The Connected Effect

What CEOs Need To Know About M2M

Posted by Bill Zujewski

May 28, 2013 3:22:00 PM

m2m connected productsWith all the industry buzz and vendor movement around M2M (Machine-To-Machine), the Internet of Things, and the Industrial Internet, it’s time for CEOs to understand more about M2M, the value it may bring and how connected machines and assets can change their business.    If you’re a CEO, CTO, CIO or VP reading this, you’ve probably heard the M2M term, seen the GE brilliant machine commercials and you’re trying to figure out exactly what you should be doing with M2M and connected products.

I deal with companies, many of them manufacturers, on a weekly basis who are planning on connecting their products or already shipping machines with remote connectivity built-in.   And it’s no longer just about connectivity to enable remote monitoring and remote service.  There is an acceleration of focus that these companies have on shipping connected products that include new applications for end-users to better service and manage connected products.   In a previous blog, I called this corporate ecosystem of connected assets the “Internet of Corporate Things”    

Today, I’m starting a series of articles (blog postings) to help executives understand the value of M2M to enterprises.  I will include a framework CEOs can use to include connected products in their corporate strategy and strategic initiatives.   For those new to M2M, these articles can serve as a primer on the business case for investing in M2M. 

Let’s start with the definition of M2M.  For simplicity, think of M2M as connecting “your machines”, the first M in M2M, to “your computer systems”, the 2nd machine in M2M.   If you remotely connect your machines, equipment, assets, you can then unleash the machine data into your enterprise and unlock the value of that data.   The value propositions are straightforward and fall into several buckets of capabilities including remote monitoring, remote service, usage analysis, ERP/CRM integration and value-added services that differentiate your products.  

M2M embraces the reality that no product or asset will be an island. All products, devices, facilities, systems, equipment, goods being delivered, processes, workflows, and people will co-exist in a connected world, interact and be interdependent.   M2M systems will act like social networks, socializing machine data to foster unparalleled knowledge and collaboration.  The vision is grand and we’re only in the first inning, but the time to get serious about M2M is now.

In my next post, I’ll start the business case discussion with the most obvious and tangible ROI of connecting machines.  You’ll have to return to find out that that is… yes, the classic tease.  But seriously, I hope I’ve sparked some interest so you’ll return to hear more.   As one of the leaders in M2M software, my company Axeda owes it to the industry to share what works and what doesn’t.  We owe it to the industry to clearly articulate the value of M2M and why connecting machines can be transformational.   I’ll be one of the voices of M2M because I enjoy it.  And of course, as CMO, I owe it to my company to get the word out and move the ball forward in our quest to be the “machine cloud” everyone looks to as their great M2M enabler.

Topics: M2M, CEO

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