Overview - The Onboarding Journey
Hello and welcome to Aeris! If you are reviewing these materials, you are most likely embarking on a journey to onboard your IoT solution onto the Aeris Connectivity Management Platform. This article guides you through the onboarding process.
Before you get started, ensure you meet the prerequisites for each of the following sections:
AerPort Account Access
AerPort is a self-service Connectivity Management Platform used to manage the life-cycle of your SIMs and connectivity services. When you signed up for Aeris connectivity services, you completed a customer profile form and returned it to Aeris. This form captured various information, including a list of AerPort users with at least one designated Admin user. The form also specified the email addresses of organization members who should receive maintenance and impairment notifications for your account.
Verify AerPort Access
To verify AerPort access, please follow the instructions in Access AerPort for the First Time. The article describes how to access AerPort for the first time as an admin, view your account users, and add users to your account.
Verify Notification Recipients
- Contact your account manager.
- Open a support ticket through the AerPort portal.
- Send an email to email@example.com.
Verify AerPort Account
When Aeris processed your order for connectivity services, your AerPort account was created with access to your selected Aeris connectivity product, rate plans, and service features.
Verify Connectivity Products, Rate Plans and Service Profiles
Review the Verifying the Aeris Account section to verify the proper setup of your account.
SIM Supply Chain
As part of onboarding, it is a good practice to determine the logistical aspects of your supply chain process. For example, should your SIMs be shipped to your office or device manufacturer? Below is a list of items to consider.
Determine the shipping address for Aeris to deliver your SIMs. Some customers have their SIMs shipped directly to their device manufacturer, while others have them shipped to their corporate offices. Review your supply chain process to determine the best approach for you.
SIM installation is the process of inserting SIMs into your devices. The best installation process for you depends on your SIM and device type. There are two available methods of SIM installation:
- Embedded SIMs are installed by your device manufacturer and involve soldering the SIM to the printed circuit board. You cannot freely insert or remove these SIMs from your devices.
- Removable SIMs: enable more flexibility to determine when and where your SIMs get installed. You can freely insert or remove these SIMs from your devices.
Note: If your devices are sealed, then your SIMs must be installed as part of the manufacturing process.
SIM Provisioning and Activation
SIMs are shipped from Aeris in an inactive state. You must determine when to provision your SIMs in the Aeris Connectivity Management Platform. Please choose the most cost-effective approach. For example, if you hold your SIMs in inventory months before manufacturing, Aeris recommmends you leave your SIMs in the inactive state until shortly before you intend to use the SIMs for manufacturing. At that time, you can provision your SIMs.
Note: Aeris starts charging a monthly fee for each SIM 6 months from the provisioning date or when the usage exceeds the allotted provision amount, whichever comes first. This is an important factor in determining when your SIMs should be provisioned.
It is also important to determine the responsible party and method for provisioning SIMs. You can provision your SIMs via the following resources:
- AerPort portal
- AerAdmin API
Note: Some Aeris customers provision their SIMs themselves, while others have their device manufacturer provision them.
As part of quality assurance, test cellular connectivity before you approve devices for customer use. You can test cellular connectivity during or after the manufacturing process. There are several factors to consider for determine connectivity testing:
- Is there cellular coverage or alternative access to the cellular network at the testing location?
- How much data is required for testing?
- Will the amount of data necessary for testing exceed your provision usage amount? This may cause your devices to become billable prematurely.
- Will testing occur in a roaming zone that is subject to roaming rates? Aeris recommends testing your SIMs in the home billing zone of your rate plan. However, you will not be charged for roaming if your usage stays under the allotted provisioning amount, even if testing occurs in a roaming area.
Aeris offers a robust set of REST APIs that you can use for a variety of activities. The APIs provide access to most features that are available in the AerPort portal as well as additional functionalities you can only find in API form. Many Aeris customers utilize the APIs, but others find the AerPort portal satisfies their needs. Here are a few reasons to consider using the Aeris APIs:
- Your IoT Application utilizes SMS.
- You want to embed live network status and utilization into your IoT application.
- You want to integrate the utilization reports into backend systems.
- You want to use enhanced location services (tower location).
- You want to automate device provisioning and device life-cycle changes.
- You want to automate rate plan assignment and changes.
To learn more about the Aeris APIs, see APIs - Overview.
VPN Connection for Data Services
Data traffic from your IoT devices travels over the Aeris cellular network to the Aeris core network, where it is routed to your backend IoT application servers. Depending on your requirements and the IP addresses of your IoT application servers, data to your servers is either routed over the internet or a private connection. To determine if you require a VPN, please review the information in this article: Access Data Services on the Aeris Network.
Module and Device Certification
Each Aeris connectivity service has unique certification and approval requirements. Some services require only regulatory approval for the in-use module, while others require full certification and carrier approval of the device. Please review the Device and Module Certification article to determine certification and approval requirements for your device.