In a world advancing in technology as quickly as ours, the Internet of Things (IoT) is destined to make a meaningful and resounding impact on nearly every sector – a trend we are already seeing. But what exactly is IoT, how does it apply to our local South African economy and how can businesses use it to their advantage?
IoT includes anything that contains embedded technology to communicate or interact with internal and external devices. An example of this is using data SIMs in printers that receive delivery orders placed by customers via an online delivery service app.
This is the IoT application unpacked in this case study – a quick overview of the work that Flickswitch did with OrderIn and explains how a business SIM management tool was effectively used to help this local business thrive in a local economy.
OrderIn is South Africa’s online food delivery service present in more than eight cities and growing rapidly. It was the first food delivery app to be launched in South Africa and also the first to install order printing devices in restaurants for food delivery orders. They required a partner to assist in the roll-out of the data SIMs that receive the orders in the printing devices.
In-store printers at partnering restaurants are a core part of the OrderIn business model. The devices use mobile data connectivity to operate and OrderIn needed a way to manage these SIMs. As it was essential to get the set-up right from the get-go in order to ensure the sustainability of the business model, OrderIn approached Flickswitch from their launch in 2013 to manage their large network of SIM cards across the country.
The three main requirements that OrderIn needed to successfully roll-out the devices were cost control, risk management and technical support. Flickswitch offered SIM and device troubleshooting, network optimisation consulting as well as highly responsive customer service.
With almost ten years of experience and specialising in managing business SIMs, Flickswitch could work closely with the OrderIn team to both resolve and avoid technical challenges around connectivity and device behaviour during the initial roll-out. A priority was to avoid bill-shock to the restaurants as the devices were deployed in very accessible locations and the risk of SIM abuse was high.
Being able to scale fast is critical for a high-growth start-up. With the help of the Flickswitch’s business SIM Management tool, OrderIn has already managed to successfully sign up around 1000 restaurants and has continued to grow at a rate of over 300%, in the last year alone. Being able to have new SIMs Rica’d and activated in bulk through Flickswitch means that there is less downtime and waiting period to roll-out new devices.
Since the launch, competition in the local food delivery market has heated up significantly with the launch of UberEats in Johannesburg in September 2016 and in Cape Town in early 2017. OrderIn’s early entry into market and strong and efficient IoT solution serving multiple orders per day has withstood the competition.
This inspiring local business has used the Internet of Things to connect hundreds of restaurants, in over 10 cities, and their patrons across South Africa over the past three years in a cost-effective, managed and seamless way. As they grow, the technology will grow with them, allowing them to compete with the recent large global tech entrants.
By Willem Malherbe – Director at Flickswitch