Submitted by Larry Bellehumeur on 

Application Enablement Management: I get asked a lot about what is required to manage a successful M2M solution.  There are a lot of moving components, and it can be daunting.  Once you have made up your mind that you want to proceed (developed a business case, secured funding), you now have to decide the right combination for the solution to deploy (hardware, software, cellular technology, etc).'re not done.  You have to manage these devices while they are in the field.

There are 4 important stages to managing a device, and we are going to address them in their own blog:

1) SIM / Activation Management

2) Device Management

3) Application enablement Management

4) Managing the "presentation" layer

When a lot of people look at a solution, the first instinct is to think that most of the work went into the interface that you are looking at.  It makes sense, since that is where most of the "wow" factor is, whether it is a cool map, great looking chart or an informative email that it sent to you to let you know of an event.  In reality, most of the really tough work is done behind the scenes.  Drawing the required information from a remote device, sending the information along to a server and putting the information into a useful format is where the real skill lies.  These actions, and more, can be summarized by the term "Application Enablement Management" or AEM.  It is also sometimes referred to as Solution Enablement Management.

This step can be used by two different types of parties:

1) Companies who are offering a complete solution to a customer.  This may be a vehicle tracking application, a hosted solution to monitor tank levels or a solution providing analytics.  As part of their offering, they need to have a reliable method of drawing the required information from the remote unit (speed, location, temperature levels, etc) and transporting this information to their database.  At that point, their solution continues onto put the data into a manner that it can be useful for the user (called the presentation layer, which is covered in the next blog).  For many existing solution providers, there were no options for AEM, other than to develop it themselves. Today, many solutions exist to not only provide a reliable method of gathering the correct information but also to expedite the development of a solution (often by years).  This allows the solution provider to focus on differentiating themselves by sales and service, and not have to be an expert on wireless.

2) For some customers who have already developed/procured a Presentation layer (such as their own mapping software, their own database or using industry platforms like SAP), they simply need a reliable method of getting the information from the field and having it delivered to their system (in a format that they can use).  This is where AEM solutions can shine, as it can reduce the cost/complexity/time to market of solutions down to weeks (even days).

For many customers, both solution providers and customers who are doing it themselves, it makes sense to combine the first three management steps into one offering (Managing the SIM, managing the device and AEM).  I want to make these blogs about information, not about selling, but feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on how Novotech can help deliver these 3 parts combined in one single package, to effectively reduce the support burden and speed up deployments.

Thanks for reading,