Hi-tech water monitoring to top up growth at Tayside firm

Scott Edgar, operations director at M2M Cloud, said 2020 could be 'a big year' for the firm. Picture: contributed.
Scott Edgar, operations director at M2M Cloud, said 2020 could be 'a big year' for the firm. Picture: contributed.
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A Dundee-based software developer is preparing for a “big” 2020 after securing its first public sector contract to supply water-monitoring technology that taps into the internet of things (IoT).

M2M Cloud has secured a competitively tendered three-year agreement to provide sensors for more than 100 Highland Council buildings with its Neptune offering.

The technology, named after the Roman god of the sea, involves keeping tabs on the temperature of water in buildings, making sure it stays within guideline limits, as the liquid can otherwise develop harmful bacteria such as legionella.

The system involves attaching sensors to pipes, taking temperature readings every ten seconds, and notifying the building user if anything is awry.

Data captured by the devices is transferred to a central point for analysis every 15 minutes, which can then be viewed on a mobile phone or other device.

Previously, engineers had to travel to sites, take temperatures manually on a monthly basis, and log the results on return – which M2M said was “expensive and time-consuming”.

Neptune came about following the success of an initial proof of concept project developed by Censis – the innovation centre for sensor and imaging systems and IoT. The project was the first of its kind in Scotland, it is claimed, and saw several companies compete to deliver the technology on a larger scale.

Additionally, M2M said Neptune complements its existing Lighthouse product ranges, which provide asset security and mapping services respectively, and is stated to be one of the first commercial products to use the new national IoT Scotland network.

After the initial success of Neptune, M2M has partnered with Dart Valley Systems – part of the multi-national Franke Group UK – to manage demand, help with installation, and boost marketing.

Scott Edgar, operations director at M2M Cloud, said: “I’ve never known a time like it in my 20 years in the software development industry – we’ve been almost overwhelmed by the demand for what Neptune can offer. Neptune helps ensure a water system is compliant and also helps with planned preventative maintenance schemes.

“[It] can also help organisations react quicker to problems and target resources to the right place, saving time and money, while lowering carbon emissions. The market is potentially vast.

“The product has helped us win our first public sector tender, which has given us huge encouragement. It has also given us a brand new revenue stream and will be a key part of our business in the months and years ahead… If it goes as well as we believe it can, 2020 will be a big year for M2M Cloud.”

Stephen Milne, business development manager at Censis, added: “M2M Cloud has developed a piece of technology that shows how IoT could transform the way many businesses work and how services are delivered.

The potential for its Neptune devices is massive and it marks the beginning of a very exciting period for the business. It is very encouraging to see a Scottish SME take our proof of concept project to the next level and turn it into a commercially viable product that could help grow its business.”