- MWC is always exciting, even for core enterprise mobility players that are offering new capabilities, forging new partnerships and acquiring new technologies.
- After CES, it became clear that when it comes to M2M and IoT, the connected car, the connected home and wearables are the big themes; MWC always adds a European flair with smart city demos and announcements.
As my schedule begins to overload three weeks before Mobile World Congress, there seem to be emerging patterns that reflect what we will come away with at the show. These clues are based on the vendors that reach out to analysts for update briefings, the titles and descriptions of keynote sessions, and the invitations to demos, events and dinners by the enterprise mobility ecosystem.
For those who follow enterprise mobility, we have already been so overstimulated by the VMware acquisition of AirWatch that we are asking ourselves what new mergers, acquisitions or partnerships can possibly follow this announcement with equivalent market impact. Probably none, but we expect the coming together of technologies that blend in-office desktop technology and mobility management will continue to be a trend. So, for example, security software companies will continue to ramp up their control of mobile endpoints; carriers and systems integrators will continue to blend UC, collaboration, virtualization and mobility management to offer more of a holistic ‘workspace management’ capability; the few remaining independent MDM vendors will be coyly looking for buyers while simultaneously touting their independence; enterprises will be entranced by providers of foolproof development tools for mobile applications that work across an even larger number of device types than before (including Windows Phone, which is finally seeing some enterprise traction); and B2C vendors will continue to launch solutions for invigorating businesses’ relationships with their end customers using social media, mobile marketing, mobile couponing, mobile payments and big data analysis. In short: mostly the same old stuff, but it’s still evolving, morphing, growing and generating revenue.
In the M2M world, we already witnessed at CES the huge push behind connected car, connected home and wearables technologies. This will continue at MWC, but the more traditional M2M players on the industrial side will be showing up and showing off solutions such as cloud-based application development platforms, data reporting and analysis tools, and remote monitoring solutions that allow business customers to start generating revenues from M2M, not just be more productive through process automation. In addition, smart cities, smart utilities, smart healthcare, smart fleets, smart retail and smart manufacturing will join wholeheartedly into the mix of announcements and partnership news.