Sprint & T-Mobile Merger Looking Real: What Does It Mean for the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Industry ‘chatter’ is intensifying as a Sprint and T-Mobile merger attempt seems increasingly likely.
  • Given each company’s relatively weak position in enterprise services, a combination will not result in a superior enterprise mobility portfolio, at least at first.

Sprint and T-Mobile merger rumors have been circulating for many years, as the number two and three mobile operators are in many ways a likely pairing to go after Verizon and AT&T, possibly expanding business focus, lowering prices and improving customer responsiveness. Read more of this post

To Which Partners Do Businesses Look for Help with IoT Projects?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Businesses looking for help with IoT deployments want companies with experience, in-house resources, and complete solutions.
  • When asked what they look for from suppliers for advisory, professional services, and other IoT requirements, the responses were diverse. Telecom service providers and IoT platform vendors appear to have unseated ITSPs and others for some key tasks.

A recent GlobalData survey of 1,000 global businesses deploying IoT projects included questions on the use of outside consultants and vendors to meet various requirements. The kinds of partners that were considered included equipment vendors (e.g., Cisco, Huawei), platform vendors (e.g., Ericsson, Cisco Jasper, GE, PTC), telecom services providers (e.g., AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone), IT services companies (e.g., Accenture, HPE, IBM), and software providers (e.g., Microsoft, Jive Software). The partner capabilities under consideration were technical consulting, systems integration, device and connectivity management, application development, proof of concept and testing, business consulting, and data analytics. The charts below show the full set of responses to these questions. Read more of this post

Live from LiveWorx: PTC Boosts IoT Morale and Momentum

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • LiveWorx brings together a meaningful slice of the IoT ecosystem and boosts momentum for PTC’s role in empowering the market.
  • Cisco’s stats from Monday on the high percentage of IoT project failures splashed cold water on the industry, but PTC is not letting this impact momentum.

PTC’s LiveWorx, still in progress, is an annual lovefest for the IoT industry, with the additional benefit (to PTC) of boosting/cementing its already strong presence within the industrial IoT sector. The company’s ThingWorx platform competes with other IoT application enablement platforms, but is strongly differentiated. It is a purpose-built offer for manufacturing and a comprehensive platform that appeals to a growing number of PTC’s installed base which use its other offerings, including its CAD (Creo) tool and its Product Lifecycle Manufacturing and Service Management software. This year, the event was fortified by a major new release of the platform, ThingWorx 8, which adds enhanced platform capabilities and role-specific applications for engineering and manufacturing, along with new partners, more expansive educational programs, and a new collection of service offerings for customers and partners. Read more of this post

What Enterprises Can Expect from Enterprise Mobility Services Providers

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis’s recently updated reports on global enterprise mobility services providers show relatively static portfolios.
  • There were some notable exceptions, with some providers focused on new business tariffs, network upgrades, and security enhancements, along with portfolio restructuring to add simplicity.

In October, Current Analysis updated its profiles on the leading global enterprise mobility services providers, including both operator-led or operator-affiliated companies (AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, DT/T-Systems, BT, Orange Business Services, and Telefonica) and IT service providers (IBM, CSC, HPE, and Accenture). While some aspects of these providers’ portfolios have been stagnant (or stable, depending on one’s interpretation) over the last six months, two things stand out. First, while portfolios may not have not changed dramatically, this does not imply that service providers believe there are limited growth opportunities in the market; and, second, for those companies that did add new services or restructured their portfolios, differentiation is important. As a result, pricing or service elements may need recrafting to meet customer needs more effectively and competitively. Read more of this post

Service Provider Selection for IoT Varies Substantially by Vertical Industry – Good News for Telcos

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • A recent Current Analysis survey on IoT investments showed that companies vary substantially on what kind of service provider they trust to provide them with consulting and professional services.
  • While equipment vendors and professional/IT service providers were selected most often, enterprises in several verticals consistently preferred communication service providers or software providers for integration and app development.

