Press Release - M2M/IoT Application Platforms will disrupt traditional M2M platform markets and speed market growth

21 January 2014

2014 will see the various players in the M2M and IoT platforms space begin to play more to their strengths. As a result, a more defined market structure will emerge and 2014 will be a year of productisation (and commoditisation) in the M2M and IoT platform space. But the result will be accelerated growth.

Machina Research, the world’s leading provider of strategic market intelligence on M2M and IoT, today published its latest report on the evolution of the software platforms that support M2M and IoT deployments. The report predicts a substantial shake-up in the current platforms hierarchy, with massive implications for many current players in the M2M world.

Over the last decade, a range of M2M platforms has emerged to assist with the development of M2M applications. Until recently, these M2M platforms have tended to focus on speeding the development of stovepipe M2M applications, rather than supporting an open application environment that allows application developers to easily configure applications that draw inputs from multiple M2M (and other) applications. Recently a new type of platform has emerged: the M2M/IoT Application Platform. Key movers in this space include Xively (which focuses squarely on the value-added IoT application space), Thingworx (which seeks to also support the stovepipe applications that underpin an IoT environment) and Bosch Software Innovations (which is bringing systems integration capabilities to the party).

Commenting on the findings, author Jim Morrish notes “These platforms represent, in some ways, an increasing focus on horizontal enabling components that can underpin a future Internet of Things (IoT), complemented by a flexible and powerful application development and management environment. But M2M/IoT Application Platforms are not a panacea for the travails of today’s M2M world.

The key functionality of an M2M/IoT Application Platform is the capability to abstract across a range of inputs, and to control a range of external processes. However, it is clear that any potential provider of M2M/IoT Application Platform solutions must move significantly beyond this core capability in order to attract application developers and build the ecosystems necessary to gain critical mass. An M2M/IoT Application Platform provides the ‘glue’ that binds together application developers, M2M connected devices and a range of niche and specialised M2M platforms and wider enterprise IT systems. In the world of the M2M/IoT Application Platform, the application developer is king.

As Morrish summarises, “M2M/IoT Application Platforms represent a new and disruptive force that is entering the traditional M2M platform space. These existing M2M platform types will be impacted in a variety of ways. Some will be greatly impacted.”

In general:

Application Support platforms: are likely to be hit hardest by the advent of the M2M/IoT Application Platform. Really, the best way forwards for Application Support platforms will be to secure deals with the likes of ThingWorx to leverage their M2M/IoT Application Platform capabilities.

Combined Connectivity Support and Service Enablement platforms: will need to focus more on Connectivity Support than Service Enablement, as M2M/IoT Application Platforms come to dominate markets for the latter.

Solution providers: should regard an M2M/IoT Application Platform capability as a driver of revenues in other areas of their business. Systems integrators are likely to offer M2M/IoT Application Platform services for free, so disrupting the market for others.

Device Management Platforms: will remain relatively unaffected by the advent of M2M/IoT Application Platforms.

To achieve success in this space Morrish identifies that “The application platform M2M/IoT Application Platforms must excel not only in terms of offering constantly evolving application development and management environments, but also in terms of supporting a kind of Semantic Web of Things.”

About the report

The report “Competitive Dynamics in the M2M Platform Space” is one in a series of Strategy Reports published by Machina Research focusing on the key horizontal issues affecting the M2M/IoT industry. It is based on detailed and exhaustive discussions with key relevant stakeholders, supplemented by Machina Research’s extensive understanding of the changing dynamics of the industry.

The report examines the emergence of M2M/IoT Application Platforms and the impact that these will have on the established M2M platforms environment.

The report starts by charting the development of the current day M2M platforms environment, before identifying the emergence of M2M/IoT Application Platforms and describing the key success factors of such platforms.

A significant proportion of the report is dedicated to an analysis of the competitive dynamics within the M2M/IoT Application Platform space, and the consequential impact on more traditional M2M platform types.

The report provides invaluable analysis for enterprises seeking to gain an improved understanding and awareness of platforms within M2M and IoT, and platforms and other service providers looking to identify opportunity areas to develop and improve product and service offerings.

Companies mentioned in the report include Amdocs, Axeda, Bosch Software Innovations, Cumulocity, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson (with their DCP platform), Eurotech, Jasper Wireless, Oracle, PTC, Telefonica, Thingworx, Vodafone, and Xively. Specifically, we contrast the current leading edge approach to M2M application development (as exemplified by Axeda) with the new and emerging M2M/IoT Application Platform led approach that will enable a wider Internet of Things environment (as exemplified by ThingWorx and Bosch Software Innovation).

The report is available as part of the Machina Research Advisory Service.

You can download a copy of this Press Release.

About Machina Research

Machina Research is a technology research and consulting firm focused on the emerging opportunities associated with new forms of connected device. We provide market intelligence and strategic insight to help our clients maximise opportunities from these rapidly emerging markets. If your company is a mobile network operator, device vendor, infrastructure vendor, service provider or potential end user in the M2M, IoT, Big Data or mobile broadband space, we can help.


For further comments or more information on this press release, please contact: Jim Morrish, Director, or Matt Hatton, Director


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