Modules: A Constant in a Fast-Changing M2M Environment

By Bob Emmerson July 19, 2011

Various developments are set to make a significant and in some ways disruptive impact on today’s M2M B2B environment. Let’s take them one by one. There’s no significance in the order.

One: solutions will morph from the current proprietary, silo model to one that is standards based. See  “M2M Standards: how many and how soon?“ This article also contains a link to another important development: “M2M in the Cloud”.

Two: Cloud Computing is a very important development in its own right, but it also facilitates the integration of real-time M2M information into mainstream business processes, e.g. ERP and CRM. 

Three: enterprises represent a huge, largely untapped market. Realizing the potential entails a new model that maps to that of the cloud, e.g. different applications share service components, wheels are not constantly reinvented.  

Four: the model proposed by ETSI, see “M2M Moving Forward via ETSI Standards“, fits that bill but it also indicates how applications can run over local area networks. Modules are getting more powerful processors, so there is less reliance on central servers.  

Five: M2M solutions – actually a set of solutions – may (it’s early days) end up on connected platforms that have the potential to listen and react to every other person or thing (device) in today’s connected world. I plan a feature article on this topic.

Six: most telco’s have missed the boat and alliances don’t cut it. There’s no added value in alliances.  The right role to play is to leverage the functionality of their next-generation all-IP network assets. I also plan a feature on this one. A NEP (network equipment provider) has launched an enabling solution.

Seven: IT wants to manage their devices: they have to become an integral part of the enterprise environment. And in some cases IT wants to create the applications or at least control the development process. 

I have no guru-type pretensions, but it’s clear that the regular value chain is going to change: basically it will contract. Witness Telit’s acquisition of GlobalConect. But more significant is the fact that these developments are disruptive. Vendors will have to adapt or they will die. 

The upside, however, could/should be very bright. It will be easier, quicker and therefore cheaper to create applications, so app developers will be able to address a much bigger market.  And at the end of the day apps and new business models are the only things that really matter. The rest is just technology. 

What doesn’t change is the intrinsic role of the wireless devices. M2M is predicated on the ability to monitor and measure parameter data, convert the analog data into IP packets, and transmit them over a network. They’re a constant in this fast-changing environment. Moreover their role is set to grow. Embedded processors are getting more powerful, they are getting more air interfaces, and more processing will be done at the local level. 

Want to learn more about M2M technologies? Then be sure to check out the M2M Evolution conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The M2M Evolution Conference is for those industry professionals interested in capitalizing on a rapidly growing segment of the telecom industry. The M2M Evolution Conference embraces the any-to-any strategy of the Internet today. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media, it showcases the solutions, and examines the data strategies and technological requirements that enterprises and carriers need to capitalize on a market segment that is estimated to grow to $300 Billion in the year ahead. To register, click here.

Bob Emmerson is TMC's European Editor. To stay abreast of the latest news affecting the European market, check out Bob's columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TMC European Editor

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