Q&A with Jürgen Hase of Deutsche Telekom.
VSM: Why did Deutsche Telekom launch an international marketplace for M2M stakeholders?
JH: Our M2M Marketplace is intended as a kind of catalyst for growth in the market. While everybody expects an M2M boom in the coming years, there are still a number of obstacles. These include the market’s high level of heterogeneity and the large number of participants in all M2M solutions. We have buyers from various sectors, while our sellers are providers of software or mobile apps, as well as hardware manufacturers. Our marketplace will bring together all these players for the first time, which means we are creating a platform that not only makes it fast and easy to do business around the world, but also helps to generate solutions.
VSM: What makes Deutsche Telekom qualified to create this marketplace?
JH: The company has extensive experience in M2M communication and is one of the leading global providers in this sector. After all, Deutsche Telekom provides the basis for each M2M solution, namely the network connection through SIM cards, as well as suitable rates, service level agreements and the M2M service portal to manage and control them. In addition, we already have an extensive partner network and a great deal of industry experience: We work with automobile manufacturers and utilities as well as with mechanical engineering companies and hospitals. It is at our end, where everything comes together – which is why it was a logical conclusion to set up an online M2M hub.
VSM: Is this also a strategic decision for Deutsche Telekom?
JH: Yes, Deutsche Telekom has evolved from a classic telecoms operator to a solutions provider in the IT and telecommunications market. One important aspect of this development is that we are very much interested in working with partners. We are constantly finding better ways to make it easier for small businesses, start-ups and developers to work with us. We are confident that this will boost innovation, since we bring together creativity and speed with the sales and marketing experience of Deutsche Telecom. After all, this is often a major problem for smaller companies: They have a great product, but find it difficult to sell it, because they lack the structures for sales and marketing and their name is not known in the market. M2M is not the only sector where we use a marketplace.
VSM: What is the business model for the M2M Marketplace?
JH: Each seller can register for the marketplace and offer their products to a global audience. All sales offers are checked by us before they go online to ensure the offers meet a certain standard of quality. Like other online sales platforms we charge a fee for each transaction. However, our main interest is to boost the M2M market and intensify the solutions business.
VSM: How does this benefit other sellers and buyers?
JH: With just a few mouse clicks, sellers can showcase their offers to a global audience. The marketplace is an additional distribution channel with access to a wide, international group of customers. Sellers also benefit from the well-known name of Deutsche Telekom, which stands for a high standard of quality and reliability from the customers' point of view. And with everything sorted in categories, it is also easy for buyers to find and compare all they need for M2M. They can even buy individual modules or ask Telekom to put together and implement their own individual M2M solution.