‘Live’ from CTIA: Day One at MobileCon

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • MobileCon (née CTIA Wireless) 2012 is nearly half over, and while it is by far the smallest Fall CTIA show yet, the major vendors in the enterprise mobility ecosystem showed up to demo their wares, hold informational sessions, and talk to the analyst community.  There has even been a sprinkling of announcements.
  • While the fate of the show itself may be in doubt, the growth of both the overall enterprise mobility market and the M2M segment in particular is apparent.  The usual suspects (operators, mobile device management/mobile application management vendors, smartphone manufacturers, m-health providers, UC enablers, mobile application ISVs, systems integrators, and M2M aggregators and technology suppliers) are all here.  So, what were some of the major announcement from Day One?

Sierra Wireless announced a major new partner, Amazon Web Services, which will be providing Sierra customers with its cloud-based infrastructure on which to run their M2M applications.  The Sierra AirVantage cloud (which provides asset, data, and device management) has been integrated with Amazon’s service to provide a joint offer for building and deploying M2M applications with no IT infrastructure costs. Continue reading “‘Live’ from CTIA: Day One at MobileCon”

What Does VMware Mean to You?

Jerry Caron – Senior Vice President, Analysis

Summary Bullets:                

  • VMware’s VMworld was a hit again, pulling in partners and customers alike
  • The buzz around VMware is about much more than simple virtualization software

I did not attend last week’s VMworld in Las Vegas, hosted of course by VMware, the virtualization software market leader. I wish I had, though. While timing and location prevented my own pilgrimage, Current Analysis was very well represented as were a who’s who of technology-market partners and a robust contingent of IT executives and managers. The reason why this event has become so important for so many is simple, but also profound: Certainly VMware caught lightning in a bottle with its virtualization software, but the company is also leveraging this rather arcane solution as a platform to help solve myriad other IT problems, both with and without partner support. Continue reading “What Does VMware Mean to You?”

Wireless: 802.11ac May Break Your Wired Network

M. Spanbauer
M. Spanbauer

Summary Bullets:

  • 802.11n, which capped out at a max of roughly 500 Mbps in ideal cases, never filled the 1 Gbps link with which many were connected, avoiding bottlenecks at the access port itself (though potentially congesting aggregation links).
  • 802.11ac, with its initial specification release capably supporting 1.3 Gbps throughput on a single AP, may force a ‘re-think’ on access point attachment and how traffic will be routed onto the physical infrastructure and ultimately back to the data center or services location.

Wireless enterprise networks are a must today for both efficiency and convenience.  More frankly, they are necessary to be competitive.  The market gets this, as indicated by the continued healthy growth of WLAN as a segment.  Originally, 100 Mbps links often connected 802.11a/b/g APs, and given that the top throughput was often less than the 54 Mbps throughput of 802.11g, no bottlenecks were encountered.  Then came 802.11n; in many cases, it was either proceeded by or coupled with a Gigabit network upgrade, sufficient to support the initial 150/300 Mbps and scaling to 600 Mbps (in a perfect world), as well as multiple radio technologies.  This is still well below the 1 Gbps links that in some cases supply connectivity and power (PoE) to the 802.11n access points.  However, with the next-generation 802.11ac specification nearing completion and its initial release throughput providing up to 1.3 Gbps connectivity, we reach the first throughput bottleneck from the AP to the wired environment.  No debate has come up yet in the public forums regarding how one would wire and architect an 11ac network, but it is certain to become an issue in the coming quarters as commercial products become available.  There is no specification for 10Gbase-T PoE currently, few (if any) access points in the past have had multiple Ethernet ports to connect to the network, and the current link technology employed (1GbE) will be oversubscribed.  Continue reading “Wireless: 802.11ac May Break Your Wired Network”

The Inseparability of IT and Mobility

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • It was clear at Mobile World Congress 2012 that mobility is no longer a thing, but a part of everything.
  • IT should move away from mobilizing applications and recognize that all (or most) applications are mobile.

The GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 event held last week in Barcelona was remarkable once again not only for its now-customary vastness in terms of number of attendees/exhibitors (unparalleled now, I believe, in the telecoms space), but also for its scope.  No longer is this just a showcase for cellular technology and mobile networking.  The event is now used by technology suppliers, software developers and service providers of all sorts to hobnob, eat tapas and chug powerful coffee.  There certainly was a mobility theme for all goings on; that’s the foundation, after all.  However, what is clear is that all things in IT or other walks of life must be mobile to reach their potential, or even to be relevant.  So, it isn’t so much that the MWC event has expanded to embrace all walks of technology life; rather, all walks of technology life have become mobile. Continue reading “The Inseparability of IT and Mobility”

Q&A from MDM/BYOD Webinar Provides New Insights

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators are concerned with getting their word out more effectively to enterprise buyers.
  • Technology providers are looking for validation on BYOD trends, segmentation strategies, and future platform requirements.

