Deutsche Telekom AG
M2MAPPS: Mr. Breitbach, you are Head of International Partner Development at Deutsche Telekom's M2M Competence Center. What exactly is the Center's role?
MARKUS BREITBACH: As an international M2M Competence Center for Deutsche Telekom, we occupy a central position within the organization partly as an enabler and linchpin to our national subsidiaries and also to the numerous external companies that play a role in the M2M community. Our aim is to be able to respond to enquiries from our partners and potential clients quickly, efficiently, on any market and in any country.
M2MAPPS: The "M2M market" is characterized by strong verticalization. In which industries are you currently most strongly represented? Where are your areas of focus for the future?
MARKUS BREITBACH: The M2M Competence Center focuses on nine sectors of industry and we approach each of these equally. M2M will not just grow in the one or two sectors that are currently in focus.
Personally, I believe that, in future, the focus will be on the setup and operation of smart cities, for example. More specifically, this might involve streets or airports being extensively fitted out with sensors. Every area of life will come into contact with services sooner or later that are provided on the basis of data analyzed in real time. In some cases, this is already true, if you look at smart phones. Industry must work together much more closely if it is to be able to implement this effectively and profitably.
M2MAPPS: What is Deutsche Telekom doing to encourage the growth of the M2M market?
MARKUS BREITBACH: As Deutsche Telekom's M2M Competence Center, we are dedicated to establishing a global M2M eco-system with innovative and successful companies. This year (2011), for example, we launched our online partner portal to help us do this. Companies big and small from around the globe can register on this portal and present their M2M solutions in the Solution Finder. It's a very easy way to get in touch with us.
We're also working on an online M2M marketplace, in which our partners can offer their products, including ones bundled with connectivity from Deutsche Telekom, to a wide market of potential new clients.
M2MAPPS: Who are currently your most important partners? Which areas are you still looking for partners in, and what criteria must these new partners meet?
MARKUS BREITBACH: Essentially for us, all partners are very important. Whether it be major, multi-national companies or small niche suppliers, we handle all of our partners equally and most importantly as equals.
We are looking for more partners in all M2M areas, and we are of course very keen to learn about innovative products and projects that partners want to develop with us or in which we can help our partners be more successful.
M2MAPPS: What do you regard as the role of telecommunications companies in the M2M value chain? Are there other areas, beyond connectivity, in which you want to become active?
MARKUS BREITBACH: I believe that we, as Deutsche Telekom, occupy a central position in the M2M value chain. Without connectivity, there can be no M2M. Equally, however, connectivity is not generally the problem that customers need to resolve. It can also be said that we are the linchpin in the communication between machines and an enabler for many solutions. It goes without saying, however, that we do not want - or are able - to remain in this role.
We will be expanding our field of business and not just offering connectivity, but also complete solutions, given our extensive experience with T-Systems. We are already operating extensive and highly complex system solutions that one could also call M2M. In the SME sector, we need to work fundamentally closely with our numerous existing and also future partners.
M2MAPPS: Do you use an M2M application yourself that makes your life easier?
MARKUS BREITBACH: Yes, M2M has already found a place in my house. We rely on an integrated security system in our house that sends an SMS to me in the event of an emergency and, if necessary, can trigger an emergency call. This is likely to expand considerably in the future. Why, for example, aren't there already many sensors or actuators installed in buildings or hotels that provide me as an operator and also as a user with various App services on demand?