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 on to Aeris connectivity. This document will guide you through the onboarding process including activities such as acquiring SIMs, connecting your data center to the Aeris network, verifying your connectivity services, managing the connectivity life-cycle, device certification, and API integration.
To help you get up and running quickly with your devices, we have put together a playlist of videos that demonstrate all aspects of using AerPort.
Click Onboarding Video Playlist to see the list.
Before getting started, let's check a few things to make sure you are ready to take off on your onboarding journey. This section will help you verify the following prerequisite checklist.
- AerPort account access
- Connectivity products, rate plans, and service features
- Initial SIM order has been received
AerPort Account Access
AerPort is a self-service Connectivity Management Platform used to manage the life-cycle of your SIMs and your connectivity services. When you signed-up for Aeris connectivity services, you filled out a customer profile form and provided it back to Aeris. The customer profile form captured a variety of information that included the initial AerPort users to be added, of which at least one was designated as an Admin user. The form also specified the email addresses of individuals from your company that will receive maintenance and impairment notifications if they should occur.
Verify AerPort Access
To verify AerPort access, please follow the instructions in the article Accessing AerPort. The article describes how to access AerPort for the first time and how to view and add additional users.
Verify Notification Recipients
To request or make changes to notification email recipient list, please contact your account manager directly or open a support ticket through the AerPort portal or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Verify AerPort Account
When your order for connectivity services was processed by Aeris, your AerPort account was created with access to the Aeris connectivity products you chose to use. Rate plans and the service features were also added and configured.
Verify Connectivity Products, Rate Plans and Service Profiles
Please review the Account Details article to verify the proper setup of your account
SIM Supply Chain
As part of onboarding, it is good practice to determine a few things as it relates to your supply chain process. For example, should your SIMs be shipped to your office or direct to your device manufacturer. Below is a list of items to consider.
Determine the physical location where Aeris will ship your SIMs on an ongoing basis. Some customers have their SIMs shipped directly to their device manufacturer while others have SIMs shipped directly to their corporate offices. Review your supply chain process to determine the best approach.
If you are using embedded SIMs, SIMs will need to be soldered to the printed circuit board and will be installed by your device manufacturer. With removable SIMs you may have more flexibility to determine when and where your SIMs get installed. If your devices are sealed, then your SIMs will need to be installed as part of the manufacturing process. If the SIM slot is accessible on your finished device allowing SIMs to be inserted and removed, then you have more flexibility and options. Based on your SIM and device type, determine the best process that meets your requirements.
SIM Provisioning and Activation
SIMs will be shipped from Aeris in an inactive state. It is up to you to determine when your SIMs get provisioned in the Aeris Connectivity Management Platform. Please consider the most cost-effective approach. For example, if you hold your SIMs in inventory for months before manufacturing, Aeris recommends you leave your SIMs in the inactive state until a short-time before the SIMs are to be used manufacturing. At that time, you can provision your SIMs. Aeris will start 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. There are two methods for provisioning SIMs; either through the AerPort portal or via API. Some Aeris customers provision SIM on their own while others have their device manufacturer provision SIMs. Choose the option that is best for you.
As part of quality assurance, it is common to test cellular connectivity before devices are approved for customer use. This can be done as part of the manufacturing process or some time later. Several factors should be considered in determining connectivity testing.
- Is there cellular coverage or alternative access to the cellular network at the location where testing will occur?
- How much data is necessary for testing?
- Will the amount of data necessary for testing exceed my provision usage amount causing my devices to go billable prematurely?
- Will testing occur in a roaming zone which is subject to roaming rates? Aeris recommends testing occur in the home billing zone of your rate plan. However, if your usage stays under the allotted provisioning amount, you will not be charged for roaming even if testing occurs in a roaming area.
Aeris offers a robust set of RESTFul APIs that can be used for a variety of things. The APIs provide access to most features that are available in the AerPort portal as well as additional functionality that you will only find in API form. Many of Aeris' customers utilize our APIs but many others find the AerPort platform satisfies their needs, the option is up to you. Below are some reasons why you might consider using the Aeris APIs.
- Your IoT Application utilizes SMS
- Embedding live network status and utilization into your IoT application
- Integration of utilization reports into back-end systems
- Enhanced location services (tower location)
- Provisioning and device life-cycle automation
- Rate plan automation
Access the API documentation in AerPort to learn more about the Aeris APIs.
VPN Connection for Data Services
Data traffic from your IoT devices will travel over the Aeris cellular network to the Aeris core network where it will then be routed to your back-end 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 over a private connection. Please review the information in the Access Data Services on the Aeris Network article to determine if you require a VPN.
Getting Connected - Quick Start
We are thrilled to have you as a new customer and we're sure you are excited to get started with Aeris connectivity! We have put together Onboarding Quick Start guide to get you going. Follow the step-by-step articles below to quickly activate your first SIM and get connected to the Aeris IoT Network!
Module and Device Certification
There are various certification and approval requirements based on the Aeris connectivity service you plan to use. Some services only require regulatory approval for the module being used 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.