Jack Sweeney, CEO of Axeda , kicked off the Axeda Connexion conference on Tuesday by discussing the growth potential of the machine-to-machine (M2M) industry in terms of numbers.
According to Sweeney, there will be 3.5 billion M2M connections by 2014, before reaching 50 billion connections in 2020. “This means that you would have to connect 166 new machines every second of every day for the next eight years,” says Sweeney.
In terms of the economic impact, M2M will amount to $950 billion by 2020. In 2020 there will be five connected machines to every one person, which will attribute to the expected 300-fold increase in data volumes in this decade alone.
Data volume is an obvious concern for carriers, especially in the United States, but according to Sweeney the rapidly increasing data volumes should be looked at as in opportunity.
“As more data flows through networks, there is more value,” says Sweeney. According to Sweeney, the more data you have, the more you can learn about your customers and better serve them. “You can either be overwhelmed by big data or use it to enhance and innovate.”
Furthermore, there are currently over 17,000 health applications available, yet by 2015 there will be 500 million mobile health application users.
One health centered Axeda customer, Hologic (Bedford, Mass., USA), a manufacturer and supplier of diagnostic, surgical and medical imaging equipment for women’s health, uses remote monitoring and troubleshooting to save money. According to David Rudzinsky, senior vice president of Hologic, by remotely monitoring and troubleshooting machines, Hologic have the potential to save a substantial amount of money. On average, it costs Hologic $250 to dispatch a field engineer to a site, says Rudzinsky. If the company can prevent dispatching by fixing the problem remotely, the savings could be huge.
Dan DuBeau, project manager of remote access at Varian Medical Systems (Palo, Alto, Calif., USA), a company that creates technology for treating cancer, also understood the importance of remote monitoring. According to DuBeau, before remote monitoring he would have to travel to different sites around the world whenever a machine failed. Many times when arriving at the site he found that the cause of the failure had nothing to do with the machine but was caused by the electricity in the buildings, for example when air conditioners kicked on and strained the electricity network.
“In one year I could have saved $100,000 in airplane flights alone if we had remote monitoring,” says DeBeau.
Nobody knows the exact numbers the M2M industry will reach for certain, but there is no arguing that it is going to be a large number.