Highs and Lows of MobileCon

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:                

  • MobileCon, held from October 16-18th in San Jose, was the last trade show of its kind, as CTIA prepares to merge its bi-annual shows (roughly divided in 2013 into enterprise mobility this October and “everything else wireless” last spring) and re-emerge a bigger and better show next fall. Needless to say, there was a lot of the usual grumbling among exhibitors about lack of leads and many more vendors than buyers.
  • However, many of the leading enterprise MDM and mobile security vendors showed up to demo their wares, and a few really interesting companies appeared on analysts’ radar screens with innovative solutions. Carriers were largely absent, although Verizon demoed Isis/NFC-enabled payment solutions, and Sprint hosted a “hackathon” in which developers had a few hours to come up with reasonably usable mobile apps using state of the art development tools and enabler.

So if lack of enthusiasm and sales leads constituted the “low lights”, what were the highlights? For me they included talking to innovative companies like GLOBO and Macheen. GLOBO focuses on the nascent SMB BYOD segment and is a $100 million, 17 year old company traded on the London Stock Exchange. It has been white labeling to 20 operators in 30 countries a suite of services under the brand name of “GO!” which make features phones act like smartphones. This core business and its infrastructure provides GLOBO with capital for expansion into new areas. GLOBO now offers an app store downloadable GO Office application which provides a secure container, secure browser, secure camera utility, secure peer to peer messaging solution for team communications, and an application development utility called app zone in which codeless drag and drop apps can be deployed on all major OSs. GLOBO acquired a little-known MDM vendor named Notify, to provide it with a basic MDM platform as well. GLOBO also offers “Enterprise Mobility in a Box” for SMBs which includes all of the above plus ten Microsoft Office 365 licenses, for $699 a year with 10 Gig of cloud storage per device per year.  GLOBO has an SMB-friendly distribution channel, which includes Dell, Staples, Office Depot, and Tiger Direct, tech distributor Ingram Micro, and major league SIs such as IBM Global Services. Continue reading “Highs and Lows of MobileCon”

Enterprises Should Not Yet Turn Their Backs on BlackBerry

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • BlackBerry’s travails mean that enterprises should consider preparing a migration strategy to other platforms.
  • BlackBerry’s enterprise solutions such as BES 10 and BB IM remain compelling solutions with a future.

What to do with a problem like BlackBerry?  With losses of $965 million (USD) for Q2 2013, revenues down 49% year-over-year and an announcement that 45% of its workforce will be laid off, it seems like the end is nigh for the Canadian firm.  The obvious conclusion is therefore for ICT managers of companies utilising BlackBerry hardware (handsets or servers) to begin working out their migration path to Android, iOS or Windows Mobile.  Similarly, when considering BYOD solutions, there seems no need to make long-term plans for BlackBerry devices.  Certainly, the dominance of Android and iOS-based devices means that these two operating systems should be at the forefront of mobile application design and mobile security policies.  BlackBerry’s future in the mobile device market does indeed seem bleak. Continue reading “Enterprises Should Not Yet Turn Their Backs on BlackBerry”

Mobility Will Shape the Contact Center of the Future

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Technological developments are making customer service for mobile customers simple, convenient and very effective across many vertical markets and for a select group of special, high-net-value clients.
  • Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, delivery systems and sophisticated contact center applications these mobile systems and customer service applications are coming from new and very agile sources and spreading quickly.

In previous blogs I speculated about how mobility was affecting the contact center in terms of the end user customer, the agent and the contact center supervisor. Admittedly, I was simply projecting out a few years and commenting on how current technology was changing basic factors such as where the agent worked, the channel from which the customer entered customer support, and how the supervisor could monitor his/her center. Recent conversations with contact center application developers and people who manage centers have caused me to extend my vision further into the future. Continue reading “Mobility Will Shape the Contact Center of the Future”

Microsoft Will Finally Have Its Own Devices After Buying Nokia

ITCB-TimBanting
Tim Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • In order to increase revenue in the “post-PC” era, Microsoft needs to create a compelling proposition to attract consumers and business buyers in foundational smartphone and tablet markets.
  • To fulfill its vision of becoming a devices and services company and to maximize profit, Microsoft needs to decouple its reliance on its current platform partners through building its own hardware. Nokia provides the much needed means of doing so.

My old school badge on my blazer read “Nemo Sibi Nascitur” (Latin: “No one is born unto himself alone”) highlighting the need to work together and support each other, something that true partnerships are all about. Continue reading “Microsoft Will Finally Have Its Own Devices After Buying Nokia”

VMware and Collaboration: What a Long Strange Trip it’s About to Become

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • First VMware pulls back from an early file sharing and sync tool; then it sells its email platform to Telligent. So, what’s left for collaboration at VMware?
  • In a unique but potentially risky move, the company has thrown its enterprise social networking offering into the waiting arms of its endpoint management suite, VMware Horizon.

