Industrial m2m solutions apply to different fields of industrial processes and can be used in different ways instead of having clear use cases like other more traditional m2m solutions.
The timeframe for these solutions is also very different. Whereas Fleet Management or Utilities are mature markets, some Industrial uses are barely starting to surface at the moment.
What is crippling growth in Industrial m2m solutions?
Technology is the main improvement area for Industrial m2m solutions to fulfil their full potential. As the big players embrace technologies that enable the connection of industrial equipment this also has an impact on dropping the cost of communication technologies driving the general growth in this market.
One of the main differences between Industrial m2m solutions and others is the heterogeneity. Industrial m2m applies to diverse use cases and the targets are usually market niches. This vertical business usually offers enabled platforms that centrally control m2m devices. This platform aggregates data and displays it centralised in a single dashboard freeing users from expensive proprietary solutions. m2m is therefore a facilitator for many businesses to take control of their industrial processes gaining access to their data in a simple and aggregated way.
Tank Telemetry (fuel, agri-food or chemical tanks, to name a few), retail/industrial refrigerators (like those in breweries), asset management and vending (for both telemetry and e-payment) are the most demanded uses for Industrial m2m solutions.
Refrigerators are the perfect example of telemetry in Industrial m2m processes. They can be part of the cold chainmanagement. Having a managed cold spot allows for several uses cases: we can control that delivery processes are being carried out timely and correctly, or prevent theft through location of these very expensive assets.
The state of affairs in Telemetry
As prices of components plunge, the market is starting to provide solutions that connect through either improved LPWA, or LBE networks, or traditional connection networks allowing more efficient uses.
The core importance of technological breakthroughs like LPWA accelerate the development and adoption rate of industrial m2m solutions that rely on these technologies to deliver new, or improved services.
Telefónica envisions the importance of industrial solutions with a long tail approach. Industrial m2m Solutions (tank telemetry, connected vending, etc.) may not individually have the same volume or turnover that the major (traditional) m2m vertical businesses do but the long tail composed of all the Industrial m2m solutions is globally comparable to the relevance of traditional m2m vertical businesses and are therefore a very relevant percentage of the business volume.
The future of telemetry
There is an ongoing strategy shift among the industrial big players (that do not have a solid foothold in the m2m business) and they are all coming to terms with the fact that they cannot remain out of the m2m businesses. Their manufacturing processes are being modified to produce m2m-ready equipment. Big industrial players such as Siemens, General Electrics or others that do not have a strong position in the m2m market are taking the necessary steps that will enable them to play a leading and role in the market.
The future of tracking
A typical use case that defines how industrial m2m solutions can transform the market are delivery tracking sensors. Previously only available for high value goods or for the cold chain, it is now slowly extending to traditional courier delivery services. Expendable, low cost tracking elements inside packaging will allow courier service companies to offer an end to end tracking of deliveries. These new services can be monetized and blow fresh air into revived businesses like postal services that were facing a collapse in their business model. Thanks to industrial m2m solutions businesses can offer a new improved service and compete by adding value instead of only relying on reducing operational costs.