Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Blog

Mobile Impact: Vertical Market Spotlight - Transportation and Warehousing

The potential for efficient, flexible and effective coordination of transportation processes and networks lies in the emergence of internet-based information and communication technologies. Technologies such as RFID, e-commerce and telematics provide proven potential for the improvement of efficiency in coordination and transaction processes.  Read more

Growth of Enterprise Apps Ecosystem to Drive Tablet Adoption in 2012

Although 2011 was a big year for tablets with notable large deployments (e.g., American Airlines, SAP, and the Department of Veterans Affairs), the perception of tablets as a complementary/companion device remains. The aforementioned deployments are early evidence of potential this device class may offer to transform today’s enterprise. The extended battery life, portability, and large screen size of tablets enable enhanced computing capacity and usability over the smartphone, while preserving the portability, connectivity, and long battery life appreciated by many smartphone users.  Read more

2012 Enterprise Mobility Outlook

As 2011 comes to a close and we again face the ominous task of putting together our predictions for the coming year. Considering what transpired in 2011, it is hard to imagine a year as face-paced and filled with opportunities. Clearly enterprise mobility has evolved from a niche point solution to a mainstream segment of the IT landscape. Read more

Google to Compete with Dropbox

Google revamped Insync - its version of Dropbox - and made it available for public by removing registration limits. Insync has now moved past beyond beta stage and is available with its sync and file sharing capabilities. With this move, Google has become a clear competitor to Dropbox, SugerSync and Box; allowing Insync users to automatically sync, update, manage and share their files. While the main and most obvious target group appears to be the Google Docs users, Insync can also access files that are stored in your PC or Mac. Read more

Mobile BI...Unlocking the Power of Mobile Devices

With mobile workers equipped with any variety of powerful smartphones and increasingly tablets, organizations are looking beyond traditional email and messaging applications to see how they can leverage these devices. One such opportunity is mobile BI solutions.  Read more

Can the FDA Regulate Mobile Device/ Applications Without Stiffling Innovation and R&D Spend?

The increasing number of smartphones and media tablets deployed to the health care environments, has resulted in an influx of mobile apps targeted for patients and health care professionals. While the success of Apple's iPad is the main driver for tablet deployments in the industry, multiple mobile OSes for smartphones and tablets have also flooded the market. Based on our end-user study that we fielded in 2011, 36.9% of health care respondents stated that their organization has evaluated and decided to deploy media tablets, with an additional 42.3% planning to evaluate. Read more

Notable Acquisition Earns Networking Giant a Boost into the Cloud; Cisco Acquires Meraki

If we were to estimate the proliferation and popularity of various internet platforms and applications, judging solely by the ratio of news and industry coverage dedicated to each, we would see Google, Twitter and Facebook tower over other applications, such as email. And yet, according to research conducted by Smarter Tools, the total number of posts on Facebook and Twitter combined comprise no more than .2% of email traffic. This trend has carried over into the mobile world as well, with approximately 82% of smartphone owners regularly checking and sending mobile email. Read more

Cyber Monday Sees Many Retailers Drop the Ball on the Wrong Holiday

Each year, Black Friday draws an increasingly sharp contrast between the die-hard shopper happy to camp for days outside a local brick-and-mortar store and the shrinking patience of web surfing and increasingly mobile surfing consumers, who flip from one store to another with the click or swipe of a button. While retailers nationwide have declared this past shopping weekend a tremendous success, a closer look at many companies’ online performance tells a very different story.  Read more

IBM Broadens its Mobile Services Portfolio with Juniper Partnership

Growing recognition of security threats associated with the unrelenting BYOD trend promise to drive mobile security to the forefront of IT agendas in coming months. Moving forward, BYOD policies and other “consumerization” pressures surrounding mobility will challenge IT organizations to widen the scope of their mobile security strategies for an increasingly mobile workforce.  Read more

