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

Vodafone – Riding its Competitive Advantage to Expand in Adjacent Markets

ITCB-HarishTaoriSummary Bullets:

  • In its annual global analyst event, Vodafone emphasized its evolution as a global “Total Communications” service provider.
  • Planned new investments, under Project Spring, to enhance the network (NFV, SDN) and solutions (M2M, Cloud connect, UCaaS) capabilities globally.

Vodafone hosted its annual global analyst event this year in London. This blog post summarizes some of the key takeaways from that event, and analyzes the implications on industry and enterprises.

  • The key theme was Vodafone’s strategy to become a global total communications service provider. Vodafone is making concerted efforts to enable this strategy by expanding global network (fixed and mobile) reach and related communication services (cloud, mobility unified collaboration, and M2M) portfolios.
  • Vodafone has deep network reach in 60 countries with 211 fixed PoPs in 161 cities. In AMEA, Vodafone has recently added new PoPs in Philippines, Taiwan and 22 African countries expanding its network presence in 14 Asia-Pacific, three Middle East and 24 African countries. Vodafone intends to expand its global coverage to 92 countries by end of 2016. Under Project Spring, Vodafone commits to invest GBP 500 million in five years to scale up its network and solution capabilities, people and offices across Asia and Africa
  • Vodafone has witnessed good momentum in its M2M portfolio, especially from automotive, consumer electronics and utilities verticals. The acquisition of Cobra consolidated Vodafone’s position in automotive, as Cobra’s clientele includes Porsche, Ferrari, Renault, and Toyota. Furthermore, Cobra enables Vodafone to provide solutions for embedded and aftermarket automotive opportunities in 41 markets as well as in fleet management for rental, leasing, and sharing of cars.
  • Vodafone reiterated its competitive advantage in mobile networks. Leveraging its core capabilities, Vodafone is offering comprehensive enterprise mobility solutions. Vodafone is further extending its service portfolio in adjacent businesses – cloud and hosting, unified communications and collaboration. Currently these services are available in US and Europe and expected to come in AMEA by next year.
  • Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) is targeting 1,700 global MNCs. Its key value proposition for these customers is a consistent global SLA across Vodafone and partner networks. ‘Mobile First’ people and process initiatives are key themes among VGE customers. Vodafone has also created a business unit to target SMEs. SME products and solutions are expected to roll out in AMEA by next year.

Implications on SP and enterprise ICT buyers:

  • Vodafone – Vodafone’s ICT solutions are primarily available in Europe. It needs to ramp up efforts to promote its ICT solution portfolio in APAC and MEA, to be seen as an end-to-end solution provider for global MNCs interested in expanding their operations in emerging markets. Furthermore, the company has to articulate its value proposition, specifically for verticals, to differentiate itself from its global and regional competition.
  • Enterprises – Asian automotive OEMs can evaluate Vodafone’s capabilities to provide M2M solutions for Infotainment, connected cars and insurance companies for usage based insurance (UBI) service. Global and regional MNCs expanding their business outside Asia can consider Vodafone’s network and ICT solution capabilities for cloud, M2M, and unified communications/collaboration against similar offerings from other global and regional service providers.

Enterprise Mobility Strategy – An IT Imperative

Harish Taori

Harish Taori

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise IT teams are struggling to manage secured access to enterprise data and systems, standardization of platforms/mobile devices, monitoring personal vs. work related usage and unplanned growth of BYOD devices due to consumerization of IT.
  • Enterprises are investing in optimizing their business workflows, applications and user interfaces to derive the maximum value out of enterprise mobility initiatives.

Growing usage of individual liable mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and in some case even notebooks, is driving the first wave of unplanned adoption. Enterprises are forced to provide access to communication and collaboration applications like email, messaging and conferencing in a secured manner and to develop mobility related policies and guidelines to support usage of personal devices. As a result IT teams are struggling to manage the device and data security, secured access to enterprise systems, standardization of platforms and mobile devices and unplanned growth of BYOD devices due to consumerization of IT. Read more of this post

Has the Day for Affordable Multi-country/Multi-carrier M2M Deployments Finally Arrived?

