Partnerships Growing in M2M, for Good Reason

By Colleen Lynch December 28, 2012

Mobile operators are beginning to view machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions with an eye to the importance of partnerships. Companies working with M2M communications have realized over the last decade the increasing significance of extending connectivity to consumer electronic products.

Now that mobile operators are taking notice of this, companies are focusing on key ideas and business plans to keep up with the rapidly changing M2M landscape. 

One vital business plan for mobile operators working with M2M communication is the establishment of partnerships with other M2M-focused companies.

As the number of connected devices grows exponentially each year, M2M can no longer be ignored as an optional mode of connection for businesses. 

Operators with a singular, independent attitude toward M2M operations are falling behind those who choose to enter into partnerships to gain additional skills the company may need.

At its heart, the M2M world is partnership-driven – it has to be, as it is based on machines connecting to other machines. In this spirit of connections, M2M companies need to start to connecting to one another in order to drive business and innovation.

There are two types of partnerships which are taking hold in the M2M market – vertical and horizontal. Vertical partnerships have a complementary style of working together, with each respective partner bringing different, non-overlapping skills to the table, to provide the other company with something it needs while gaining a lacked skill in return.

This type of partnership has proven successful in the M2M market, but is not the only option for companies looking to forge a partnership.

Another type, the horizontal partnership, works in an entirely different way: the skills each partner possesses are in fact the same set of skills. In this way, the two partners are able to strengthen their already strong areas of business, and can in turn gain better coverage over the market, both geographically and in customer number.

The difference with these partnerships is that the vertical approach helps by improving selections of the companies’ business, while a horizontal partnership helps companies in the broader respect.

Partnering has essentially become necessary, and no longer optional, for those working with M2M connectivity. Partnered companies will see benefits to their networks, applications and overall businesses whether they enter into a vertical partnership, horizontal partnership or both.

Although operators are only a part of M2M, they are a vital one, and by strengthening this one part, the entire M2M industry will prove more successful.

Not convinced? Take a look at a few of the plethora of successful partnerships in M2M. AT&T is partnered with the reseller Axeda to bring its applications to market faster, and Deutsche Telekom launched the M2M Partner Program to add key players to its team.

Partnerships do not only involve one company teamed with another, either. One key group partnership includes KPN Telecom, NTT Docomo, Rogers Communications, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra and Vimpelcom. These companies are a part of a global alliance aimed at simplifying and reducing the costs of their international SIM services.

Closer to home, Verizon Wireless partnered with lesser-known Sierra Wireless to create and offer AirVantage, a cloud-based M2M application, much faster and at a lower price with higher return.

The predictions for M2M device connections are growing by the minute, and with such high hopes for this business sector, it is undoubtedly time for M2M-focused businesses to come together to strengthen one another, rather than going it alone. 

Want to learn more about M2M technologies? Don’t miss the M2M Evolution Conference, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at M2M Evolution Conference. Follow us on Twitter.


Edited by Braden Becker

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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