Enterprise Mobility Exchange

I was recently invited by the International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) to participate on a panel at their inaugural Enterprise Mobility Exchange in the US. Although there were some clear gaps the vendor community attending the show, the caliber of end-users was unparalleled. From Proctor & Gamble, GE Healthcare and Whirlpool to Coca Cola Bottling, Pepsico and Penske Logistics many household names and brands were represented.  Read more

The Changing Face of Mobile Health Care

The increasing capabilities delivered by mobile solutions are causing health care organizations to evaluate the role of mobility in their organization and their interactions with medical professionals and patients. Organizations are not only aligning their mobile initiatives with their overall strategies but they are also evaluating whether they have the necessary resources to develop mobile health care solutions internally or whether they need to look for outside help. Read more

BYOD Has Arrived

Organizations are getting used to the idea of individual-liable mobile devices in the workplace. As the advancements in technology made mobile devices (i.e. especially smartphones) a lot affordable for everyone, IT departments had to deal with the issue of protecting corporate information on the personal devices that happen to be outside their "control".  Read more

Dual Persona Market Heating Up (Part 2 of 2)

Last month, AT&T announced Toggle – an application designed to transform the enterprise mobility market by fulfilling the needs of both enterprises and end-users of smartphone devices. As we discussed in last week’s blog, entitled “Dual Persona Market Heating Up,” AT&T’s Toggle application was developed as part of a cooperative effort by AT&T and the startup Enterproid.  Read more

Dual Persona Market Heating Up

The recent $11 million investment secured by tech startup Enterproid (from Comcast Ventures, Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures) demonstrates a sign of faith, from these investors, that Enterproid may become a successful frontrunner in the ”dual-persona” smartphone market (dual-persona smartphones separate work/play operating environments).As the BYOD (bring your own device) trend continues unabated, we see enterprises starting to recognize that we are past the proverbial tipping point. Organizations have been turning to mobile device management (MDM) vendors to deal with device fragmentation and for their “IT friendly” management consoles.  Read more

Mobile Operators, Systems Integrators, and ISVs Changing Channels for MEAPs

Our good friends in Stamford Connecticut did a great job in identifying and classifying the vendors who have brought a mix of solutions to the market that can be summarized as "mobile enterprise application platforms" or MEAPs - the core/primary capabilities that have been established are: Rapid Application Development Tools: Drag-and-drop WYSIWYG design tools (including emulators/debuggers) with robust cross-platform/device support Management and Security: Client-side security features with enterprise-grade encryption - along with management capabilities that include - application deployments, updates, reporting/analytics and mobile policies. Read more

Underlying Concerns are Shaping the Future of Mobility Solutions in Retail

Retail is among the industries where the changing end-user requirements in enterprise mobility solutions are becoming clearer. VDC Research's most recent end-user study highlights an increase in cost consciousness among retailers. In the fieldwork that we completed in Q2 2011, cost and ease of use came in the first and second respectively among the top 3 shortcomings of the recently deployed mobile computing solutions. The shortcomings associated with both of these requirements appear to be much greater in comparison with other industries. Read more

Changing End-User Requirements are Forcing Field Mobility Solution Providers to Invest in Customer Engagement

Mobile computing solutions have long been deployed, and are relied heavily upon by field service and sales organizations to improve productivity, enhance decision making and achieve real-time visibility. However, VDC Research's most recent end-user study (fielded in Q2 2011) highlights an increasing interest in enabling customer engagement in field mobility among organizations of all sizes. Read more

Cotendo Pressuring Established CDNs

Founded in 1998, dot com darling Akamai Technologies quickly became the market leader in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) segment. For over a decade, the company’s unique product, established infrastructure and partnerships with powerful companies worldwide have assured Akamai’s continued success. Read more

Rethinking Rugged in Retail

The decision by Lowes to deploy over 40K Apple iPhones as their next-generation mobile solution for store associates is sending shock waves through the industry and is suggestive of a potentially larger trend in the retail segment. Looking at this decision as purely a low cost alternative to deploying the more common rugged handhelds is oversimplifying this development (although we do think device price played an important role). Read more

