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Enterprises can achieve competitive advantage by using machine-to-machine (M2M) to supply real-time information for improved decision-making.

Juniper Research predicts that the number of M2M applications will rise to approximately 412 million globally by 2014. Looking further ahead, GSMA predicts that there will be over 50 billion embedded mobile devices by 2025.

M2M involves using mobility to connect physical things together through a network, enabling real-time access to business intelligence on all the connected parts. Many analysts describe this growing trend as “The Internet of Things” and businesses are beginning to optimise their operations to take advantage of the benefits. A number of enterprises are working with Vodafone Global Enterprise to drive innovation, efficiency and productivity increases exploiting M2M.

In a world filled with real-time M2M information, enterprises can achieve competitive advantage by creating a real-time enterprise. Mobile data collection and M2M can supply real-time information and management can utilise the data in business intelligence applications for improved decision-making.

Vodafone Global Enterprise can provide the connectivity element of any M2M requirement and can also act as a partner with service providers, systems integrators or internal IT departments to provide value-added, service-based business applications. Vodafone Global Enterprise aims to manage the complexity of access to a global mobile and fixed line network infrastructure involving security, coverage, device management and cost control, rather than simply being a software solution provider.

Within Vodafone Global Enterprise, a Life Sciences Division has been created to look after the world’s top pharmaceutical companies.

Another innovation using M2M is Vodafone Process Tracker - a managed service designed to drive efficiency in customer processing operations for the finance sector. It proactively informs customers and intermediaries of progress on mortgage/loan/card applications via SMS, email or personalised web pages.

By focusing on providing a combination of wholesale connectivity, M2MSIMs, customised data tariff plans and a managed M2M pipe in this way, Vodafone offers a managed service platform that delivers scalability and flexibility. Another critical feature of the platform is the ability to allow enterprises to self-manage, and have on-demand visibility of their networks of connected devices via a web interface.