M2M - Business Benefits & Rationale

For some of us, computers have always been a part of our day to day lives in our jobs.  Sure, when I first started in the business world, they weren’t nearly as fast as the iPhones/Androids in our pockets and were 10x more expensive than today’s smartphone, but they were always there. 

About the time when many companies made the leap to the computer age, there were no doubt many companies who did not want to make the move. 

They may have been worried about a lot of things…
Maybe it would:

  • eliminate jobs from their teams
  • make their company too reliant on technology (and reduce the value of key people)
  • create a fear of computers taking over the world (even before SkyNet from the Terminator movie series!) 

Regardless, the move to PCs must have been a dramatic change for most companies.

The fear towards M2M is often similar for many companies. 

Look at AVL / Fleet Management solutions.  One of the biggest concerns about companies is the cost of running their fleets – from fuel costs to replacement costs for vehicles to insurance.  For most companies, the implementation of an AVL solution can dramatically change costs….in fact, it can go much further!  These solutions can make your remote teams much more productive, reduce your legal liability and insurance costs and greatly reduce much of the clerical work for mileage and maintenance.  To recap, it not only helps most businesses, it outright changes them forever.  And….I think this change scares some people/companies.

The same can be said for many other solutions in the M2M space.  Imagine you are a company that services thousands of pieces of equipment at remote locations (could be bank machines, photocopiers, kiosks, industrial equipment or many other things).  Today, how do you service your customers?  It is likely based on reactive measures (customers calling in, trouble tickets being opened, workers driving in traffic on-site).  What if you put an M2M solution into each of those machines?  This would change the model of the company completely allowing for:

  • more proactive support
  • the elimination of downtime (and costly site visits)
  • enhanced access to much more user information from the field
  • cutting-edge billing options

In a nutshell, this solution can revolutionize a company and even an entire industry!

So, why hasn’t every company changed their processes to use an M2M solution?  Part of the reason is no doubt “fear”….in many ways.  Ironically, some of the same fear that was found when companies changed from the “Mad Men” ways to the new world of PCs.

Fear about eliminating jobs

This one may be funny to someone who has lost their job in the past few years.  Many corporations have very little issues in cutting thousands of jobs, and this does happen often.  However, many smaller businesses do not share this same feeling.  At Novotech, we have never let an employee go due to a lack of work and I think that many companies are in the same boat.  The idea of letting “a member of their family” go is indeed holding some companies back from moving towards M2M.

The reality is that no intelligent business owner lets any valuable employees go.  Most companies who have deployed M2M solutions have found that the resulting growth in business has in fact forced them to add staff, not subtract.

Fear of using technology they dont fully understand

Fear of the unknown is surprisingly a common thing, and nowhere does this show up more than technology.  Sometimes they simply don’t think it could be reliable (reminding these people that M2M solutions control drinking water systems, traffic lights, power generation/delivery and much more often helps to comfort them).  Others feel that it cannot possibly have the accuracy of their team (despite the fact that humans make errors many times more often than computers).  Finally, others do not like to use systems that they did not create themselves (one of the ways that we are alleviating this is to integrate M2M data from the field into existing systems that they use today).

Fear of losing control of their business / fear of change

This one is a major issue, and something that the M2M industry needs to stop ignoring.  M2M solutions can truly change a business, and for many owners, this is a major obstacle – and I totally get this.  Many entrepreneurs are open to changes in their business but many are always in fear of losing control.  By turning over the retrieval of information from remote devices to an automated solution is scary for some, as it changes the very processes that they themselves may have created in the first place.  As well, it also disrupts (in a very good way) virtually every aspect of their business…..from Operations, to Finance, to Customer Service, to Production… companies now find that they are able to do things in a much different way, and not all of them really want to change.  It often takes their competitors making the move to have them take the M2M leap forward.

Bottom Line

“Fear” is not the only reason why companies do not implement an M2M solution.  Some of the other reasons may include:

•   Lack of finances (as an industry, we need to do a better job offering flexible billing).

•   Possible regulatory or compliance issues (namely their customers, clients or industry regulators will not allow the technology)…..this is lessening.

•   Very aggressive ROI models….as an industry, we may truly believe that many of the ROIs that M2M solutions bring are true, but many companies find that they are too aggressive (too short of a payback).  Perhaps, this is a customer issue, as they are using metrics that are for legacy technologies…metrics that aren’t as dramatic, but I have seen a few sales falter because the customer did not believe that an M2M solution could change their business THAT much.

As an industry, we need to focus less now on “what” M2M / IoT is and start to focus more on “why” customers want to use it.  When they start to see more of this (and especially when their competitors make the leap), I think many of these fears will die down.

As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.

Stay connected! Follow Novotech on Twitter (@NovotechM2M) or follow me personally (@LBNovotechM2M).  We’re also very active on LinkedIn so follow our company page too. 


 

 

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