Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2015

Enterprise Mobility is all about increasing productivity and generating a return on investment Vs other demands in the business. Keeping on top of whats hot in the sector can make a huge difference to project performance and longevity. So what do we think will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 ?

1.Tablets take on Laptops

As users started to use their “entertainment” tablet for work use some thought that Laptops would simply get wiped out and Tablet sales would continue to rise. IDC commented that 2014 saw Tablet sales growth slow year on year to 7.2% from 52.5% in the previous year. It looks like the Tablet replacement cycle may be as long as Laptops – or even longer. The rationale seems to be that once a tablet is found to be good at doing whatever it is doing there is no need to replace it. Although slowing it is expected that Tablet adoption will overtake PC’s in 2015 according to Gartner.

We doubt that laptops are going the way of LaserDisc or fax machine anytime soon. In the enterprise this means more possibilities for remote users to blur the lines between having a rugged PDA for line of business apps Vs a keyboard based device for more white collar productivity tasks. Although not suitable in every scenario we see more people using Tablets or Hybrid devices to replace the main computer in their lives.

2. R.I.P. Windows Embedded 6.5 … again

It has been coming for some time and without question a large number of enterprise mobility deployments ran on Android rather than Windows Embedded 6.5 in 2014. When Motorola Solutions the Gorilla in the sector gets acquired by Zebra it is a good sign that things have changed forever.

There are large numbers of users on this platform especially in the retail supply chain and T&L markets. So plenty of incentive in 2015 if you are a vendor coming from a different part of the market and a real headache for legacy manufacturers defending these accounts. Expect to see heavyweights like Panasonic in more traditionally “hand held” scenarios following the launch of their FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 devices.

3. Android Battles

Gartner says sales of smartphones grew 20 percent in the third quarter of 2014 in emerging markets were flat in Europe and up in the US. Growth is characterised by the continuing rise of Chinese Android brands and the narrowing of the difference in cost between feature phones and low cost smartphones. Gartner expects sales of smartphones to reach @1.9 billion devices world wide in 2014.

Low cost offerings like the Tesco Hudl and a slew of no-name rugged brands come with little or no real “enterprise grade” operational or break fix support. We believe organisations with more users will deploy solutions from major vendors such Samsung who recently launched the Tab Active an IP67 Android based inexpensive rugged tablet.

4. Windows Tablet

What about Microsoft…? Being late has characterised Microsoft in recent years. In the rugged space OEM’s using the embedded 6.5 and desktop Windows OS have taken a beating as many users moved to less costly devices that did not run a Microsoft OS. It finally got its act together with Windows 8.1. We predict more innovative and lower cost designs like the xTablet Flex 8  to beat off the opposition – but it will be tough.

5. Enterprise Mobility Management EMM – Fact or Fiction ?

Without doubt Fact !  In many organisations BYOD has been characterised by not being embraced by IT as fast as it is by employees wanting to access corporate data with their own devices.  Turning the provision of mobility to white and blue collar workers into a competitive asset means aligning what may be formal and informal BYOD arrangements. Using device management as a method in security, application and financial management mobility scenarios is really the only way we see this happening

Carl Rodrigues CEO of SOTI commented  “As global businesses establish and scale their mobility strategies, they can rely on our solution to manage smartphones, tablets and purpose-built mobile devices in addition to PCs, laptops and peripherals, from a singlepane of glass, no matter the operating system”

6. Apps Devices And The Long Tail

What if your SME enterprise does not have access to in house IT or the budget to fund a traditional enterprise mobility project ?

The good news is that many businesses already have competent devices in the form of SmartPhones or Tablets. Plus more line of business apps are deliverable via the cloud on a subscription basis. This will allow businesses to run a project with little up front cost that addresses how to increase internal productivity and deploy it with an excellent ROI.

7. Barcode Scanning Goes Mainstream

Barcode Scanning has been around for decades and is considered to be the founding element of the Internet of Things.  There are plenty of Android and iOS apps to allow your SmartPhone to scan using its camera. This is ok for ad hoc use but when higher frequency scanning is required a sled like the Honeywell Captuvo or separate Bluetooth scanner such as models form Socket are much more ergonomic to use. With the adoption of more SmartPhones and Tablets in the enterprise without integral scanning we anticipate seeing more of these in use next year.

Seven Key Enterprise Mobility IT Trends for 2014

If you supply the coffee we can bring our crystal ball to your office to discuss the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2015 that may impact your project.

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Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009

Cast your mind back five years Microsoft launched Windows 7 Barack Obama became US President and Avatar was the biggest grossing movie taking in $761m.

Things move very fast in mobility so lets take a look back at what were some of the top mobile stories of 2009.

 

“iSlate” Rumours

This was an era when nearly a quarter of all PC sales in Europe were made up of sub laptop devices called “Netbooks” sporting mini screens and tiny keyboards. Rumors were swirling that Apple intended to bring out a device called “iSlate” a consumer grade breakthrough tablet to sell alongside the iPhone and iPod. Many commentators decided this was never going to happen including this hilarious article from PC World

As we all know the iPad was released in April of 2010 and some 200m units later the rest is history…

Navigation for the Masses

At the time Apple limited users to expensive options from TomTom or CoPilot. When Google Launched Google Maps Navigation a whole new functional area was born. This enabled Android users to use navigation straight from their phones and thus consigned many dedicated GPS navigation units to car boot sales.

