The highlights are as follows, although you'll need to give the whole thing a listen to get the detail (and the pleasure of listening to our dulcet tones):
- There's no such thing as M2M. There are many many ways in which embedded connectivity can benefit vertical sectors. All of the sectors (and applications within those sectors) have different dynamics. So homogenising it as "M2M" misses a lot of the complexity.
- There's no common currency or agreed segmentation or terminology for the opportunities. That's what drew Machina Research to this area. It's not been covered in a consistent and comprehensive way.
- Business models are unclear. There are still a lot of players jockeying for position in the value chain, be they MNOs, SIs or service providers.
- M2M isn't just a top-down or B2B sale. In most sectors, end-users are involved in the process, either because it's a B2B2C sale or because it needs some form of buy-in from them. Neglect the end-user at your peril.
- M2M initiatives are part of an environment and need to move in step with that environment. There's no point, for instance, in implementing an ambulance system where there is no hospital system to talk to and no electronic records.
- A lot of the benefit is not really M2M. It's in the SI development and additional capabilities which are unlocked by M2M.
- The business logic of the M2M world is very different from mobile, so MNOs beware! There are a many differences from the MNOs' usual area of comfort. For instance, it's business critical (and often life critical) rather than best effort. The device isn't always on. The end points don't complain if there's no service. And many many more.
- One SIM does not equal one account. Users will have multiple SIMs on a single account. So MNOs will need to bill appropriately.
- Remote SIM provisioning is coming. Are you ready? The various standards bodies are looking at methods for remote provisioning of SIMs to allow M2M clients to swap operators once they've installed the devices. It will happen. The question is how, and are the operators ready for it?
- There are a lot of tough technology choices to be made, both by MNOs but also by potential customers. When will MNOs switch off GSM? What are the implications of the arrival of LTE? What about short-range wireless?
The M2M Forum Europe is 6-9 June 2011 at Chelsea Football Club. Day 1 will be a full day workshop from Machina Research looking at strategies for network operators, vendors and all the relevant industry sectors to maximise the benefits of M2M. It will build on all the valuable work we're doing at Machina Research examining the way in which embedded connectivity will affect each and every vertical sector and major application type.