Republished with permission of Comms Dealer. First published in Comms Dealer October 2015
If you think M2M and IoT opportunities only happen way beyond your back yard then think again because they exist right under your nose. The big question is how far this opportunity will be realised, according to Pangea’s Managing Director Dan Cunliffe.
The reseller channel is heavily populated by outstanding opportunists but one of the biggest opportunities to come their way may soon go begging. Despite big advances in M2M and IoT the channel has been slow to enter this world, largely due to a lack of knowledge about the opportunity at hand. “Many people struggle to understand how the channel can make money from connecting a toaster to a fridge,” commented Cunliffe. “Clearly, this is a misconception that separates resellers from what could be their biggest ever new business opportunity.”
There is far more to M2M and IoT than first meets the eye, and Cunliffe is on a mission to bring these opportunities to the attention of M2M naysayers who are, perhaps ironically, perfectly positioned to drive this evolving market. “There are exciting and relevant opportunities for resellers,” he said. “Many of our partners use their existing capabilities to generate business in the M2M space. One partner is particularly successful at selling fixed connectivity across various sectors as part of its WAN offering, especially in the construction vertical.”
Citing this partner, Cunliffe noted that Pangea has introduced a productised version of a mobile WAN that complements what the partner already does so well in the fixed space. The mobile WAN can easily be deployed using Pangea SIMs that adhere to the same set of network rules as an existing WAN. “This solution has been quoted out with the partner to support several thousand end points for the construction company as a blended fixed and mobile WAN solution,” added Cunliffe. “Traditionally, you wouldn’t consider this to be an M2M or IoT solution, but it is. Just as importantly the solution dovetails with the work already being done by ICT resellers up and down the country.”
This is just one instance of a Pangea partner moving into the IoT space using M2M and mobile data technology. “These are real examples where revenue and margin benefits are being realised,” said Cunliffe. “The next step for the channel is to consider all of the opportunities within the M2M space and understand how they fit within their existing model to drive new revenue streams.”
Industry players are regularly told that the M2M market is developing at a rate of knots. Such messages are often characterised by hype when applied to technologies that are proving popular, primarily to create a sense of urgency and motivate a new market. But there is a difference with M2M. The adoption rates are significant with growth across all sectors, most reaching circa 30 per cent adoption in 2015. “The implementation of M2M solutions is changing how industries operate, improving productivity, customer service, accelerating the decision-making process, cutting costs, gaining competitive advantage and being more innovative,” explained Cunliffe.
He cited figures that highlight the energy and utilities sector as the highest adopter at 37 per cent, followed by the automotive sector (32 per cent). The retail sector has also experienced growth during the past year, reaching an adoption rate of 32 per cent. The healthcare sector is another key M2M market with uptake rising from 19 per cent in 2014 to 28 per cent this year.
“The energy and utilities sector has the highest adoption rate due to Government regulations on smart metering in many countries,” commented Cunliffe. “The main benefits of M2M in this sector are reducing energy demand, managing patterns in demand and supply and driving innovation.”
Pangea is helping partners delve deeply into the M2M market which, believes Cunliffe, is a mine of opportunity enriched with almost limitless potential. “M2M is more than just data and applications, it’s about integration across the whole piece,” he commented. “The market is expected to contribute $6.2 trillion to the global GDP over the next 10 years, so we are urging resellers to get involved and not miss out. In a short period time we have enabled partners to secure deals across various areas that they wouldn’t normally have even considered. We are helping partners exploit new revenue streams, and we hold fresh conversations with their customers because of the new opportunities in Smart connectivity and M2M.”
Cunliffe makes a point of talking up the Smart connectivity aspect because the mobile data and M2M products Pangea provides are delivered via its real-time cloud-based platform. This provides a detailed and clever overview of the entire estate and enables partners to control, activate, de-activate, set usage limits and view accurate data readings all in real-time. Pangea’s own billing offering is integrated with the platform and Cunliffe believes the solution to be a key differentiator.
As we have seen the IoT creates new business models, so it should come as no surprise to learn that challenges are also inevitable. The biggest hurdle has been concerns about security which have slowed the adoption of M2M in the past, but a secure cloud-based platform overcomes this primary issue. In fact, noted Cunliffe, the Security of Things is also a new revenue opportunity.
All doubts about the relevance and potential of M2M will be swept aside by real world examples of important market successes, according to Cunliffe. To underscore his argument he referred to one partner that scooped a fleet management contract covering 15,000 vehicles with a deal value of £5.4 million. Even better, another Pangea partner picked up a UK council deal to measure and improve transport, environmental and road systems, with a total contract value of £24 million. “There are many more such deals in trial and under review,” revealed Cunliffe. “We have achieved incredible results with our partners since we started in Q1 this year.”
Pangea was launched by Cunliffe (the former Head of Partners and Strategy at O2 Wholesale) with backing from a team of investors and its expansion story is an apt reflection of the M2M growth narrative. The firm has quickly become a global Tier 1 provider of Smart connectivity and applications and is an Authorised dealer within O2 Telefónica’s M2M Global Channel Partner Programme with the buying power and ability to provide any number of SIM cards across any amount of data over any network on a global scale.
The company has projects in the EU and South America with similar opportunities emerging in Australia and Africa. “We may have an international reach but we are focused on our partner channel in the UK,” added Cunliffe. “Many of our direct competitors are larger and may have been in the market longer than us. But Pangea is young and eager to do business, especially with the channel. We demonstrated our commitment and flexibility with a partner who urgently required SIMs, so we hand-delivered them. We are not afraid to go outside of our comfort zone and do this regularly for our partners.”
Pangea has four primary white label applications and product areas to support partners: A fleet and telematics service, network surveillance and CCTV, mobile WAN and Mi-Fi (Wi-Fi on the go and pop-up office). The company has agreed four global partnerships in renewable energy, health, Smart cities and community transport systems, and is able to supply connectivity in over 200 countries.
“We are hungry for growth and this is only achievable through collaboration with partners,” added Cunliffe. “Partners have a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the M2M space and realise new revenues within their existing markets. Our commercials are dynamic and designed to empower partners to create their own opportunities. The scope is endless and all of the market analysts point to sustained and rapid growth.”