CW 100: An Amazing Undertaking
Nov/Dec 2012
Peggy Smedley, Editorial Director

While Secretariat might be the greatest racehorse ever to have crossed the finish line to win the Triple Crown and set a track record, the CW 100 is about 100 powerhouses that have earned the same stature nosing out all others, capturing the most prestigious crown jewel of them all in the M2M (machine-to-machine) and connected-devices market.

It’s pretty clear that analyzing the companies that appear on the 2013 CW 100 is never an easy task. In fact, I would have to say it is probably one of the most, if not the most, formidable tasks the editors of Connected World magazine have undertaken for the year. Probably the only review process I believe even comes close is analyzing the Connected World Connected Car of the Year awards. Regardless of the task, the results provide some real strategic benefits for the industry and anyone who uses the data for the purpose for which it is intended.

Despite what you might have heard or even read in the more popular press, the CW 100 is not simply about who’s No.1 based on a popularity contest. It’s also not a who’s who ranking just because a company muscles its way into the industry by threatening how much it will or will not spend on advertising. And it’s most certainly not a guide to our best-loved firms or the companies we’d like to toady up to or even call our friends. It’s a guide to the fast-moving technology trends, networks, and driving forces that shape the M2M and connected-devices world. This is a list of the companies that are leading the charge. And what a charge we are witnessing.

The companies that appear on this ranking have had to earn their seat at the table. We reviewed the companies’ activities during the past year and evaluated their current standing and impact on the M2M and connected-devices market. They must prove they deserve to be considered a CW 100 member. We then decide which ones will be removed, to make way for a new crop of entrants—reflective of an emerging industry—or older companies that have demonstrated renewed vigor as the market continues to thrive. We spend countless hours debating, interviewing, and commenting on new nominees while simultaneously review- ing and analyzing the incumbents. Countless hours and many sleepless nights are involved pouring over documents and reviewing notes.

Make no mistake, these are the movers and shakers that are driving the marketplace in general by how they are serving market needs and how they are creating new M2M tech solutions, among a host of other criteria. The goal is to formulate the final 100. In the end, by our estimates these top 100 companies that shine on the CW 100 of the machine-to-machine and connected-devices arena capture an estimated 80% share-of-market.

The CW 100 firms of 2013 are gearing up for another huge year. They are on the verge of announcing some next- generation products of their already stalwart solutions, no doubt with additional plans to conquer the business world and even consumers’ wallets. Last year was a banner year, despite the passing of almost 25% of the companies from the previous year’s list. That includes even some of the iconic companies that have been on the list since the beginning. Interestingly, only 14% of the companies named in the original ranking currently remain on the list since its inception in 2003. For more than a decade, some of these visionaries have been unseated by stronger and more forward-thinking firms that are showing greater inspiration and a clearer vision for the future. What remains are 100 formidable companies that are committed to helping their customers and the markets they serve worldwide.

But, let’s be clear, there are times good companies are overlooked from the rankings, perhaps for a variety of reasons, mainly due to the inherent limitations of a list of 100. We simply can’t include every company that is serving the market. But rest assured, we have found our process to be pretty effective in representing our industry and the companies that are serving all of you. We hope that you have agreed with our assessment during the past decade or so that we have been producing this prestigious list. Happy reading!

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