M2M Now Magazine July 2014 edition

M2M Now Magazine explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs across this sector. Our exclusive interviews pass on some key lessons learned by those who have taken the first steps in next gen Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services.

In the latest issue:

  • TALKING HEADS: Telit’s Cyril Zeller warns vertical integration could mean that service providers are missing out on a mass market
  • INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION: David Hofer explains why M2M provides enterprises with a golden opportunity to achieve better control of automation
  • CLOUD-BASED M2M: Anthony Savvas uncovers the value of controlling M2M solutions in the cloud
  • M2M NOW INSIGHT REPORT: In the third of a new series of specially commissioned Insight Reports, Johan Fagerberg of Berg Insight explores how the fleet management and asset control markets are dependent on business processes and enterprise IT systems to maximise their potential and uptake. The outlook is positive, he concludes
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Please note! The Special Fleet Management Analyst Report is not included in the digital magazine below. To read it please go to this page and register:
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M2M reaches its vertical horizon

Jeremy Cowan, Editor
The editor of M2M Now, Jeremy Cowan

So many M2M markets remain verticalised with specialised services serving highly specific user bases. That’s been great to get the market off the ground because the value delivered can be focused on a specific need. The business case for M2M is underscored three times and in bold in a market such as oil and gas in which equipment is stratospherically expensive and the consequences of its failure can run into thousands of dollars a second.

However, there are only so many pumping stations, rigs and pipelines in the world and that has meant only a handful of specialist providers have arisen to serve such small and relatively high value markets. What’s needed to kick off a far more valuable, high volume, lower revenue, market is a range of more cost-effective systems that are applicable to multiple verticals.

We’re already seeing this in the fleet management sector. Yes, the high end still exists and services to protect million dollar truck cargos will rely on more resilient satellite-based services such as those provided by ORBCOMM. However, as the company’s Marc Eisenberg points out on p.26 of this issue, a hybrid service using the best available bearer for a given situation can change the market’s dynamics. Traditional satellite-only services from a single provider might have cost US$40 per terminal per month in contrast to cellular services with patchy coverage for US$10 but hybrid services using cost effective new technologies can be sold profitably for around US$12. The decision process for users is simplified and the market opportunity radically expanded.

A similar view is held by Telit’s Cyril Zeller, who emphasises on p.12 that an integrated platform is necessary in order for the telematics market to be made attractive to the mass market. He describes this in terms of blowing the market wide open. That will be a shock to specialist vendors of bespoke systems but a boon to the majority of organisations that would like to access telematics and other functionality but are unaware or priced out of the potential.

Of course, it’s not just mobile applications that need to move out of their verticalised straitjackets. There are a vast range of organisations that need to achieve better control of their industrial automation. Again what’s needed is a standardised platform that can be applied to multiple verticals. Oracle’s David Hofert argues the case that such a platform should be Java-based on p.42.

Famously, US mobile operator Verizon takes its name from the convergence of vertical and horizontal, the M2M market is sending clear signals it needs to achieve the same thing, let’s call it horticalisation to avoid brand name infringement.

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