The Connected Effect

The M2M Event of the Year - Less than a Week Away!

Posted by Dale Calder

Jun 3, 2011 9:45:00 AM

Axeda has assembled an armada of M2M industry experts, customers, press, and analysts who will convene in Boston next week for Axeda Connexion 2011.

With keynotes fromAxeda Connexion

  • Eric Goodness, Research Vice President, Gartner
  • Chris Hill, Vice President for Advanced Mobility Solutions of AT&T
  • Wayne Ward, Vice President Emerging Solutions, Sprint Nextel, and
  • Yours truly, Dale Calder, Founder Axeda

Combined that with sessions from leading companies, such as:

  • Brinks
  • NCR
  • Roche
  • Welch Allyn
  • Among others

 And for good measure, add an Industry Leaders Panel Discussion, “50 Billion Connected Devices by 2020, Hype, Fact, or Fiction?” 

You end up with a very exciting and stimulating couple of days.   There will be no other place in the next twelve months where you can learn more about the state of the M2M industry than at Connexion.  And attendance has almost tripled from last year’s event! 

For my keynote, I plan to discuss the similarities between M2M and Facebook.   I look forward to seeing you there…

Topics: M2M, Axeda Connexion, Connected Products, machine-to-machine

M2M Gets a KISS

Posted by Dale Calder

Mar 3, 2011 11:41:00 AM

The year is 1985, I have just started my first job out of college.   I have a freshly minted EE degree and a burning desire to prove to the world that I can do it!   Every task I undertook was done with a vigor that probably drove my co-workers crazy!   My primary design goal – highlight my worth.  

One day, a senior staff member, a grizzled engineer named Tom, gave me a piece of advice.   “Dale,” he said, “You have to follow the KISS principle.”  Being greener than grass, I had no idea what he was talking about.   Seeing the blank expression on my face, Tom elaborated – “Keep It Simple -  STUPID!”  He then gave me a wry smile and walked away.

Fast-forward 25 years.  Today I know that everyone has heard of the KISS principle, but it never ceases to amaze me that most products we see and interact with fail to follow it.  The real art of a product is to make it as simple as possible while delivering its intended value.  I have used this concept as a guiding north star for everything I have done since that conversation.  

Recently, AT&T and Axeda announced a partnership So one might ask – what does the leading M2M carrier and the leading M2M application platform teaming up have to do with the KISS principle?

The net -  M2M is inherently difficult.  

  • Millions of products talking over the air to a mega-backend system.  
  • Hundreds of thousands of users interacting with the system.  
  • 10’s of business systems doing their thing.  

To make M2M simple the entire ecosystem must work together – hand in hand – to take all of the friction that an organization would face when building these solutions out of the equation.   Axeda and AT&T have committed to the marketplace to create this simple experience.  The seamless integration of the application cloud and the network will eliminate development and deployment friction. 

An M2M developer will not have to learn two disparate systems and then tie them together.  Instead, they will be able to take two best of breed solutions and work with them as if they were one seamless system.   The elimination of this complexity will save time and effort, ultimately taking the inherently difficult task of building an M2M solution – and making it SIMPLE.    

Topics: M2M, cloud, machine-to-machine

I Sense Therefore I Am

Posted by Dale Calder

Feb 25, 2011 1:47:00 PM

ZeoImage resized 600

Before leaving for Barcelona, I read a really cool article by Scott Kirsner titled “Tiny sensors make it possible to track life’s little details; start-ups hope for big sellers.”  The basic premise - startups are leveraging new advances in sensors and connectivity to track things that were previously untrackable – providing people with insights into all sorts of life’s minutiae…

Examples in the story included a Boston startup named Zeo Inc. that provides a personal sleep coach. Zeo, which just raised $12M from Best Buy and J&J, provides an alarm clock size device that communicates with a headband that you wear while you sleep and then uploads information to a “myzeo” web site where it provides you with a view on your sleep habits along with useful tips on how to improve your sleep and restfulness.  All for about $200 - wicked cool.  I’ll have one by the end of the week…

While I am a huge advocate of personal connectedness - one thing that I don’t like is the proliferation of islands of information and my personal lack of ownership and control over that information.  I am envisioning that in the not too distant future there will be a fairly complete picture of me online:

  • My driving habits
  • My sleep habits
  • My exercise habits
  • What I eat
  • Where I go
  • How much energy I consume

Each of these “islands” will be managed by someone like Zeo – who then provides me with a cool connected gizmo.  This would provide a useful service - but it could be so much more if the information were openly available, sharable, and mashable – under my total control, of course.

What I really want is a centralized place online where all of my information is securely collected and available at my finger tips. Imagine the concept of personal data collectors - sending information to a personal repository … and then … imagine a marketplace where I can consume value-added applications that let me slice and dice this data in anyway I want.   My Zeo feed becomes just one source of information about me …

Think about it.  I bet my doctor would be interested in how my heart rate has reacted to my exercise.  A feed from me and my treadmill should provide some very interesting insight that might be useful in my overall health.  Heck, my mechanic knows more about my car!

