Managed Mobility Services Still a Work in Progress

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Current Analysis has completed its analysis of global operators’ managed mobility services  (see Global Managed Mobility Services 2013: Who’s on Top?, December 16, 2013).
  • There was steady progress but not transformations in providers’ portfolios.  Work remains for BYOD, mobile apps, mobile security, and virtualization.

Every year, Current Analysis looks at the managed mobility services (MMS) of the U.S. and European-based operators, compares their strategies and services, and ranks them according to their core services, value-added services, availability, customer traction, and the progress they have made in fleshing out their portfolios.  We discovered that service providers have added more third-party solution partners, better defined their professional services, began to articulate BYOD-focused offerings, and improved the way they present and position their MMS portfolios.  However, while last year there appeared to be a mandate to broaden the scope of services by adding more sophisticated mobile application management tools, application development capabilities, and mobile security services, only some operators have made enhancements in these areas.  Operators are also discussing the synergy of MMS with their cloud and UC services, but the actual ‘convergence’ of these separate sets of services is still in the beginning stages.  While BYOD remains a major opportunity (and threat), many operators are still in trials with dual persona vendors and have not yet implemented advanced capabilities such as split billing for personal and business communications and transactions.  Below are a few other recommendations to MMS providers:

* Even some of the strongest MMS providers are regionally focused.  Many European-based operators lack solid U.S. partnerships and vice versa.  While most operators are excited about opportunities in Asia-Pacific, it is still important to have a solid and consistent way of delivering services, starting with roaming tariffs that make international connectivity affordable.

* There is still a distinction between operators with in-house systems integration capabilities and those that are still building up their professional services.  As application development and business process consulting become priorities in mobile deployments, operators that lack these capabilities may lose customers to systems integrators that are equally excited about the mobile opportunities ahead.

* Mobile operators are also very involved with M2M service expansion.  They should soon realize that many MMS capabilities (e.g., application development and delivery, troubleshooting and device management, affordable roaming, and service enablement) are also important for success in the M2M space, as operators (and SIs) look to offer value-added services beyond connectivity.

* While the disclosure of reference customers is tricky and often beyond the control of the operator, it is difficult to gauge market traction without it.  Current Analysis’ MMS rankings reflect our best efforts to compare MMS providers fairly.  However, operators need to provide some evidence of traction, whether it is new names, numbers, revenues, or growth rates.

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