Open Tracking provides live tracking for events ranging from personal challenges to extreme sports and world record attempts. Participants are able to stay connected, tracking their location and route online, as well as logging their times on a leader board.
Events covered by Open Tracking range from paddle boarding to fell running and everything in between. These will often take place in remote or rural locations with variable mobile signal. This is a huge challenge for the team who need to ensure that participants stay connected in order to log personal bests, as well as from a health and safety perspective.
James Thurlow, managing director at Open Tracking, said: ‘‘Previously, you might have employed a marshal to take up a check point, making sure that each participant was accounted for as they made their way through the course. Open Tracking removes this requirement, providing live updates around location and progress. To do this however, we needed a strong connectivity partner.’’
Limited geographical coverage meant this had proved unreliable in the past – trackers would often ‘drop off’ due to their inability to find a strong enough signal from a network provider.
There was also an element of SIM management. ‘‘Since launching, the number of trackers we manage has grown from around 40 to 500,’’ said James. ‘‘Originally, we were using a supermarket pay-as-you-go contract to top up SIMs – going to the supermarket each month to top up 40 SIMs was proving labour intensive and time-consuming. As we grew, we realised we needed a more effective way of operating.’’
Open Tracking contacted M2M Intelligence to see if they could suggest a more cost-effective and reliable solution.
M2M was able to supply a Multinet roaming 3G SIM, enabling trackers to connect to any available UK network. Open Tracking is no longer at the mercy of a single provider’s ability to supply a constant signal in all areas of the country, plus now they have global roaming capability to work wherever their customers’ adventures take them.
M2M Intelligence also provides Open Tracking with real-time visibility over the entire SIM estate via the M2M-i Insight portal. This integrated management system provides unparalleled levels of control over the roll-out of new devices by simplifying activation and giving Open Tracking a granular level view all its data SIMs on one easy-to-use dashboard.
Open Tracking has been able to optimise its data costs, gaining access to a reliable service that eliminates the reliance on a single network. This has also had a number of additional benefits, saving time and money as well as streamlining operations.
A reliable connection
M2M’s Multinet roaming SIMs have ensured that Open Tracking’s devices are connected virtually anywhere. Event participants in a range of geographic locations, with varying levels of signal, can now connect to the best available network.
“M2M’s solution has allowed us to be completely confident in our ability to track participants in real-time. This is helping people log world records and other amazing achievements! This also provides peace of mind for friends and family who are able to monitor progress online during events. It’s great to have a connectivity partner that we are completely confident in – it just works!” said James Thurlow, managing director at Open Tracking.
The solution has also driven significant cost-savings for the business – particularly in terms of staff time. James and the team no longer have to visit their local supermarket to top up their SIMs at a fixed rate, and are operating more efficiently as a result.
A managed approach
The M2M Insight Portal provides Open Tracking with complete visibility over its SIM estate, with real-time, easy-to-digest metrics – from the number of SIMs operating to estimated monthly costs.
The team can also access the portal to simplify sending instruction texts to trackers – dynamically changing the tracking time from 90 to 30 second intervals, for example. This can also be used to broadcast configuration changes to all trackers simultaneously or just to selected groups.
‘‘The nature of our business means that events will often run outside normal working hours, at weekends or during the evening,’’ said James. ‘‘If we have any queries or want to double check on anything, the team at M2M are always available. Having a named contact at the other end of the phone that understands your business is brilliant – the team constantly go above and beyond to help.’’