Machine-to-Machine communication (M2M), Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0: The economical and innovational power behind intelligent products, projects and factories is one of the industry’s currently most important topics. A lot of companies are noticing that starting into the world of M2M & IoT is necessary for further growth and competitive advantages. However, many of them are still hesitating to follow this trend. A couple of weeks ago the Association of the German Internet Industry (eco) released a survey of experts concerning the topic of Industry 4.0 that identifies some of the motives for this kind of restraint.
Missing standards, data tariffs, business models and security
The survey by eco shows that 94 percent of the experts think that unified industry standards will be decisive for the success of Industry 4.0. In a relatively young discipline, like Machine-to-Machine communication or Internet of Things, standards first have to be developed and established. The great variety of currently existing solutions seems to curb the decisiveness concerning M2M or Industry4.0 projects.
Another crucial issue – especially for small businesses – is the globally applicable data transmission required by international projects. 71 percent of the experts asked by eco think that there are no sustainable world-wide data tariffs available. The concern that the management and billing of different data tariffs won’t be sustainable for companies seems to contribute to this scepticism.
The experts surveyed by eco are also sceptical concerning calculable business models: 92 percent assume that business models are either calculated too optimistically or that it takes them too long to become economically viable. 71 percent are convinced that companies are underestimating the costs for data transmission and data storage.
Security is another vital aspect concerning M2M, IoT and Industry 4.0: 80 percent of the experts surveyed by eco think that the fear of online espionage is high. It seems that well-established security concepts and regular updates preventing attacks are needed.
The answer by Microtronics: RAPIDM2M
As expert for Machine-to-Machine communication Microtronics has been dealing for years with the challenges of successfully implemented and globally stable M2M / IoT solutions and knows the wishes and concerns of partners and customers very well. Microtronics has packed all these experiences into an efficient, secure and stable ecosystem: rapidM2M.
The well-established standard of GSM/GPRS data transmission is used. The rapidM2M ecosystems provides all the components required – like modules or software – from one single source, but is also combinable with hardware from other manufacturers as well as easily integrable into existing IT systems. Various interfaces enable the smooth integration of M2M / IoT technology into products and business processes. The extremely efficient technology enables to considerably lower the rate of transmitted data. Compared to other http(s) based protocols, reduction rates of up to factor of 45 are enabled.
Managed Service – which makes part of the rapidM2M ecosystem – provides all the tools for the efficient operation of M2M / IoT applications. It comprises among others a SIM management tool that facilitates the management and billing of SIM cards. Furthermore SIM cards don’t have to be purchased additionally. Microtronics offers roaming-enabled SIM cards that automatically choose the best available network. Also included in Managed Service is the international data transmission via GSM/GPRS at globally standardised service rates.
The Managed Service tools – like the international data transmission via GSM/GPRS at globally standardised service rates – help to create calculable business models right from the beginning on. The rapidM2M ecosystem enables to test application ideas in a very early project stage and thus create a Proof of Concept very quickly. This helps on the one hand to learn chances and risks of a M2M / IoT business model. On the other hand the speed-to-market is increased.
Security has the highest priority. Due to its storage-to-storage communication, the rapidM2M ecosystem already offers basic protection. In addition to the encryption method used by the telecommunications provider, Microtronics also uses a multi-layered security concept that was created in cooperation with TÜV and according to the recommendations of the BSI (Federal Office for Information Security). It comprises AES encryption (Diffie-Hellman key exchange), device authentication (Elliptic Curve DSA) and hardware authentication via crypto chip. Additionally Managed Service offers hardware and software updates (OTA) on a regular basis. This adds to the secure operation of M2M / IoT applications and helps to save maintenance costs since updates are done without service personnel on site.