The Gloves are off in the Fight to be the Next Blackberry

by Kathryn Nassberg | 12/18/2013

The battle lines for enterprise mobility are being drawn as a variety of solution providers are jockeying for position to fill the void left by Blackberry. This shift is taking place within the context of the increasing use of consumer devices within an enterprise setting. Recent research from VDC shows that while over 80% of all companies surveyed allow employees to use personal devices, only 36% had a formal BYOD policy in place. The distribution between firms that currently employ mobile device management solutions and those who do not but are evaluating options is nearly identical, with respective percentages of 76% and 36%. The findings point to a widespread adoption of consumer-oriented devices within enterprises and a more methodical approach to device management and information security. Read more

Table-side Tablets are on the Menu for the Hospitality Industry

by Kathryn Nassberg | 12/09/2013

The casual restaurant business has garnered buzz this month with the announcement of Applebee’s partnering with E la Carte to place 100,000 tableside tablets in 1,800 of the restaurant’s locations in 2014. This follows on the heels on the announcement of Chili’s deal with Ziosk to provide tableside tablets in 823 of its locations in March of next year. These two collaborations, with that of Applebee’s in particular, represent the largest rollout of tableside tablets to date in the industry. Other sectors, however, are not far behind. Chicago Public Schools have over 60,000 iPads within the school system as of last month, while the Los Angeles Unified School District boasts a robust 44,000 iPads in its system. Read more

Can Microsoft Take Off With First Notable Surface Deployment?

by Balca Korkut | 09/30/2013

Following its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 that took place last week, Microsoft officially announced its first large enterprise deployments through Delta Air Lines today. As Delta comes aboard the Windows RT bandwagon through the purchase of 11,000 Surface 2 tablets, the company not only aims to lower its fuel and associated costs, but is also looking to enhance efficiency among its workforce. As per the announcement, Microsoft Surface 2 tablets, will initially be used as electronic flight bags (by leveraging Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro app that is targeted for the Windows platform) and will enable the airline to eliminate paper-based flight kits that happen to be heavy in nature. Read more

AT&T: On Message With Lots to Share

by Eric Klein | 09/28/2013

I had the opportunity to attend AT&T’s annual Analyst Summit last week in Dallas Texas and came away with a clear purview into the company’s mobile ambitions moving forward. The company issued a flurry of news releases to coincide with the event ― the announcements show AT&T is moving in a coordinated way to ensure its participation in the ever expanding mobile ecosystem. In this vein, AT&T did very well in articulating how its network build commitment for LTE (project VIP) and continued focus on fostering an innovation from startups would help lead its customers towards the business transformational opportunity of mobile enablement. Read more

2013 Enterprise Mobile Hardware Research Just Released

by David Krebs | 09/25/2013

VDC Research has just published its much anticipated annual worldwide analysis of the market for enterprise mobility hardware, as part of its ongoing coverage of the entire enterprise mobility technology ecosystem. In this report we analyze the use of mobile devices across a variety of device classes and form factors in commercial and government sectors. Read more

Event Recap: AirWatch Connect

by Eric Klein | 09/13/2013

AirWatch held it's 4th 'Connect' end-user and partner event earlier this week in Atlanta. The long roster of mobile-first vendors in attendence was impressive and made this conference feel more like a mini CTIA event. The company attracted important executives from vendors such as IBM, Salesforce, and Samsung; and offered its customers access to three days of roundtables, keynotes and panel discussions on the hottest topics in enterprise mobility. AirWatch also offered customers a certification workshop and provided partners with training sessions. Read more

Handset OEMs Must Focus on the Enterprise to Remain Relevent

by Eric Klein | 09/02/2013

Carriers have been quite adept at adjusting their product/service mix to remain relevant through several mobile booms – this current one is no different. These vendors took the “dumb pipe” moniker to heart and recognized that they needed to make changes to remain relevant. As a consequence, we’ve seen carriers augment their professional services and cloud capabilities, developer communities, and aggressively partner with mobile-first ISVs, M2M vendors (and others in the mobile ecosystem) all in order to ensure their long-term sustainability in the market. Handset OEMs face a similar fate in the rapidly moving mobile market, and must also make adjustments to ensure they retain their own relevance. Read more

Executive Bling and EMM

by Eric Klein | 08/23/2013

I'm not sure who coined it, but the term "executive bling" is not only funny, but has been a very accurate descriptor of mobile enablement in many of today's organizations. While nearly everyone now carries their own personal device with them at all times, in many organizations, executives continue to be an elite group that are offered a device (or choice of devices) once they attain a certain 'rank' at their place of employment. However, BYOD policy adoption continues to impact mobile enablement in large organizations (59% of the respondents to our latest survey claimed to have a formal BYOD support program in place) and has created a significant market opportunity for mobile-first ISVs. Read more

Mobile Services Vendors are Leaving Money on the Table

by Britt Libby | 08/22/2013

As much as today's modern smartphone devices have revolutionized the world of mobile handheld technology, mobile devices have been around for decades. 

