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More M2M devices obviously means more data to process, right? Not so fast.

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 01/18/2012

By all counts, it stands to reason that a world enmeshed with a multitude of data collecting, signal-sending, communicating M2M devices would exacerbate the Big Data challenge in IT. All these devices will produce Terabytes more information for an organization to manage, store, parse and analyze, right? When we really examine what these devices are doing — the role they play the vast majority of the time — the opposite appears to be true.

In reality, the majority of M2M applications and services prove their worth by reporting on exceptions as opposed to simply sending data for the sake of sending it. If I’m GE and I’m going to have millions — perhaps billions — of sensors around the world making up the Industrial Internet, the last thing I need is to be bombarded with information telling me that everything is fine. The majority of data a device collects cannot easily be transformed into actionable information.

Even the proverbial refrigerator that tells you when you’re out of milk does not send bit after bit of data to tell you the milk supply is “All good.”

A good analogy is the modern automobile, which has hundreds of sensors monitoring all sorts of functional components, from tire pressure to valve timing to cylinder heat. But mind you, these sensors do not send everything to the engine control unit (ECU); they do so only if there’s an exception. Something’s too hot. Tire is deflating. Then you get a warning on the dash so you can do something about it.

Most of the M2M industry is driven by very thin applications. If you take 90 percent of cellular-connected M2M applications in the world today, they probably move less than a MB of data, collectively, in a month. In fact, if you dial back to look at 80 percent of the application universe, it probably doesn’t create more than one-half of a MB, per month.

Of course there are some applications that use 10s of MBs, even Gigabytes in a month. These might include digital billboard signage, which is managed via wireless M2M to change its content based on time of day or highway traffic volume.

When the discussion gets hyperbolic about how the Internet-of-Things will redefine what we mean by “Big Data,” it is easy to let that become a development barrier. At KORE, we are 100 percent committed to being your M2M onramp, and sometimes that means taking a critical eye to the market chatter.

By Felix Chuang, Senior Product Manager

Felix Chuang is Senior Product Manager at KORE Telematics, an industry leader in the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) wireless market. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the Internet and wireless industries in a broad range of roles such as product management, business development, and operations.  He is currently focused on the KORE Global Connect product line, which provides a single SIM for M2M network service in 180+ countries and 230+ carriers.

He can be found on twitter at: @felixc and KORE Telematics can be found at: @koretelematics

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