Where Does HTML5 Fit into the Mobile User Experience?

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Emerging Web browser standards such as HTML5 promise mobile Web apps the features they and we so richly deserve.
  • But have high powered browsers leveled the playing field between desktop and device as well as between native and mobile code? Not according to Facebook.

Software development is expensive, but it is especially costly in the realm of mobility. Developers must contend with the big three (iOS, Android and Windows 8/Mobile/RT) and maybe even BlackBerry, WebOS and others. For each target platform, they must often employ vastly different languages and authoring systems.  Continue reading “Where Does HTML5 Fit into the Mobile User Experience?”

SMS Texting About to Go the Way of the Dodo Bird

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Research firm Informa has found that traditional SMS text messaging traffic was eclipsed by chat app traffic for the first time during 2012.
  • Mobile chat apps from BlackBerry, Apple, WhatsApp and others continue to eat into carrier text messaging revenue with freely available chat services, but this emerging cacophony of services may end up costing IT pros as well.

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.  As I write this blog post, I think I can actually hear the sound of my old 14.4k modem crackle into life back in 1992 as it jacks into what was then the known online universe, namely CompuServe.  You see, SMS is apparently dead or at least dying.  Like the Princess phone, punch cards and of course CompuServe itself, that 20-year old bastion of sanity, of reliable, ubiquitous and above all ‘simple’ text-based communications has had its day. Continue reading “SMS Texting About to Go the Way of the Dodo Bird”

Step Three in Mobilizing Your Contact Center – Let Management Roam

Ken Landoline
Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • The ubiquitous nature of tablets and smartphones, coupled with the breadth of network access now made available via private and public clouds are making these endpoints valuable tools in managing systems and business processes remotely.
  • Changes in the contact center are occurring rapidly based on new and advanced technologies and the supervisory role of the management team will be affected positively as the use of tablets and smartphones allow supervisors to manage agents and processes more effectively, while roaming inside or outside the enterprise.

In my two previous contact center mobility blogs, I discussed making agents mobile by sending them home and providing a seamless customer experience via a smartphone. Recently while walking the aisles of the Enterprise Connect 2013 exposition this year something got my attention very quickly. Smartphones and tablets were everywhere and their use is transitioning from being a personal communication endpoint to a tool that can be used to simplify and enhance the user interface for demonstration and management purposes. A specific example of a contact center company making this transition is Voice4Net, a provider interactive voice response (IVR) and contact center applications for the enterprise, The company was introducing its new contact center management interface based on the iPad, to be used by contact center supervisors working remotely. The time to mobilize the contact center management team is now upon us. Continue reading “Step Three in Mobilizing Your Contact Center – Let Management Roam”

Are M2M Communications Secure?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • If M2M grows the way the ecosystem hopes it will, there will be millions and even billions of end points sending continuous (as well as more sporadic) data across wired and wireless networks, including proprietary and mission-critical pieces of information about customers and businesses
  • What are operators, systems integrators, and security software and services specialists doing about this? Why doesn’t security seem to be discussed as openly as other M2M requirements?

When holding briefings with operators involved in M2M, security and privacy issues come up occasionally. Generally mobile operators offer APNs, which means that an M2M device is connected to the customer’s private IP network or cloud rather than directly to the carrier’s wireless network or the public internet. This provides a level of built-in network security but doesn’t deal with breaches that come through a corrupted end-point.  Nor does it always prevent unwarranted or malicious access to data behind the firewall. Adding encryption to sensors or other low-end M2M endpoints let alone putting it in a chipset or module may be overly expensive, as is adding end to end encryption to the entire data flow in between the “machine” and wherever the collected data is being sent. SIM cards within embedded modules generally have some level of built-in authentication, but how about application security, device OS security, or the kind of proactive security practiced routinely for remote laptops and mobile devices such as frequently updated anti-virus/spam/denial of service software, intelligent threat detection, and all-purpose managed security services?  Continue reading “Are M2M Communications Secure?”

What Do Recent Reorganizations Tell Us About Global Operator Strategies?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • In February 2013, Orange Business Services launched Orange Mobile Enterprise, a unified organization for offering global mobility/M2M to MNCs.  Also in February, Deutsche Telekom announced a new organization, Business Excellence, to unify all of its B2B activities within one unit.  Around the same time, NTT DoCoMo launched its ‘Smart Life’ business model, shifting to a focus on (mostly consumer-facing) services involving media, commerce, M2M and finance/payments.
  • There were also reorganizations in 2012 at Telefonica, Vodafone and BT GS in which Telefonica Global Solutions and Vodafone’s Group Enterprise organization, respectively, were announced, while BT GS reorganized around five regions and nine verticals.  With six Tier 1 global operators streamlining their organizations over the last six months, we ask:  What are the common and uncommon themes in these launches?  Moreover, what is happening in the global operator market that requires these new units?

Global operators are focused on providing telecommunications and IT services both to domestic enterprises and MNCs (as well as consumers, of course, with increasingly blurry lines between segments due to consumerization and BYOD).  This focus includes both fixed and mobile connectivity services, value-added professional and IT services, as well as M2M solutions which require capabilities in all of the above areas.  Some operators (such as Vodafone) have come from a dominantly mobile position and are now focused on becoming broad-ranging ICT providers (or vice versa).   Yet others have determined their key growth markets/vertical opportunities, which may include both enterprise (B2B) and consumer (B2C) opportunities, and are looking for innovative ways to ride growth curves for security, e-commerce, e-health, M2M and other markets which are relatively small today but poised for big growth in the near future.  In addition, global operators with a strong domestic presence within their in-country operating companies may have come to realize that their enterprise-focused and MNC-focused initiatives need to be more effectively coordinated, to offer consistent messages, services and customer experience.  The six reorganizations reflect different combinations of these issues. Continue reading “What Do Recent Reorganizations Tell Us About Global Operator Strategies?”

