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Managed M2M Platforms: Quick Fix vs. Long-Term Solution
Telecom operators have their eyes firmly set on winning machine-to-machine (M2M) market share. With the world's press and analyst reports awash with predictions of many billions of connected devices worldwide within a few short years, and associated M2M service and platform revenues also forecasted to generate billions of dollars for those helping enterprises to monetize all that connectivity, it should come as no surprise that telecom operators are working out how they can win a chunk of the business.

Enter the M2M platform provider. M2M platform providers offer a range of horizontally-focused solutions designed to help telecom operators and service providers to efficiently target the M2M market. These solutions can integrate everything from the management of SIMs and data plans, through to provisioning of devices, rating and charging, mediation with and between legacy devices in industrial networks, and storage and analysis of M2M data. These providers all promise a level of automation that makes M2M service delivery profitable, and they all promise telecom operators a relationship and time-to-market advantage that can springboard them into the M2M space.

While many telecom operators appear inclined to buy expertise from third parties in order to speed their market entry, there are some significant players not taking this path, and others may be planning to go it alone longer-term.

Managed, cloud-based M2M solutions offer telecom operators a swift means of entering the M2M market with services that cater for a wide range of different customers and industry sectors. Their solutions support automation of many of the M2M deployment, provisioning, operation, management and maintenance processes. And managed M2M platform providers have managed to sign up many of the world's biggest telecom operators as customers.

Telecom operators are not expected to cut the managed M2M solution providers adrift though. Managed M2M solution providers will enable operators to cost effectively provide global services, and to efficiently and effectively serve their customers in national markets where they have little or no presence. Longer-term we expect managed service providers' roles will evolve from market entry facilitators to global support facilitators.

Many M2M platform providers targeting telecom operators are heavily emphasizing (and in some cases focusing solely on) licensed mobile cellular connectivity options. This is leaving several customer markets where Wi-Fi and other unlicensed wireless technologies like ZigBee, Bluetooth, etc., fixed connectivity, infrared, satellite and other connectivity options are needed wide open for specialists and system integrators.

Managed M2M Platforms: Quick Fix vs. Long-Term Solution looks at the M2M platform providers who are developing (predominantly) managed propositions that support telecom operators to sell M2M services. It reviews the solutions they offer, their progress to-date and considers whether they are likely to be long-term partners for telecom operators. Finally, this report profiles 11 leading vendors in the market.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (hri0313_toc_2.pdf)
The following excerpt identifies the key players providing M2M platforms to telecom operators, their products, the network types they support and the business models they offer. It also lists publicly-announced telecom operator or service provider customers. We have excluded vendors whose offerings are limited to providing and managing their own connectivity solutions (such as SIMs, devices and networking equipment). We have also excluded from this table the very many platform providers that primarily serve enterprise customers direct, and that do not have a major presence in the market to supply platforms to network operators.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Aeris Communications Inc.; Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Axeda Corp.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Cumulocity GmbH; Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); ILS Technology LLC; Jasper Wireless Inc.; KORE M2M Systems Group Inc.; NEC Corp.; and ZTE Corp.
Total pages: 28
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