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Only Connect? M2M, the Cloud and Big Data

One petabyte a day: That’s how much data BMW’s Connected Drive cars will generate by 2017 reckons BMW Group IT infrastructure chief Mario Müller.

April 27, 2012

2 Min Read
Only Connect? M2M, the Cloud and Big Data
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By Camille Mendler

One petabyte a day: That’s how much data BMW’s Connected Drive cars will generate by 2017 reckons BMW Group IT infrastructure chief Mario Müller.

I teased out this statistic while chairing IIR’s Telecom Cloud Services conference this week. As Müller underscored, M2M data will require plenty of processing power – and is a great opportunity for communication service providers. Many faces in the audience looked confused.

When CSPs think about M2M, it’s mainly about providing connectivity, which represents almost 90% of their M2M revenues today. When it comes to cloud, CSPs think about selling infrastructure as a service – and they’re currently building a quarter of a million square meters of datacenter space to get into that game.

Join the dots

BMW’s Müller had put the pieces together – and many CSPs haven’t. Enterprises need more than data connectivity and storage. Enterprises need help to manipulate and understand what data means and what to do about it. Once the non-sentient world is involved, those data sets will exist in petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes – in networks and datacenters.

Big data and big data analytics is the real opportunity for CSPs. That’s how CSPs will achieve some of their bullish revenue expectations – particularly for M2M.

Bullish expectations

Despite negligible revenues now, CSPs believe that M2M services will generate 5% or more of their revenues by 2015, according to the recent Informa-SAP M2M Communications survey. This equates to an M2M market worth in excess of $65 billion by 2015, based on Informa’s World Telecoms Financial Benchmarks.

CSPs won’t get close to this goal on a connectivity-centric business model. That was a key conclusion of a global study of the M2M ecosystem that I and a team of Informa analysts conducted for SAP.

Go take a look at the results of that study – which included interviews and a survey of more than 250 M2M stakeholders. (It can now be found on SAP’s dedicated M2M microsite hosted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, along with other market intelligence).

Heal thyself

CSPs blame ecosystem fragmentation as a barrier to future M2M success. I suggest they look closer to home. Siloed thinking within their organization must stop. Getting M2M and cloud teams talking to each other is a good place to start.

Sixty percent of CSPs fear they’ll be bit-pipe providers in the M2M market. To avoid that destiny, they must have the ambition to extract intelligence from the bit pipe – instead of simply delivering it from A to B.

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