Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telefonica boasts 250 M2M partners six months ahead of target

Iain Morris
July 24, 2014
Spanish telecoms incumbent Telefonica claims to have signed up more than 250 M2M partners in Europe and the US since the launch of its partnership program in June 2013.

The rapid progress means the company has already reached its year-end target six months ahead of schedule and just a few months after the M2M Global Partner Program was expanded from the US to Europe in February this year.

In a statement, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) said that 170 new partners – including device makers, solutions providers and distributors – had joined the program since February and that a further 100 companies are currently “close to joining as M2M partners”.

The operator also flagged plans to expand the program into other markets later this year.

Telefonica launched the initiative in the US with the aim of extending its commercial reach in M2M and finding future vertical solution partners.

The operator has also indicated the program is a way of overcoming the lack of standardization and scale in the M2M industry and should drive down costs and lead to improved services for customers.

Partners of the company have been able to use the program to reach new markets and grow their sales.

“Our program has been positively embraced by the M2M market, exceeding our initial expectations and proving that this framework can establish new commercial opportunities,” said Rafael Garcia Meiro, the director of B2B global partners sales for indirect sales channels at Telefonica. “We’re moving fast, having surpassed our partner targets six months ahead of plan.”

“We will now be working to extend the program into new regions which will further accelerate membership and enhance the portfolio of M2M solutions we can sell to our customers,” he added.

Citing research carried out by the GSM Association, a lobby group representing telecoms operators, Telefonica says the number of connected objects worldwide is expected to grow from just 92 million in 2004 to as many as 20 billion in 2020.

Along with other telecoms operators, Telefonica sees M2M as a potential growth opportunity that could offset the decline in telecoms revenues from traditional services like voice and text messaging.

Market-research company Machina Research has recently listed Telefonica as one of the four major global operators currently dominating the international M2M market.

The operator’s notable M2M wins to date include its UK smart meter contract and connectivity deals with companies like Tesla (Palo Alto, CA, USA) and JC Deceaux (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France).
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