Recent Acquisitions by General Electric Show Continued Emphasis on Digital Revenues

by Steven Lundstrom | 11/28/2016

On November 14th of this year, GE Digital acquired ServiceMax for 915 million dollars. The acquisition of the Field Service Management Solution provider shows GE’s continued push to generate new digital revenue by expanding service options and performance, and capitalizing on the massive amounts of data coming from connected devices. This has been done with a heavy emphasis on the continued improvement and development of their Predix platform which GE hope will become the leading platform for Industrial IoT across the industries they serve. Read more

Andromeda OS: Already on the Rocks?

by Cameron Roche | 11/09/2016

Throughout the past year, Google has teased the release of Andromeda, the highly anticipated hybrid of its Android and Chrome operating systems (OS), capable of running across mobile devices and larger PC form factors alike. Although Andromeda will not be released until 2017, the impending arrival of Google’s own cross-platform OS and the vendor’s continuing investments in its Android for Work initiative already offer insights into how mobile hardware vendors, enterprise users, and incumbents, like Microsoft and Apple, will move to remain competitive once this new OS enters the market. Read more

Enterprise Users Brace for the Windows 10 Leap

by Cameron Roche | 10/26/2016

Over the past year, Microsoft has been rolling out their Windows 10 operating system (OS). For enterprise organizations, this includes “Big” Windows 10 for desktops and tablets, as well as Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise for smaller form factor devices. While this enterprise OS update has been relatively quick, the migration for some line of business (LoB) applications has been slower than anticipated. Read more

Investment in Line of Business Mobile Devices for Health Care Ecosystem Reaches All-Time High

by Cameron Roche | 10/20/2016

With patient satisfaction and engagement rates as main drivers, growth for both rugged and consumer grade devices used for line of business applications in the health care vertical is projected continue through 2020. The health care ecosystem has reached a critical juncture where organizations are beginning to heavily invest in the next generation of mobility solutions. In 2015, the health care vertical invested nearly $7.2B between hardware, software, and connected services. Over the next few years, this value is projected to climb well past $8.0B as an increasing number of organizations begin their transition towards new mobile-enabled solutions. Read more

Q2 2016 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 10/06/2016

In Q2 of 2016, the total worldwide rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, forklift mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed nearly $958M in revenue shipments and had over 1,033,000 units ship. As seen in Figure 1, the Q2 rugged market saw an overall year-over-year (YoY) revenue dip of 4.4% when compared with Q2 2015. Read more

As Expected, BlackBerry Makes the Software Pivot

by Cameron Roche | 09/28/2016

A major era of the smartphone age has ended. On September 28th, BlackBerry Ltd.’s second quarter fiscal report officially announced the company’s plan to end all internal smartphone development. Instead, the company will begin outsourcing future hardware R&D to manufacturing and distribution partners in Asia. “We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy,” said Executive Chairman and BlackBerry CEO John Chen. “Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold.” The move is not altogether surprising, with Chen stating in May 2016 that he would ultimately decide to exit the hardware space by September if BlackBerry hardware sales were not earning sufficient profits. Read more

Citrix Analyst Summit Recap — Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft!

by Eric Klein | 09/21/2016

Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov kicked off Citrix's annual analyst summit and shared his strategy and vision for the company. What quickly became clear after listening to the company's key leadership present over the course of the two day event was Mr. Tatarinov's key takeaway — Citrix has been heads down and has refocused on its core. While this makes perfect sense, the company is not being complacent - clear progress was revealed (much of it under NDA), and the company's innovation pipeline has been/continues to accelerate. Read more

Secure Messaging 2.0: Evolving Beyond Traditional Communications

by Cameron Roche | 09/15/2016

Many forward-thinking hospitals and clinics are upgrading expensive legacy pager systems and adopting more efficient and effective communications platforms. Replacing these pagers are secure messaging applications coupled with a mobile device (handheld/smartphone, tablet, or wearable). In fact, a recent VDC Research healthcare survey found that 58% of end-users currently support mobile healthcare applications for some type of secure staff communication platform. Vendors in the healthcare community have been marketing now-traditional secure messaging systems for the past few years, but this raises the question of how vendors will continue to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive ecosystem. Read more

Mobility Spurs Security Ecosystem Expansion

by Eric Klein | 09/09/2016

VDC’s mobile team recently published its annual security report. The Report, titled “Mobility Spurs Security Ecosystem Expansion”, details how the adoption of mobility in corporate setting has—for all intents and purposes—blown up the notion of a corporate network perimeter. Threats now extend much further than devices: vulnerabilities, such as malware, direct attacks, data interception, exploitation, and social engineering are all evolving and remain a threat on endpoints in our hands, at our desks, on our networks, and within the data centers of our service providers. Read more

Overall Tablet Growth Tempered, but Enterprise Opportunities Remain

by Cameron Roche | 08/26/2016

While the global tablet market opportunity is expected to contract through 2020, enterprise line of business (LoB) deployments provide a bright spot for growth. In fact, for LoB tablets in enterprise and government industries/sectors, the number of units shipped is expected to grow to nearly 8.7 million by 2020, up from 7.4 million units in 2015 (CAGR of 3.3%). Read more

