Business intelligence had become a critical differentiator for many businesses, both as a way to drive down costs and improve performance. M2M has historically been a challenge when it comes to business intelligence, however, because firms are handed too much raw data and the M2M systems in use are too niche and therefore not as useful.
Effective M2M business intelligence starts with making data useful, and that means taking a wider approach to the data.
“Most of today’s M2M systems were designed for only one vertical application and as a result they remain relatively small niche businesses,” according to Spireon, the market leader in fleet, transportation and automotive telematics space that offers a multi-vertical M2M intelligence platform, NSpire. NSpire provides real time analytics through a scalable architecture that collects a quarter of a million data point per hour and supports over 1.5 million active subscribers today.
The NSpire intelligence platform collects rich data from its patented array of GPS products and delivers actionable business intelligence through industry brands for automotive dealers, lender services and delivery fleets, and transportation and logistics and home healthcare customers.
“Companies simply lack empowering information to manage people and assets that are mobile because of the time and cost it historically has taken to gather and evaluate information about the assets,” added the company.
When choosing a M2M provider, there are several important questions that companies should consider.
- First, how does the company ensure service reliability? A good provider will offer a private-cloud environment incorporating the latest databases, web servers, and hardware connected and secured by strategically located top-tier data centers. It will also come with multiple levels of redundancy, eliminating any single point of failure.
- Second, it is important to know how scalable an M2M provider is with its offering. Providers should be able to easily accommodate an increase in demand without impacting delivery of service or data. There should be no sluggishness in performance—ever.
- Third, companies should ask about security and what controls are in place to keep data safe. A multi-tiered approach should be used by the M2M provider, offering multiple data centers that adhere to stringent security controls and protocols. Relatively few people should have access to the data center, and there should be physical security features including mantraps and palm-readers, onsite cameras, and robust protection against break-ins, among others.
- Fourth, make sure to ask how the provider’s M2M solution can help your company adapt to changes in the market and technology. Business needs are going to change, and the M2M solution you choose won’t be able to keep up if it is proprietary, closed, and built to serve a single niche industry or market. Look for a flexible provider with technology that can adapt.
- Finally, take the time to know what the provider will do with historical data from your company. The company you’ll want to choose should be able to make all your historical data available to you whenever you need it. In these days when data storage is cheap, there should be a big red flag if the provider can’t offer access to the historical data it has collected for your company.
So while business intelligence is vital, not all M2M solution providers are created equal. Make sure that you are able to leverage your M2M solution for proper business intelligence.