In its quest to revolutionise how the world accesses coffee, Costa Coffee, a leading provider of premium quality drinks, alongside Eseye, the UK-based industrial IoT connectivity specialist, recently announced a new partnership to enable Costa Express to deploy IoT-enabled vending machines around the world.
Eseye’s IoT technology will help the company to achieve its vision to transform the future of coffee retailing across the globe, through real-time data collection and an end-to-end IoT service that enables Costa Express to better monitor its machines and thus, reduce downtime, and create a unique competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.
To achieve this, Costa Coffee has equipped its Express coffee machines with the Eseye AnyNet Secure multi-IMSI SIM, which connects to any available mobile network instantly, enabling cellular data access anywhere and communication to the back-end systems as soon as one of the 10,000 plus machines are powered on. The SIM also provides health-monitoring, local time synchronisation and data route information.
Costa Express is also utilising Eseye’s new AnyNet Active Management service, which provides a fully managed, proactive multi-network Switching as a Service capability with a dedicated Service Delivery Manager (SDM) to ensure its IoT connectivity service is delivering near 100% uptime.
In its pursuit of international expansion, the introduction of Costa Express and self-service vending machines enables Costa Coffee to extend its reach and rapidly increase market share in a highly competitive industry.
Through Eseye’s technology, Costa Coffee can act swiftly to ensure site staff replenish milk and other consumables, and that important machine functionality such as coffee grinder or boiler performance is monitored in real-time.
This enables the machines to match the quality, service and experience delivered through barista-made coffee in-store. It also reduces the need for specialist engineers to physically connect every machine to local Wi-Fi or cellular networks and ensure uptime.
Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye, says: “Eseye’s IoT technology will help Costa Coffee to achieve its vision of transforming the future of drinks retailing. Delivering barista-quality coffee on the go, Costa Express is one of the world’s most advanced vending machines.
“Powered by Eseye’s unique IoT AnyNet Secure platform, Costa Express is able to monitor its machines’ actual usage per customer in real-time, to deliver customised marketing promotions and reduce downtime through smart maintenance. The net effect is a unique competitive advantage in a crowded and fast-growing global market.”
Paul Borrett, Systems and Data Director, Costa, adds: “Eseye’s fully redundant fault-tolerant network provides a managed connectivity service with a global footprint, while support for multiple cellular networks in each geographical region enables close to 100% connectivity uptime. This means that we can deploy connected devices and deliver premium quality drinks virtually anywhere in the world, a real advantage as the company is seeking to expand rapidly across international markets.”
The new AnyNet Active Management service provides a real-time data feed to enable Costa Coffee to make dynamic changes to its IoT device profiles and ensure they are delivering maximum value, whether that be device uptime, optimising connectivity costs, or providing critical real-time data, such as maintenance status or supply levels. It is also able to push new commercial and marketing offers directly to the machine over the network in real-time.
As part of this service, Eseye oversees proactive monitoring of the customer estate as well as offering value-added knowledge and consultancy around rapid hardware prototyping and development, device onboarding, deployment planning and ongoing monitoring.