Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Blog

Enterprise and Government Mobility Solutions Rebound Quickly in 2010

We presented a webcast on December 15th discussing the key Enterprise and Government Mobility developments in 2010 and some of our expectations for 2011. This year, we saw a faster than expected rebound across nearly all segments of the enterprise and government mobility markets. All mobile form factors experienced market growth this year; however, much of the attention was directed toward the next generation of slate/media tablets. Enterprise and government organizations have show strong initial interest in these new devices and are evaluating them for a variety of workflow uses and cases. However, issues surrounding I/O, management capabilities, OS support and maturity loom.  Read more

Top Seven for Eleven: VDC's 2011 Mobile & Wireless Predictions...Part 3

In all fairness to rugged mobile computing vendors, the segment never actually lost its relevance. However, similar to the push toward individual-liable devices, the consequence of the recent global recession and its impact on access to capital resulted in organizations adopting non-rugged (or less rugged) devices in place of rugged mobile devices more suitable for the applications being targeted.  Read more

Top Seven for Eleven: VDC's 2011 Mobile & Wireless Predictions...Part 2

Consolidation in high growth markets is not only typical, but predictable. While we saw significant M&A activity in mobile segments in 2010, we believe that activity in the coming year will continue to increase. One of the more interesting developments to follow will be the activity among wireless carriers. Recent acquisitions by carriers of enterprise mobility professional service organizations have not gone unnoticed and are a trend that should continue into 2011. Read more

Top Seven for Eleven: VDC's 2011 Mobile & Wireless Predictions...Part 1

It is the end of the year so that must mean prediction time for analyst firms...how predictable! VDC's Mobile & Wireless Practice has put together its own set of expectations for trends and expectations we will be tracking in 2011. This post is the first in that series. Enjoy, and, as always, your thoughts and feedback are always welcome. Read more

Enterprise Mobility Solution Provider Performance Robust in 2010

Following a forgettable 2009 the 2010 market for enterprise mobility solutions recovered with most vendors reporting double digit growth. VDC Research estimates that the overall market will grow by approximately 12-14% in 2010, exceeding our earlier projections by a couple of percentage points. Although the market has been strong in 2010 from a top line perspective and spanned multiple industry sectors and regional markets the overall trends have been uneven and unpredictable.  Read more

No Such Thing as "Late" in this Fast Moving Mobile Ecosystem - But the Stakes are High

The mobile ecosystem added more moving pieces this month with the release of two new OS platforms. Microsoft's long awaited Windows Phone 7 and HP's updated webOS 2.0 platforms have arrived. Both companies are actively expanding their carrier rosters/geographies. Whether Microsoft learned from its failure with its Kin, and if the Palm acquisition gives HP a vehicle to succeed in the Smartphone market remain to be seen–what is abundantly clear is that both of these heavyweights are deeply invested in the success of their new platform. Read more

CTIA Enterprise and Applications 2010: Early Impressions

With AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega pronouncing 2011 as the "breakout year for mobilizing the enterprise" the show got off to a rousing start. Although the CTIA Fall show lacks the punch of the other major wireless shows at the beginning of the year, it appears to be finding a home around enterprise mobile solutions. However, it still needs to get away from the "gadget chic" mentality endemic of so many of these shows and better position the solutions these collective technologies are designed to address. Read more

Next Generation Form Factors Leading the Trends in Enterprise Mobility Market

Yesterday, we presented a webcast highlighting key findings from our 2010 surveys on enterprise and government mobility end users. The adoption of next generation form factors was a significant trend, as organizations are increasingly evaluating emerging solutions to support mobility requirements. Our data indicates a shift away from currently established form factors, such as standard notebooks, toward next generation form factors, such as slate tablets and Smartphones. Opportunities for these devices span multiple segments and application classes—many with high-value customer-facing interactions that leverage the device's intuitive and graphics optimized interfaces.  Read more

Let the Tablet Wars Begin...