For tradtional rugged hardware vendors (such as Motorola Solutions, Honeywell, or  Datalogic), the notion of complementing mobile hardware sales with bundled professional service offerings is by no means new.  These vendors generate significant revenues each year from their help desk, field service and technical support service offerings. Read more

Groundbreaking Coverage of the Public Safety Mobile Broadband Market

by Britt Libby | 08/15/2013

VDC’s Mobile and Wireless Practice is pleased to announce the launch of a groundbreaking new research program covering the North American market for mobile hardware, software and services targeted at the public safety broadband communications market.  Building upon our coverage of the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) market, this research will is sort out hype from reality and help vendors understand exactly what the market opportunity is to provide commercial broadband-based offerings to emergency responders including police, fire and other emergency personnel. Read more

Turning the Page on e-Textbooks

by Chrysanthos Nicholas | 07/31/2013

The fact that today’s book stores are more a relic than a real destination for those in search of textbooks reflects the digitalization of an entire industry. Both Borders and Cengage have declared bankruptcy over the last two years and companies like Barnes and Noble have tirelessly transitioned their strategy towards an online presence as opposed to their brick and mortar beginnings. It is therefore easy to cite the e-textbook as the next cutting edge in disruptive technology, especially due to price advantages posed by resellers like Amazon and their aggressive strategy towards digital content.  Read more

Security Concerns - The High Hurdle for Mobile Enablement in the Enterprise

by Eric Klein | 07/30/2013

VDC data has repeatedly shown that organizations recognize the opportunity to benefit from consumer-oriented mobile devices from a business context; however, many CIOs remain adverse to extending mobile applications to their workforce. This is due to a variety of factors that range from acknowledging that they are not properly equipped to support mobile platforms (from an IT and resource perspective) to being unable to successfully articulate the value proposition and ROI from mobile enablement to corporate leaders. Read more

Established Vendors Demonstrate They Can Innovate In Digital Payments

by Balca Korkut | 07/29/2013

In July 2013, Visa provided multiple updates on the success that the company has so far received with its digital wallet service. As you may remember, the company had an initial launch in United States in 2012, was already forming partnerships with US banks and went global by adding Canada, UK, Spain and France soon after. As of last week, the company has partnerships with over 90 financial institutions in the US, including Bank of America and PNC Bank, almost doubling the number of organizations supporting the service in an 8-9 months timeframe. Read more

MDP Space Heating Up - Funding Announced for Xamarin, Appcelerator & Others

by Britt Libby | 07/17/2013

The market for enterprise-grade app platforms is continuing to attract substantial investments. Today's funding announcement of $16M Series B funding for mobile first startup Xamarin follows on the coattails of Appcelerator's $12.1M funding announcement just yesterday, bringing the company up to a total of more than $63M in funding.  In the past few months companies such as FeedHenry and Kony have also received notable funding rounds. Read more

What Does an 'Enterprise' Smartphone/Tablet Look Like?

by Eric Klein | 06/28/2013

Due to the valuable and often sensitive nature of the content residing on mobile devices, and the inherent insecurity of modern mobile computing platforms, CIOs and IT personnel know that they must make protecting their mobile end points from the vulnerabilities and threats that they are regularly exposed to a top priority. Handset OEMs and mobile ISVs are in tune with these trends and are beginning to augment and enhance the security mechanisms to protect both corporate liable and BYOD devices. The goal is in hiding the complexity associated with the enterprise-grade security they are adding from consumers who are the ultimate buyers of the devices. Read more

Mobile Payments Market Getting More Crowded In Americas Market

by Balca Korkut | 06/27/2013

Last week, Sweden’s iZettle announced that it is expanding out of Europe and bringing its mobile payments system to Mexico. The news did not come as a total shock, given the announcement from earlier this month that announced the partnership between iZettle and the Spanish bank Banco Santander with Santander’s €5M ($6.6M USD)  investment in this Swedish start up. Along with this partnership, iZettle had gained access to Santander’s customers in the United Kingdom. Read more