The Emergence of the b2e App Store

The Mobile & Wireless practice recently conducted fieldwork (in July 2011) to gauge important trends in mobile software development. Fifty-nine percent of the developers surveyed indicated that the app store model – with its recurring and predictable revenue streams – is their go-to business model for distributing mobile applications.  Read more

Mobile OS Mania: Predicting the Unpredictable

Choice is good…just not too much! That is certainly the case in the mobile sphere where not too long ago there were perhaps seven ‘viable’ mobile OS contenders (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile/Phone, BlackBerry OS, webOS, MeeGo and Symbian). Fast forward a couple of months and with HP dumping webOS, Nokia favoring Windows Phone over Symbian and developers saying ‘nogo’ to MeeGo and the landscape has consolidated to a more palatable top four. The other major development has been Google’s (pending) acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which has all major Android supporters (Samsung, LG, HTC, etc.) scurrying to evaluate alternative options. In fact Samsung is rumored to have shown interest in acquiring WebOS or MeeGo. Read more

Field Mobility - Empowering the Mobile Workforce

Field mobility solutions provide enterprises with real-time visibility, enabling field mobility workers to engage with customers at the point of interaction. With the continued need to improve real-time decision making and increase productivity, the market for field mobility solutions is expected to increase from $14 billion to $23 billion by 2015.  Read more

For the Enterprise, Mobile Strategies Approaching a "Make or Break Moment"

With device proliferation continuing, determining the appropriate mobility architecture and app approach is becoming a critical and key initiative for organizations - spanning all sizes and industry segments. As with every emerging technology, some companies will move more quickly and make more meaningful investments. As evidenced by the following statements, GE recognizes the transformative opportunity that mobile technologies can bring.  Read more

Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility: A $12.5 Billion Patent Play?

Google's decision to purchase Motorola Mobility sent ripples through the wireless industry on August 15th. Although this move is clearly influenced by Google missing out on the recent Nortel IP sale, there are a number of interesting challenges and concerns for Google and its Android partners as a result of this transaction.  Read more

BlackBerry Playbook First Tablet to Achieve FIPS 140-2 Certification

RIM recently announced that its PlayBook has become the first tablet to achieve FIPS 140-2 certification. Although other tablet vendors will likely reach this milestone sometime soon, this is big news for RIM. Clearly the highly regulated markets where FIPS 140-2 certification has appeal – namely government, financial services and healthcare – represent markets where RIM first cut its teeth. According to VDC’s research, these are markets where RIM continues to have a dominant share.  Read more

Oracle's Enterprise Mobility Strategy Becoming More Clear

When compared to several of it's key rivals who have been very active and vocal with regards to their mobile strategies, Oracle has taken a more measured approach — until now. Back in September of 2010, (without much fanfare) Oracle added a Mobile Enterprise page to the Technology Solutions section of their website, most notably, the company revealed its mobile enterprise application platform. Read more

Motorola Solutions Analyst Day: Putting Solutions First

Spent last Thursday with a cadre of industry analysts at Motorola Solution’s annual industry analyst day. This was the first ‘post-separation’ analyst event for Motorola Solutions and the team spared no time focusing on the strengths of the ‘more focused’ organization. One sense that we got was that the organization was clearly emphasizing the ‘Solutions’ aspect of its business. Read more

Comprehensive Mobile Security Management Strategy- Foundational and Required

As demand for and usage of mobile devices continues to expand across organizations, so too has the need for effective protection of confidential data and communications. This capability is critical in enterprise environments where mobile devices are frequently out in the field and not in a fixed location—essentially, wherever a mobile worker goes, so goes critical personal and potentially sensitive data. Read more

Mobility Is About Margin

After 20 years in tech, much of it in mission critical mobile solutions, I have arrived at the conclusion that the enterprise mobility market is about margin. Nothing less. Nothing more. Read more

Mobile HR Solutions: Connecting and Empowering Today's Mobile Workforce

VDC Research and the ADP Research Institute (ADPRI), a specialized group within ADP, have collaborated to conduct vital research involving 400 midsized and large U.S. organizations to determine the current and anticipated value of mobile HR solutions. These solutions, which allow today's increasingly mobile and distributed workforce mobile access to key HR processes, represent a compelling new resource for companies and their employees. Read more

Effective Enterprise Mobility Channel Strategies Critical-Turbulence Ahead?

