With Machine-to-Machine applications and solutions gaining ground in an array of verticals, the M2M Alliance is fast emerging as a global M2M platform. Eric Schneider, 1st Chairman of the M2M Alliance speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com on its current focus and future plans.
What is the present focus for M2M Alliance today? And what is your roadmap for the coming year?
M2M applications are finding use in more and more industries and fields. It is therefore important to join forces and create uniform structures. As the largest association for the machine-to-machine sector, the M2M Alliance is considered the platform and voice for providers and users of M2M solutions. The primary objective of the M2M Alliance is to promote M2M technologies and solutions. The M2M Alliance actively advocates for the economic interests of its members, and promotes cooperation and the exchange of experiences among the various sectors and companies.
How many members are part of this alliance and what kind of membership do you have from India?
We have 76 members from a wide range of sectors. Our members offer various products and services and often have a specific focus on a certain area, but they are all part of the value chain of M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. At present we do not have any members from India, but India is a very interesting market. As a globally operating organisation, we would be delighted to welcome members from India, and I am sure that all sides would benefit from an extended network that includes India.
What are some of the key challenges that are being faced within the M2M space today? How do you want to overcome these challenges?
We have to develop the current products and solutions and make sure that M2M breaks out of its niche status. We need open and adoptable platforms and standards. The M2M Alliance is acting as an entrepreneur. We support companies with our knowledge and bring the best partners together.
As telecom operators look for providing best value to their enterprise customers, they are always looking for minimizing costs of enterprise IT deployments while maximizing the benefits. How can M2M concepts help in this regard?
These two demands do not contradict each other. However, business and IT must be brought in line by experienced project managers. Not always is the technically sophisticated solution the best solution for the business – and vice versa.
What are some of the early adopting segments for M2M globally?
At present, there are a lot of very good solutions available in the areas of transport & logistics, automotive, automation, and in the field of wellness and gadgets. In the near future, we will be able to enjoy a wide range of solutions for the Smart Home, Smart Cities, healthcare, and many other areas.
What is the M2M Alliance doing to increase awareness about IoT in Asia, the Middle East and Africa?
The main focus of the M2M Alliance is on the European market, but we also support congresses in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We are watching the markets very carefully. Companies and partners that are interested in M2M and IoT and want to join a global network are always welcome at the M2M Alliance. As a strong association, we have a lot to offer such as reliable partners that suit the needs of basically any company and organisation. The more members we have, the stronger the network, and the bigger the advantages for everyone.