From providing doctors with patient data in real-time, tracking vehicle performance, and automating building systems, Machine to Machine (M2M) is transforming the way businesses operate and is creating entirely new systems and services, engaging customers and driving growth. Growth in M2M connections has increased by over 20% in the last five years.
What is M2M?
M2M can refer to any two machines – wired or wireless – communicating with one another. It allows virtually any sensor to communicate, opening up the possibility of systems monitoring themselves and automatically responding to changes in the environment, with a reduced need for human involvement.
Advances in sensor technology have turned everyday objects into sources of data communicated back via a cellular connection via a Mobile SIM. The range of connected devices can be anything from vehicles to buildings to infrastructure and equipment of all shapes and sizes – and most commonly business mobiles.
The Future of M2M
Over 75 billion devices are expected to be connected by 2025. However, despite this prediction, there are industries that are hesitant to adopt new technologies, regardless of the business benefits.
The reality is that every business can benefit from investing in M2M. Connecting a business’s devices from a technology perspective is all about leveraging mobile (where the business information resides). Mobility may have taken functionality way beyond the four walls of a business, but M2M stands to amplify this.
There are three primary industries taking the M2M world by storm:
From wearables that track patient health to providing remote care to patients who live in isolated areas, the shift towards the digitalisation of the healthcare industry has seen more healthcare workers connected and creates improved patient outcomes. One of the most significant benefits of M2M in healthcare is to keep patients out of hospital by providing more effective home care.
Wearable devices can track things like pulse rates, and motion sensors and trackers can protect more vulnerable patients. These remote patient monitors provide richer information in a timelier fashion over a 24/7 period – compared to an hour’s assessment in a hospital room. This not only helps doctors to diagnose illnesses quicker; but also measures the effect of treatment. If a medication impacts the patient’s readings, a doctor will be aware of this problem before a patient.
This method of patient tracking helps the healthcare facility offer an exemplary level of patient care. Wearable devices are also reducing patient time in hospitals, creating further cost savings.
2.Transportation and Logistics
Whether by air, ground or sea, transportation and logistics are essential components to many enterprises’ productivity, and access to real-time data is critical. There is a growing reliance on M2M to provide visibility in the supply chain right through to personnel, equipment and transactions that enable enterprises to better support operations.
Transportation and logistics businesses are focused on maximising supply chain efficiency to sustain profitability and efficiencies. M2M has already begun to disrupt this industry by sensing and responding to vehicle usage and managing downtime to operate fleets at the lowest possible cost.
M2M provides the ability to track where vehicles are in their route, ensuring they are delivering packages and goods on time and being able to reroute trucks based on live situations such as accidents, road closures or weather conditions. With workers always on the move, visibility into where these assets are, and what they are doing can improve business operations.
Retail is one of the fastest-paced industries globally. M2M offers retailers opportunities in three critical areas: customer experience, the supply chain and new revenue streams.
M2M technology has allowed the retail industry to transform the customer experience to meet the demands of the digital consumer. We’ve already seen an increase in customer touchpoints – such as in-store tablets and online chatbots – but this will evolve rapidly over the next 12 months as shops become more connected. The in-store customer experience is also being monitored via sensors which track patterns to develop improved in-store layouts and helps target information to customers more effectively.
Sensors are also increasingly being used for inventory management, allowing a connection to be made from back-end inventory to in-store portals and online. Finally, connected beacons are also being used to send out personalised offers to consumers immediately as they enter the shop.
Your Business and M2M
M2M usage will continue to grow as the number of applications and improved power of devices increases. With M2M’s maturity come new approaches, business models, and solutions that can help your business incorporate this technology into your products, processes and workflows.
As a business mobile provider, Elite Group can give advice on how M2M could be used in your business and is on hand to ensure that your M2M solution delivers the results you want. Whether your aim is improving the productivity of your business, forecasting and reducing costs, or providing the data to help you make sound business decisions, M2M can help.
Machine to machine solutions can have a substantial positive impact on your bottom line. With full visibility of real-time processes, you can plan with greater accuracy to create a more informed and efficient working environment.
Elite Group will work with you to ensure that your business mobile devices are properly utilised as well as providing on-going monitoring and analysis of your M2M solution. We will also be on-hand to give advice on business applications to enhance your business’s productivity, and employee and customer experience.
If you want to find out more about generating business insights from your business mobile devices or would like a bespoke M2M solution or to discuss your business mobile plans, please contact us 0333 060 9617.