Telenor Connexion – taking a life-cycle approach to M2M

Telenor Connexion expands into a wider service offering to fully support the customer product life-cycle and ensure future flexibility. Here, Robert Brunbäck describes how Telenor Group’s connected service enabler, is changing to meet new M2M and telematics market needs.

M2M Now: Telenor Connexion has been in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications since the late 1990s. How has the market developed from your perspective?

Telenor Connexion expands into a wider service offering to fully support the customer product life-cycle and ensure future flexibility. Here, Robert Brunbäck describes how Telenor Group’s connected service enabler, is changing to meet new M2M and telematics market needs.

Robert Brunbäck: In the early years the market was characterised by technology push and embedded mobile technology and seemed quite complex. In recent years though, more emphasis has been placed on the business value and the actual services that can make a company more competitive.

The development of mobile apps has been one way to package and visualise services tied to a connected product of some kind. This has made it easier to understand, more accessible, and less of a technology phenomenon with the result that new types of companies and customers are exploring it. In turn, this is placing new demands on us a service provider.

M2M Now: How will Telenor Connexion meet these new market demands?

RB: We are in the business of making our customers more competitive through connected services. Many of our customers are launching products with lifecycles of 5-10 years. As the product itself is connected, for example a car, it also means the connected service can constantly evolve, hence the connected service experience in a car should always feel up to date.

In a hyper-competitive global market place the lifecycle view is important; we are trying to make it easier for our customers not only to build a connected service to reduce time to market, but also to efficiently manage and operate the service over time. Finally we want to make sure that the service is flexible enough to evolve, as market needs and technology are changing.

 

Robert Brunbäck is head of Market and Product Strategy, Telenor Connexion

M2M Now: Can you give some examples of how customers are evolving?

RB: The car example is quite clear – within a few years it has moved from basic safety and breakdown assistance services to multiple services both within and outside the car. These include navigation with realtime traffic information and weather reports, streaming internet radio and other infotainment services. Pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, road tolls and remote diagnostics to enable proactive service bookings are other examples of connected services. Additionally, the services are deployed in more and more countries. Hence, the connectivity needs and the services around connected products are drastically changing.

Another example is the home alarm; from being just an SMS transmission in the event of an alarm, it is becoming a communication hub in the home, remotely opening doors, and steering home appliances. Of course, more advanced alarm services can now be offered, such as real-time views and updates when your children get home from school.

M2M Now: You mentioned taking a product lifecycle view when working with your customer. Could you explain what that means in practice?

RB: The early stages of solution design are important. Building in security features, optimised for wireless communication is one increasingly important area. As more and more products are going online, hacking attempts are likely to increase.

We also support our customers in optimising the communication set-up, in order to make it as flexible as possible and not be locked into a technical or commercial set-up that is not sustainable over time. Our eCAF service is providing the means to significantly reduce development cost and communication cost over time, which in turn will make our customers more competitive.

This also means we take an agnostic approach to communication. Our mission is to achieve the most efficient and high quality communication for the customer needs now and in the future, ensuring that we stay flexible for future changes in technology (2G/3G/4G issue, eUICC, Wi-Fi, Satellite, etc.) or regulation as well as changing business needs.

As the market evolves over time it is critical to enable flexible business logics – ensuring our customers can try out new business models to capture new market segments and make it easier to consume connected services. In a changing world our customers will constantly evolve and tune their go-to-market proposition, which in turn requires new innovative flexible billing and charging services on our end.

Taking an end-to-end and holistic approach helps both us and our customer to identify the critical requirements that the solution should fulfill from the start and throughout the entire product lifecycle.

M2M Now: There is increasingly strong competition in the M2M service sector. What challenges and opportunities do you see for a company like Telenor Connexion?

RB: Since the late ’90s we have built a strong and global customer base. Many of our customers have been onboard with us for several years, and we have seen how connected services are changing the way our customers are doing business, launching new products and entering new markets.

An increasing focus on service sales on top of pure product sales is being spurred on by the products that are getting connected. However, this development takes time within large, global organisations. The more we get into, and understand, our customers’ business, production challenges, international ambitions, sales approach and so on, the more we evolve and can develop new services to support them in the future.

And yes, the market is growing and with it comes competition. Overall this is just positive, as more and more connected services are being deployed it spreads to other sectors and companies across the world. Our mission is to make it easy to get connected; making sure more companies can get smarter and more competitive, while also contributing to a smarter and more sustainable society.

We will continue to leverage our long experience in the M2M field; in the end it is all about brain power, constantly evolving our dedicated M2M expertise to build and operate the smartest solutions, not only now but for many years ahead.

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