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Ericsson teams with SAP in M2M

In talks with operators like Telenor and Three to support expanded platform for enterprise services


Published: 7 March, 2013

READ MORE: Europe | Ericsson | M2M

Ericsson continues to expand its platforms for machine-to-machine services, which it sells directly to enterprises like Volvo, and as a managed offering for operators. It recently announced an alliance with corporate software giant SAP in this area, and now claims this is winning significant carrier support. Indeed, Telenor's M2M unit, Connexxion, has come out as its first public supporter.

The announcement of the SAP deal got somewhat lost in the furore of Mobile World Congress last week, but is an interesting departure for the Swedish giant, which like its cellco customers, knows it needs to shift its revenue mix towards vertical, business and embedded applications.

It will join forces with the German software house to sell cloud-based M2M services to enterprises on a global basis. These will be based on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform made up of elements from both vendors. Ericsson will also provide consulting, systems integration, device and applications testing, and verification services.

In most cases, the service will not be sold directly, but via a white label offering for operators. Ericsson said it was already in discussions with a line of carriers, including 3UK and Telenor Connexion in Sweden. Per Simonsen, CEO of the latter, said in a statement: "This joint collaboration between SAP and Ericsson is key in facilitating customers' implementation of M2M, increasing the value proposition and enhancing the customer experience. In addition, this will provide great opportunities to reach new customers in different industries and markets."

Ericsson said partnerships like this - which bring together IT and networking elements, a rising trend among carriers - are essential to break down some barriers to M2M adoption. In particular, they can help address "the lack of complete multi-industry end-to-end offerings, and the deficiency of suitable global coverage connectivity solutions that are needed by multinational enterprises," it said.

It added that its joint platform could help companies reduce cost in areas such as maintenance, remote services, inventory, logistics, road transport management, vending and customer experience management.

"Global M2M service revenue is estimated to reach more than $200bn by 2017," said Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg. "This partnership gives us a chance to unlock some of that potential."

Meanwhile, Ericsson says the customer list for its own M2M platform is expanding, and recently it has added 3 Group, MegaFon of Russia, Swisscom, TeliaSonera Sweden and XL Axiata in Indonesia.

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