What a topic! Would someone dare to question the might and reasons of the M2M World Congress (M2MWC2014) two months before the would even take place ? I think someone would.
It isn’t about the buzz. M2M existed for many years, yet nobody saw fit to notice it until some small company made a lot of money out of it. I won’t fill in the details, but the idea is that nothing is new under the sun. The wheel cannot be reinvented because it already has.
I pondered over the agenda of the M2MWC2014. Very impressive. New markets. Big Data. Big words. New. Future. Embedded. Trends. Verticals. How cool is that ! I mean, those are the buzzwords we have seen, heard of, spoken of for the last two years. Same thing again and again. This is the language of M2M. But is it really so ?
M2M is supposed do be decentralized. Instead of that, everything is hierarchically put in one of the not so many verticals. M2M is said to be an emerging technology, yet we see the same mistake made in the IT industry. Once a technology becomes available and the early adopters take a firm grip to that, the big players, which are also the late adopters, start to plan what to do. The problem is that the most fundamental question remains unanswered. Why ?
Why has M2M gained so much importance ? Is it because it is a cool technology ? Or because the telco companies have been left behind by small, smart, speedy startups of 50 engineers who overtook the global market of short messaging ? Let me be understood. M2M is a huge opportunity to do business. But why is it important ? Because it offers visibility.
For years, the traditional way of making money has been to have a huge base of subscribers using the basic services like making telephone calls, sending messages and … that was all. Then, the social networks came and the momentum shifted. The telcos lost their competitive advantage. What is M2M market but a renewal of the social networks, machine version. Imagine a Facebook-style M2M network. Would it be so different from the existing systems. I don’t think so. But let us not diverge from the main idea of this article.
In just two days, there will be some thirty 20-minutes presentations. Everyone who attended executive briefings knows that 20 minutes is just not enough time to present ideas. Not on behalf of big players.
There is too much to be said in so little time available. But companies want to be seen.
I think the biggest weakness of the M2MWC2014 is the visibility. At the bottom of the main page of the official website, there is a big chunk of text with no links. Useless. There is one thing that stands up: the word M2M repeated every three words. Useless. No links at all. What a pity!
I think the role of such an event is to convey revolutionary new ideas. I see no such thing, not from the summit programme, not from any of the left menu links. It is too big to fail.
Unless it already has.