It came as a surprise to us when we started researching them in more depth just how many Service Delivery Platforms there are now in the M2M market. Over 50 and still counting. Indeed, we already know of more to come. It wasn’t like that two years ago. There were more like 20 then. Why are there so many, and is it a good thing? Can they all succeed?
Firstly – why were we counting them anyway?
We were analysing these platforms as part of a much larger study on M2M Service Enablement Services (SES) we have been conducting over the last nine months. Click here to see more details about this study in our most recent newsletter.
Service delivery platforms are all about getting new applications and services to market more quickly and at lower cost by not having to re-invent support facilities that are common to most of them. Because the M2M market is particularly broad, with many different types of applications across many different sectors (see our Sector Map ), this type of solution has taken somewhat longer to evolve than in other technology markets.
Why are there so many?
There are a number of answers to this. Firstly, nobody would be pursuing this if they didn’t think there was a revenue opportunity. Our study findings indicate a rapidly growing revenue opportunity for some of these platforms. Secondly, not everyone entering this market is coming from the same place. Some are application specialists, some are carriers, some are solution providers, others are hardware suppliers and yet more are infrastructure providers. Each is bringing their own expertise to the challenge.
Is it a good thing that there are so many now?
Certainly it increases choice and also – because of where the current market players have come from – there is a wide breadth of expertise being applied to the issues. This is good – it increases the prospect of powerful solutions becoming well-established. It does, however, raise the question of interoperability. At present, there are no standards for these platforms — are we just creating islands of applications with no interoperability? This is an open question and your thoughts and comments on this would be welcome. In addition, for those attending the CTIA show in San Diego on October 12, I will be chairing an M2M Zone panel session with an excellent line-up of panellists who will be discussing this topic. Click here for more details on this.
So can they all succeed?
No. That raises other questions, for another time . . .