‘M2M growth estimates are high, but the related ecosystem has to keep pace’

How is Vodafone Business Services leveraging upon the increase in M2M compliant devices? What visible increase is it seeing in India? Are there many takers in India?

M2M is an emerging business in India. M2M compliant devices are helping businesses in taking advantage of the ubiquitous network connectivity offered by Vodafone for their machine to machine applications deployment.

Businesses have started realizing RoI on their M2M deployments. These solutions have even helped many organizations in creating new sources of revenue, which is increasing their demand and deployment across sectors.

According to the latest report by Machina Research, India will reach 7.93 mn M2M connections by 2015, earning more than Rs 2,200 mn in revenues. And as per GSMA, the proliferation of connected devices will create a $4.5 trillion market for global business by 2020.

Which verticals in India is Vodafone targeting in 2013 for M2M services? Can you name the clients in your 2013 orderbook? Has VBS done any major implementations in the government sector?

Looking at the M2M market, which is growing exponentially in India, we are looking at major verticals like Utilities, Automotive, Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, and Financial Services sector in 2013, which are early adopters of M2M Technology.

In the government vertical, we have many M2M implementations for State Electricity Boards and Gas Distribution Companies. For example, our M2M solution facilitated one of the state electricity boards to meet their primary objective to produce, transmit and distribute electricity as efficiently as possible, with the least amount of pilferage.

The task was to securely fetch data from remote locations across the state using GSM communication.The collected data was then loaded on to the main server and used for charging, automated bill generation and analytics.

Which are the system integrators and M2M tech providers with whom Vodafone has tied up to provide these services?

We work across sectors with all the major system integrators in the country and collaborate with various M2M application service providers and ecosystem players as necessitated by the client specific needs and strategy mandate.

Given that M2M is a nascent market play, the ecosystem is still evolving and we are engaging with the entire value chain from modules to device providers to SIs and application service providers.

 

In India, there are many takers of such services from both public and private sectors. In the private sector, enterprises in logistics, manufacturing and transportation industry are increasingly adopting M2M services to automate and manage processes. VBS is leveraging the same by offering best in class managed connectivity services to them according to their needs.

What the tech related challenges in India that VBS is encountering while implementing M2M services?

A M2M solution for the end customer is interplay of solutions from different players across the value chain. The ecosystem is highly fragmented and evolving. While the M2M growth estimates or potential in India by various recent reports are high, the related ecosystem is yet to keep pace with the complex requirements.

Secondly the current M2M market is highly fragmented in nature and standardization levels are low. As a result of this fragmented ecosystem, quality and cost of M2M devices are a real concern.

Currently, since M2M segment is in a nascent stage, diverse players are required to collaborate and arrive at a specific solution. In such a scenario, Vodafone with more than a decade’s experience, domain expertise and breadth of services has a key role to play in providing best-of-breed solutions and value-added services for businesses to benefit from their M2M deployments.
 
Which are the new innovations that you are incorporating as far as end-to-end security is concerned for the M2M services?

Ensuring the security of data communications from the M2M device at the remote end to the central application is important not only from a scalability perspective, but also due to business critical information as well. Using Vodafone’s data connectivity solutions, the security of the SIM can be leveraged to restrict data access to an enterprise network.

Vodafone provides secured bi-directional data communication for M2M solutions. We provide a host of services such as Private APN solution, IPSEC, MPLS, SIM Authentication for ensuring end to end security of data. We are soon launching a hosted M2M platform to enable businesses to gain greater control and visibility over their M2M deployments.

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