System availability, customer data management and a global footprint are the three most important aspects for an operator to prioritise when devising its M2M offering to enterprises, according to Jürgen Hase, vice president M2M competence center at Deutsche Telekom.
“If I’m using my own handset and there is an outage and I do not have connectivity, it’s not such a bad thing, I can survive,” he explained.
“However in the enterprise sector, M2M services must be totally integrated in the customers’ processes. If a photocopy firm wants to bill its clients and relies on M2M services to monitor how much they are using, if the system goes down, it’s a huge problem.”
The second most important aspect, which is tied to the first, is customer data management. Enterprise customers rely on the data that operators collect for them through their M2M offerings. Failure to manage that data correctly can lead to lost revenue and can impact SLA agreements, which would also be costly for operators, he cautioned.
And thirdly, a global footprint, either directly or through partnerships, is essential as operators need to be able to follow their customers as they do business around the world.
Hase added that it is for these reasons, Deutsche Telekom decided to decouple its M2M competence center unit from the rest of the business, to create a “company within a company” and a “one stop shop for SMEs”. He added that SMEs represent the “low-hanging fruits” for operator M2M services.
“SMEs are fast, agile, they have high ambitions and want to realise them today. There is a small company that we work with in Germany that specialises in solar panels. They wanted to set up and remotely monitor 500,000 solar panels, and for that to happen within six months. With a large enterprise, they are often still writing their proposals to define what they want after six months.”