Managed Mobility Services Still a Work in Progress

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis has completed its analysis of global operators’ managed mobility services  (see Global Managed Mobility Services 2013: Who’s on Top?, December 16, 2013).
  • There was steady progress but not transformations in providers’ portfolios.  Work remains for BYOD, mobile apps, mobile security, and virtualization.

Every year, Current Analysis looks at the managed mobility services (MMS) of the U.S. and European-based operators, compares their strategies and services, and ranks them according to their core services, value-added services, availability, customer traction, and the progress they have made in fleshing out their portfolios.  We discovered that service providers have added more third-party solution partners, better defined their professional services, began to articulate BYOD-focused offerings, and improved the way they present and position their MMS portfolios.  However, while last year there appeared to be a mandate to broaden the scope of services by adding more sophisticated mobile application management tools, application development capabilities, and mobile security services, only some operators have made enhancements in these areas.  Operators are also discussing the synergy of MMS with their cloud and UC services, but the actual ‘convergence’ of these separate sets of services is still in the beginning stages.  While BYOD remains a major opportunity (and threat), many operators are still in trials with dual persona vendors and have not yet implemented advanced capabilities such as split billing for personal and business communications and transactions.  Below are a few other recommendations to MMS providers: Continue reading “Managed Mobility Services Still a Work in Progress”

Hands-on with AT&T Enhanced Push to Talk

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:
•    AT&T recently launched its Enhanced Push to Talk (EPTT) service, available on three ruggedized devices, and gave us a hands-on demo
•    Did the test meet our expectations and what did we learn about AT&T’s opportunity and the PTT market in general?

AT&T provided our analysts a chance to get “hands-on” with its EPTT solution on the 4G LTE Rugby Galaxy Pro. We have been writing about PTT recently, wondering aloud about the size of the market opportunity. AT&T’s launch was certainly timely, as Sprint is rapidly cutting off its remaining iDEN users (even charging them $10 to stay on the network), which will strand what has been the biggest base of PTT users if they don’t upgrade to Sprint’s upgraded QChat CDMA based offering.

Continue reading “Hands-on with AT&T Enhanced Push to Talk”

Mobile Self-Help Applications Continue to Miss Customer Expectations

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Customers’ expectations for high-quality mobile self-help solutions are growing rapidly and now higher than ever, yet customers continue to be disappointed by the solutions that are ubiquitous today.
  • Brand assessments and Net Promoter Score (NPS) evaluations are closely linked to the customer’s perception of a company’s ability to meet customer service needs.  Successful mobile solutions will be a critical element of positive customer assessments in the future.

Just about a year ago, I wrote a blog entry about the growing need to connect mobile self-service and agent-assisted customer service into a continuous and seamless customer experience.  The basic message was that providers of customer service technologies need to better accommodate the growing number of customers using their mobile devices to access customer service on demand.  It was somewhat uplifting recently to see the findings of a market research study performed under the sponsorship of the VHT Corporation (formerly Virtual Hold) that quantified and corroborated many of the underlying drivers which motivated me to write the original piece. Continue reading “Mobile Self-Help Applications Continue to Miss Customer Expectations”

IT Service Providers Up the Ante in Mobility

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• In 2012, IT service providers (ITSPs) are increasingly focused on mobility as a growth area for consulting and managed services. What are their focus areas today and what have they added to their portfolios? (See IT Service Providers Focus on Apps and Security, November 5, 2012)

• How do ITSPs differ from mobile operators and should the latter worry about direct competition?

This year the top global ITSPs are focusing not only on managed services and consulting for mobility deployments, but there is an increased emphasis on new areas including: consulting, implementation and managed services to help with BYOD; virtualization for mobile devices, mobile application development and delivery; and mobile security. These are many of the same service areas that are in mobile operators’ managed mobility portfolios. Continue reading “IT Service Providers Up the Ante in Mobility”

Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration

Brad Shimmin
Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors Amazon, Samsung, Google, Apple, and even Microsoft are rushing to either fill or invent gaps remaining within the iPad-dominated tablet marketplace with an array of device sizes, media capabilities and increasingly improved access to enterprise collaborative services.
  • This will leave IT professionals to expand management policies through separate, pure-play mobile management solutions. Thankfully, though collaboration players themselves are seeking to do more than simply support mobile devices.

Like many, I tuned in for a few moments to watch last Thursday’s special news conference put on by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, where the outspoken entrepreneur unveiled a new array of portable media devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD family of tablets. I was heartened to see the company directly responded to Google’s recent market bombshell, the Nexus 7 tablet, with a number of device sizes and features tailored to those who prize both high speed (dual-band WiFI and 4G LTE) as well as high (ok improved) audio and video fidelity. This is a good thing specifically for the Android market and broader tablet industry. At least it will make for a very interesting, more competitive holiday season, especially once Apple’s mid-sized device hits the streets. Continue reading “Device Specialization Portends Further BYOD Frustration”