In today’s world, we use (and create) a lot of data in our
everyday lives. Every transaction you make at a store, every
email you send and every picture you post of your kids in Halloween
costumes on Facebook is sent across the Internet and stored
somewhere. However, the amount of data that you currently
create will pale in comparison to what you will create in the
future......thanks to the new world of Big Data!
Big Data is a catch word that is everywhere, yet most people do
not understand what it means. While I have never seen a
perfect definition, here is what it means to me.....it means that
all of the data you currently create (transactional, social media,
video, etc.) will be added to the new sources of data (sensors,
machine usage, etc.) and put into a much larger pile. At that
point, the data will have to be sorted, manipulated and presented
in a manner that allows someone to do something useful with
it.....whether that usefulness includes:
- Making an offer more personal to you
- Allowing them to know when a machine will fail
- Knowing when a patient can stay home longer to avoid a costly
The question becomes: Who will win the battle to control
Why is this important? The answer is simple. In the long
run, the real money to be made in this space will not be from
selling hardware or network airtime (although, there is SOME money
to be made there), but rather from selling services to allow
customers to do more with this incredible amount of
information. If you are a business owner, you don’t care HOW
you find out more data from your customers, you care WHAT data you
find out and how you can use it to better your business.
So, who are some of the companies that will be battling to
control your data?
- Without a doubt, cellular carriers have a running start on
this. Carriers have been involved in M2M solutions for over a
decade and they have a strong understanding of how to bring back
data securely (through a variety of specialized IP and security
- However, their experience (especially on the wireless side)
with integrating into key corporate systems is not as strong as
other parties in this space, so one has to wonder if they have
enough differentiation to stand out among their competitors?
- As well, with the influx of many new players into the market
(as international carriers are moving into North America), will the
carriers be able to sustain margins on airtime to make it very
profitable? This might actually force them into the data
M2M Platform Providers
- Many of today’s M2M solutions (both landline and wireless) see
their data being sent to an M2M platform. These platforms do
a great job of playing “Traffic Cop” to help companies make great
decisions with their data. They also perform well in both a
stand-alone fashion (where data is presented directly on the
platform) as well as when they integrate into other larger
- However, this market is starting to become a bit saturated, and
there are no dominant players in this space. This makes this
market ripe for consolidation and for many of these companies to be
acquired.....likely by large ERP companies who will use these
platforms as ways to feed data into their own systems.
- While I like this sector, I think that they will eventually
have a tough time competing “with the big boys”.
Large Systems Integration Firms
- I don’t know many companies who have the “ears” of more CIOs
than a company like IBM or Accenture. They have it all – the
integration expertise, the project management skills and the
advertising budgets to be huge forces in the M2M space.
- However, will they be able to put it all together, and will
they have any appetite for the customers who aren’t on the Fortune
500 list? Most small and mid-sized companies aren’t on their
radar, so that leaves a huge market available.
ERP Platform Providers
- If I understand correctly, all of the Fortune 100 companies
have some services from both Oracle AND from SAP. These two
players, along with other cloud-based services are forces to be
reckoned with in the world of Enterprise. With their recent
focus on the world of M2M, it stands to reason that a lot of the
world’s Big Data decisions will be done using their services.
- However, two things jump out as standing in their way.
First, their appeal to the world of small to medium business is
likely not as strong as they would like and they need to find ways
to offer more cloud-based services into these spaces to increase
their Big Data presence. As well, they will find themselves
needing to offer more complete, turn-key offerings to be able to
compete with companies such as IBM, who will be offering turn-key
Social Media / Internet Service Providers
- In this space, I would include a wide range of companies
ranging from Facebook to Google to Amazon cloud services and many
more. These players offer unique services that make up an
important part of the Big Data experience. It may range from
easy to use methods of uploading data, to a great cloud-based
storage experience as well as platforms to alert you effectively
(either email or text).
- We’ve yet to see much from these players in the M2M space,
although based on their entry into the overall world of Big Data, I
can’t imagine it will be long.
- While their impact will most likely be based on the consumer
market, I wouldn’t be so crazy to rule out Google when it comes to
the corporate space, based on the success of their document
Large IT Players
- So, what about other large players like Apple, Microsoft,
Intel, Cisco, Dell, HP, Texas Instruments etc.?
- To date, they have had a varying level of interest in M2M
ranging from specialized hardware for the M2M world, to initial
attempts to create standards/ecosystems for the M2M world, to an
overall increased focus on M2M in general.
- With the incredible reach into all areas of technology, it is
only a matter of time before these companies evolve their offerings
to take advantage of this new world. It may be by offering
services to compete with the large SIs (I can imagine Dell and HP
will play here), chip/board level solutions that make it
easier/cheaper to collect data (Intel is already here, as is TI) or
easy-to-use platforms that allow for low cost offerings to present
data to users (Apple, Microsoft and Cisco could dominate
In today’s world, we create an increasing amount of data, and it
is only going to get bigger. Rest assured that companies are
lining up at the chance to offer services to help make it more
useful. The ones who win this battle will likely be the “new
kings of the IT world”. With so many powerful companies in
this space, it will be exciting to watch. Let the battle begin!
As always, let Novotech know how we can help with your M2M
needs, such as antenna selection. You can visit our web page
@ www.novotech.com. As
well, feel free to reach out to me directly
....larry(@)novotech.com. You can also follow us on Twitter
(@NovotechM2M) and you can follow me personally as well