Many of our Cradlepoint customers have hundreds or thousands of distributed locations. Normally “distributed location” refers to a stationary branch office or site. But for companies with large vehicle fleets, each vehicle is a distributed location.
With Cradlepoint’s Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), which recently experienced key upgrades, companies are saving significant time and money by managing their fleet networks remotely. They can configure, manage, monitor, and secure networks from a central location — and from a single pane of glass.
Streamlined Deployment: With “near zero-touch deployment,” companies are using ECM to guarantee every router in each vehicle is configured quickly, efficiently and with consistency.
For instance, a long-haul trucking company might do business all across the U.S., with distribution centers in a few cities, but have only one IT administrator on the West Coast. When it’s time to equip the trucks with network connectivity, you can do it a couple of ways.
Traditionally, you would send IT teams out to every distribution center and every truck to install and configure the routers. However, to save significant time and money, you could ship a pallet of routers to each location, hire one service technician for each installation, then use ECM to remotely configure the modems all at once, with uniformity.
Firmware Upgrades: When you need to push out a firmware upgrade or install a patch, you can be confident every device on your network — even if there are thousands of them — will receive the same update at the same time remotely, without the vehicle having to return to a central administration point for a physical touch
For improved ease of use, ECM’s new scheduling feature allows you to automatically upgrade the firmware for your entire fleet at a time that’s convenient for you and your IT team, making administration easier and less distributive to critical uptime connectivity.
Load Balancing: ECM is purpose-built to help you monitor and load balance data between different carriers — to manage bandwidth for peak periods — when using the Dual-Modem Dock for the COR IBR1100. A dual-modem setup also enables multi-carrier failover for an always connected experience.
Out-of-Band Management: You can remotely manage non-Cradlepoint devices through your Cradlepoint router with ECM. Simply set up a serial or console cable between the two devices and no additional configuration is needed. You might, for example, have a fleet of mobile health care clinics equipped with mammogram machines, X-Ray machines, electronic medical records, and printers. As long as the equipment has a serial or console port, you can connect them to the Cradlepoint router and remotely manage them, too.
Create WiFi Hotspots: Many organizations benefit from being able to create WiFi hotspots around their vehicles. For example, if you manage IT for a police department, you can turn a police car into a network hotspot at the scene of a crime. Officers can file reports, upload crime scene images, and access department information with WiFI access around the vehicle.
IT teams for van, car, or limousine fleets can manage guest WiFi from afar, and Cradlepoint routers enable you to securely segment WiFi networks so you don’t have to worry about exposing sensitive data such as credit card information over the public network.
Set Alerts: ECM enables you to create alerts that signal when a router’s configuration changes or if someone is trying to use a router to mount an attack against your network. We’ll discuss this more in the security section below.
Geofencing: Geofencing allows you to monitor the geographic location of the vehicles in your fleet providing physical security. For example, some fire department and law enforcement agencies monitor potential security incidents by using ECM to receive alerts any time one of their vehicles goes beyond certain boundaries, such as city limits.
Detect/Prevent Intrusion: Adding the CP Secure Threat Management Service to your network gives you cloud-enabled access to IPS/IDS (Intrusion Prevention/Intrusion Detection) services. IDS notifies you when someone is trying to hack your network, such as with a denial of service attack. IPS prevents that threat from actually happening.
Content Filtering: Cradlepoint provides context filtering through the cloud with Zscaler Internet Security that enable customized blocking of content categories. Advantages include preventing drivers from streaming videos or accessing certain websites, such as social media, gambling, and illicit sites.
Web Security: Cradlepoint’s Zscaler Internet Security also closely monitors and prevents access to harmful web sites that include malicious content such as malware. If one of your employees is subjected to a phishing attack and clicks on a link to a site known to be dangerous, it will block access to the site. This feature is particularly important given that industry experts such as Gartner Research continue to predict that most new networks attack will take place at the Network’s Edge.
Together, all of these features give vehicle fleet managers the type of remote cloud management that saves substantial man-hours and other expenses. Cradlepoint’s Enterprise Cloud Manager makes remote tracking, monitoring, and managing fleet vehicles easier than ever — from a centralized location and a single pane of glass.