Live from Axeda Connexion: M2M Enthusiasm Tempered with Reality

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • This year’s Axeda Connexion conference featured presentations and booths showing Axeda solutions, offerings from its partners and other M2M ecosystem players, and case studies from customers (i.e., enterprises that have deployed M2M solutions).
  • While enthusiastically promoting M2M, the event was balanced, offering examples of obstacles as well as opportunities.

This year’s Axeda Connexion conference, held in Boston on May 5-8, was put on by one of the industry’s most established and well-known M2M application platform providers and was (as it always is) chock-full of insights, stats, tidbits of interesting information and, best of all, actual enterprise customer stories. The event (which included about 600 attendees) featured many presentations by Axeda itself, including a technical track on the latest enhancements to its platform. It also included presentations and panel discussions with major operator partner AT&T, often together with its new M2M customer, Emerson, which took advantage of the Axeda platform when developing its ‘smart cart’ connected healthcare solution for hospitals. While many M2M events are heavily ‘supply-side,’ Axeda always showcases its customers, who provide real-world and detailed examples of successful deployments. Axeda Connexion is also one of the few M2M events that has a good sampling of enterprises in attendance which may be already planning or running M2M deployments. Every year, Axeda also adds a new level to its iconic diagram of the different stages of M2M; this year, it delineated level number 10, described as ‘harmonization,’ a level at which nations and governments will share data beyond country borders to help solve global problems (think ‘saving the rainforest’ or finding Malaysia Airlines flight 370).

The speakers included big-name sponsors that are counting on M2M as a major revenue source, such as Intel and Oracle, as well as an assortment of ecosystem members, including: Wipro, Software AG, SAS, Libelium, Deutsche Telekom, doubleSlash, Jasper Wireless and M2M enterprise customers such as GE, Elekta, Tyco, Ventana Medical Systems and Emerson were on hand to provide case studies of their M2M deployments and talk to potential Axeda customers. While the event is always upbeat, most speakers referred to the same obstacles we have been talking about for years: complexity and fragmentation of the delivery ecosystem, lack of standards, the need for more security and privacy solutions, and the pitfalls of collecting data without a plan to use it effectively for decision-making or new services. These challenges still plague the 20-year-old yet still-nascent industry. However, Axeda Connexion is balanced, admitting the problems while it ‘cheerleads’ the significant opportunities ahead.

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