The development of new products with Bluetooth Mesh is becoming an increasingly important and relevant topic for many manufacturers. The question is, when is it best to develop your own products internally and when should you rely on external expertise?
The question of development
Once the decision to adopt Bluetooth mesh technology has been made, there is probably an even more difficult question: who will develop the hardware, firmware and associated software?
Primarily, three different approaches are possible:
- The company relies on its own internal development,
- one contracts external partners for the development,
- or one relies on existing solutions by licensing it.
Of course, a combination of these three approaches is also conceivable.
In-house development of Bluetooth Mesh
In the case of in-house development of Bluetooth Mesh, the entire project is realized by the company’s own full-time project managers as well as hardware and software developers. This offers the following advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of in-house development of Bluetooth Mesh
- Reliable software development: Given well-qualified employees, permanent employees lead to strong team cohesion and clean workflows. Strong linkages with other departments and a deep understanding of products and customers lead to good work results.
- Development of internal know-how and skills: If Bluetooth applications are developed in-house, this creates valuable internal know-how for the company, which can then be efficiently extended to other products and product groups without having to initiate new projects.
- Higher data protection: In-house development means that no sensitive data or company secrets leave the company.
Disadvantages of in-house development of Bluetooth Mesh
- Loss of time: Internal employees often have to learn about Bluetooth Mesh from scratch, or new qualified employees have to be recruited, hired and trained in the company’s products, which can be very time-consuming. The training usually takes half a year and thus costs half a year’s salary.
- Recruitment effort: If the know-how required for Bluetooth Mesh does not exist or cannot be developed internally, the recruitment of suitable specialists is necessary. The recruitment of software developers alone usually costs an annual salary, and in many regions it is often impossible to find excellent specialists.
- High costs: In addition to recruiting the right candidate, not only do you have to pay good software developers competitive salaries, but fringe benefits, vacation, sick leave, or office equipment all add up to higher costs.
Outsourcing Bluetooth Mesh Development
If you want to avoid hiring your own developers or only want to implement individual products on a project basis, outsourcing has almost become the standard. Instead of having to hire or train your employees, you simply place an order with external development agencies that have already specialized in the relevant technology area. This brings with it the following advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of outsourcing Bluetooth mesh development
- Time gain: When you work with an external service provider, you don’t have to recruit, hire and train new internal employees on the products, which can be very time-consuming.
- Cost Reduction: If you outsource your Bluetooth mesh development to a country with a lower cost of living, you can realize cost saving potential.
- Access to know-how: Developers with know-how and necessary experience in the field of Bluetooth Mesh are often not available locally, so outsourcing makes it easier for you to get hold of appropriate specialists.
- Increase in quality: External service providers usually specialize in Bluetooth mesh and related software development, which leads to an increase in quality.
- Variable costs: Services are now only called up when required and on a project basis, which minimizes fixed costs.
Disadvantages of outsourcing Bluetooth mesh development
- Higher communication effort: Different ways of working, cultural differences and language barriers often lead to a higher communication effort.
- Loss of internal know-how: By outsourcing Bluetooth mesh development, integration as well as software development, you do not build up your own know-how internally or possibly lose it by laying off or transferring permanently employed specialists.
- Dependence on external service provider: If you hand over a significant part of the development to external developers, a dependency relationship arises.
- Risk of poor quality: It is often not possible to assess the quality of the service provided by the external service provider, especially in the case of complex developments such as Bluetooth Mesh. Poor quality can have a negative impact on the own company.
Integration with MESHLE
Time-to-market can be drastically reduced by relying on pre-developed solutions. This means that the basis of the desired solution already exists and is ready for use. All that is required are minor adjustments to the corporate identity, specific hardware or an already existing cloud environment. Such pre-developed solutions are not developed in a development project, but the manufacturer usually only acquires a license fee for the use of the software.
MESHLE GmbH was founded with exactly this in mind: To provide manufacturers with a ready-developed solution so that they do not have to initiate risky, expensive and time-consuming in-house developments or outsourcing projects, but can immediately implement their own products with Bluetooth Mesh using pre-developed software. This includes a complete software solution from a single source, such as an Android and iOS app, a Bluetooth Mesh Wi-Fi gateway, skills for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and much more.
Advantages resulting from a cooperation with MESHLE are, among others, the following:
- Time-to-market in record time: An entire software solution is already fully developed and only needs to be adapted to your corporate identity and the specific product. Prototypes can be realized in days, products in a few months.
- Minimal development costs: MESHLE offers a fully functional and ready-developed complete solution from a single source. An integration with MESHLE means: no development project. Costs arise only for small adjustments.
- Access to excellent know-how: The entire MESHLE team specializes in Bluetooth Mesh and all related software and cloud solutions. You are relying on absolute experts in their field.
- Highest quality: MESHLE specializes exclusively in Bluetooth Mesh and maintains firmware, software and cloud for a wide range of customers.
- Scalable from prototypes to series products: MESHLE’s firmware and software is scalable to the maximum. You can start with a single prototype and realize series products with > 100,000 units within a very short time.
Overview of advantages and disadvantages
|Time-to-Market||🐢 Longest||🏃♂️ Faster||⚡️ Fastest|
|Costs||⛔️ Expensive||💰 Cost savings||💸 High cost efficiency|
|Cost-effectiveness||🗓 Very long-term product strategy, in which software development is the core competence||👍 Suitable for individual and medium-sized projects||💸 Economical even for very small quantities, as only product licenses are required and no development costs are incurred|
|Project size||⬆️ Large projects||↗️ Medium to large projects, well scalable||↕️ Maximum scalability: from small to large projects|
|Quality||👍 High quality||🔎 Depends on the service provider||🥇 Highest quality through specialization|
|Customization||✅ Maximum possible, as all is done internally||✅ High, as project-based||🔁 Pre-developed software with customization options|
|Project Management||👨💼 Tight control, best team communication||🔎 Depends on the service provider||👍 Minimal because it’s no development project|
|Privacy||🔐 Maximum possible, as everything is internal||🔒Depends on the service provider||🔐 High and standardized|
|Suitable for:||Suitable for: Large enterprises that want to focus the product strategy exclusively on Bluetooth Mesh and build a core competency in the software.||Suitable for: Companies that do not want to develop their own software, but have a very high demand for individualization and customization.||Suitable for: Startups to large corporations that want to convert individual products or entire product ranges to Bluetooth Mesh with the highest flexibility and the lowest risk.|
By and large, you should be sure what your goal is. Do you have the necessary financial and time resources to position yourself as a software company in the long term? Only then you should consider setting up your own software development department.
However, if you want to realize your first products with Bluetooth Mesh with the least effort and risk, which should still be scalable without having to hire your own software developers, then feel free to take a look at our solution.