End-of-Year Insights on Enterprise Mobility

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Services for enterprise mobility did not change greatly in scope in 2014, but operators and service providers are seeing some new trends in customer requirements and buying habits; many are adjusting their portfolios or positioning.
  • A number of different issues rose to the top of the list as trends in 2014: the slow consolidation of enterprise mobility and M2M ecosystems, new positioning for enterprise mobility in SP portfolios, new definitions of EMM, MEAP evolution, and new patterns in buying habits.

Slow Consolidation of M2M/IoT and Enterprise Mobility Ecosystems: While the companies providing service delivery, application enablement, security, and device management for M2M deployments remain distinct from those providing EMM, there are beginning to be some common elements. Some carriers even talk about managing connected devices under the same pane of glass as smartphones and tablets, and enterprise equipment vendors and EMM platform developers that play in enterprise mobility are expanding their product scope to encompass M2M and IoT.

Carriers Re-State the Positioning of Mobility with Other Transformational Areas Such as Cloud, Data Analytics, and UCC: At nearly every global operator’s analyst summit this year, enterprise mobility was no longer positioned as a separate growth area that would save the business as wireline revenues flatten or decline. Rather, it is now simply a given that mobile devices represent a growing proportion of endpoints that, just like any other device used by an enterprise, need to access both cloud-delivered and on-premises applications and data. They must also be able to participate remotely in UCC services as a peer to on-premises employees’ computing and telephony systems. Compared to fixed or LAN connected computing devices, however, mobile devices can uniquely collect data about customer habits that can be mined for B2B and B2C opportunities.

EMM Definitions Expand Yet Again: Last year, MDM was widely seen as a commodity, but the focus on secure data, shared content, and application management allowed MDM vendors to evolve to not-nearly as commoditized EMM platform vendors. This year, definitions expanded yet again, adding application performance monitoring, identity management, and increasing convergence of management for laptops/Macs, smartphones, and tablets via the same platform, which may support ‘bring your own laptop’ programs as well as BYOD.

MEAP Morphs Into Something Else: MEAP as a service from mobile providers never fared very well, as enterprises have their own tools to write applications, outsource this function to SIs, or adapt apps from app stores. MEAPs have given way to mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) and other platforms that provide connectors to backend databases and ERP systems from mobile devices. But, operators’ relationships with application development is not consistent across service providers. Some have multiple partners (such as SAP, Kony, FeedHenry); others primarily sell shrink-wrapped apps from companies such as SAP, or ones that are 80% standard across all customers but need 20% of features or user interface elements customized.

Analysis of Buying Habits for Enterprise Mobility Provides Useful Insights for Service Providers and Platform Vendors: According to the Current Analysis 2014 Enterprise Investment Plans survey, 35% of respondents’ companies buy their managed mobility solutions from IT SPs, 31% go to a global Tier 1 or regional mobile operator, and 10% buy from cloud services providers. Among respondents, 73% of their companies plan to increase mobility spending over the next 12 months.

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