Five potential types of supplier to develop your connected solution

Do you have an IoT project? To design, develop, manufacture and market a new connected solution, it is inevitable - and ...

supplier IoT

Do you have an IoT project? To design, develop, manufacture and market a new connected solution, it is inevitable - and highly recommended if you do not have the internal resources - to be accompanied by an external partner. Depending on the complexity of the project, your internal skills and your budget, you have several choices. We offer an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the five types of service providers who can assist on your project.


The freelancer, an independent supplier


Choosing a freelancer for your IoT project is a very attractive option. As an independent service provider, freelancers are often cheaper than large companies. Beyond this cost advantage, you have a wide range of choices: it might be easier to find a freelancer who is available and able to fulfil your request in a timely manner.

But be careful, using a freelancer also has its disadvantages.

  • The independent IoT service provider offers fewer quality guarantees than a company with a strong presence on the connected object market. Opting for a freelancer is a good idea if you have in-house technical knowledge of the connected product, to ensure that your supplier makes and implements the right choices. Without supervision, you are totally dependent on the decisions of a single professional, a relationship that can jeopardize the success of your project.
  • The freelancer works alone, and you have no control over their schedule. If they are absent due to leave or illness, for example, no one replaces them and your connected object project could be delayed. A structured company makes it possible to overcome this inconvenience, while offering more stability.
  • The independent supplier rarely has a global and cross-functional vision of the IoT sector, as their skills are often limited to a specific field. You must therefore use separate service providers to cover the electronics, firmware, cloud, manufacturing and marketing aspects of your connected object. Beyond the restrictive aspect of finding several service providers, getting them to communicate, corresponding with each of them, managing them, synchronizing them and so on, this choice can ultimately prove more expensive. 

As a supplier on your IoT project, a freelancer is perfect as an executor, a role to which they are limited in most cases.


Design office

The design office offers a major advantage in bringing your connected object to market: advanced expertise in the sector. You benefit from the support of a large-scale and qualified structure at all stages of connected object development.

Important: for genuine added value, be sure to choose a firm specialising in your field, with suitable in-house skills in hardware, firmware and cloud applications.

Weakness of the design office: beyond the development phase, there is little chance that your supplier will be as competent. Most design offices do not have the forward vision for industrial deployment and you are exposed to the risk of incompatibility - or even setbacks - when your connected object is brought into industrial-scale production.


Looking for more information about Rtone?


EMS, specialists in electronics manufacturing services

An EMS is a valuable partner during the industrialisation phase. It offers extensive production capacity and excellent understanding of product costs. If you design and develop your product internally, the manufacturer is the ideal service provider to assist in moving to production.

However, it should be noted that most EMS are generalists, and have little knowledge of specific IoT issues. In this context, you must be able to present a highly-detailed technical specification, at the risk of considerably delaying your project, along with all of the costs it involves.


ESN, the digital services company

An ESN is an expert in digital and cloud technologies, offering high added value to support you in the integration of a cloud solution. However, it should be noted that hardware is not their strong point, so be sure to provide highly-detailed technical specifications.



Rtone stands out in the IoT market with its global and agile approach. As pioneers in the development of an IoT business with Rbee Solar, we are aware of the technical, organisational and business impacts of an IoT project.

Choosing Rtone for your connectivity project gives you all of the advantages of the other provider types combined, without the disadvantages.

  •  The flexibility and reactivity of freelancers. Aware that an IoT project is always urgent, we mobilise all of our human resources to provide our services as quickly as possible. And unlike the independent supplier, we have all of the necessary skills in-house to cover your project from design right through to marketing. 
  • The expertise of the design office. As a design office for connected objects, we offer you the rigour necessary to develop your connected object. And to avoid unpleasant surprises, we use our expertise and integrate the concept of industrial deployment right from the design phase. 
  • Trusted industrial partners. We have a network of long-term industrial partners to guarantee the best cost effectiveness for your IoT projects. Under these conditions, we have seamless oversight of production management, and communicate throughout development about the specific constraints affecting your connected object, to ensure it reaches the industrial phase without difficulties or delays. 
  • Digital or cloud specialists. We integrate all digital and mobile technologies internally, thanks to our team of digital services specialists.

Developing a connected object is a major project, with potential for considerable benefits... provided that you are accompanied by a suitable specialist. The choice of your service provider is therefore essential, and must be made in light of your own resources and restrictions. As a specialist in connected objects, Rtone offers a turnkey service and covers all aspects of project implementation. A single point of contact capable of supervising and reporting to you at all stages: to save you time, minimise your management obligations and ensure the success of your project. Experience, rigour, skills, cross-functionality: we rely internally on a variety of profiles, each delivering its own added value. Would you like to discuss your options? Contact us!


You want to go deeper with your IoT project? Discover how to build a successful connected solution with our free guide. 

Download your free guide

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