Africa among Leading M2M Adopters in Latest Vodafone Barometer
Africa has been revealed as one of the leading emerging markets in Machine-to-Machine (M2M) adoption in Vodafone’s latest M2M Adoption Barometer.
In the second instalment of the report, the continent, as well as the Middle East and Asia Pacific were found to be powering ahead of western markets in the US and Europe, comprising a large share of the 80 percent rise in total adoption seen around the world in the past year.
The global survey of the M2M market found that more than a fifth of companies around the world are now actively using the technology, and predict that the rise will continue from the 4.4 Billion connected devices seen currently, to more than 10 billion by 2018.
While more firms are seeing a return on investment from M2M than last year – 46 percent of respondents cited a ‘significant increase’ compared with 36 percent in 2013 – there are still some barriers to adoption, including managing security concerns and the challenges of global deployment.
As predicted in last year’s Vodafone M2M Adoption Barometer report though, the US has been overtaken by the Asia Pacific region as the geography with the widest adoption of M2M. This year’s report suggests that by 2016 the gap will be negligible with all regions close to a 55 percent average for adoption.
Tony Smallwood, Head of Machine-to-Machine, Vodacom Business, said: “This year’s report leaves no doubt that momentum is accelerating as companies and public sector organisations begin to realise the commercial potential of the connected machine eco-system.
“This technology is transforming whole industries as organisations find new ways to operate and engage with their customers and value chains. M2M is moving from the back-office to centre stage, with the Africa continent set to realise benefits from M2M technology solutions.”
Principal Analyst at Machina Research, Matt Hatton, added: “The most interesting finding from my perspective is the range of different reasons companies are giving for deploying M2M.
“Historically, M2M technologies have tended to be bolted on to add an additional cool product feature or to monitor some kind of internal process. We now see M2M is becoming fundamental to how organisations do business; in some cases, M2M adoption is also creating new business opportunities.
“These technologies are radically changing the way in which companies serve - and communicate with - their customers.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”