Following on from my last post (Making sense of M2M & telemetry) I’ve been thinking about how sensors, electronics, communications and IT all combine to create the world of M2M, and how we M2M / telemetry professionals view the sector through our own unique pair of spectacles. Last week I was at a conference in Munich where the focus was telecontrol and the users were primarily involved with factory automation and water & waste water. In both the sectors the traditional way of gathering & monitoring data has been via SCADA systems and the solutions were very much focussed on how data would be interfaced to such SCADA systems.
This morning I received a news story about how Cloud Computing was being used in Portugal for water network monitoring, which is quite a different approach to that used on the Acquedotto Pugliese in Italy where a SCADA system sits at the centre of the solution. The Aquas de Cascais are the first Portugese water utility to adopt such a solution for leakage detection and it shows to me that whilst SCADA may suit some, cloud computing will suit others.
Just as experience and skill is needed to apply the rights sensor technology (see Making sense of M2M & telemetry) then experience and skill is need to select the right data collection platform. The winners in M2M are going to be companies that can encompass different technologies adopting a flexible approach to data collection, understanding the risks and legacy issues within their clients internal infrastructure.