The New M2M Platform

M2M solutions can be used in an almost limitless variety of devices, equipment, and industries. According to Connected World Magazine, the way many M2M solutions are developed today are still on customized, proprietary projects. This makes development pricy and go-to-market timelines longer. How do we streamline some of the solution components so we don’t have to start from scratch when we develop solutions for completely different industries: oil and gas, agriculture, medical, food service, or smart energy?

M2M solutions require four main components:

  • Sensors to capture the data from the device being monitored
  • Communications device to send the data to a central location
  • Database to store the information
  • Software to display the information in a business-friendly format

Often there will be requirements to build some proprietary component for gathering the data, as different devices will have different data capture needs. Businesses can significantly reduce costs and save time by adopting M2M solutions that are not built from scratch. This means that the communication, storage, and display of the captured data is standardized and easily customized to meet the business needs. Solutions that standardize these components are labeled as Platform-as-a-Service solutions. This M2M platform enables solutions providers to quickly offer a seemingly “customized” turn-key solution for very specific remote monitoring and control applications.

Businesses can reduce costs and speed up time to market by finding reusable components and by leveraging hosted applications. The trend toward Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions is evident as many businesses’ have moved toward hosted applications for their CRM system, invoicing software, bookkeeping, etc.  A major benefit of companies implementing SaaS solutions is that they significantly reduce IT resources and operations costs. For example, Microsoft and Google are creating cloud-hosted solutions that enable enterprises to streamline adoption, reduce maintenance cost, and scale their critical business systems.

Don’t be turned off by the illusion that implementing an M2M solution is going to be extremely complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Even though it may seem that the solutions for monitoring tank levels and automating lighting systems are worlds apart, the core technology to power these solutions follow a nearly identical solution paradigm.

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