Service management firms ignore M2M at their peril

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The worldwide M2M technology market is forecast to grow to £30 billion by 2018 and is set to revolutionise the service management industry

Service management organisations could miss out on vital business intelligence, lucrative new revenue streams or fail to meet rising customer demands unless they embrace machine-to-machine (M2M) technology.

Cloud networkThese are the findings of a new white paper commissioned by service management software provider Advanced Field Service (Advanced).

The worldwide M2M technology market is forecast to grow to £30 billion by 2018 and is set to revolutionise the service management industry. However some businesses remain cautious about adoption due to limited time and resources, cost pressures and cultural resistance.

A recent survey conducted by Advanced highlights that only 43 percent of businesses are currently using M2M. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of respondents revealed they are considering M2M but in contrast 31 percent said they had no plans to do so.

Greg Ford, managing director of Advanced Field Service, said: “There is some confusion as to how M2M interplays with other technologies such as The Internet of Things, cloud, big data and mobile. While there is no clarity about what M2M is, and the benefits it offers, adoption rates will be slower than anticipated.

Many service organisations will need to wait for manufacturers to introduce the capabilities of M2M before they can take full advantage of it. For those who serve multiple manufacturer products, this can make planning and gaining access to data more difficult.”

M2M is effectively a subset of the Internet of Things and wirelessly connects machines, devices, equipment and vehicles to collect and transmit data such as location, movement, temperature and environment. Typical solutions enable the remote tracking of a business’s field-based assets, ‘smart metering’ to monitor and control energy and utilities and telematics systems to enhance service delivery performance through automated processes.

Ford said: “M2M technology provides valuable insight into the performance of equipment, vehicles and field engineers. With this crucial business intelligence, organisations can shift from reactive to predictive service, ensuring issues can be identified and resolved more quickly to meet rising customer expectations.

M2M can also transform efficiency levels and increase profit margins. With rising costs and fierce competition continuing to impact the service industries, organisations who choose to overlook this technology may suffer a detrimental impact to their bottom line.”