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The Massive M2M Business Opportunity (Part 3)

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The Massive M2M Business Opportunity (Part 3)

By Suhas Uliyar, SVP M2M, Internet of Things, SAP Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology has been around for years. Industries like oil and gas, transportation and logistics management rely on it to keep us safe. Medical device manufactures use it to keep us healthy. You and I use it to get to work every day as a distributed network of hundreds of sensors relay vital information to the dashboards of the cars we drive. If the current trends continue, we’ll all be using M2M more and more in the future.

Two key trends are driving the widespread adoption of M2M; the cost of sensors has dropped to the point that it’s commercially viable to put them everywhere (think light bulbs) and the ubiquity of low-cost wireless networks has made communication with this Internet of Things (IoT) technically feasible. Forward looking businesses stand to benefit tremendously from this technology and SAP, mobile network operators and an expanding ecosystem of partners are here to help them do so.

The opportunity is boundless. Enterprises can deploy M2M technology now  to reduce the cost of field service management through remote maintenance, they can optimize fleet scheduling with real-time location and traffic data and they can tap into new business models such as usage-based (or pay-as-you) go billing. The value of the data from connecting the Internet of Things to the enterprise goes beyond a single department or workgroup. We see the benefits extending to machine operators responsible for the uptime of mission-critical assets, the finance department responsible for calculating the return-on-investment (ROI) of their purchases and the procurement team using M2M to evaluate the agility of their suppliers.

So how do enterprises take advantage of all these possibilities? A lot of pieces need to come together to make M2M solutions feasible. For an enterprise to get maximum value from M2M, the ecosystem needs to come together to package their value-added services into an application that is simple-to-use and seamlessly integrates all the components in the background. To do so requires a platform that makes the solution rapid-to-implement, simpler to deploy and easier to consume, and cost effective enough to deliver the intended value. An M2M solution must not only be able to connect to and capture from the sources of data, but analyze and take intelligent action on the data in real-time. This means converting the data into meaningful information and integrating the data with enterprise business systems to optimize existing business processes.

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