Service providers must think creatively to get most out of M2M

Service providers must think creatively to get most out of M2M

Just putting the technology in place is not enough, says vehicle-tracking system provider Masternaut.

An article by Lewis Dowling, Total Telecom.

Operators need to layer services on top of machine-to-machine (M2M) offerings in order for their customers to get the most out of the technology, according to U.K.-based vehicle tracking system provider Masternaut.

Just putting the technology in place isn’t enough; you have to actually drive the change in human behaviour,” Bill Henry, CEO of Masternaut, said in an interview with Total Telecom.

Masternaut provides an automotive management platform under the Telefonica brand across Europe. The service monitors driver behaviour, such as braking and acceleration habits, for enterprises with large fleets of motor vehicles.

In order to further encourage drivers to eliminate bad habits – such as aggressive cornering, for example – Telefonica and Masternaut implemented a league table element within their offering that allows companies to rank their drivers.

Human beings are very competitive,” Henry explained, noting that the league table provides an added incentive for drivers to alter their habits. Prizes for the highest ranked depot within an organisation also help encourage competition between drivers.

Everybody thinks they’re a good driver, but what’s interesting is that when you have an objective view you realise everybody has room for improvement,” he said.

According to Henry, if enterprises use M2M communications to monitor vehicles in a fleet, and act upon the real-time data, they can improve fuel consumption by around 20%.

A lot of benefits come out of a single approach,” Henry said, adding that it also results in less maintenance and safer driving.

“If you could save 20% of your fuel bill per month, that would be game changing for many of our customers.”

Telefonica and Masternaut agreed in September to jointly market the M2M vehicle-tracking platform under Telefonica’s brand. Masternaut provides the applications, while Telefonica contributes its sales support, customer care, and commercial network.

Late last year Telefonica told Total Telecom that it sees the automotive industry as one of the key drivers behind M2M.

Telefonica is, of course, not the only mobile operator looking closely at the M2M space. Last month Machina Research named Vodafone as the best placed telco to take advantage of the burgeoning M2M opportunity, in no small part due to its global footprint and established partner network.

Source: Total Telecom

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