The Machine2Machine Technology Demystified By Prabhu Ramachandran

A new technology has come to town. Where internet is going to be the core of everything and different machines will be able to talk to each other using it. There is plenty of development going on here and we spoke to Prabhu Ramchandran, Director, WebNMS about the new technology and what is it all about? This is what he had to say:

What is WebNMS all about? Please tell our readers something about the company.
With more than 15 years of market presence and rich experience in telecom network management space, WebNMS has forayed into M2M (machine to machine) solutions for remote monitoring of passive infrastructure and operating tens of thousands of devices on a large scale. The M2M platform and solutions are built on the WebNMS Framework, which has been deployed to more than 25,000 systems by equipment vendors and telecom service providers worldwide.

WebNMS offers highly scalable and customisable M2M Platform to build innovative M2M solutions across verticals swiftly, rather than spending time in reconstructing the core infrastructure. WebNMS M2M has also been recognised as the Best M2M Platform for Service Providers in M2M Evolution 2013, in Miami, Florida.

WebNMS’s niche applications like WebNMS ATM Site Manager, Cell Tower Site Manager, Road Infrastructure Manager, Power Grid Monitoring, DCIM, Smart Home, Wind Mill Manager, and Solar Farm Manager facilitate rapid deployment.

Indian customers are not too familiar with M2M technology. What is the new tech all about?
M2M or IOT (Internet of Things) is the next revolution after mobile and Cloud computing. M2M application involves sensors/wireless communication embedded into devices like vending machines, wind turbines, trucks, appliances, pets, people and buildings. The captured data is sent via an IP network (e.g., LAN, WAN, hybrid) to the M2M platform, which in turn can analyse the event and take necessary action.

M2M provides real-time monitoring, remote automation & control, asset management, inventory management, security, fault management, environmental management and analytics.

What are the challenges you are facing in India and what are the key points that have helped you?
The M2M evolution is opening lots of avenues to communication service providers (CSPs), system integrators, managed services and application domain experts. But at present, the M2M ecosystem is fragmented and the realisation of an ecosystem might be time-consuming. However, co-ordination with all the parties in the ecosystem will stir the market and increase the adoption rate.

With the spur in the M2M market in India, the government has intervened and taken initiatives to frame an M2M Policy. WebNMS M2M is co-ordinating with the Indian government in framing the policy.

Is the Indian consumer ready for such kind of technology, especially as the majority of the population still stays in rural areas?

Although industrial implementations are more prominent in India than the consumer segment, the need for M2M has been realised and consumers are adopting it at a slower pace.

As the majority of the population resides in rural areas, the M2M fortune also lies at the bottom of the pyramid. M2M can play a vital role in agriculture by improving farm yield, reducing food processing cost, etc. M2M applications can be taken to rural India with necessary support and guidance from the government of India.

What can end-users get from M2M tech and how will it make their life better?
M2M or IOT is gaining prominence and is transforming every industry into ‘smart’. Apart from industrial implementation, M2M also shows momentum in the consumer sector with the advent of Smart Home technology.

Smart Home technology involves automation and remote control of home appliances including security, centralised remote control of appliances/devices, theft monitoring, alert notifications, lighting & HVAC control, energy usage monitoring, and fire & smoke monitoring. Home automation solutions shrink the home into one’s palm; it guards the home and protects one’s family. It empowers owners as they can control locks and other home appliances while on the move.

Other advancing M2M applications in the consumer segment are vehicle tracking and healthcare solutions.

How early will the technology be deployed here? Do you have any partner on board?
WebNMS M2M platform’s open API and n-tier architecture allow M2M applications to be built and deployed in a few weeks’ time. Currently, we are working with partners in Dubai and Indonesia.
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