IoT vs. M2M... There's a Difference

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IoT vs. M2M... There's a Difference


By Bill Zujewski

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is red hot… it stole the show at CES, the world’s largest Consumer Electronics event.   It is grabbing the headlines with stories about Google, Nest and the connected home and “Wearables”, one of the poster children for the internet of things.  The IoT buzz is hitting the blogosphere with new views on the future connected world we will live in.

One observation… IoT has leap-frogged Machine-to-Machine (M2M) as the new buzzword.  Is there a difference between IoT and M2M?  Yes.  Axeda defines M2M as the communication between a machine or device and a remote computer.  M2M is about connecting a device to the cloud, managing that device, and collecting machine and sensor data.  In essence, M2M is about connecting and communicating with a “thing” where a thing can be a machine, device or sensor…. Basically anything that can send data.

IoT goes beyond M2M… beyond computers connecting to things.   IoT represents things connecting with systems, people and other things.  To be clear, here are our definitions:

  • Things – Includes machines, devices, sensors, consumer products, vehicles, etc.
  • Systems – Include business applications, ERP/CRM/PLM systems,  analytics systems, data warehouses, and control systems
  • People – Includes workers and consumers; employees, partners and customers
Internet of Things

Axeda provides an IoT Platform for orchestrating data between things, systems and people.  Our IoT platform is the technology that enables things to connect to the cloud and then interact with business systems, people and other things connected to the cloud.  What might be confusing is that part of our platform includes M2M capabilities for connecting to things and managing devices, but our platform also includes the key capabilities to integrate systems and people and implement IoT solutions.   Some of our key  IoT Platform features are:

  • Extended  Objects – To store any data; Includes the ability to go beyond machine/device data and store data related to other business objects like accounts, cases, policies, configurations, warranties, service requests, and rate plans
  • Associations – To define a data model that associates business information with devices and associates sensors with physical objects;  For example, Axeda can associate an OBD tracking device with a vehicle, driver and insurance policy and store that complementary information natively in the Axeda platform
  • Groovy Scripting Engine – To provide a development environment to handle business logic in our platform.  The scripting engine also provides an easy way for developer to write scripts that interact with other external systems and applications.
  • Web Services – To provide APIs for accessing data and software application services in Axeda
  • Scripto – To provide API’s for sending non-device data to Axeda.  This could include sensor and device information from other IoT solutions or business information from enterprise systems.  This essentially enables the mash-up of web services from multiple systems with Axeda as the central point of integration.
  • Message Queue – A secure way to interact with other systems and clouds in an asynchronous way

Net/net: Axeda provides an IoT platform that includes M2M capabilities.   In my next few blogs, I will discuss customer examples of IoT solutions.  Unlike other platforms hyping what’s possible in the Internet of Things, I’ll share with the readers, real world customer success stories of Axeda integrating things, systems and people to deliver innovative new solutions that change business outcomes.


I do appreciate that you are stating that there is a difference between M2M and IoT. However if you don a trend analysis you will find that the term "M2M" far exceeds the "IoT" or "Internet of Things". That said, I do agree that M2M can and should be looked at vertically where IoT should be looked at horizontally.
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 3:23 PM by den
I have a doubt here. Actually we are trying to build a gateway for Health Care, where variuos parameters like the temperature, pulse rate etc of an older person can be monitored continuously and the info keep gets posted in the Cloud. We would like to go to Axeda Cloud for this activity. In case of that do we need to use Grrovy Language or Can I do something in Webservices..Can you please explain this?
Posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 7:10 AM by RK
Once the data is collected in our Machine Cloud, there are methods we give you to access and use the data: 1) To pull the data, call our Axeda RESTful web services from your applications/systems to extract the data 2) To push the data, Use our Groovy Scripting engine to call the web services that your business systems provide to insert data into those systems. These scripts can be triggered by rules you set up in our cloud. 3) Lastly, you can use a Message Queue approach. You can use our scripting engine to put data on an Axeda Message Queue, and then asynchronously retrieve the messages. Net/net: What you describe above, we have done 100's of times. Is is easy to integrate with our Machine Cloud.
Posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 7:47 AM by Bill Zujewski
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