Deutsche Telekom opens M2M platform to solution providers

Deutsche Telekom (DT) launched what it calls its "M2M Marketplace" platform with the aim of attracting companies that want to sell their M2M hardware, software and applications as well as complete solutions.

DT said that the online M2M Marketplace portal--an industry first--would provide manufacturers and dealers with the ability to sell their products and services via DT's global distribution channel. The portal will enable potential customers to compare products and solutions from the range offered in the marketplace, or instead opt to purchase a packaged M2M solution. In the future, DT also said it will offer the requisite SIM cards and SIM chips via the M2M Marketplace.

"Our M2M Marketplace makes it easy for our partners to market their offers around the world. Anyone looking for an M2M solution to optimise their business will find what they need on our Marketplace," Thomas Kiessling, DT's chief product and innovation officer, said in a statement. "The Marketplace brings together global supply and demand for M2M solutions in a straightforward way, thereby lending greater dynamism to M2M business."

Commenting on DT's announcement, Analysys Mason analyst Steve Hilton said that building a profitable M2M business is key for operators. "Having an effective and cost efficient channel to market is absolutely critical to profitable M2M sales, and online education and sales is one piece of the channel mix. DT recognises this need for profitability with its M2M Marketplace," he said.

Hilton also noted:

  • M2M Marketplace allows DT to offer various bits of an M2M solution--from SIMs and equipment to applications and services.
  • DT and its integrator T-Systems bring a strong history in offering complete enterprise solutions.
  • An online marketplace is another way to increase awareness of DT's unique value in the M2M ecosystem.

"While we forecast M2M device connections to grow from 100 million at the end of 2011 to 2.1 billion at the end of 2021, fighting for market share is important, and DT wants to come-out on top," Hilton said. "Having a variety of channels to market is one way to ensure you're reaching all your potential customers."

However, DT's initiative is expected to be mimicked by other operators keen to push forward with M2M, according to Jamie Moss, analyst at Informa Telecom & Media. "This is a strategy that needs to be adopted across carriers, but ideally in a way that allows interoperability so that software developers can publish to multiple stores through multiple carriers in the same way they do in the consumer domain for mobile phones," he told Telecoms.com.

For more:
- see this Deutsche Telekom release
- see this Telecoms.com article

Special Report: M2M gains traction as business model matures

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