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • We have been talking about Smart Roaming and Multi-IMSI solutions from Gieseke, Devrient and Gemalto for more than a year. At MWC last February, Telefonica demoed a solution that would allow cross-country connectivity at in-country rates for its partners in what is now called the M2M World Alliance, which includes Etisalat, KPN, NTT Docomo, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra and Vimpelcom, all of whom use Jasper Wireless’ Service Delivery Platform.
  • Telefonica and KPN both announced commercial availability of this long-awaited service on Dec. 17.  How important is this to their alliance, and is it a real threat to its competitors?

At least, in theory, global M2M agreements have had to deal with a number of obstacles when it comes to operationalizing roaming in a non-disruptive way. Not only are data roaming rates often prohibitively expensive, but guaranteeing seamless roaming with no interruptions in service, offering “identical” network performance across operators, and the ability to ensure that problems are solved rapidly are not trivial tasks. In addition, most operators that are providing connectivity, design and other professional services for large global deals have often told us that the “preferential” roaming rates they can offer with their partners are rolled into a total bundled offer price that is not prohibitively expensive. As long as they offer a global SIM that can be pre-installed in the factory and then used regardless of where the device is connecting, the total costs of global deployments are minimized. Conversely, large operators such as Vodafone and Orange, which do not necessarily have to roam across competitive carriers’ networks for pan-European deals, still have to deal with some performance and escalation issues when M2M assets are traversing across their own local operating companies’ footprints as well as when on partners’ networks. Read more of this post

Live from the Vodafone Industry Analyst Summit

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • What a difference a year makes! In 2012, Vodafone was just starting to make sense of its acquisition of Cable & Wireless; it is clear that the operator has made significant progress in its aim to become an ICT provider of fixed and mobile network services and IT solutions (or as Vodafone said “an ICT transformation provider with a mobile core”).
  • Key themes and discussions during Day 1 included: a significant sales and delivery restructuring, plans to enlarge its footprint in emerging countries, a focus on fixed and mobile security, the importance of SMEs as a customer segment, a new Carrier Services (wholesale) group, the ongoing process of providing consistency across its operating companies, and Vodafone’s journey up the value chain to provide managed and transformational services.

Day 1 of the Vodafone Industry Analyst Summit, held in London on November 6th and 7th, included deep dives on a wide variety of subjects relating to its Enterprise business. Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao kicked off the event, setting out the company vision to continue to be a strong player in the enterprise and a leader in emerging markets, with “selective” service innovation and cost efficiencies in place to help the company continue to thrive in a still recovering global economy. Presentations by Vodafone Group Enterprise, the new Carrier Services organization, a key M2M customer (BMW), Vodafone Global Enterprise, the new Cloud and Hosting services group, the M2M organization, (followed by a customer testimonial by GlobeTracker), and the Enterprise Products and Network Strategy organizations completed the plenary sessions. The afternoon was packed with “deeper dive” breakout sessions on M2M, Carrier Services, Vodafone Global Enterprise, and Cloud and Hosting Services. The discussions on the 7th will feature the Cable & Wireless integration, Vodafone’s partnership with BAE Systems for providing customers with network security, and a session on how Vodafone is “One company with local roots”. There are also demos on a number of M2M services, the One Net UC solution, and enterprise mobility management solutions. Read more of this post

Recent Mobile Acquisitions Remind Enterprises to Look for Vendors That Have Invested in MEAP

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile platforms signal success for enterprise application platforms vendors
  • Case in point: This week, Antenna Software was snatched up by Pegasystems

Two recent MEAP acquisitions were prompted by the need to fill out current portfolios in a sure-fire area of technology, and nothing spells success faster than the acquisition of mobile technology. Because time to market is everything, those involved in application platforms are realizing they cannot get up to speed in mobile platforms overnight and are wise to acquire companies which are most familiar with the standards, toolsets, and practices around this new breed of application infrastructure.  Read more of this post

Why Pivotal Cloud Foundry Needs a Mobile App Platform

 

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Pivotal and VMware announce a joint hybrid cloud integration effort called Pivotal CF
  • Arguments for why a mobile app platform will enhance the cloud offering