Mobility Innovation: Port of Pittsburgh's Maritime Situational Awareness Portal

by David Krebs | 06/27/2013

In June 2012 the Port of Pittsburgh Commission announced its plans to build a local wireless network for the waterways. Named WirelessWaterways, the original project, which was financed with $1.3 million in grant funding from the federal Port Security Grant and Port of Pittsburgh Commission funds, is a standalone model. However, it is being closely monitored as a national model moving forward. The opportunity to exchange data among barges carrying freight, port operators, government agencies and others has the potential to significantly enhance operational efficiencies for these operators and provide public safety organizations the means to improve response and recovery and assist in more cooperative detection among public and commercial entities. Read more

AirWatch Scoops up Motorola Solutions' Mobility Service Platform

by Britt Libby | 06/26/2013

Motorola Solutions (MSI) announced today the sale of its Mobility Services Platform to enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendor AirWatch.  Previously partnered with AirWatch to facilitate stronger management of consumer grade device deployments, this sale indicates a strategic shift by MSI, including. Read more

New Vendors Looking to Erase BlackBoard's Hold on the K-12 Market

by David Krebs | 06/14/2013

To say that the education software market is in a state of flux would be an understatement. The fragmented field of Goliaths such as BlackBoard and Desire2Learn are nervously holding tight to their reigns of market share as startups like  Instructure and Haiku sling their innovative software to schools left and right. The education market is ripe for change, and nowhere is this reflected more clearly than in the amount of new entrants and venture funding pervading this market. Read more

A Square Service in a Round, Cash Market?

by Chrysanthos Nicholas | 05/31/2013

Mobile payment platform Square is now processing more than $15 billion in annual payments with roughly half of its 2 million US customers stemming from iPad users. In addition, Square recently released its new Square Stand cash register for its line of small business solutions. This momentum has fueled last week’s announcement that Square is set to enter the Japanese market – its first country outside of North America – through a partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Corporation. Read more

Sapphire: Cloudy With the Promise of Business Transformation

by Eric Klein | 05/15/2013

SAP kicked off the first day of their annual SAPPHIRE NOW event this week in Orlando with 4 press releases ( - two of which pertain directly to enterprise mobility. First, the company announced that its Afaria device management solution was available on Amazon's Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. The AWS Marketplace will offer a fully configured SAP Afaria 7.0 server, that brings a new UI, Windows Phone 8 support, an app portal that is integrated with the SAP Store, as well as mobile analytics dashboards for BI reporting.  Read more

Can Apple Devices Rough the Rugged DSD Market?

by Chrysanthos Nicholas | 05/15/2013

According to a recent article from Mobile Enterprise Magazine, PepsiCo’s North American Beverages division has adopted Apple products into its Direct Store Delivery system. Not only are roughly 4,000 field merchandisers equipped with iPhones and 2,000 field managers with iPads, but PepsiCo has gone a step further and developed two iOS apps entirely in-house through its technology group. Read more

Apperian Automates Custom App Deployments

by Eric Klein | 04/24/2013

Apps are the reason why we all love our devices, and our future is without question going to be app-centric. From a business context, we see organizations continuing to advance their mobile strategies and move well beyond just providing their employees access to email towards broader usage of productivity and collaboration applications (which are increasingly custom developed apps). Enterprise-oriented ISVs are also very active in sharpening their mobile focus and expanding their mobile applications portfolios ― additionally, data from a recent survey we conducted into the usage of app development platforms/tools shows that organizations are (finally) beginning to meaningfully take advantage of these solutions to create custom applications. Read more

Local & Mobile: What Foursquare’s Debt Financing means to the Retail Sector

by Chrysanthos Nicholas | 04/12/2013

Last week Foursquare, the social and location centered app, secured $41m in funding from Silver Lake Partners and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Spark Capital. Foursquare had a rocky 2012 as seen in:

  • Only about $2m in revenue generated
  • Questions concerning its business model by market analysts and retailers alike
  • Analyst speculation  on a possible buy-out or failure of Foursquare

It raises the question as to why Silver Lake, a private equity fund that has financed companies such as friedola®Tech and Dell, would put forth such a large investment in Foursquare. The answer is the promise of big data and mobile devices in the retail sector. Read more

BlackBerry 2013: What's the next move?

by David Krebs | 04/03/2013

BlackBerry recently announced its FY 2012 Q4 results and the details were mostly impressive. Some of the the key metrics included:

