The general problem with point solutions is that they are point solutions.
Point solutions, as a rule, do a good job solving the specific problems they were designed to solve. The flip side is that they do nothing else. Point solutions just aren’t designed to look beyond their silo.
For a modern enterprise – that’s a big problem!
A modern enterprise could contain hundreds of M2M point solutions. These point solutions represent islands of information that will prevent full organizational efficiency from being achieved.
Remember how hard it was to get your sales force automation system to talk to your financial system. A million dollars, a bunch of high priced consultants, and maybe you’ll get a simple integration. (Oh by the way, it will break as soon one of the systems is upgraded.)
Now what happens if you want your fleet management system to integrate with your vending management system and both of them to interact with your supply chain automation system -> sounds like a problem.
A better solution for M2M is to base all of your organization’s device (or product) interactions and applications on a single M2M platform. An M2M platform acts as a system of record for all real-time device communication. It provides shape to those real-time data sources and gives them a web-orientated programmable representation. In effect, an M2M platform normalizes an organization’s device interactions and provides a hub for organizational optimization.
The real power of M2M is using one real-time source of information to automate a myriad of business processes. A single source of M2M data will likely touch many aspects of your business – the last thing that you want is to go to the trouble instrumenting your devices - only to find their use is limited.
For M2M - think platform.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of keynoting Axeda Connexion 2011 – properly coined “The M2M Event of the Year”. I joined a knockout group of M2M industry luminaries, including Eric Goodness of Gartner, Chris Hill from AT&T, and Wayne Ward from Sprint, in discussing both the present and future state of the M2M industry.
I found that each of the primary keynotes had an amazingly consistent message:
• M2M is massive
• M2M is here now
• The Cloud will play a huge role in M2M
Drawing a correlation between the Network Effect, the cloud, and social networks, I focused on the importance of the cloud in propagation of M2M data to as many users as possible.
So select points from my keynote…
“The M2M industry compares very favorably to the social networking industry:
• LinkedIn is seeking to connect every professional in the world - > 1 billion people.
• Facebook counts every Internet user in the world as a potential user -> currently greater than 2 billion and growing every day.
But with more than 7 trillion machines to connect, M2M dwarfs them both. “
“It is the wide consumption of M2M data and its millions of users that will create the virtuous cycle that will enable the M2M industry to become the next social networking of technology…. “
“The cloud provides a place where M2M information can be aggregated, analyzed, and distributed. Its ubiquity enables massive consumption of information on an unimaginably large scale.”
“The Axeda Platform … is built to acquire the vast quantities of M2M information that our machines and devices communicate, process it, and enable its consumption. Without the ability to seamlessly consume the tons of M2M information we create, the power of the network effect is not unleashed. “
In my next blog, I will share more from my keynote and discuss more about how the cloud unleashes the network effect for M2M.