Pivotal, the VMware PaaS spin-off, received some of the limelight this week at VMware’s VMworld 2013, as the two companies announced plans to co-develop a hybrid PaaS for vSphere and vCloud, based on Cloud Foundry. Alongside VMware, Pivotal has already caught the attention of some notable industry names in recent months as it continues efforts to build out its ecosystem. Recent Pivotal wins include IBM and Savvis, which are using Cloud Foundry as their standard PaaS platforms beneath their own platform services, adding further validation to the cloud service. Read more of this post

Data Analysis Platforms for M2M: The Next Wave

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • The first generation of M2M platforms (service delivery platforms, or SDPs) provided connectivity-oriented management and control, such as service/SIM activation, real-time diagnostics and troubleshooting, and rate plan generation, with the best-known platforms in the market coming from third parties such as Jasper Wireless and Ericsson and operators such as Orange and Vodafone.
  • The second generation of M2M platforms added cloud-based application development tools as well as key functions such as remote device management, firmware/software upgrades and device-level remote diagnostics. Vendors such as Axeda and Sierra Wireless are well-known in this segment, while SAP is adding this kind of functionality on top of the Ericsson SDP. What’s next?

During the last five years, a variety of solutions have been deployed to set up wired or wireless connectivity between machines, sensors and other devices and the servers and systems that use the data collected from these machines to enhance processes and productivity. Enterprises can also get help via application platforms that aid in developing simple or complex apps to extract data, and manage/configure/update their end devices. What has come next is a focus on data analytics as a significantly important component of M2M deployments (as well as a value-added service that can be monetized by systems integrators and operators). Read more of this post

CTIA 2013’s Emerging Technology Awards for Enterprise Solutions

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • CTIA 2013, held last week in Las Vegas, was explicitly not about the enterprise, since that is still the domain of the fall CTIA show, MobileCon, until 2014.
  • However, in addition to a few enterprise announcements (see CTIA 2013: M2M With a Splash of Enterprise Mobility, May 24, 2013), there were also two sets of emerging technology awards given to enterprise solutions; one set was for Enterprise Cloud/Mobility and the other for Enterprise Security, Fraud and Privacy. Is this yet another way to derive a few meaningful enterprise insights from CTIA?

The following vendors and products won awards at CTIA under the Emerging Technology program:

Emerging Tech Award Winners – Enterprise/Cloud Mobility

  • LogMeIn, Cubby
  • Canvas, MyCanvas
  • Averail, Averail Access

Cubby is a secure, cloud-based document management/collaboration system for sharing/editing documents within workgroups, and features both client side and data side encryption, remote mobile lockout if desired or necessary, and multiple synchronization options. It’s positioned as similar to Box or DropBox, but with more security and unlimited synchronization. My Canvas allows any smartphone to be used in place of paper-based forms used for data entry, and allows businesses to create custom mobile apps that generate reports on this data. The data can then be shared with their customers via an Internet portal. Averail Access is a mobile content solution for the enterprise that provides employees an intuitive mobile app to access, manage and share business information without sacrificing enterprise security and control. It links directly to Sharepoint and Office 365 with support for Office docs, pdfs, images, video and audio files. Read more of this post

Mainstream Enterprises Still Struggling to Catch Up with the MDM/MAM Hype Cycle

Paula Musich

Paula Musich

Summary Bullets:

• Despite hype to the contrary, mobile device management and mobile application management is not mainstream

• Innovative vendors are out in front solving problems that most enterprises haven’t begun to even think about

The juxtaposition of this week’s strategic partnership announcement between Boxtone and Good Technology against our mid-October report on enterprise BYOD progress in 2012 serves as a great example of how big the disconnect is between the hype of MDM/MAM and reality of mainstream enterprise adoption of policies governing the use of employee-owned devices at work. The Boxtone/Good agreement calls for the integration of Good’s mobile application and data security functionality found in its Good Dynamics and Good for Enterprise products with BoxTone’s mobile device, analytics, and service management functions. The analytics piece, due in 2013, is especially intriguing. Planned instrumentation will allow enterprise IT to determine the frequency of use for mobile enterprise applications, monitor application performance and utilization, and monitor user behavior to learn whether enterprise mobile applications require end user training or ease of use enhancements. Such analytics will allow enterprises to get more bang for the development buck and insure desired productivity gains are achieved. Read more of this post