When I arrived at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco last week, I didn’t expect much in the way of razzle-dazzle from VMware’s End User Computing product group. This conference has historically resembled a three ring circus, spinning around the many wonders of workload virtualization. On that, the conference did not disappoint, featuring much ado over both software defined networking and hybrid cloud services. Continue reading “VMware and Collaboration: What a Long Strange Trip it’s About to Become”

América Móvil’s KPN Interest: Sweep MNC Visions Aside, It’s About the Mobile Subscribers

Brian Washburn
Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • It is tempting, but probably wrong, to expect América Móvil’s bid for KPN to have a global MNC angle.
  • América Móvil’s track record shows preference for mobile subscribers; KPN’s divesting E-Plus with Telefónica likely spurred the proposed takeover.

Billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is known for making bold moves with strategic investments.  When Carlos Slim-owned América Móvil increased its investments in KPN and Telekom Austria in 2012 by investing billions of euros, the strategic business synergy seemed obvious. When it comes to serving multinational corporations (MNCs), América Móvil and Telefónica are rivals throughout Latin America.  Both competitors can go cross-border into North America easily enough, to extend services across North America. Continue reading “América Móvil’s KPN Interest: Sweep MNC Visions Aside, It’s About the Mobile Subscribers”

MPOS in Asia: The Move from Niche to Mainstream Has Begun

Tim Dillon
Tim Dillon
Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile payments have failed thus far to reach their full potential as a transaction option for consumers – principally due to fragmentation in payment options and a lack of strong trusted service managers (TSMs) to broker services delivery between all parties.
  • Mobile penetration in Asia has continued to grow dramatically, and recent intra-region payment initiatives, specifically via China Mobile, Korea Telecom and NTT DoCoMo, should accelerate adoption of mobile payments and create a MPOS market of approximately $500 billion (USD) by 2017 across Asia-Pacific.

Along with its cousin, NFC, mobile payment solutions have been the long-promised answer to an issue without a question.  The technology has been available for quite some time and those of us that are of a more mature (ahem, read old) generation fondly recollect the early mobile payment solutions of the late 1990s.  Adoption, however, has been slow, and for many consumers, there is uncertainty as to why mobile payment solutions are necessary. Continue reading “MPOS in Asia: The Move from Niche to Mainstream Has Begun”

The New Analytics: Do Android Devices Dream of Electric Sheep?

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • We are already living in the midst of some very smart mobile devices which are capable of capturing the physical, situational, operational and even emotional facets of the human machine.
  • So, why not donate this ‘big data’ to better serve ourselves and the greater good?

Being a hopeful believer in synchronicity (or at least a believer in the potential of coincidence), my ears perked up late last week when the third vendor in as many weeks mentioned the coming ‘Internet of Things’ during three seemingly unrelated discussions around analytics, collaboration and business apps.  Obviously, the idea of smart, interconnected devices has reached some sort of significant meme threshold for major firms IBM, SAP and VMware, helped no doubt by some excellent marketing from Cisco. Continue reading “The New Analytics: Do Android Devices Dream of Electric Sheep?”

The Event Stream Is Dead; Long Live Employee Engagement

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • If this year’s E2 Conference is any indicator of things to come, the idea of a universal ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’ is dead.
  • Instead, industry leaders from the likes of SAP and IBM are touting a more engaged notion of transparency and context.

I always look forward to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference (or the E2 Conference, as it is now called), because it is one of the few general trade shows dedicated to the broader issue of enterprise collaboration.  It’s also housed within the great city of Boston, which is always a pleasure to visit.  Where else can you expect to find true rivals (Jive, SAP and IBM, for instance) openly discuss strategic issues such as the changing role of enterprise social networking?  During one such panel comprised of these same companies, IBM’s Alistair Rennie addressed the importance of mobility, saying that having a mobile client for this or that platform shouldn’t be the prime objective.  Rather, user engagement should be the top priority for vendors and customers alike. Continue reading “The Event Stream Is Dead; Long Live Employee Engagement”

Mobilizing Companies in Asia-Pacific: A Look into the Enterprise Mind

Tim Dillon
Tim Dillon

Summary Bullets:

  • BYOD is a distraction that prevents companies from thinking clearly about mobility.  Companies seeking to drive benefits from mobility within the organization are those that have moved beyond the ‘which device are you using?’ discussion.  Instead, the ones creating efficiencies, competitive advantage and positive change are those that have concentrated on mobilizing business processes – sales, marketing, suppliers, internal communications and executives.
  • Organisations still struggle with business cases for mobility; for many, the starting point has been a CEO lasciviously fondling an iPad and wanting to use it at work.  For an effective mobility deployment, companies need to create employee profiles, risk assessments and use-case scenarios that are holistic in nature and span devices, policy, infrastructure, applications and security.

As Advisory Analyst in Asia-Pacific to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange, I had the pleasure of chairing the two-day inaugural Asia-Pacific event held in Singapore during April 2013.  This post attempts to capture the key areas of discussion and highlight important takeaways for all IT managers struggling with the challenges of mobility. Continue reading “Mobilizing Companies in Asia-Pacific: A Look into the Enterprise Mind”