Visions of Barcelona

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • MWC is a chance to listen to and interact with the mobility ecosystem (60,000 suppliers and end-users), which will be speaking loudly, excitedly and all in one place.
  • Three key trends to watch are the “connected life”, how to implement BYOD, and hopes by Nokia and RIM to generate new industry buzz.

I am writing this blog the day before I go to Mobile World Congress but it won’t be posted until the show is almost over. This is an experiment to test the theory that a good analyst can anticipate some of the main announcements and themes from the massive numbers of invitations to view products, attend demos, listen to pundits and meet both with top vendors and smaller players in the enterprise mobility market face to face. I am now looking into my crystal ball…

Theme 1: Everything is Connected. This includes our houses (our appliances, our in-home chronically ill, our thermostats, security systems and yes, our children’s pajamas), our cars (our driving behavior and that of our teenagers, the car’s location, and the health of all of its electro-mechanical parts, along with instructions about where to go, how to get there and what to see along the way). The announcements from the M2M market will include new applications and products for healthcare, home security, new partnerships within the M2M ecosystem, new features of service delivery and application platforms, and demos of the latest SIM form factors. This week we have already seen several new important M2M deals: Telefonica and the European ONStar division, Orange in partnership with Sierra Wireless for Nespresso, as well as Qualcomm’s partnership with Orange to provide connectivity for its Qualcomm Life and 2net platform for mobile health.

Theme 2: The Acceleration of IT Consumerization and BYOD. You can’t fight it, so embrace it and corral it. Every MDM vendor I have ever heard of (including Mobile Iron, SAP/Sybase, Enterproid, 3LM with Boxtone, VMware and IronKey) and many of the WLAN vendors for whom BYOD is also a big threat (and opportunity) will be at the show. The emerging partnerships are of particular interest in this space, and some of the Android OEMs, MDM vendors and dual persona deliverers will be hosting joint events.

Theme 3: The Comeback Kids? Nokia and Microsoft are hosting a number of events and are expected to showcase their new Windows Phone smartphones (the Lumia 900 and less expensive brother the Lumia 610). But the real news would be a Nokia/Microsoft Windows 8 tablet entry, which has been alluded to for months. RIM’s messaging will be all about the Playbook 2.0 release, which includes a long-awaited native email/calendar and better Android apps support. Nokia/Microsoft and RIM will be fighting for relevance – even in the enterprise market – as Android and iOS continue to get most of the attention.

Other themes of interest to the enterprise include WiFi offload, the ramifications of the real emergence of LTE, and ways businesses can save money while using more and more voice/data and video in an increasingly connected world. In my next blog I will confirm what trends emerged, or any issues that I had not foreseen.

What do you think?

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