Saturday, 21 September 2013

New platform wins for Ericsson and Jasper, but don't confuse outsourcing platforms with having an M2M strategy

There were a couple of significant wins in the M2M comms platform space last week. Jasper announced it had secured Claro Argentina (it's already firmly embedded with the wider America Movil group), while more prominently Orange decided to implement the Ericsson DCP platform.

There have been a lot of these announcements in the last few years. The reasons are obvious. Operators need to deliver M2M as efficiently as possible and purpose-built platforms can help achieve that. In particular helping smaller operators keep pace in features. There is also the lure of being able to tap into real or imagined communities of operators.

I have a small issue with this land-grab of support platforms. It seems that operators, particularly small operators, seem to be confusing taking a cloud platform with having an M2M strategy. These things are not magic wands that will suddenly result in the buyer securing a huge M2M windfall. They are a enablers. But they are only part of the solution.

That's not to criticise these deals specifically. Orange in particular has recognised that a third party platform is simply a tool to achieve a goal. At Machina Research we'll be publishing more on this at a later date.

Operators need a much more multi-faceted approach to securing M2M. We at Machina Research publish a report on operator best practice every year, the M2M CSP Benchmarking Report where we examine some of the different features required for success in M2M. And we've also recently been doing an interesting line in supporting smaller operators on how to succeed in M2M. Drop me an email if you want to know more.

The other thing to note is that the platforms space is getting more complex. As we explore in our latest white paper "M2M platforms are re-cast for the age of the ‘Internet of Things’" the whole environment is evolving very rapidly and the connectivity support element is just one small piece. With regard to the connectivity support element specifically, operators seem to be starting to diversify their approaches. Telefonica, for instance recently launched its own in-house Smart M2M platform in addition to using the Jasper Wireless platform and other legacy systems.



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