On the road to pervasive intelligence
By Kishore Jethanandani
Machine-to-Machine (M2M), the tiny radio devices, sensors th...
communications. Ships tend to spend a great deal of time close to the shore,
before the cargo is unloaded, and can signifi...
vendors could find selling opportunities and for customers to do comparison
shopping.
Transportation and Logistics leads a...
software like Cadec Global, the tedium is cut and processing of the data happens
continually in real-time.
The Marriage of...
Isolated sensor-based use cases are hard to scale and have been financially
unattractive to carriers. The ARPUs are low fo...
by sensors to detect an impending breakdown. Now M2M applications
automatically order parts, send alerts, and schedule an ...
platforms are helping to break down the boundaries that kept the data streams
apart and are fusing them to generate new ap...
EMC’s Isilon integrated its internal Salesforce application with the Axeda’s
machine cloud. Isilon’s customer support appl...
right tools, accessories and information avoiding the multiple visits that were
common in the past.
Carriers are well posi...
the operations side and marketing skills of consumer companies for customer
acquisition.
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My blogs on machine to-machine business solutions

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Sensors gather minute bits of data that are valuable when aggregated and processed to extract intelligence. A whole new generation of business solutions are emerging from the data gathered from M2M.

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My blogs on machine to-machine business solutions

  1. 1. On the road to pervasive intelligence By Kishore Jethanandani Machine-to-Machine (M2M), the tiny radio devices, sensors that feed bits of data from activities of objects such as moving trucks, have a whole lot more value when the data from each of them is aggregated to draw intelligence such as their expected time of arrival and monitor, in real-time, variables like the temperature in trucks carrying perishables. The accident rates and corresponding insurance costs have been drastically lowered with detailed monitoring of driving behavior and real-time feedback on acceleration, brake use, maneuvers and turns. Studies undertaken by Trimble show accident rates were lowered by 45% and corresponding insurance and related costs cut by 50%. A big picture view of vehicle and vessel movements all along the supply chain uncovers opportunities for business gains that would otherwise be not available. Portvision, for example, gained visibility into the movement of vessels by taking advantage of the AIS (Automated Identification System) which is otherwise used for collision avoidance by the Coast Guard. The data can tell, in real time, when the vessel is close enough to the shore to benefit from switching to cellular
  2. 2. communications. Ships tend to spend a great deal of time close to the shore, before the cargo is unloaded, and can significantly lower the use of the more expensive satellite communications. The expanded data of arrivals and departures of vessels can be used for other purposes such as logistics management for trucks and inventory management by customers as they get real-time data on expected time of arrival for trucks. Telecom carriers, specialist M2M solution providers, strategic alliances and M2M marketplaces are coming together to interconnect sensors, devices and networks so that the data can flow seamlessly to central databases where it can be parsed for information. A global alliance of KPN, NTT DoCoMo, Rogers Communications, SingTel, Telefónica, through its Telefónica Digital unit, Telstra, and Vimpelcom will use a distinctive SIM card, a common web interface and will centrally manage M2M devices. They will all collaborate with Jasper Wireless to manage the M2M network. Verizon acquired Hughes Telematics in June 2012 for its fleet management solutions. Orange acquired Data and Mobile in January 2012 for its fleet management software. Masternaut entered into a strategic alliance with Telefonica for joint marketing of M2M and related fleet management solutions. Deutsche Telecom created a global M2M marketplace where the thousands of
  3. 3. vendors could find selling opportunities and for customers to do comparison shopping. Transportation and Logistics leads as the target market by Communication Service Providers for their M2M services. A survey conducted by Informa found that 52% of the carriers are targeting this industry. Real-time M2M powered fleet management enables new services, cuts costs and speeds up regulatory compliance. In times of disasters or just adverse weather, vehicles can be lost in accidents, stranded or rerouted. Software, such as that available from Agile Access Control, provides data on the status of fleets in real- time to make alternative plans. Trust was important for compliance with hours-of-service requirements for drivers and was prone to errors and omissions as it was largely documented manually. With M2M enabled fleet management software like Qualcomm’s hours of service application, tracking of hours of service is automated. FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) governed rules require drivers to a daily DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report) and its submission to headquarters to detect any maintenance or safety issues. With M2M enabled
  4. 4. software like Cadec Global, the tedium is cut and processing of the data happens continually in real-time. The Marriage of M2M and Platforms Breeds Services By Kishore Jethanandani M2M and its evolved version--Internet of Things/Everything—is beginning to scale aided by application enablement and related platforms. Early adoption was confined to a few use cases of remote monitoring that had limited interest. The recent evolution of M2M is reflected in applications for vending machines which accounted for most of the investment in the past. Sensors embedded in vending machines were used for isolating counterfeit dollar bills during purchases. Deutsche Telecom’s machine-to-machine communications added refilling capabilities for vending machines--inventory levels are automatically reported to vendors’ computers when stocks deplete. Internet of Things/Everything (IOT/E) augments the value of vending machines as applications, such as SAP Hana’s mobile payments and offers based on past purchase history, proliferate.
