COLOGNE, Germany -- Slated for demonstration at the 2013 Eu'Vend trade fair are new machine-to-machine (M2M) commerce solutions for the vending industry from Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany). The show is set for Sept. 19 through 21 at the Cologne Fairgrounds.
"We offer vending machine manufacturers and operators future-proof solutions based on M2M," said Jürgen Hase, vice-president of the company's M2M Competence Center. "With these solutions, they can monitor their equipment, increase their productivity and increase sales.
"Also, cashless payments at the vending machines with an NFC-enabled cellphone will be possible in the future," Hase added.
Deutsche Telekom's M2M solutions are designed not only to simplify processes, but also to have a direct impact on sales and profits. For example, vending machines can automatically reorder at a present filling level, enabling the vending machine operator to optimize filling schedules. The solutions package also monitors the current cash inventory and raises alarm if there are burglary attempts. These features result in a considerable reduction in downtime due to faulty machines or empty columns, Deutsche Telekom reported.
Existing machines can be upgraded quickly with the appropriate module. This module transfers the collected vending machine data to a Vendon server over a mobile communications connection across Deutsche Telekom's high-availability network. Vendon (Marupe, Latvia) is a Deutsche Telekom solutions partner.
Data are processed centrally, and can then be displayed on the vending machine operator's PC by use of a Web browser -- and if desired, processed further by using compatible enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
Vending machine operators can also compare the data collected to reach conclusions that will optimize each location. Measures to promote sales such as price adjustments can be carried out remotely, and their impact can be recorded online for analysis.
Deutsche Telekom will also demonstrate a further step into the future of mobile payment: Existing vending machines can be upgraded to enable cashless payment using an NFC-capable cellphone. This means that patrons always can buy a drink or a snack even when they are out of cash. Bonus programs and even social vending -- campaigns conducted through social networks such as Facebook or Twitter -- will be possible in the future as well, the company reported.
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies. It sees machine-to-machine technology as a central growth area and, for this reason, has relied from the outset on an international partner program. Today, this partner network includes more than 600 companies in 56 countries. Together with partners in lending and banking, Deutsche Telekom is developing solutions in the area of payment for simple and secure payment by cellphone using NFC technology.