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September 17, 2015

Forget connectivity, next-gen services are M2M’s biggest challenge

M2M Summit 2015: Enabling platforms for apps, data management, transmission and control of M2M services key for the industry.

By Joao Lima

Connectivity in the M2M space is no longer the challenge, with industry focus now turning to enabling next-generation services.

Hosted in Düsseldorf, Germany, the M2M Summit 2015 was organised by the M2M Alliance under the motto "Smart Connect – The Fascination of IoT".

The event’s discussion was based on enabling the IoT as whole with Dr Alexander Lautz, senior VP of M2M at Deutsche Telekom, referring to the need for platforms to enable applications, data management, and transmission and control of M2M services.

Also attending was Matthias Machnig, the State Secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, who emphasised the need for Europe to digitalise SMEs in order for the European economy to be able to compete with other markets.

Machnig added that especially in the SME space there still are many uncertainties about what increasing digitisation capabilities means to businesses. He said: "There are too many alternatives and a lack of standards."

Comparing Europe to the US, Machnig added that in the US a platform is the basis of developing applications, whilst in Europe he said it all starts with the product.

Following on from this discussion, Stefan Hoppe, VP of OPC Foundation, took on unified architecture (UA), where everything communicates with everything. For example, parcels talking to a warehouse which communicates to the manufacturer.

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OPC’s UA already has received strong support from the German government which dubbed it as "the one and only" architecture for the communication layer.

Hoppe believes an UA will be the enabler for a M2M network of devices and services to interoperate as one and turn the industry smarter and more efficient.

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