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A Look at the Year Ahead in the World of M2M & IoT

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As the world of M2M and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) evolves, technology is becoming increasingly economical. Hardware, network and application solutions that work together are now reaching the market in a way that delivers an integrated way to track, monitor, control and manage vehicles, vessels and equipment anywhere in the world in a reliable and cost-effective way.

To take the integration one step further, the industry is now moving into the next phase of IoT and M2M, which incorporates data analysis capabilities. This is sure to set up a new standard in M2M mobile technology that includes smart data delivery between applications, solutions and services.

From Convergence to Consolidation to Collaboration

Well-integrated solutions will change business for the better. But it will require a path of convergence, whether through ecosystem consolidation or partnership. The stage is already set in various ways. Open source is resulting in the interoperability between devices and networks. Satellite and cellular platforms are merging. Device manufacturers are providing options for area network connectivity through the combination of satellite, cellular and Ethernet.

The GSMA, an association of mobile operators, software companies, manufacturers and equipment providers, supports this line of thinking.  Its recently released report, IoT Device Connection Efficiency Guidelines, focuses on industry collaboration, appropriate regulation and network optimization that support the growth of M2M in the immediate future and the IoT in the longer term.

Moving from Big Data to Smart Data

The interconnection of people, assets and the enterprise is what IoT is envisioned to be – where the physical world merges with the digital world.  But we need to be cautious about concentrating on the collection of extremely large data sets. Big data relates to volume. Smart data, on the other hand, is about leveraging everything collected for competitive advantage.

In the coming year, the industry will continue to work to unlock the potential for the best data to make critical decisions with context and meaning. It doesn’t make good business sense to continue in silos. It’s not efficient. The progression to smart data provides the perfect opportunity for industry leaders to join forces to intelligently develop valuable solutions that increase productivity and decrease costs across the enterprise.

The View from Here: What to Expect in 2015

According to Machina Research, 2015 will continue to include more mergers and acquisitions within the industry. The global advisors on M2M, IoT and big data note two types of companies that will be of particular interest for M&A. One is data analytics providers that provide a way to broaden service offerings to include analytics capabilities. The other is mid-tier full service M2M solution providers.  According to Machina Research, consolidation will “provide a crucial service path to enterprises looking to build and design IoT and M2M projects.”

2015 marks the beginning of a new year and establishes joint forces of our own.  At the beginning of January, we announced the successful completion of SkyWave’s acquisition by ORBCOMM Inc. We look forward to the opportunities that will be created by delivering on the industry’s broadest set of complete solutions, global regulatory authorizations and connectivity options including satellite, terrestrial and dual mode that we can now offer the M2M industry.

What do you think the coming year will bring for M2M/IoT? Leave a comment or connect with us via social media (TwitterLinkedInFacebookGoogle+) to have your say.

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Sue Rutherford

As the Vice President of Marketing for ORBCOMM, Ms. Rutherford is responsible for advancing the strategic direction of ORBCOMM marketing and its leading satellite/cellular products and services portfolio. She has more than two decades of global technology marketing expertise in the telecommunications, software, SaaS and industrial automation industries.

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