RIM's much anticipated entry into the increasingly crowded tablet market was made official yesterday during the keynote at DevCon 2010, RIM's developer conference. The PlayBook aka "BlackPad" presents an interesting value proposition to core BlackBerry users - i.e. enterprise and government organizations - and delivers it in a package with some very compelling specifications. However, many questions and potential issues remain before the device is actually launched in Q1 2011. Let's explore a couple.  Read more

Smartphones in the Military...Challenging Traditional Development Models

VDC Research spends much of its time evaluating mobile and wireless trends in the military. One of the glaring - yet unfulfilled - needs is the demand for smaller form factor solutions to support ground soldier applications. While there are several programs underway to address this void - think for example Ground Soldier Ensemble (or now referred to as Nett Warrior) - many of these programs illustrate and expose the antiquated development and sourcing approach still so rife in the US Military.  Read more

Managed Services in Mobility, An Intel-McAfee Context

Market leadership in the enterprise and government mobility solutions markets requires support for managed services. Maybe not in 2010, but, soon. Every year for the past three years, our research into virtually every mobility solutions stakeholder community reveals growing investment in exploring migration to managed services models. Now, they are beginning to show sustained growth in migration to managed services deployment models. Read more

Webcast Recap: Proliferation of Mobile Devices = Opportunity for Apps & Developers

During yesterday's webcast, we talked about some recent findings from our 2010 Mobile Developer survey, as well as vendor and end-user interviews. The enterprise mobile device market is primed for significant growth as the capabilities, functions and users of mobile devices broadens. Specifically, we expect to see large growth numbers for Smartphones within the enterprise, and with it, mobile applications. In fact, mobile application developers are hot-ticket items for companies looking to mobilize their workforce.  Read more

iPad's Enterprise Dreams

Not to overstate the obvious, but with 3 million units shipped in its first three months, Apple's iPad has been an astounding success. With one simple, yet seductive, product Apple has succeeded where all others have failed: bringing relevance to the slate tablet category. Now while that last statement may not exactly be fair - the slate segment has found success in a variety of vertical markets supporting specialized applications - slate tablets have so far not lived up to their initial (think Bill Gates at COMDEX circa 2001) hype as the next mainstream PC form factor.  Read more

Strong 2010 Rebound for Rugged Handheld Computing Market...But Challenges Remain

Sales of rugged handheld mobile computers - widely used by mobile workers supporting mission critical applications in a variety of industries - cratered in 2009 with the market contracting by 30%+ in certain segments. While VDC Research expected the market to return to growth in 2010, the rate at which the market has performed over the first six months of 2010 was slightly unexpected.  Read more

Cross Platform Compilers - Key Tools for Mobile Software Developers

A steady stream of smartphones have been released this summer, we've witnessed the release of several Android based phones (notably the HTC EVO, and Incredible), Apple's iPhone 4, Samsung's Wave, and expect RIM to release several new devices later this summer. Meego, the merged effort of Intel's Moblin endeavor, and Nokia's Maemo operating system, and new devices based on HP's newly acquired WebOS will also be showing up on a broad range of hardware (tablets, smartphones, and printers in HP's case) later this summer or in late Q3 / early Q4 if things slip. Read more

Situational Awareness and Mobility: What's Next?

In yesterday's webcast, we discussed trends and other high-level findings from our upcoming report on Situational Awareness in military and federal non-military environments. Knowing what is happening around you and the impact of current and future events and actions is critical for maintaining effective military and public safety operations. Utilizing the latest next generation technology to learn, react and adapt to your surroundings is key to achieving Situational Awareness. Read more

HP's Hurd Inserts Foot in Mouth at Tech Summit - or did he?

HP CEO Mark Hurd spoke to the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch technology summit earlier this week, and caused somewhat of a media frenzy when he very directly proclaimed that HP acquired Palm just for its IP and OS: “We didn’t buy Palm to be in the smartphone business. And I tell people that, but it doesn’t seem to resonate well. We bought it for the IP. The WebOS is one of the two ground-up pieces of software that is built as a web operating environment..". Read more

Landscape Shift Looming

When the announcement of SAP's intent to acquire Sybase became public on May 12th, not only did the "Twitterverse" light up, a lot of participants in SAP's EcoHub (SAP’s online marketplace for vertical solutions) took notice. SAP has achieved a "critical mass" of mobility partners with wide ranging technologies, industry expertise, and go-to-market strategies within their EcoHub — however, the acquisition of Sybase will inevitably lead to some changes. Read more

Sybase's Mobility Platform

Sybase unveiled an updated version of their mobility platform at their annual analyst summit at the New York Stock Exchange, this past week in New York City. As to be expected, Sybase executives weren't able to speak directly about the pending acquisition by SAP, but, I must say that I was very impressed by Sybase CEO John Chen's candor. At the conclusion of the event, I had a good laugh with Sybase's legal counsel (I joked about my expectation that someone was about run out to cut off John's microphone — he concurred). To no one’s surprise, Mr. Chen's passion was evident, and he remains very bullish about his company's prospects. Read more

SAP + Sybase = On Demand and Unwired

SAP subsidiary SAP America Inc's announcement that it was acquiring Sybase is a clear signal that its longstanding battle with Oracle for a larger share of the enterprise application market will intensify.  SAP has been successful at growing organically (unlike Oracle who has acquired dozens of smaller competitors over the last ~5 years), but, has been struggling to grow recently.  Both of these long time rivals have the same goal — trying to grow their share of the software and systems that corporate IT buyers are constantly upgrading, expanding, and maintaining.  Read more

HP to buy Palm: What’s in an OS?

