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As computer and mobile hardware approach commoditization, hardware vendors must find ways to remain profitable in the face of declining margins and sales. For some companies, this means a complete exit from hardware spaces, as with IBM and its x86 server or Thinkpad PC business. Most vendors, however, are reluctant to make such drastic moves while their hardware businesses continue to bring in considerable amounts of revenue, despite limited or declining growth. Desperate to evolve but reluctant to transform, many companies heed the advice of former HP executive Marten Mickos: “become a solution provider where hardware is an important part, but still just a part.” Read more
With a recent PEW study citing that 64% of American adults have a smartphone and 50% of American adults have an internet connected tablet, it is clear that mobile technologies have widespread influence. A number of customer-centric industries including retail, hospitality, and transportation, are beginning to leverage the power of mobile consumer engagement, and one of the biggest industries also feeling the effects of a more mobile society is healthcare. With so many healthcare providers looking to increase patient satisfaction rates and engagement rates, HIMSS vendors had a number of solutions on display which can help re-engage with patients expecting a more mobile experience. Read more
Smart cities, a term meant to describe urban areas employing technology to improve services, garners the infatuation of government officials and technology companies alike. Considered an immense financial and social opportunity, this broad, attention-grabbing phrase has quickly become a buzzword, as industry and government build the idea into their roadmaps. Despite the buzz, actual implementation of smart city technology remains fairly limited and wide in scope. From connected sensors in infrastructure to public Wi-Fi, renewable energy technology deployments to citizen engagement mobile applications, and parking applications to real-time data analytics, the options available to cities are both extensive and expensive. Consequently, cities looking to modernize generally take a piecemeal approach, rather than an all-encompassing one, albeit examples of the latter do exist. Read more
There was one notable enterprise mobility acquisition announced at MWC last week, Microsoft (finally) acquired Xamarin.
Just 24 hours after acquiring cross-platform mobile tool developer Xamarin, Microsoft announced that it was officially killing its Windows Bridge for Android program (dubbed project “Astoria”). The company's Bridges strategy is focused on providing developers with tools to accelerate bringing their apps to Windows 10 devices. Microsoft released its Windows Bridge for iOS as an open source project this past summer-the tool enables developers to bring Objective-C iOS apps to the Windows app Store. So what about Android? Read more
While wearable activity trackers have been commercially available since the 2009 release of the original Fitbit, investments in new technology has evolved these trackers into all-around health monitors. These relatively new devices can go beyond simple pedometer functions of their predecessors by integrating real time bio-analytics. The presence of accelerometers, altimeters, GPS technologies, and heart rate monitors in wristbands and armbands is all but expected with today’s fiercely competitive consumer hardware market; a market which has expanded to include more than 25 different vendors including major players like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, Garmin, and Fitbit. With such large-scale investments being made in health monitors and their corresponding applications, one logical next step is their adoption into more formalized healthcare institutions such as hospitals and clinics. Read more
Last night, the citizens of Iowa kicked off the presidential nomination process by coming out in record numbers to participate in the quirky, uniquely American Iowa Caucus. The event’s complicated voting process, with Republicans using a secret ballot and Democrats showing their support for candidates based on their location in the room, has resulted in a number of vote counting and reporting errors over the course of its history.
Most recently, in 2012, Mitt Romney was declared the initial winner when in fact Rick Santorum had won by a mere 34 votes; a finding that took two weeks to determine and release publicly. This error afforded Romney a host of political benefits, including increased publicity and access to funding that he might not have otherwise received. Read more
On Wednesday, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) released a much anticipated request for proposals (RFP) for the nationwide public safety LTE network. The Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with a limit of $100 billion for a performance period of 25 years marks what FirstNet’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth describes as a “first of its kind public-private partnership”.
Proposals for the project are due by April 29th and many telecommunications carriers will likely enter the competition, which could prove profitable as any of the unused 20 MHz of 700MHz broadband spectrum will be left under the operator’s control. Moreover, the RFP highlights 16 key objectives requiring additional investments in a number of other auxiliary technologies to ensure network functionality. Read more
Companies in just about every industry have the opportunity to benefit from a mobile strategy that improves productivity and engagement. However, mobile penetration among industries varies significantly due to a number of factors including, regulatory drivers/inhibitors, security barriers, killer applications, competitive pressures, work force demographics, etc. Despite these drivers/inhibitors, VDC expects software and hardware mobile investments to increase in 2016 as companies adjust to a world that continues to move towards mobile computing.
Specific impetuses and impediments to mobile investments by sector will undoubtedly dictate the pace of mobile adoption, but all companies will nonetheless feel pressure to expand their mobile initiatives. Whether employed to improve business processes or engage customers, mobility’s ability to provide employees and consumers with critical information just about anywhere will continue to transform the enterprise. Read more
Microsoft’s Windows operating system currently accounts for less than five percent of the smartphone market despite many efforts—most notably its acquisition of Nokia—to revitalize its mobile portfolio. However, 2016 will mark the first full year of Windows 10. This new operating system enables applications to work across all Microsoft devices; thus countering an argument that critical mobile mass is necessary for robust application development. The Windows Continuum allows developers to develop for all devices in the Microsoft ecosystem, thus ensuring an extensive marketplace of enterprise and consumer apps. Moreover, smartphones have largelybecome commoditized, and with differentiation fading, Microsoft has a new opportunity to enter a static market with new, sophisticated, and affordable mobile devices. A window of opportunity is opening for Microsoft in the mobile space as the previous barriers to success are fast eroding. Read more