I attended M2M World Congress in London two weeks ago and have been pondering my “take-aways” since. While many VoltDB customers use our NewSQL, in-memory database to provide scalable transactions, decisions and analytics in M2M deployments (smart grids, mobile telco platforms, cloud PaaS products), putting the M2M/IoT space into a broader context is hard. It was great to take a couple of days to listen and learn.
I left for London with the question, “What might the winner look like – from which industry might the winners emerge?”.
I came back with a pile of new questions – and a couple of thoughts. “Answers” might be too generous!
The M2M (machine to machine/Internet of Things) market is a space that will be won by the best convergence players. Cheap devices are proliferating – fast mobile networks are tying them together. But bringing value on top of those raw materials requires a platform provider that can make it cheap and fast to bring value to the data. Or, less market-y – someone will make the spreadsheet for sensors and win big.
That “spreadsheet” will need to converge capabilities from mobile telco, system-on-a-chip computers and devices, cloud computing platforms (where these applications will live and scale), and consumer-friendly UI (the spreadsheet metaphor). Those are all diverse industries – but bringing them together for the mass market will change our day-to-day experiences as consumers, improve factory/production efficiency, and touch vast swathes of our economy.
While smart telco/mobile providers are racing to build application PaaS offerings to host the 100,000s of applications that will bring value to networked things. Newcomers are building application platforms to visually drag-and-drop M2M apps together See, for example, M2M evolution’s Battle of the Platforms. Will the major cloud platform providers start integrating M2M connectors in to their online spreadsheet and datamarts?
It’s an incredibly exciting space – and a bit of a riptide. But are we still just building sand castles?