Enterprise mobility is defined as the ability for enterprises to communicate with suppliers, partners, employees, and accessing customers irrespective of location. The implementation of mobility solutions requires companies to build capability to withstand many different components including the devices, the networks, the applications and the services over those as well as the middleware to interface the process in different capability.
Enterprise Mobility compromises of:
- Mobile Computers
- Advance Data Capture Devices
- RFID Solutions
Enterprise Mobility has been talked about by companies for many years and certainly in the late 90s and early 2000 many telecom industry experts believed that mobility will certainly bring about the next sort of bubble of telecom technology investment but in reality mobility investment upswing didn’t really occur.
Coming back to the recent years and we ask ourselves the two fundamental changes that we have happened which has pushed Enterprises to push Mobility to the forefront and these two are 1) mobile 2) internet
So for a long time we have talked about and technologist and companies have thought about bringing these two innovations together but it has proved to be a challenge to bring convergence between these two and there are many reasons for that but I think more recently we are seeing these two to be converging.
In my opinion as we move forward we are observing that Internet is becoming pervasive and is available with us wherever we go and the mobile experience is now taken for granted just like we don’t say anymore Mobile Email. We just say email and it is assumed we get it wherever we want and whenever we want.
So definitely the tide is turning and and many of these barriers are falling and as a result many companies are revisiting their corporate mobility initiative and application usage requirements. These Mobile Enterprise activities goes well beyond enabling remote employee electronic access to corporate information and they also include connecting all assets of the company that are dispersed at various locations as well as delivery vehicles.
In 2008, worldwide Smartphone shipments grew 24% to 153 million units in a massive expansion driven by demand for data services, falling price points, and increasing comprehension of iconic smartphones, including the iPhone and BlackBerry, throughout the world. Smartphone market growth is expected to continue through 2014, albeit at a slower pace. Still, Smartphone growth will surpass other handset value segments, including the overall handset market.
The key drivers which are pushing the adoption of Mobility Solutions in Enterprises now are:
Consumers today appreciate and demand wireless data services – they were initially slow to move to content and service offerings beyond voice communications and text messaging, but usage has quickly spiked once they were exposed to the benefits of accessing information on the move.
Smartphone demand is being met with supply – Smartphones were once left to only the pure-play manufacturers and the largest of handset vendors. Today, the smaller players are following suit thereby bringing down the average selling price of smartphones.
Content and application demand is rising by the day – Services such as mobile Internet access, online gaming, mobile blogging, video on demand, live video, webcasts, WAP browsing, instant messaging, mobile music, and video downloads are prompting Enterprises to adopt smartphones.
The MEA Environment and the role of Channel Partners
If we look back we will realize that in the past innovation was all about individual solitary genius. Over the years a paradigm change has happened where the success or failure of an innovation is driven by not by an individual but a collaborative effort from different channel partners.
Let us go step by step to evaluate how various players are coming together to enable demand for Enterprise Mobility and I will go in the order of importance:
Connectivity Provider: In 1930’s we had modems which would deliver 300bps. Then in the 80’s we saw a rapid acceleration in this with the standardization of Ethernet protocol. 2002 we had 10GB Ethernet roughly about 10bln bps and today we are at terabit, a network speed which is a trillion bps. This is important because when you have bandwidth the expectation is that the latency will be reduced and the user experience will be optimised and this will drive multiple applications we have not thought about to come into the picture. So going along this will be the key driver in adoption of Enterprise Mobility.
SI and Hardware: The day has come where the line between a PC and a mobile phone has become almost blur, and we can say that the mobile phone has infact taken over the PC. We have smartphones with flexible screens and fold-out keyboards that can fulfill all of the functions of a PC. After watching the fast pace of introduction of mobile devices over the last couple of years, I think we've come a long way in the merger of phone and PC. Single-chip design approaches that lower the required component count and the overall cost needed to develop and manufacture a cellphone has helped shed the myth that integrating more features generally raises prices. We now have high end mobile devices capable of doing all that a PC can do and at much more affordable prices.
ISV: I believe that the adoption of Enterprise Mobility is strongly linked to the adoption of consumer applications. The success of AppStore has completely refined the way application providers sell their applications. 300 million applications download in less than 4 months and over 10000 applications on the store has changed it all. This has given a boost to the ISV’s to come up with ever rising innovation which ultimately will find way with Enterprises thereby leading to enhanced adoption.
Governments: In developing countries the government is doing it’s bit to ensure availability of bandwidth for Service Providers at lower costs to drive adoptability. Tax benefits are offered for hardware manufactures to set up local and low-cost production facilities to minimize the additional overhead of import tariffs and transportation costs. This in my opinion will help drive adoptability among price sensitivity consumers.
Being platform agnostic we will be in a position to advise and implement the best solution which would draw upon the strengths of the specific devices/platforms
Domain and Vertical knowledge that we will be bringing on the table based on our past experience of working with similar customers
Consulting our customers and presenting them with a larger vision for harnessing the full potential of Mobility