Current Analysis held a webinar on February 1st and 2nd focused on global trends in enterprise mobility, providing insights derived from a survey we conducted among 600 businesses last fall.  Attendees included a large and diverse number of technology providers, including operators, networking equipment vendors, security vendors, consultants, and application developers.  The questions posed to us during the Q&A session revealed some of the underlying concerns of these vendors as they seek to develop solutions for their business customers.  Most of these vendors are helping businesses deal with the huge surge in mobile usage among their employees (as well as their partners and customers), which increasingly includes at least some personal mobile devices used to conduct business. Continue reading “Q&A from MDM/BYOD Webinar Provides New Insights”

Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012

Jerry Caron - Vice President, Analysis

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise adoption of now-generation collaboration tools has been slower than expected
  • This could change in 2012 – if suppliers get the solutions right

The calendar made its ritual shift from one year to the next over the weekend – just another day, to be sure, but one that no doubt triggered a flurry of Facebook updates and a torrent of Twitter tweets with even casual users joining the devotees in contemporary online social revelry. Texting is so last century. And as for “Happy New Year” phone calls? Well, I did ring my octogenarian parents, and didn’t even use video. Continue reading “Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012”

Extending Corporate Video Conferencing to Mobile Devices

Brian Riggs - Research Director, Enterprise Software and Communications

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobility to be the next big product trend for enterprise video conferencing technology
  • There are a number of ways to extend corporate video conferencing solutions to mobile devices

The increasing adoption of video conferencing systems in the enterprise combined with the increasing adoption of video-capable mobile devices is set to both challenge and annoy IT departments. One of the problems is that the software and systems that deliver business-class video conferencing (from Cisco, IBM LifeSize, Magor, Microsoft, Polycom, Vidyo etc.) are completely different from the software that runs on the mobile devices wheedling their way into the enterprise as part of the BYOD phenomenon (from Apple, Google, Fuze, Skype, Tango, etc.). It’s unlikely that the two will learn to coexist peacefully anytime soon. Enterprise IT departments will continue to deploy on-premise or cloud-based video conferencing solutions that meet security and compliance requirements. And end users will separately use separate consumer-friendly video conferencing technology on their mobile devices with or without IT’s formal blessing. Continue reading “Extending Corporate Video Conferencing to Mobile Devices”

Operators and TEM: Is the Argument About the Fox Guarding the Henhouse Going Away?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Nearly all Tier 1 US and global mobile operators offer multi-carrier telecom expense management (TEM), providing voice and data usage information, billing reconciliation, and cost allocation, as well as advice on service/spend optimization.
  • But independent TEM software vendors and IT service providers claim operators can’t be objective about mobile spend and shouldn’t be trusted to advise customers on how to optimize mobile expenses.

TEM is important because it is often the first step taken by enterprises to take control over their mobility environments. Before plunging into more extensive deployments of mobile applications or investing in more devices and service plans, they need to take a granular snapshot of what devices and services they already have, and see if they are spending wisely across all their carriers. At first glance it would seem unlikely that they would go to one of their primary carriers to get advice on where to spend (or not to spend) their telecom budgets. However, nearly all global carriers are now offering this as a managed service, often using platforms from leading TEM software vendors. Vodafone Global Enterprise has taken this a step further by acquiring two TEM vendors (Quickcomm and TnT Expense Management) and setting up a separate TEM practice with add-on professional services. Continue reading “Operators and TEM: Is the Argument About the Fox Guarding the Henhouse Going Away?”

Systems Integrators vs. Mobile Operators: Which Are Best Suited for Enterprise Mobility Requirements?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • IT service providers have long-established relationships with large enterprises, offering a range of advisory and managed IT services that now includes managed mobility services.
  • Operators may provide managed wireline services to large enterprises, including  managed, secure VPNs, as well as a wealth of fixed and mobile access options.  They may also provide managed mobility.  How does an enterprise decide where to go for their mobility requirements?

Recent research conducted by Current Analysis shows that a relatively small percentage (25-35%) of businesses currently utilize external service providers for mobility management and security, but this is changing.

Continue reading “Systems Integrators vs. Mobile Operators: Which Are Best Suited for Enterprise Mobility Requirements?”

Addressing the Adoption of Tablets and Smartphones in the Enterprise

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • At a high level, U.S. businesses are taking similar strategic approaches to the introduction of both tablets and smartphones into the enterprise.
  • Not surprisingly, the majority of survey respondents want to buy these devices and manage them.

Current Analysis recently completed a survey of enterprises in the U.S. to determine strategic direction for the adoption of tablets and smartphones in enterprise networks. While it is often assumed that enterprises will approach the adoption of tablets and smartphones differently (with tablets treated as simple laptop replacements), our research suggests this is not the case. Continue reading “Addressing the Adoption of Tablets and Smartphones in the Enterprise”