BlackBerry Security Summit Recap

by Eric Klein | 08/02/2016

I attended BlackBerry’s Security Summit in NYC a few weeks back and wanted to finally share some quick takeaways from the event (a family vacation precluded me from posting this earlier—one of my 2016 resolutions was to disconnect while on vacation, and I actually succeeded!). The event was well attended, with many of the firms’ largest financial services and government customers in attendance. While none of these customers were willing to go on the record, several short conversations made it clear that these customers were loyal, and pleased with the firms’ roadmap and vision. Read more

Enterprise Mobility Exchange Atlanta Wrap-Up: What We Learned from Pokemon Go

by David Krebs | 07/19/2016

While enterprise mobility was the name of the game at IQPC’s Atlanta event, Pokemon Go certainly crashed the party. The app from Nintendo and Alphabet-backed Niantic had just launched to much fanfare the week prior to the event and it seemed like no session could avoid mention of this app and the growing fanfare surrounding it. Since its launch Nintendo had added over $8 billion to its market cap – an astounding figure given the short lifespan of many once hot mobile properties. Read more

Q1 2016 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 07/14/2016

In Q1, the total worldwide rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, vehicle mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed nearly $913 million in revenue shipments and had over 975,000 units ship. As seen in Figure 1, the Q1 rugged market saw an overall year-over-year (YoY) revenue dip of -6.3% when compared with Q1 2015. Read more

Q&A with Samsung Business CISO Sam Phillips

by Eric Klein | 07/05/2016

VDC has been tracking Samsung's mobility initiatives for several years now. The company has established a marquee consumer mobility brand and is continuing to make moves to further expand its enterprise and government business. Samsung has been very successful in embedding security into its platform and hiding many sophisticated functionality that safeguards their customers’ devices from data leakage (core to the company’s strategy is Samsung's proprietary Security Enhanced (SE) Android platform). Read more

Replacing Complexity with Productivity: A Preview at Zebra’s Upcoming Wearable Technology Release

by Cameron Roche | 06/30/2016

A recent VDC Research survey found that 85% of end users are motivated to invest in warehouse wearable initiatives in order to increase employee productivity. This investment is being driven by five significant market pressures (see Figure 1) all pointing to warehouse end-users’ desire to squeeze more productivity out of their operations. Read more

EMM: All Grown Up, but Where to Next?

by Eric Klein | 06/24/2016

The level of competition in the EMM market is on the rise and has forced vendors to reposition their solution portfolios, pricing models, and has even led to several notable market exits. Intel Security announced the end of life (EOL) for its McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management solutions; Globo PLC was forced to vacate the EMM market as it was caught falsifying data and misrepresenting its financial position, and Oracle’s attempt to build an EMM platform around its Bitzer Mobile acquisition seems to have faded. Read more

FINALLY, A Place for Mobility in the Connected Factory

by Matthew Hopkins | 04/29/2016

Manufacturing—whether it’s transforming steel into an automotive vehicle or grains into cereal—is the process by which raw goods become finished goods; it is a fundamental component of the value chain and central part of the global economy. Many manufacturing processes have transcended time relatively unchanged and unaffected by the technological innovations occurring outside factory walls. Pressure to reduce costs and improve margins, however, has compelled factories to make strategic moves in pursuit of reducing labor costs; whether it is changing venue or investing in technologies that automate human tasks. Read more

Q4 2015 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 04/04/2016

In Q4, the total rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, vehicle mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed just over $1.0 billion in revenue shipments and had over 1.1 million units ship. Looking at year-end data, the market grossed over $4 billion and shipped over 4.1 million units worldwide. The Q4 rugged market saw a year-over-year (YoY) revenue slide of 13.3% compared with its position in Q4 2014. Read more

An Evolving Hardware Market Incites Acquisition Activity

by Matthew Hopkins | 04/04/2016

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

An Evolving Hardware Market Incites Acquisition Activity

by Matthew Hopkins | 04/04/2016

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

Patients are Vital: How mobile technology is giving the healthcare industry a renewed focus on patient engagement

by Cameron Roche | 03/09/2016

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

The Inevitable Progression Toward Connected Cities

by Matthew Hopkins | 03/03/2016

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

Xamarin, Microsoft's Appnostic Play

by Eric Klein | 03/01/2016

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

Where are the Wearables? The State and Future of Health Monitors in Hospitals and Clinics

by Cameron Roche | 02/11/2016

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

A Smarter Election in 2016

by Matthew Hopkins | 02/02/2016

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

Appcelerator Runs out of Gas

by Eric Klein | 01/21/2016

Earlier this week, Axway, a global provider of enterprise engagement software that enables application programming interface (API) management, identity management, mobile app development and analytics announced that it had acquired Appcelerator, a privately held cross-platform mobile development platform vendor. Appcelerator’s flagship, Titanium, utilizes an OS abstraction layer approach to convert HTML, JavaScript, and CSS into native iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows applications. The company also productized an mBaaS solution (Arrow) to help developers simplify the process of assembling APIs, models, and connectors to access unstructured corporate data. Read more

FirstNet RFP Marks Move to Modern Public Safety System

by Matthew Hopkins | 01/14/2016

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

Predictions for 2016 Part II

by Cameron Roche | 01/13/2016

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

Predictions for 2016 Part I

by Cameron Roche | 01/12/2016

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