for remote device management is to send technicians to remote sites to gather information. This can be expensive and labor-intensive. As a result, organizations need to have a strong reason to gather remote device information; otherwise, it just doesn’t happen. This article will take a modern view of remote device management — what is it and why is it important? We will discuss the modern, cost-effective method of remote device management known as Drop-in Networking, and important considerations in creating a Drop-in Network.

Remote Device Management

In business, the world revolves around increasing profitability, and increased profitability comes from new and increased revenue sources and/or increased operating efficiency driving lower costs. In order to have new revenue, you must have something to sell and in order to increase efficiency, you must be able to identify the areas of inefficiency.

Figure 1. If a device is not easily connected because access to a network is not available, the data will not be accessible from a central location.
So, in the world of remote device management, the goal is to measure and control remote devices by enabling communication with a back-end application, thereby enabling new revenue sources and/or increasing efficiency. It sounds easy, and if the device is intelligent and networked, it is easy in general terms. However, if the device is something that is not easily connected because access to a network is not available, it doesn’t generally matter how intelligent the device or the application is — the data isn’t accessible from a central location (see Figure 1).

Early on, remote device management was mostly concerned with managing devices and environments that already were wired. Further, where there wasn’t an infrastructure, the proverbial human-based “sneaker-net” has been pretty effective to handle the necessary communication. However, it has not been enough to truly drive efficiency and new revenue.

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