3UK has signed an agreement with Macheen, a cloud service provider for connected devices. The deal provides the operator with access to a platform for the management of a variety of processes that are required to create, manage and bill M2M-related services.
Macheen is a white label connectivity provider for device manufacturers, and also helps operators track devices and provides them with assistance on billing services and aspects of the service level management. It also helps broker relationships between operators and the smartphone ecosystem.
According to Camille Mendler, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, this deal is another example of the type of tie-up that needs to be put into place in order to make the M2M market work.
“The number one issue in the M2M space is supply chain fragmentation – everyone’s got a piece of the action. And unless you can glue the pieces together, you’re not going to be able to provide the services,” she said.
“The operators themselves may not have all of the skills, or the relevant partnerships with the device vendors or application vendors. Indeed, they may not have the back-office systems in place either, so companies such as Macheen play a very important role in providing virtual M2M services for operators.”
She added that providing such services through the cloud is the most efficient way for operators to manage these types of services, and that the real question for operators is whether they are going to externalise the management of M2M services to a third party such as Macheen or to build a similar platform in-house.
“Operators often want to build everything from the ground up, but I don’t think that is a sustainable model in such a diverse marketplace as M2M,” added Mendler.