  5. 5. Isolated sensor-based use cases are hard to scale and have been financially unattractive to carriers. The ARPUs are low for M2M ranging from $1.5 per month for networks and services in the retail industry to a high of $5 for networks and $48.9 for services in the healthcare industry. For most industries, they are less than $10 per month for networks and services. By contrast, the Average Revenue per Connection for mobile devices is $45 per month and the Average Revenue per User is $69 per month. M2M, IOT and IOE will be an attractive business for carriers when multiple devices and services, the long-tail of applications, are served by a common infrastructure of networks and platforms. Application Enablement Platforms (AEP) have the toolset, with the common objects of code used for a broad range of applications, to rapidly generate new applications for revenue generation all working within an integrated network of devices. Fragmentation in the M2M world is of a higher order of magnitude due to a variety of embedded platforms, programming languages, connection types whether Bluetooth, WiFi, radio or cellular, and communication protocols. AEPs play a role in the integration along with M2M connectivity platforms. AT&T, for example, is partnering with Axeda to churn out applications for automation in several verticals. In the past, equipment in factories was monitored
  6. 6. by sensors to detect an impending breakdown. Now M2M applications automatically order parts, send alerts, and schedule an appointment for a technician to attend to the maintenance of the equipment. Some platforms go beyond providing a framework for generating applications for a vertical and build components for development of applications across a variety of industries. Cumulocity is one platform that builds cross-industry applications. Data feeds from smart meters, for example, can be used not only by the utility industry but could have other uses such as the management of appliances. Jones Lang Lasalle, a commercial property management company, integrated the disparate building management systems that came with its numerous acquisitions. Its partnership with Intellicommand, an M2M platform company, helped to interlink BACNet, LonWorks, Modbus that were used for remotely controlling heating, ventilation and air-conditioning as well as equipment such as chillers and boilers. The controls help to track energy consumption and failing equipment that might lead to a breakdown. Energy savings of twenty four percent were realized in eleven months in just one site. The numerous data feeds from M2M open new possibilities, for applications development, as they can be mashed to create new services. Application
  7. 7. platforms are helping to break down the boundaries that kept the data streams apart and are fusing them to generate new applications and services. Sensors are able to read every event, activity, beat that occurs on this earth. The possibilities of applications development are enormous if the daunting challenges of integration are overcome. M2M is taproot for Cloud watered enterprise applications By Kishore Jethanandani Cloud platforms are helping to bridge the world of dispersed and pervasive sensing devices or machines and centralized enterprise application platforms. Enterprises have a virtual view of their assets anywhere on their control screens to help them respond to customers and partners. Mobile service providers can now wirelessly stream sensor and machine data to enterprise applications enabling cloud platforms of companies like Axeda, Devicewise, Gemalto or Eurotech. Machine vendors can remotely monitor the status of equipment installed by them and conduct diagnostics and maintenance, at a moment’s notice, without waiting for field staff or customer contacts to be available. To be sure, the full benefits of remote control of assets are contingent on resolving data quality issues of M2M integration with cloud platforms.
  8. 8. EMC’s Isilon integrated its internal Salesforce application with the Axeda’s machine cloud. Isilon’s customer support application, Support IQ, appears as a button on Salesforce application and can remotely activate the diagnostic routine on storage arrays at customer sites. A great deal of time is saved because EMC does not have to wait for its contacts on customer premises to arrive to help them with diagnosis of incidents that need their support. The relevant data on configuration of the storage arrays is stored on the Salesforce application. The applications built on the cloud platforms generate a growing choice of services. New services are generated by meshing several streams of data from sensor devices. A typical service is the twittering ferries developed by Eurotech. The data from the GPS of ferries estimates data on speed and automatically sends tweets informing passengers about their arrival and departure time. Clients of M2M solutions are able to increase productivity with automated business processes. Diebold reduced a great deal of downtime with automatic software upgrades. The time lost on downtime in maintenance of ATM terminals was lowered with automated status updates of machine performance and predicting failures before an outage happens. The diagnosis of problem situations is completed before the visits of field staff. The technicians go prepared with the
  9. 9. right tools, accessories and information avoiding the multiple visits that were common in the past. Carriers are well positioned to be the intermediaries between the several partners, enterprise customers, vendors of devices, platforms and software developers, and cloud services providers and deliver a composite service. They will potentially gain more from ensuring quality of service, enhancing user experience by designing the portals and the user interfaces for self-service. Their current role is largely as a communication pipe but they are expected to expand; the share of revenues from professional services, service management and analytics is expected to more than double by 2015. Carriers’ choice of technologies will make a key difference to the profitability of M2M applications. The revenue earned from individual sensors and devices is low and costs are high. The costs can be lowered with the use of local gateways and middleware to reduce administrative costs. Carriers will have to think anew about their strategy towards using M2M data feeds and the applications that can be generated with help from applications enabling cloud platforms. In contrast to the mass delivery of generic services like internet access, they will need the skills of consultants and system integrators on
  10. 10. the operations side and marketing skills of consumer companies for customer acquisition.

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