BARCELONA, Spain - In an effort to meet the growing demand for machine-to-machine technology, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) and SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) have signed an agreement to jointly market and sell cloud-based, machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions and services to enterprises via operators around the globe. The solutions will be based on a combined software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering from Ericsson and SAP within M2M.
The combined power of Ericsson's services, solutions, technology and network operator infrastructure, which are powered by Ericsson Device Connection Platform & Service Enablement Platform, and enterprise business solutions from SAP powered by the SAP HANA® platform will allow businesses to find better and more innovative ways to respond to customer needs even more quickly than they could before. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress, held February 25 - 28, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
Enterprises have faced barriers toward the adoption of M2M solutions, such as lack of complete multi-industry end-to-end offerings and deficiency of suitable global coverage connectivity solutions that are needed by multinational enterprises. Ericsson and SAP are teaming up to deliver a connected cloud-based offering to operators that will remove those barriers, while at the same time adding the benefits of minimal up-front investment and faster time-to-market. These new solutions and services will also help enhance enterprise efficiency in key business processes such as maintenance, remote service, inventory, logistics and road transport management, vending and customer experience management.
The joint M2M infrastructure and industry specific solutions will be provided by operators as a service to enterprises, and Ericsson and SAP are already discussing the model with operators.
Per Simonsen, CEO, Telenor Connexion, said: "At Telenor Connexion we see that M2M is becoming an increasingly strategic and integral part of our customers' operations and products. This joint collaboration between SAP and Ericsson is key in facilitating customers' implementation of M2M, increasing the value proposition and enhancing the customer experience. In addition, this will provide great opportunities to reach new customers in different industries and markets."
Lynda Burton, Director of Wholesale at Three UK, said: "We are seeing a growing demand for turnkey M2M solutions. This partnership, combined with Three's market leadership and experience in mobile data, delivers a powerful solution to enterprise customers."
SAP is well positioned to offer enterprises market leading mobile, cloud computing and big data analytics, as well asin-depth experience in combining those technologies to create unique and powerful solutions across 24 industries.
Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEO of SAP AG, said: "Today's announcement is a first step toward delivering on a shared vision that SAP and Ericsson have for co-innovating with our customers worldwide to help them deliver on the promise of M2M. Together, we will break down the barriers that prevent customer adoption of M2M solutions by delivering a simple, affordable and fast-to-implement solution. Enterprises will benefit from an offering that provides them with everything they need to connect to machines, and helps turn high volumes of data into real-time knowledge and decision-making.
In addition to solutions and technology, Ericsson will lend its consulting, systems integration and managed services, and complementary device and applications testing, as well as verification services to facilitate a faster time-to-market, efficient use of mobile network resources and an optimized user experience. Operators, such as M2M connectivity providers, may choose from different levels of ambition, ranging from a full enterprise M2M prime supplier to an ecosystem partner.
Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson, said: "The global M2M service revenue is estimated to reach more than 200 BUSD by 2017. This partnership gives us a chance to unlock some of that potential. By accessing services and controlling devices with solutions leveraging Ericsson experience from the communications industry and SAP from the enterprise segment, businesses will find better and more innovative ways to respond to customer needs more quickly. Building an ecosystem also allows our operator customers a new way to address new markets and enterprise needs."
The joint go-to-market model combines the assets of SAP, Ericsson and mobile operators, making it possible for enterprises to effectively connect their enterprise assets across multi-country operations with full integration to existing business processes, along with support for mobile and real-time scenarios.
This means that an enterprise needing a full end-to-end logistics solution - including M2M connectivity, applications and cloud services - can get a comprehensive solution from a mobile operator leveraging the SAP/Ericsson partnership.
In another example, an enterprise needing a smart vending machine solution including M2M connectivity, applications and cloud services, would be able to contract the SAP and Ericsson offerings as a service through a mobile operator leveraging the deal. Other components and vertical applications from both companies can also be included in order to offer value-add and increase the scope of the solution offered to the customer.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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