While many tried and true “traditional” channel arrangements (e.g., white-label agreements, strategic partnerships, co-branding, co-marketing, etc.) are proving effective and mutually beneficial, established ISVs are sharpening their focus on mobilizing their enterprise applications, and are beginning to compete more and more with some of their key mobility partners. ISVs have long recognized that new technologies are changing the face of business and have altered how companies and employees function.   Read more

NFC, Location Based Services and Mobile Couponing Coming Together to Transform the Mobile Shopping Experience

The interest for mobile shopping shows no signs of slowing down in 2011. Location based services found their way into our lives as the appetite for smartphones grew and are on their way to becoming invaluable for retailers. It is no secret that companies have increased their efforts in improving their mobile strategy, and the recent developments in the field suggest that location based services should be incorporated into the mix.  Read more

Honeywell Does It Again: EMS Acquisition Fills Key Technology and Market Gaps

It had been well known that EMS was exploring options to sell the business and at this point it should probably come as no surprise that Honeywell was the last company standing when it announced its tender for EMS for $33/share, or approximately $506 million. Honeywell has now invested well over $1.5 billion in the acquisitions of Handheld Products, Metrologic and EMS over the past several years. Note: for the sake of this post I will focus on the Global Tracking Business Unit of EMS, which includes its LXE branded rugged mobile computing products. This division will be integrated as part of Honeywell Scanning and Mobility. EMS’s Aviation and Defense and Space divisions will be integrated into Honeywell’s Aerospace & Defense division.  Read more

Q1 2011: No Slowdown in Rugged Mobile Computer Market

VDC's Mobile and Wireless Practice is about to publish its Q1 2011 Rugged Mobile Market Report. Key findings from this quarterly research: The rugged handheld market grew by 19% in Q1 2011 over Q1 2010 to reach $580 million. The market maintained its strong pace of 2010 into Q1 2011. Interestingly ASPs increased for some vendors while holding steady for others indicating stronger demand for higher end more rugged devices. This will be a trend that we will be following closely to determine to what extent the market is splintering and whether entry class devices are more susceptible to competition from non rugged smartphones. Read more

Apple’s Stealth Enterprise Play

Much has been made about the success of the iPhone and more recently the iPad in the enterprise, taking share from segment stalwarts such as RIM. However, these devices found their way into the enterprise – at least initially – through individual consumers/employees. It now appears that Apple – albeit silently – is developing an enterprise sales and business development engine targeting a variety of industries with their mobile solutions.   Read more

Outlook for Mobile Devices is Bright - Continued Uplift Expected Through 2015

VDC's Mobile and Wireless Practice recently published our annual report on Mobile Devices for enterprise and government mobility applications. We have been publishing this annual report for almost 10 years running and it represents the keystone of our annual Enterprise and Government Mobility Research Service. The past 18-24 months have exposed some of the most volatile and difficult to predict market conditions and we do not expect the next 18-24 months to be any different.   Read more

Survey Says: Mobile Managed Services have Arrived

We fielded an end-user survey to IT professionals, and line-of-business managers this past April and captured some very interesting market trends, perceptions, and attitudes surrounding deploying and maintaining a mobile workforce — end-users in organizations both large  Read more

