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Like in previous years, the 8th edition of the M2M Summit has been a success once again. This year, the event focused on the needs of the users, who attended the M2M Summit from over 35 countries. Whilst former events had been mainly about the exchange between the providers, the M2M Summit 2014 with its 60 exhibitors and around 800 participants was most of all an informative event for businesses that want to use M2M. The theme of this year’s event was "From Technology to Business" - and did its name justice.
The attendants of Europe's largest event of its kind did not talk about future technology with great potential anymore, but about omnipresent technology that brings users many advantages. “Our goal was to promote the exchange between suppliers and users this year,” said Eric Schneider, chairman of the M2M Alliance. “And we succeeded. Now that the users see a benefit for themselves and accept new technologies, M2M applications have become an important part of our everyday lives. As we were told by the 60 exhibitors, the demand of the actual users was bigger than ever.”
In addition to the new focus of the industry on the needs of the customers, Schneider sees the changing approaches within the companies as one of the reasons for the increased interest of the user: “Today, the M2M projects no longer start in the IT department, but on management level. The companies are focusing much more on the actual benefits for the business, “said Schneider. “M2M solutions are also being increasingly used in the field of recreational sports and wellness.”
On the first day of the event which was held at the Congress Center Dusseldorf, the "Customer Experience" was at the centre of the panel discussion. In addition, guided tours were offered in which the participants were able to see and learn what can already be realised with today’s solutions. The guided tours also included aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its future as well as the benefits of M2M in the Industry 4.0.
The M2M Summit has also become a perfect place for new partnerships and business. The event, which includes a conference as well as an exhibition, is bringing all kind of companies together - which enables them to offer comprehensive solutions. Sometimes, contracts are even being signed on site.
At the two-day event, internationally renowned experts such as Vasanth Philomin (Philips CityTouch), Dr. Alexander Lautz (T-Systems International), Prof. Uwe Kubach (SAP), Matt Hatton (Machina Research), and Helmut Schnierle (Telefónica) presented the latest solutions, trends and research around topics such as smart cities, intelligent energy management, automated farming, wearables and connected cars.
This year's M2M Summit was supported, among others, by Hannelore Kraft, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. With around 800 participants, the number of participants was slightly below the record attendance of 2013. As the registration for the M2M Summit had been subject to a charge for all participants for the first time, Eric Schneider is optimistic that new records will be set in the coming years: "With 60 exhibitors, the interest was bigger than ever. 800 paying visitors are a clear indicator that our event has a lot to offer for the participants. We expect yet another increase for next year.”