Best Practices in M2M: Understanding TCO

2/11/2014
M2M is a growing industry, with new players entering the scene nearly every day. As the space grows and expands, the players within it obtain valuable experience and knowledge that can be handed down to newcomers in the form of industry best practices. This knowledge can be extremely valuable to those looking to adopt new M2M solutions or to expand their service offerings with new features and/or technologies. By sharing best practices, industry advocates and key players help drive the space forward.

For instance, by understanding the TCO (total cost of ownership) of an M2M communications deployment, companies are in a much better position to judge the true value of a solution. Research firm IDC, www.idc.com, recently sought to help companies get a handle on TCO. In January, the firm published a report entitled “Investing in an Internet of Things (IoT) Solution: Asking the Right Questions to Minimize TCO,” that outlines best practices for achieving the lowest costs in an M2M deployment.

Within the report, IDC offers recommendations, including a checklist of items, meant to help businesses lower TCO for services within their M2M and Internet of Things strategies. IDC says companies should plan ahead of an initial solution deployment; they should work to determine the time to market (and make sure the organization can support the time investment), and they must make sure backend systems can handle the data an IoT/M2M deployment will create. Other points of advice include the importance of connectivity-management platforms and other applications that can provide data analytics, which are often necessary to extract the most value from a deployment.


On the heels of IDC’s report, Aeris Communications, www.aeris.com, an M2M services and technology provider, released a case study that also focuses on TCO. The study demonstrates how a customer—a global healthcare device manufacturer—saved more than a half a million dollars during a 12-month deployment by deploying with Aeris instead of a traditional MNO (mobile network operator) or MNVO (mobile virtual network operator).

Aeris says by understanding the hidden costs involved with deploying an M2M/IoT solution, companies can significantly lower costs and, therefore, experience much quicker ROI (return on investment). Thanks to the efforts of those in the industry who have paved the way and who understand the intricacies of deployment strategies, incoming players don’t need to repeat mistakes made in the past.

As M2M weaves its influence into new territories, more businesses face the tough decisions inherent in investing in the technology’s implementation. When M2M solutions are deployed successfully, businesses stand to gain by reducing costs, improving operational efficiency, and enabling new revenue streams. But first, they must successfully deploy, and to do that, they must understand TCO.

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