As machine-to-machine (M2M) applications become more widespread, we are simultaneously entering a new world at the individual human level – a world where everything about our very existence becomes collectable and will find a home online.   In this virtual world – I will exist.   The question is – do I exist in parts or as a whole?  Will I be in control – or will someone else be?   Hmmmm…

Topics: M2M, cloud, machine-to-machine

M2M – Be Free to Grow!

Posted by Dale Calder

Feb 7, 2011 5:12:00 PM


Who would have thought that in a totally capitalistic society that “FREE” would become the primary method by which modern business models are grounded?

In fact, Free has become such a part of our mindset that we have grown to expect it.  Can you imagine paying for LinkedIn or Facebook to do an Internet search?   No way.   I use an excellent application called Evernote on my iPad to keep notes – no more paper for me.   Of course, it’s Free.

The psychology of Free is totally different from “really inexpensive”.  Free is frictionless … really inexpensive is not.   What smart business people on the consumer side have realized is that pervasiveness is the path to economic riches.   Pervasiveness creates traction … traction generates market leverage … and market leverage enables all sorts of indirect economic models (i.e. advertising, data, premium services, etc.) 

Recently, I found myself facing an interesting problem - How to leverage “Free” to accelerate a business-to-business (B2B) market without the benefit of indirect economics.   In the business-to- consumer (B2C) world – it’s fairly easy.   Eyeballs are a sellable commodity.   Individuals are willing to put up with advertising in exchange for the benefit of accessing the service at no charge – think of all of those paid keyword advertisements on your next Google search  ... In the B2B space this is not true.  

In B2B, privacy, security, and ownership of data dominate.   Companies will not utilize a service that affects productivity, cheapens the user experience, or compromises the ownership of their proprietary information.  Yet, often, those that are tasked with an initial activity or project have very limited budgets and find themselves trading ‘time-to-market’ for the ability to avoid external capital expenditures (i.e. I can’t afford to buy it - but I can build it).  Of course, once that activity becomes mainstream in a company, the financial pockets will open - but by the time that happens - a company’s path down a particular road is often locked in – usually to that company’s detriment.

My solution to this dilemma is simple – create a hybrid of the totally Free models used by consumer companies with a pay-as-you-grow B2B business model.   General philosophy:

1)    Free to develop
2)    Free for initial production deployment
3)    Pay-as-you-grow in defined and reasonable increments

The benefits of this model are straightforward – postpone the economics required to maintain the service until the company that utilizes the service has achieved production success.    This enables the B2B customer to:

1)    Utilize a proven platform under which to build their solution
2)    Make decisions lower in the organization – speeding time to market
3)    Avoid up-front investment through a pay-as-you-grow model.

Ultimately, this provides the B2B customer with the ownership, user experience, and service level that they require.

I call this business model – “Free to Grow”.    Ultimately it creates a win-win situation between the customer and vendor.   The vendor removes initial friction in order to create higher adoption rates.   The customer benefits from this reduction in friction by delaying their costs until a point in time when they are successful.   Coming full-circle - the vendor ultimately benefits from greater activity and traction enabling them to provide the customer with an even more robust, highly adopted platform.  

At my company, Axeda, we saw companies throughout the entire M2M ecosystem with their hands out – seeking money at a time when the customer was least able to afford it.   At Axeda, we are prepared to invest in our customer’s success and in the growth of the machine-to-machine (M2M) market itself.   

Be “Free to Grow”.

I spoke with Richard Tehrani, founder and president of TMCnet on this topic.  You can view the full contents of that conversation here.

Topics: M2M, Axeda Platform, machine-to-machine

Plan Axeda or Plan B?

Posted by Erin Smith

Jan 12, 2011 8:00:00 AM

The Year of M2M is here and Axeda is making it easier for companies to take advantage of the massive opportunity.  This video speaks more about our new free platform offering that aims to remove the barriers to developing game changing M2M applications.


Topics: M2M, Axeda Platform, Connected Products, machine-to-machine

Welcome to Dale's Blog

Posted by Dale Calder

Sep 30, 2010 10:39:00 AM

As a 15 year M2M veteran, it’s exciting to see the rapid evolution of the market over the last few years.  The advent of cloud computing and steady decline in the cost of wireless communication has made it so everyday products can now be connected.

As I have said in the press, disconnected products are dead, they are lame.  The most innovative product companies have seen the light and are betting their futures on the services that can be delivered through their products.  Examples such as the Kindle and On-Star have demonstrated what these connections can do for an industry.  The product is simply a platform for game-changing app development.

Over the next month, I will blog from CTIA and 4G, provide my opinions on why I think the smart grid model is all screwed up, and why carriers must pursue horizontal M2M strategies to win the race.  I hope you will join the conversation!

In the meantime, if you are trying to learn and advance your own M2M initiatives, be sure to visit our developer community at:  

Topics: M2M, Connected Products, machine-to-machine

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