RIM: Musings from BlackBerry World

While RIM certainly has no shortage of issues it faces and tough decisions it will need to make the predictable "doom and gloom" chorus following its recent financial announcements are wildly overstated. RIM remains THE enterprise smartphone platform for serious deployments where security is paramount. Moreover, BlackBerry's leads the market in terms of enterprise smartphone marketshare.  Read more

IT Organizations Lack Confidence in Mobility Expertise

Our most recent mobile survey* indicated that IT organizations possess some of the required skills and expertise required to develop, customize and maintain mobile applications and platforms in-house—however, they rate themselves the lowest on this specific category relative to 11 other IT related services we queried on.  Read more

CTIA Recap

I had the opportunity to attend the spring CTIA event that wrapped up last week—considering the winter we've had here in the Northeast, I got used to the 80+ temps fairly quickly—the event was successful from an attendance standpoint (an estimated 40,000 people attended), and without question attracted a very broad range of exhibitors focused on all things mobile. Almost all of the large vendors across the increasingly broad mobile ecosystem were in attendance. Product managers, marketing personnel, and executives are likely looking forward to Q1 coming to a close, as these past three months have been extremely busy for them on the event/travel front.  Read more

Android...support will be a key issue in the enterprise

That Android has been a success is the understatement of the decade. Following a slow start with the release of Android 1.0 in September 2008 and subsequently the first Android powered Smartphone - the HTC Dream - in October 2008, Android-based Smartphones began to gain momentum in early 2010. By Q4 2010 Android had dethroned its rivals to become the best selling Smartphone platform.   Read more

The Rule of Three - Will it Apply to Mobile Operating Systems?

From where I sit, it seems that the "rule of three" may not hold true in the fierce battle being waged for dominance in the still nascent mobile OS market. Based on their 2002 book, The Rule of Three: Surviving & Thriving in Competitive Markets, Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodiain postulate that all major markets evolve and shift (like a living organism), and that markets tend to behave in a highly predictable fashion.   Read more

Is 2011 Really the Year of the iPad?

The iPad 2 rumors finally came to an end at Apple's event earlier today and we all learned that the iPad 2 is thinner, lighter and faster when compared to the original iPad−but is that going to be enough for Apple to maintain its lead that it has established with the original iPad? Only time will tell. The stats Steve Jobs presented are definitely noteworthy as selling 15 million devices in ~9 months and having nearly 65,000 native apps would be every competitor's dream.  Read more

Global Mobile Workforce Exceeds One Billion...Yet Only 10% Benefit from Enterprise Mobility Solutions

VDC's Mobile and Wireless Practice just published a report/census of the global mobile worker population. According to our research the mobile worker population has been growing steadily over the past couple (with some recent RIF-based adjustments) exceeded 1 billion individuals in 2010! This has been a by-product of the growth of inherently mobile professions - health care workers, for example - but also is a reflection of the change to more flexible, distributed and dynamic workflows occurring in virtually every industry sector.   Read more

In-app Purchases and Subscriptions - an "old" Concept that's "new" for Mobile Platforms

Both RIM and Google revealed some enhancements to their respective app stores last week— the enhancements of the two companies were largely centered on in-app payment functionality. Google announced that it has added the ability to send downloaded Android apps to your phone via a browser, and also teased some of the new functionality being offered in their tablet-specific 3.0 Android release (which incidentally, was featured in a Super bowl advertisement for Motorola’s new Xoom tablet).  Read more

Intermec and Vocollect: Kick Starting 2011

On January 18th Intermec Technologies, a leading supplier of rugged mobile computers, bar code label printing solutions and other AIDC-centric technologies, announced its plans to acquire Vocollect, the leading supplier of voice-centric solutions for mobile workers in distribution and warehouse environments, for $190 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2011.   Read more

HTML5 has a new Logo

HTML5 doesn’t just improve the process of creating applications, it improves the fundamental functionality of your web page by making activities smoother and more intuitive. For those of us who live and breath mobile, the new specification certainly portends to be a game changer that can deliver browser based applications that can rival native application performance.  Read more