Partnering on M2M

nPhase, Avnet Applied Computing Solutions ally on machine-to-machine technology solutions

nPhase, Avnet Applied Computing Solutions ally on machine-to-machine technology solutions

Chicago — March 1, 2004 — nPhase, a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, and Avnet Applied Computing Solutions, an integrator of computing solutions, are partnering to combine their software engineering, solution design, system integration, lifecycle management and monitoring services into a single offering in order to support what they see as the growing need for companies to connect machines, computer infrastructure and people together through wireless technology.

The partners say that the joint solution will also allow product manufacturers to create new, recurring revenue streams, differentiate their products from competitors and provide service and support with increased speed and efficiency.

For example, a manufacturer could embed M2M technology in equipment to be deployed in the field. The equipment could then relay its status to the manufacturer as part of a service agreement, so that when the equipment requires repair, the manufacturer is automatically alerted and can dispatch a service team.

"Combining nPhase's enterprise-class M2M technology and its 7x24 operations center with Avnet Applied Computing Solutions' technology integration and interface development capabilities provides manufacturers with a seamless M2M solution for a variety of end-user environments," said Troy Blanchette, senior vice president at Avnet. "Through this alliance, Avnet Applied Computing Solutions can now not only provide our customers with custom M2M computing technology, but we can also help them operate and service the complete solution."

Both nPhase and Avnet Applied Computing Solutions have developed strategic relationships with Nokia for wireless connectivity that, the two partners say, strengthen the M2M initiative on a global level. "One of Nokia's objectives has been to spur significant adoption of M2M in the marketplace by working with the leading players," said Joel Buys, sales director for M2M in the Americas region for Nokia. "nPhase and Avnet Applied Computing Solutions represent an optimal channel to globally deploy M2M solutions."

The solution offered through nPhase and Avnet Applied Computing Solutions combines custom-built devices that will interface with a manufacturer's machines, various communications options, enterprise class software and a 24x7 network operations center. As a player in the emerging M2M market, nPhase focuses on delivering tailored M2M solutions based upon customer-specified business requirements. The company provides packaged M2M solutions under an application service provider (ASP) model.

"One of the compelling factors that attracted us to Avnet Applied Computing Solutions was their 'private label' philosophy," said Steve Pazol, nPhase CEO. "Our collaborative approach to solution development and deployment with Avnet Applied Computing Solutions makes it easy for product manufacturers to add M2M capabilities to their products. This gives our customers the potential to enter new markets, differentiate themselves from their competitors and achieve recurring revenue by providing a valuable service to their end customers."

The new alliance with Avnet augments nPhase's existing solutions by providing hardware engineering, design support and integration capabilities. Avnet will now build the hardware interfaces for nPhase's GSM modules, plus integrate, install and service the technology for manufacturers. Avnet's supplier relationships, financial resources and international logistics infrastructure will deliver support for every phase of the M2M product lifecycle, the two companies said.

"The partnership between Nokia, Avnet and nPhase is unique in the industry," said Ian Barkin, managing director of the Focal Point Group, an M2M research firm. "nPhase is a best-in-class M2M solutions provider. Now, with access to Avnet Applied Computing Solutions' services expertise and Nokia's brand and product offering, nPhase gains the scope and resources of a global player. We've long said that multi-company partnerships are critical for success in the M2M market and expect great things from this triumvirate."

Many manufacturers today are looking at extending after-sale services as a complement to products. After-sale services may involve a wide range of services that are provided in support of the sale of products, such as product installation, maintenance, repairs, extended warranty and replacement parts services. nPhase and Avnet said that the after-sale services for M2M solutions they will provide can help manufacturers develop these new business models without incurring risks such as large capital investments in technology and resources.