The recent announcement of a Qualcomm Verizon joint venture represents a major step forward for the machine-to-machine (M2M) market. In the past twelve months the M2M market has exhibited a steady maturation that has lessened the fragmentation that had once defined the space; an example of this maturation is Deloitte's alliance with Axeda Corporation. In a similar vein, the Qualcomm / Verizon announcement will expand awareness of M2M and the manners by which M2M enabled devices solve busines
The Qualcomm/Verizon joint venture (name to be determined) presents the market with an option that not only offers proven technology but also presents a level of fiscal stability that helps buyers sleep better. End-users seduced by M2M enabled capabilities yet unsure of the long term viability of the vendor should have confidence that the combined research and development groups of a Qualcomm/Verizon offering will bring stable M2M offerings backed by the cash reserves to support clients ranging from SMB to enterprise level.
Qualcomm and Verizon have independently built M2M offerings that have been in the market for a number of years. Qualcomm's M2M focus has been on the development of products and services, whereas Verizon's M2M efforts have focused on connectivity offerings. The companies complement one another well. Both companies have established strong reputations for their wireless offerings; however, their wired products have received less attention and suggest a capability gap in the joint offering. The market is right to inquire about the manner in which these wireless-focused partners plan to market, sell, provision and support wired or mixed connectivity M2M environments.
This joint venture may drive a coalescence of vendors to either compete with or complement the Qualcomm/Verizon juggernaut; the beneficiaries of the M2M vendor shake-up will be end-users, those already using M2M and those considering augmenting their product portfolio with M2M enabled functionality. Moreover, the Qualcomm/Verizon joint venture will drive M2M vendors to accelerate the delivery of expanded capabilities and/or partnerships that allow them to compete with the Qualcomm/Verizon offering.
A Qualcomm/Verizon joint venture should awaken the ERP vendors Oracle and SAP to the M2M space. While the ERP duopoly is tangentially involved in the M2M space, to describe their commitment to the space as "committed" would be disingenuous. It's a reasonable assumption that a Qualcomm/Verizon venture should secure the attention of the C-suite at the ERP vendors and, as such, drive ERP vendors to reconsider M2M as an area of resource investment.
Qualcomm's Steve Pazol will lead the joint venture. Mr. Pazol joined Qualcomm when his firm nPhase was acquired in November of 2006. In the time between the nPhase acquisition and yesterday's announcement, Qualcomm's M2M offering has maintained nimbleness that mirrors the performance of nPhase predating the acquisition. Qualcomm's M2M clients span vertical industries from Medical Devices to industrial equipment to discrete manufactures. The smooth integration of nPhase capabilities into the Qualcomm product portfolio is unquestionable.
The Qualcomm / Verizon announcement will energize the M2M market in many ways. In the coming months we will closely monitor the development of partnerships and new alliances of vendors spanning the M2M ecosystem. These alliances will allow M2M vendors to compete with an offering that — minus a proven wired M2M approach — offers the closest thing to a one-stop complete M2M supplier.