A Rising Tide in M2M Lifts All Boats


It’s one thing to jump on the M2M bandwagon, so to speak; it’s a much different thing to actually participate in growing the connected world. “Participating” may take many forms, from enabling new devices and solutions to investing in innovative new companies, enhancing existing products and platforms, and strategizing ways to enhance the safety of customers’ data. In fact, when it comes to securely and reliably communicating today’s mission-critical data, there are many ways companies can “participate,” while also demonstrating their commitment to the M2M space.

In one example, a Connecticut-based, financial-support organization called Connecticut Innovations, www.ctinnovations.com, has shown its support for a connected world by investing a good chunk of cash—$1.5 million—in iDevices, www.idevicesinc.com, the innovative tech company responsible for iGrill. iDevices develops app-enabled products that incorporate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. iGrill, a Bluetooth-enabled cooking thermometer, launched in 2010 to great fanfare.

With the capital it receives from Connecticut Innovations, iDevices says it hopes to scale its consumer-focused business, increase inventory, introduce new products, and explore new sales channels. As the Internet of Things experiences unprecedented growth in the consumer space, companies like iDevices, with the help of investor companies that believe in the potential of a connected world, will continue to innovate and bring new solutions to light.

Innovation in M2M does not always take the form of new products, however. In many cases, companies invest in growing the space by continually enhancing and improving their existing products and solutions in order to anticipate their customers’ needs. For instance, RacoWireless, www.racowireless.com, a global M2M service provider, recently unveiled a new version of its OMS (Omega Management Suite) platform, a device-management platform that allows partners to control their connected solutions.

When developing OMS 3.0, Raco says it wanted to focus on the user experience. As businesses demand more on-demand visibility of their devices, Raco wanted to deliver. The new OMS 3.0 includes features like “Subscriber Insight”—which provides the quantitative data customers need to make more informed decisions, along with mobile support, multi-carrier support, and intuitive reporting. The new version will release in March.

Companies might also help grow the M2M space by investing in the security of customer data, essentially laying the foundation for anticipated growth. ThreatMetrix, www.threatmetrix.com, a provider of context-based authentication and Web fraud solutions, recently made public some strategies to help businesses protect customers’ data.

In the age of “big data,” ThreatMetrix recognizes enterprises are collecting and sharing unprecedented amounts of information. The company suggests companies should be proactive by self-enforcing standards that help protect this data.

Specifically, it advises the use of trusted identity networks that use strict anonymization practices. For transaction-based solutions, such as those in the retail space, another strategy would be to develop context-based authentication methods capable of establishing the credibility of each attempt and transaction.

The saying “it takes a village” applies to the ever-broadening scope of M2M—from its roots in data-intensive enterprise applications to consumer applications in the home, in the car, and at the mall. By investing in their own niche, companies looking to help their own business case are also helping to strengthen the space as a whole.

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #M2M #connecteddevice #RacoWireless #security #Bluetooth

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Connected World Issue
June/July 2014
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