September 24, 2012

Proving the Theory? | What's in Store | M2M a Hug(h)e(s) Deal

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2012 issue of Next Gen Mobility.

Proving the Theory?

“Fortune 500 brands are adopting mobile display and video at a considerably more rapid pace than they moved into online advertising,” according to Scott Swanson, founder and CEO at Mobile Theory.

“And now they’re catering the brand experience for the specific nuances of the mobile medium, looking for the best ways to reach and engage their target customer,” Swanson said.

That has led to strong results at Mobile Theory, a subsidiary of Opera Software (News - Alert).

In the three months since becoming part of Opera Software in February, Mobile Theory saw triple-digit percentage monthly revenue growth and hit key milestones in campaign executions, new client additions and staff expansion.

Since the February acquisition, quarterly revenue increased by 250 percent; Mobile Theory’s advertiser client roster grew by more than 75 percent, with marquee clients including Coca-Cola, Paramount Pictures (News - Alert) and Chase Bank – and it added 15 new employees (and plans to double headcount by the end of 2012).

What’s in Store

The writing is on the wall: Online sales are taking a significant bite out of bricks-and-mortar retail sales. So what can physical locations do to get customers to open their wallets, and not just their comparison shopping apps, while in stores? A company called iQmetrix (News - Alert) was at CTIA this summer in New Orleans offering an answer.

In a meeting with NGM at CTIA, Anne Weiler, iQmetrix’s vice president of marketing, explained that the company’s XQ Interactive Retail solution helps keep customers engaged with retailers and keeps them off of Amazon. XGIR does that by providing a touch-screen interface through which in-store customers can access interviews on products likes phones and other electronics, sporting goods or other products that may require explanation. The tool can also enable customers to compare pricing among similar products.

The system enables users to buy products and save the information they access or scan QR codes, and allows brands and retailers to track every time a particular product or screen is touched.

“Shopping is changing, and that experience has changed because of technology,” Weiler noted. “Retailers really need to think about how they bridge the mobile, e-commerce and in-store experiences.”

M2M a Hug(h)e(s) Deal

In yet another sign of just how keenly interested the big telcos are in machine-to-machine communications, Verizon (News - Alert) Communications, Inc. this summer laid out $612 million to buy Hughes Telematics, Inc. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

"We expect M2M and telematics to drive significant growth for Verizon, and we're taking an important step forward to accelerate solutions that will unlock more opportunities for existing and new HTI and Verizon customers," said John Stratton (News - Alert), president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Joining Hughes Telematics' robust service-delivery platform and suite of applications with our existing assets will create a premier set of capabilities. In powerful combination with Verizon's global IP network, cloud, mobility and security solutions, Hughes Telematics' flexible service-delivery platform has the potential to reach beyond the automotive and transportation realm to create new opportunities in mHealth, asset tracking and home automation."

Verizon earlier this year launched a new practice focused on developing telematics solutions that leverage the company's cloud and information technology, security, global IP network and communications, and mobility and M2M technology platforms.

Of course, Verizon is the only big telco working the M2M opportunity. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile spinoff RACO Wireless are among the others catering to businesses that want to increase efficiency through this important technology.

That’s no surprise, given the M2M device connections worldwide are expected to grow from 62 million in 2012 to a whopping 2.1 billion in 2020, according to Analysys Mason.

Edited by Braden Becker

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Rich Tehrani,
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