By Vikrant Gandhi, Principal Analyst, Mobile & Wireless Communications, Frost & Sullivan
In a recently released Frost & Sullivan report, “Efforts of Independent M2M Service Providers and M2M MVNOs” was highlighted as one of the key drivers in the North American M2M communications market. While it is true that leading mobile operators have committed a significant amount of resources (platforms, processes, and people) for M2M, they may find it difficult to do justice to each and every emerging opportunity. For example, small-to-mid sized business (SMB) customers often struggle to get the full attention of large mobile operators, which is why M2M solution providers have been successful in providing remote connectivity services to the SMB segment. This is not to say that M2M solution providers are working exclusively with smaller organizations. In many cases, they have started to emerge as the preferred connectivity providers within the large enterprise segment. One such M2M solution provider is Aeris Communications (Aeris). Based on discussions with Aeris, the following key success factors for leading M2M solution providers were identified:
Adopt a “Solutions Provider” approach instead of a “Services Provider” approach
M2M customers no longer want to use services of a provider that sells airtime only. M2M is a complex market. It is appropriate to describe it as an amalgam of multiple technologies. Customers need a partner that can help them with all stages of their deployments – whether it is the choice of hardware module, application design, or integration with existing infrastructure. Additionally, professional services and operational support tools should be available to deliver a compelling customer experience. All of these areas need a partnership approach.