Enterprises investing in IoT deployments nearly always need help along the way. Some go to third parties for proof-of-concept testing and upfront business and technical consulting, while others need help in assembling and managing disparate hardware and software elements. Many also need an outside developer for application development and many go to professional service providers for data analytics. In a survey conducted this spring among 1,000 U.S. and global enterprises, Current Analysis asked businesses what kind of provider they sought out for these functions; choices included equipment vendors, software providers, professional/IT service providers, and communication service providers (CSPs). Read more of this post

IoT Security: Still a Work in Progress

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Security is still the top concern and often prevents companies from launching deployments that would otherwise provide benefits, according to a recent IoT survey conducted by Current Analysis among 1,000 businesses worldwide.
  • Operators are finally addressing some of these fears with assorted services and technologies – either their own or through an assortment of partner solutions.

A survey conducted recently by Current Analysis among 1,000 enterprises on their investments in IoT technology disclosed a fact that should not surprise anyone who follows the IoT market: security is still a key concern. One-third of the businesses surveyed listed it as their top worry, and 17% of the companies surveyed that had evaluated but chosen not to implement an IoT project cited security concerns as the primary reason. Read more of this post

Live at LiveWorx: Industrial IoT in All Its Glory

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• At LiveWorx, PTC showed off exciting new capabilities for Industrial IoT, including the use of Augmented Reality, a potential game-changer for both IoT providers and customers

• The IoT ecosystem, in demos and panels, also showed off new wares, but many acknowledged a long road to meaningful revenue and profits

PTC LiveWorx, held in Boston from June 7th through 9th, is an annual “love fest” for the industrial IoT industry – the majority of presentations and demos showed off new technologies, software, hardware, analytics, dashboards, application enablers, vertical solutions, and consulting services that point to an even more compelling future for industrial IoT. In particular, the use of augmented reality, which PTC now has in its arsenal through its acquisition of Vuforia in late 2015, has the potential to allow customers to sell, demo, manage, operate, and troubleshoot their products more effectively, and cost-effectively prototype new features.
Read more of this post

IIoT Survey Shows Deployments Are Still Small and Predominantly Local or Domestic

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • A Current Analysis survey completed in April shows that most IoT deployments are under 2,500 devices regardless of region or company size
  • The survey also showed that most deployments are domestic or local; only 28% cross country borders for regional or global use cases.

A comprehensive survey focused on enterprises that have deployed IoT solutions was completed by Current Analysis in April 2016. Among the large number of interesting trends were the relatively small number of devices deployed by respondents and the local nature of most deployments, regardless of company size or region. For example: Read more of this post

IT Service Provider Mobility Update: How Are Providers Enhancing Portfolios to Better Serve the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • IoT is a strong focus for all ITSPs, but there are multiple organizational strategies used to accommodate the growth opportunity without diluting the ‘cash cow’ of traditional enterprise mobility.
  • Mobile app development is evolving to better meet the needs of customers with faster development tools, use of open source resources, and new development and delivery options.

Current Analysis provides biannual update reports on the mobility services of key IT service providers such as Accenture, IBM, T-Systems, BT Global Services, HPE and CSC. Our most recent updates show some key trends.

As IoT grows in importance (but remains significantly lower in revenue than traditional enterprise mobility services), IT service providers are utilizing different strategies to balance the growth opportunity in IoT while maintaining the focus on the currently larger market of developing apps, providing advisory services, and offering EMM and security solutions. Some examples follow: Read more of this post

TEM Services are Evolving in Both Predictable and Unpredictable Directions

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• TEM Services have been useful for enterprises to track usage and mobile service expenditures, reconcile invoices across carriers, and optimize service plans

• The latest crop of TEM services encompass fixed and mobile, IT expenses, unified communications usage analytics, and usage and expense management for market data by investment firms

A recent set of Current Analysis company reports analyzing telecom expense management (TEM) services by independent providers such as Asentinel, Tangoe, Ezwim, Calero and MDSL show a fascinating evolution. These companies used to offer software that aggregated expenses from multiple mobile operators used by their business customers, and performed invoice reconciliation together with outsourced dispute management and service plan optimization. Looking at these companies’ latest sets of services, it is clear that their portfolios have changed considerably. For example:

• Predictably, TEM providers now offer their platforms as SaaS, which they tend to call lifecycle management services

• Not only do TEM providers analyze both fixed and mobile service usage and expenditures; most providers now offer IT expense management, looking at items such as data center/hosting charges and cloud services. Read more of this post