IT Service Provider Mobility Heats Up

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • While IT service providers always claim to be doing a lot in mobility, this year they really are:  Many have reorganized/repositioned or added a mobility overlay to consolidate all the different internal organizations and services offering mobile solutions.  Others have added new partners and services or reconfigured their portfolios.
  • While the large global IT SPs still target the Fortune 500, they see mobility as a wedge; they can take on smaller projects within large companies because they can upsell and cross-sell related consulting, advisory application development and integration projects, or get business from the prospect in other related transformational areas such as cloud/virtualization, UCC and social/data analytics/B2C.  Does this make them a bigger threat to operators and pure-play managed mobility services providers than they were before?

Historically, whenever Current Analysis has talked to the large IT service providers (ITSPs) about mobility, they have claimed it is a really significant area and noted that they are providing mobility solutions throughout their vertical industry practices, their application development groups and their managed services organizations.  However, each year, both the ITSPs and the operators claim they do not really consider each other competitors and, in fact, play well together for joint engagements.  We recently completed a round of briefings from companies including IBM, HP, Accenture and T-Systems, and the sets of mobility services these providers offer appear to be positioned more as standardized services and less as simply a small (but growing) component of much larger BPO engagements.  These solutions also seem to be similar to the operators’ portfolios.

For example, IBM’s MobileFirst program rebrands its mobility offerings, bringing together solutions from its software, consulting, managed services and vertical practices.  In addition, IBM acquired Tealeaf in 2013 to fortify its ability to provide analytics to B2C engagements.  HP has refreshed its enterprise mobility services via a new ‘pan-HP’ focus on this segment, a new cloud-based mobility management service, new cross-platform development partners and a new consulting workshop for mobility transformation.  T-Systems has refocused its mobility offerings on helping customers use mobility to transform; it offers a fully managed lifecycle management portfolio, in line with related initiatives in big data, cloud services and collaboration.  Even Accenture, often viewed as only taking on large deals and not getting its hands dirty in the lower-level everyday management of mobile devices and applications, offers Accenture Enterprise Mobility Management (AEMM), a lifecycle management service that bundles TEM with MDM/MAM and enterprise app store catalogues to allow for real-time options such as proactive curbing or prevention of international roaming.  Accenture also provides deployment, procurement, asset tracking, depot/repair services and service desk resources and has flexible options to support mobile application development.

In a recently completed end-user survey which Current Analysis will unveil in a webinar on October 3rd and 4th, ITSPs are gaining an increasing share of mobility-oriented enterprise business, especially in areas such as mobile strategy and mobile application development and enablement (which is to be expected), but also for mobile device management and mobile security, often considered the domain of operators, security software vendors and pure-play managed mobility services companies.  Delivering global enterprise mobility services is becoming increasingly competitive, as the big ITSPs, Tier 1 operators and a surprising number of pure-plays (such as Vox Mobile, Enterprise Mobile and Mobi) see a growing opportunity.

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