2014
03.03

Every day I cover this industry I can’t help but be a little more dumbfounded at what happens. Or should I say what doesn’t happen. The M2M or IoT (Internet of Things), whatever you want to call it, needs to brace itself. As I see it too many companies just don’t get it. And their time is very fleeting. I have two points here: First, let’s look at the cable operators. I don’t understand why they are still dragging their feet when it comes to M2M. Now I know they might bark and complain by this commentary, but most of them simply have not fully embraced the huge opportunity that exists when it comes to value creation for them and their customers.

Jim Dunlap, Cycle30, president has been beating this drum since he started his company a few years back, and I know he’s made some headway here, but still the cable industry has been extremely slow to see all that M2M has to offer. To make a stronger case, in 2013 Dunlap essentially split his company into a telco-cable focus and an M2M focus entity per se.

I had the opportunity to participate in a pretty impressive company meeting to see the inner workings of how Dunlap drives employees, partnerships, and how he views M2M. His goal was to divide the company both from a functional level in terms of staffing and professional services and product development, but more importantly, what I observed was determination to keep the eye on the prize at the business level and to stay ahead of the market in both telco-cable and M2M.

Here’s a company that made our CW 100 because it wanted to be innovative in the billing space from a global perspective unlike a lot of other stagnant companies today. As a result, he did a great job of taking data and turning it into valuable data. This was my exact point in our Mega Trends announcement at our Connected World Conference in February. Here’s my second point, the market is going to observe an implosion, so to speak, as many of the traditional M2M companies will quickly fade despite their behemoth size or whatever M&As they make, because they no longer are serving the right customers.

These companies are becoming bullies and they have lost their way. We have seen it in other industries, and now it’s only a matter of time. I am so impressed with a company like Cycle30 because it keeps moving fast and it is looking ahead. This Seattle-based firm is spending the investments in developing a global presence in this digital world.

Going global doesn’t mean selling global. It means understanding privacy and security, and staying ahead of the innovation curve. All too often companies are playing catch up and threatening others to get there or tossing them to the curb rather than working together to get there.

Those old-school tactics will no longer apply in today’s agile and innovative marketplace. The IoT is dead. Long live the companies that understand it’s not about putting the Internet first. It’s about all the other things and solutions that go along with it. It’s about having meaningful conversations based on the real value proposition of things like Google acquiring Nest for $3.2 billion. This is just the beginning of bringing value to customers.

Vendors have a lot to learn about what customers want and expect. Customers will drive the market forward the way they want it, not the other way around. That is where value creation will come from. It will be the cornerstone for future growth. Unless vendors learn to respect and treat new customers properly they will never retain them.

Welcome to the new world of innovation. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for most because they don’t even see it coming. It’s too bad more companies don’t possess the Cycle30 secret sauce.

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