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.
Carriers have been at the forefront of delivering mobile voice, internet and PIMS applications. But, truth be told, they were generally not very innovative when it came to supporting the delivery of mission-critical line-of business applications and supporting solutions.
Why have carriers not done more to access and accelerate this opportunity? Most often the answer was: This opportunity is too small. Too complicated with so many unique provisioning and security requirements. Not profitable enough with all the fragmentation.
It has been challenging for so many of us observing or participating in the enterprise mobility markets to understand why or how the carriers could be so ... indifferent? Well, it was hard for me to understand anyway.
Then yesterday I read this article on smartphone vendors, and their carrier partners, reinvigorated response to the ever-expanding iPhone application market. And something clicked ...
“The operators don’t like this idea of becoming dumb pipes, where their services are commoditized,"
Given the dominant development and deployment methods in the enterprise mobility market, that is just about all the carriers would have been. And could be considered now.
We can all agree that no stakeholder group is keen to have carriers too deeply involved in application development.
So does a space exist for carriers to become something more than 'dumb pipes? Something less than competition for application developers?
We think so. Managed Mobile Services Providers. In fact, we just published our latest study on the market demand for, and supplier opportunity to, develop and deliver managed services for mobile solutions.
In that study, we learned that there is growing demand for a suite of services that enables enterprises to develop, deploy and manage their mobile solutions in new ways.
Many of the most acute market requirements are not in contention with application developer business models, and could offer carriers a migration path from dumb pipe to smart pipe. That would offer the enterprise mobility solution operator a path to new levels of productivity in their operations, higher levels of services for their customers, and another approach for solution vendors to reach new markets.