making the most of M2M: an interview with Emmanuel Routier

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As the “M2M & connected devices” conference gets closer (it’s happening on the 18th of September, more information here), I had the opportunity to interview Emmanuel Routier, our Global M2M VP, so I asked him a few questions about the M2M industry status, its future, roadblocks, etc.

Without further ado, let me introduce to you… Emmanuel ! :-)

It you can't see the video, please click here to watch it directly on Dailymotion.

the M2M industry status: nice and clean

We've all heard about the 50 billion connected devices (with SIM cards) by 2020. But we don’t have to wait to say that M2M is a reality: at the beginning of 2013, we surpassed more than 40 million devices with SIM cards in Europe. We also saw big players embracing M2M technologies (Nespresso, SITA, Veolia Water, etc.) to improve their user experience, operations but also to add new services to their portfolio.

That being said, the industry is far from having reached its full potential; there are still too few players who are using M2M in their own solutions or for their own purposes. Hence, this potential gives the whole Machine to Machine industry a peaceful feeling (its goal is as high as 100 million SIM cards by 2016 in Europe).

big industries support M2M

However, this goal will not be fueled by old usages only. It will need new ones, closer to end users.

For example, in the health sector, we’ll see more and more connected devices which will address chronic diseases (for an example, see this blog post: “mHealth can drastically reduce the cost of chronic diseases”) and thus allow patients to better cope with their day-to-day issues.

Another field which will help to fuel these new usages is the automotive sector which has a potential of no less than 300 million connected cars in Europe. For example, the whole industry is anticipating what’s known as eCall, “a European initiative intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision”. These new needs, or even legal actions sometimes, push for more M2M solutions in the automotive sector. The latest example we have is Renault’s R-link which offers its clients a “plugged-in” solution offering connectivity services.

These two fields indicate where the M2M trend’s going. Every player is now planning these kinds of solutions, far from what we know today.

the Machine to Machine ecosystem: a vital partner

To reach these lovely figures though, we’ll need a reliable, consistent and open ecosystem:

  1. The first side of this ecosystem is about partnering to have quicker time to market.
  2. Secondly, it will also be about partnering: mobile operators will need each other to improve the whole customer experience beyond every one’s traditional footprint.
  3. Key topics will also have to be addressed: security and flexibility to be aligned with customer’s needs.

conclusion

We’ve seen a lot of things in the Machine to Machine industry, it’s now a reality and its future looks great. Trends show that the industry goals can be reached but this will only happen with a whole ecosystem to support it.

Rémi

Une version française de cette article et la vidéo se trouve ici.