We’ve typically maintained that, at its heart, M2M is largely about asset management. Whether you are monitoring the proper mechanical function of a piece of heavy equipment from afar, or making sure your fields of potatoes get the “just exactly perfect” amount of water on a given day, or if you merely receive an alert when a streetlight goes dark, the idea is to ensure that an item of value in the field is able to maintain fulfill its functional role while maintaining its maximum value.
And until I came across this story on CNN, where it was reported that $1.2 Million in $100 bills was lifted from a SwissAir plane at JFK airport, I certainly did not consider the protection of purely liquid assets as an area where M2M could shine.
It is amazing to me that with all the technology available to them, it is even thinkable that a banking organization could let this happen. Sure, an event like this might be expected to occur in 1978 when the James Burke’s (aka “Jimmy the Gent”) gang made famous by the movie Goodfellas similarly got away from JFK with nearly $6 Million. But in today’s IT-driven environment events like this—by any measure—should be relegated to their proper place, as relics of a bygone era.
With the proper M2M technologies in place, the SwissAir “Heist of 2013” could easily have been avoided. Here’s how:
- Law-enforcement said the cash was located inside containers, which were themselves packed inside sealed crates. They found a hole in the exterior crates, apparently punched by a forklift, through which the thieves were able to grab 12 bundles of cash.
- By installing a series of M2M-connected sensors to the exterior crates, bank officials and third-party security personnel would easily have a way to be instantly alerted if that exterior crate was somehow breached.
- As secondary measure, each bundle of cash (being $100,000 each) could be equipped with RFID sensors which, if removed from their assigned containers would likewise alert appropriate personnel the moment they were removed.
- If somehow the RFID sensors failed to activate or the loot was moved more quickly than law enforcement first responders could act – each bundle could have been equipped with a cellularly connected asset monitoring device that could be remotely activated as soon as the cash went missing.
But those simple steps weren’t taken and the money now? Well, as Jimmy the Gent would say, “fogedddaboutit.”
While we certainly make no secrets about the ability of M2M solutions to save our customers money, this scenario takes the concept of “return-on-investment” to a whole new level.
By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing
Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.