Solutions based on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication support us today in many areas of our life and work. The amount of data collected by M2M is increasing day by day, and it has a greater potential than we have so far suspected.
M2M solutions today collect all kinds of information, from the temperature and GPS coordinates of a refrigerated container to the vital data of a herd of cows, and data quantities are growing constantly as the technology becomes increasingly widespread. So M2M is one of the drivers of the global increase in data quantities – the Big Data trend. Data collection, moreover, is only the beginning. The true benefit will only be gained by means of Big Data analytics. Crucial progress lies ahead in 2013, driven by many small analytics companies and mobile network operators (MNOs) that are in a position to bundle the forces of the different market participants.
So far, data retrieval by M2M applications has for the most part been limited to individual values. Doctors, for example, monitor patients’ blood glucose levels that are measured, relayed by mobile telephony and archived, but extensive information can only be gained from analyzing many different parameters. Which data is analyzed is one question; the other is when it is analyzed. Retrospective data analysis is often insufficient to identify relevant patterns early enough. To do that, you need to look at data streams in real time, and that is where the real potential lies. Equipped with machine learning algorithms, M2M applications of this kind can even look into the future. They recognize problems in production processes before they even arise. Many solutions of this kind that offer customers a clear benefit are in the starting blocks, especially in the United States. Self-learning systems are able, for example, to recognize wear and tear in wind turbine generators or of motors in pumping systems. They monitor processes over a lengthy period and identify even creeping changes.
As new players in the M2M market the providers of these analytics applications must first establish themselves, and MNOs can help them to do that. In the burgeoning M2M market mobile network operators increasingly serve as a link between many small software and hardware providers and customers who want end-to-end applications from a single source. MNOs run international partner programs via which they cooperate with hardware and software providers that are growing in number day by day. In 2012 Deutsche Telekom, for example, even launched a global e-commerce platform that is independent of manufacturers, the M2M Marketplace. It provides smaller companies with an opportunity to market their analytics software worldwide.
In the year ahead more and more companies will need to look into evaluating their large amounts of data because the potential of Big Data is too large to ignore. Data assets from M2M solutions play a large part in this connection. Analyzing them will enable us to gain deeper insights into workflows and production processes.
Wavefront and Deutsche Telekom have recently established an M2M Zone at the Wavefront Accelerator Centre in Vancouver. Through the M2M Zone, Deutsche Telekom provides access to its M2M solutions and resources such as the M2M Partner Portal and M2M Developer Community and to showcase some of its solutions.