Carriers in M2M: Opportunities and Challenges (part five)

Successful proliferation of M2M applications depends upon a number of factors including technology development, technology standardization, platform capabilities and seamless integration with system. These are technical factors, but these need to be synchronised with the sales force.

Competition is intense for M2M domain and it is increasing by the day. Large Telecoms operators are investing to allocate solid benchmark level of capability required to compete for M2M revenue. Apart from telecom carriers, big MVNO’s such as Jasper Wireless are also investing resources in providing M2M solution. And in some cases, these MVNO’s have more number of years of experience in M2M domain than conventional telecom carriers. Hence, MVNO pose a touch competition for telecom giants as well.

Furthermore, the demands of many potential M2M customers are regional or global, in nature, often extending significantly beyond the footprint of any single mobile operator. The fragmentation of mobile operator systems environments can hinder the deployment of regional solutions, or the adoption of existing M2M solutions for new markets.

These factors make it imperative for the Telecom Operator to adopt focussed sales strategy. Sales force need to approach M2M customers in a way which is different from their traditional voice business.

Strategy 4: Establishing M2M sales forces

A M2M sale is often a complex process, requiring the mobile operator to understand and integrate seamlessly with a client’s business-critical processes. The overall sales cycle differs greatly from traditional mobile operator sales cycles. In recognition of this fact, many mobile operators have established M2M-specific sales forces, often led from a central M2M competence centre and with capabilities embedded in local operating units.

TeliaSonera has gone a step ahead and developed M2M Partner Program which involves the entire value chain of suppliers and actors in a partnership. This program is designed to offer complete end-to-end solutions to customers. Although the company does not mention sales task-force explicitly, this program is geared towards educating the clients and offering tailor-made M2M solution to specific industries.

Telekom Austria has launched a unique program named “Unlock M2M” which not only partners with various companies for developing M2M solution but also provides a sales-oriented, commercial and technical framework for partners to successfully generate business.  Telekom Austria has embarked on this program because the company reckons that M2M suppliers face considerable complexity and substantial costs when serving enterprise customers in various industries, including transportation and logistics, industrial automation, retail and energy.

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Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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