So the cat is finally out of the bag, as HP emerged the winner in the Palm “Sweepstakes”. Is this a good deal for HP? For Palm? Can the combined HP/Palm emerge as a strong contender in the Smartphone market? Or is this “too too late” for both? One point that is clear is that if HP wants to belittle a contender in the Smartphone and broader mobile/connected device market, this was their only play. There is no money to make selling Smartphones running on someone else’s OS. Read more

The Mobile Dashboard?

As someone who appreciates data, I was eager to take a spin with Roambi's data visualization application for the iPad (fortunately, a colleague of mine is an early technology adopter, and got his on day one). The app is without question a very "pretty" interface to view your data with. The Roambi app has been available for the iPhone for about a year now — what I found most appealing was the improved "usability" on the iPad with its 9" touch screen. Don't get me wrong, Roambi (and others) have done a great job utilizing the limited screen real estate on Smartphones (Roambi is only available for Apple devices), but the allure of the iPad's screen and portability has certainly made others consider the platform.  Read more

Whither RIM?

Following the recent ‘missed quarter’ by RIM there has been much chatter about the future demise of the company and its widely deployed BlackBerry at the hands of Apple’s iPhone and devices running on the Google-backed Android platform. While the articles bring up many valid points – iPhone’s encroaching RIM’s enterprise stronghold, RIM lacking a strong touchscreen solution, RIM’s App World metrics - the desire for sensationalist reporting mayhave kept the reporters from addressing some of the more important issues. More to the point: there remains much to be bullish about RIM.  Read more

The Mowego Mobile Platform from Vivido Labs – the new MEAP in town

Greg Tomb, former CEO of SAP North America, and current CEO at startup Vivido Labs has reason to be excited with his company’s announcement at the CTIA show in Vegas last week. The announcement from Vivido Labs of their Mowego application platform definitely pricked my ears, as I begin to cover enterprise mobility applications with the mobile and wireless team here at VDC.  Read more

CTIA 2010: Enterprise Mobility Impressions

VDC's Mobile and Wireless team spent the last two days at CTIA 2010 in Las Vegas meeting with a broad set of vendors spanning the wireless eco-system. While no-one would ever mistake the show for an Enterprise Mobility event, it was refreshing to see the emphasis being placed on this space by the broader wireless community. We were briefed on some significant announcements that are aimed at addressing some of this sectors' key pain points: namely the development of intuitive and scalable enterprise mobile applications AND the development of a mobile software distribution model that makes sense for the enterprise.  Read more

Will Market Interest in Mobile Managed Services Convert to Customer Contracts for Mobile Managed Services in 2010?

Partly fueled by the recession; managed service delivery platforms for mobility solutions are getting a lot of attention from end-users....and that equals new business opportunity for a broad cross-section of vendors from wireless carriers to cloud computing solutions providers. In our webcast yesterday, we explored the topic of mobile managed services and discussed a range of information from our most recent research; including. Read more

Mobile Software Distribution: The Next Great Challenge

There are no effective distribution channels for enterprise mobility software. Connecting the challenge many enterprise mobility software vendors have had scaling their business with the lack of a capable sales, market development and distribution channel is certainly oversimplifying things. However, the issue is not trivial. Read more

Mobile Managed Services the Path to Smart Pipes?

Since the inception of the enterprise mobility market, carriers have been analyzing participation models and deployment methods in the business of providing wireless data to mobile workers. During that time, most enterprise mobility stakeholder groups have commented that carriers need to do more to help make the promise of productivity and profits from an automated mobile workforce possible. Read more

Retail Sector Returns to Life

NRF’s 2010 Big Show lived up to its billing with a reported 25%+ increase in attendance over 2009. Several VDC analysts attended the event to learn about key initiatives for 2010. The overall mood at the show was refreshingly upbeat with 2009 clearly in our rearview mirrors. Some of the most compelling news indicated at the same time how far we have come regarding mobile commerce and mobile retailing initiatives and how far we still have to go. Read more


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