  • 6 million smartphones shipped
  • 1 million Z10 smartphones shipped
  • 45-55% of Z10 adopters were previously using another platform
  • BB10 apps reached 100,000
  • Return to profitability
  • Total BB subscribers down to 76 million (from 79 million)

With the exception of the drop in subscribers - which perhaps was not entirely surprising - the numbers were better than most expected. While one quarter does not a trend make, the momentum is increasingly positive for BlackBerry. However, the emphasis at BlackBerry since Heins took the helm has been more about near term tactics - organizational restructuring, ensuring the successful launch of the Z10, returning to profitability - as opposed to longer term strategy. Read more

Apple Shells Out $20M – Keep an Eye on the Location-Based Services Market

by Britt Libby | 03/25/2013

Shelling out just under $20 million, Apple purchased startup WiFiSLAM earlier this month (reported by the Wallstreet Journal), adding the company’s indoor mobile location services to Apple’s broad library of technological proficiencies. As the market for context-based services heats up, this move suggests Apple’s intent to play catch-up with its competitors in the market. Read more

Samsung Continues its Creep into the Enterprise Market...Launches KNOX at MWC

by Britt Libby | 02/27/2013

Tuesday, February 25th, Samsung launched its latest mobile solution - KNOX.  KNOX is a dual-persona platform, enabling two distinct environments to exist simultaneously on mobile workers' device.

BYOD continues to challenge IT, driving complexities in multi-OS management, BYOD vs corporate device management, and security management.  Samsung is betting on the dual-persona concept as the path forward. While the concept has existed for several years (with Enterproid one of the first to market with a solution), its adoption has been slow. Read more

Mobile and Channel First

by Eric Klein | 02/22/2013

As I began tracking and following the evolution of mobile-oriented solution providers and their channel relationships, I quickly recognized that co-opetition was a fact of life for many market participants. This has historically been the case for rapidly expanding high-tech market segments (just think back to the ecommerce and dot-com boom in the late 90’s). This trend is unmistakable in today’s rapidly expanding market for enterprise mobility solutions. I see competitors that are cooperating to integrate their solutions, collaborating to help set new industry standards, and/or even co-innovate to develop new solutions. Read more

The New BlackBerryZ10…. Consumer Friendly, Enterprise Approved...But Does It Matter?

by David Krebs | 02/01/2013

With the Z10 BlackBerry (don't call me RIM) has a smartphone that stands up to the leaders of the pack - Samsung's Galaxy SIII, Apple's iPhone 5 and, for good measure, Nokia's Lumia 920. BlackBerry now finally has a capable touch-centric device that has been missing from its arsenal since, well, forever. But what does this mean for the future of the company? Is BlackBerry now in position to reclaim some of its lost share (see figure) or at least stem the tide? Put another way, does the market need a strong third option and, if yes, will it be BlackBerry or Windows? Read more

Solving the BYOD Challenge Without Managing Devices

by Eric Klein | 01/24/2013

As a long-time industry watcher you've likely seen many acronyms come and go (WAP, ASP, ISDN, etc.) ‒ BYOD is no exception, and will ultimately disappear from our vernacular as well. However, given that we are in the early days of mobile enablement, the trend is sure to impact the modern workplace for years to come, and will pose both an opportunity and a threat for CIOs and IT administrators who will ultimately be supporting an increasingly diverse roster of mobile devices. Read more

NRF 2013: Translating the interactive online experience into the store...and other observations

by David Krebs | 01/17/2013

NRF 2013 certainly lived up to its “The BIG Show” billing and delivered an extremely well attended trade show by both retail technology vendors and investors. From mobile payments and POS innovation to retail analytics and concierge programs, one key theme throughout NRF was the desire by retailers to replicate – if not improve – the interactive experience enabled through online channels. The  growing threat of trends like show-rooming and from e-tail powerhouse and continued inability of traditional retailers to more effectively integrate their online and in-store experiences are leaving retailers predictably nervous. Read more

The “Rule of Three” Stipulates There's Room for a Third Mobile Ecosystem

by Eric Klein | 01/01/2013

“The Rule of Three” postulates that all major markets evolve and shift, and that markets tend to behave in a highly predictable fashion. This seems to be playing out in the mobile platform battle that we are in the midst of. Interestingly, whether by intention or not, vendors such as Apple and Google find themselves achieving vendor lock in. While this is largely due to end-user comfort level and familiarity with these respective platforms, many users have also have invested in apps and music for these respective platforms.  Read more