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Land of Sweeping Change: Powering Australian Business Towards a Connected Future

Land of Sweeping Change: Powering Australian Business Towards A Connected Future is an independent report about machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in Australia. The research was developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist Group. Three hundred senior Australian executives were surveyed across a number of industries, including agriculture and agribusiness, logistics and distribution, manufacturing, transport and telecommunications.

The report reveals that despite the push from telecommunications companies, and widespread agreement among industry observers that M2M will grow in importance, there remains a lack of uptake. To find out why, this research assesses the landscape for M2M in Australia, in particular existing “gaps” between the view of suppliers of services and their potential customers.

Click here to download the report.

Here are some short videos introducing the research
Stuart Lee
Group Executive
Telstra Wholesale
John Chambers
Executive Director Mobiles
Charles Ross
Senior Editor
Asia Economist Intelligence Unit

Businesses in Australia are benefitting from machine-to-machine communications (M2M), but while M2M connectivity is growing rapidly, it is far from ubiquitous. This presents a multitude of opportunities for both the supply and demand side of M2M communications.

In Australia, Telstra currently has more than 1.38 million connected machines over our mobile network, with service numbers growing around 30% CAGR. Through our dedicated M2M sales organisation, Telstra has worked with customers such as Coca Cola Amatil to connect 30,000 vending machines to help automate and streamline the process for managing stock levels and operations and maintenance, as well as the City of Perth that invested in M2M technology to automate the monitoring the performance of parking meters and offer new cashless payment systems.

We know that M2M wireless solutions are a smarter way to manage multiple business assets in the field. We know that using real-time data on assets, places or entire production processes can help businesses improve efficiency and make better decisions. Yet in Australia, consistent with the rest of the world, it is the early adopters that are benefiting most from the technology.

We wanted to know more about why some industry sectors are slower to adopt, and what can the telecommunications supply side do in order to improve M2M adoption across all industries that can benefit from it.

Key findings

Australia is set to see the benefits of M2M

As is the case globally, local industry forecasts predict rapid uptake of M2M over the next few years. The Australian operating environment is deemed as an enabler rather than an inhibitor, according to survey respondents in terms of the quality of networks and the opportunity presented by the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN). Network quality is particularly relevant as almost two-thirds of Australian executives say mobility is important to realising M2M for their organisation. However, a majority of survey takers also view the NBN favourably, indicating that it can supplement wireless efforts in urban areas while improving reach in rural areas.

Telecommunications companies are rushing for digital gold

To supplement revenues from core network services, telecommunications companies in Australia are creating partnerships with hardware and software vendors to create integrated business solutions. Telco companies interviewed for this report illustrate emerging solutions by offering packages of data plans and added-value services such as customised apps. But the transformation of telco companies from their traditional role as carriers into integrated service providers has not yet been fully grasped by customers.

Internal challenges are creating speed bumps

In addition, two factors limit the speed with which telecommunications companies can transform themselves, legacy sales teams that are used to selling data plans instead of integrated M2M solutions and the difficulty of trying to be everything to everyone.

Signs of success

Uptake for M2M services to date has been largely limited to “first movers” who are often experiencing both the challenges and benefits thereof. Anecdotal experience and survey results both show a huge demand for integrated services – the very same role that telecommunications companies aim to supply.

Customers remain unconvinced

Greater uptake among industry can also be attributed to a lack of demonstrated return on investment (ROI) and a lack of targeted solutions to fit detailed requirements that vary not only between industries but also within them. Scaling M2M solutions is difficult and without clear case studies and customised products, the road ahead will be long.

Next steps

To improve M2M adoption in Australia more broadly, telecommunications companies must bridge three key gaps moving forward, the need for better communication between the demand – and supply sides, focus on integrated solutions that meet specific needs, and create a better demonstration of business benefits.

Land of Sweeping Change
Stuart Lee
Read Blog

We live in a world of acronyms – and M2M is one you’re likely to hear a lot more about.

Read Stuart's blog post on our recent research into M2M.

Land of Sweeping Change

We live in a world of acronyms – and M2M is one you’re likely to hear a lot more about.

Read Stuart's blog post on our recent research into M2M.

Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Microsite
Land of Sweeping Change

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