Smartphone Adoption and Dominant Player Meltdown

Early in 2009 if you had a “smartphone” it was probably a Blackberry who had 55% market share in the US 20% globally and strong financials. If you were still using a plain cell phone it was likely to have been a Nokia who at the time boasted 41% world wide share. Later in the year one survey figured that 39% of people had a smartphone Blackberry still accounting for the largest portion of U.S. market share with 50% followed by Apple at 30% Palm with 7% and Android around 3%.

Adoption is now well over 50% in most markets with rates in some counties breaking 80%. In 2017, IDC expects that 1.7 billion smartphones will be shipped.

You all know what became of Blackberry and Nokia…

Android Goes Mainstream

It took a while to get off the ground but 2009 was the year Android went mainstream. All of a sudden it was obvious that the iPhone was not the only cool handset with built in music social media and the ability to browse the web.

The Motorola Droid got a lot of headlines and was a bestseller in the US but HTC Samsung and Sony all had success with early versions of devices on Android platforms.

Market share of the Android OS is now thought to be @80% worldwide…

Battery Power

We take this increasingly for granted but the development of mobile devices has led to huge innovation in battery technology to drive such features as LTE, Wi-Fi, Video,  Cameras GPS and those huge bright screens.

In 2009 1500 a mAh battery was the industry’s high water mark yielding for many smartphone users a battery life of about 6 hours

At the launch of the Galaxy S5 earlier this year Samsung boasted of a 2,800 mAh battery that the company claims can deliver 11 hours of video playback or 10 hours of web browsing over LTE.

So what can we learn from the top mobile stories of 2009 ? Things change fast and innovation and good timing can often by key to the success of new products.  If you are into crystal ball gazing mobile technology it may be safe to make a prediction 12 months out but 3 to 5 years is much much more difficult.

Top 5 Mobile Stories of 2009Get in touch to learn more about our approach to building effective solutions for enterprise mobility. No crystal ball needed.

 

 

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive
Rugged Android Devices – Spot the Difference

Looking at the plethora of me too rugged Android devices launched in 2014 reminds me of the early days of the PC industry.

For you younger readers this was a time when a company called IBM invented a device called a personal computer with some help from a chap called Bill Gates.

 

 

In the early days IBM was the only manufacturer but they were soon joined by Compaq Dell and others who created a clone market of product that was literally described as “IBM compatible”

Then came a deluge of “manufacturers” joining the fray. In the UK companies like Apricot Tiny Time Evesham Packard Bell and a very long list of others were all very active. They focused on shifting product in an attempt to grow very quickly whilst stealing market share from the major players.

They discovered that using price as the major differentiator meant that profitable growth was elusive. This was not a great place to be especially when trying to sell to a fickle public through the medium of retail.

Over a period of time these companies consolidated tried to re-invent themselves or disappeared altogether.

Lessons for Enterprise Mobility?

Traditionally our niche handheld market has been dominated by hardware and apps optimised to run on one operating platform – Windows Mobile.

What has surprised many is the speed at which smartphone users have abandoned previously held truths. The demise of Backberry and Nokia has serious lessons for the box shifters in the enterprise space. We have seen huge movement over the last 18 months from users asking for systems to be deployed on Android or iOS.  Motivations include being able to access a different buying economic a much broader range of product and to open the door for BYOD. The killer being once people stop developing on your platform look out.

Many buyers are now used to the norm of a 24 month contract and replacement cycle for mobile devices. So a traditional high initial price with 5 year TCO and multi year repair cycle just does not suit them.

Innovate and Keep up or its Curtains

Tim Cook Apple CEO said earlier this year that he did not see the market for high end smartphones becoming saturated any time soon. That makes sense for him as Apple is the aspirational brand. So like BMW Dyson and John Lewis it does not need to compete just on price.

The same is broadly true in the Enterprise sector where super size major clients having a relationship with a scale vendor makes a lot of sense. But in these cases the manufacturer will only stay competitive by continuing to eliminate channel content and reducing margin to compete with all the alternatives.

So for manufacturers with a history in Enterprise Mobility introducing rugged Android devices is a great idea, right? ….

….sort of, Recent history would lead us to conclude that not all these vendors brands and products will prove innovative enough to survive the onslaught of low cost brands from China. Trying to remain profitable in their current form may lead to another flurry of reorganization and M&A.

Why this is different

Once all the rugged Android clones and new entrants have beaten each other up on price for long enough we are likely to end up with a small number of main players. The others will struggle and find they lack the fire power to survive at the high end whilst carrying costs that are too high to re-cast themselves as a a low cost vendor.

The twist may well be that over a period of 2-4 years the dominant vendors may not be the companies or brands we are used to being on top of the Enterprise Mobility sector. They are likely to include brands we currently think of as “consumer” or do not even know yet.

The advent of Android as the OS of choice and the changing nature of procurement and app design are real game changers which may well leave some our largest well known plaqyers scrambling to adapt.

Why Not All The Rugged Android Devices Will Survive

Get in touch to book a webinar or visit to see how we can help you make the most of your enterprise mobility project on Android.

 

 

What Everyone Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility
The Osborne is now a Museum Piece

Guest Post by Timothy C B Cox. I always have said the mobile computer like the smart phone is not much use without applications, and it’s true for all  enterprise solutions which makes identifying a mobile computing platform for enterprise mobility such an important task.

But the platform does play an important part in the solution and should not be overlooked as just an easy decision because of our familiarity with smart consumer devices.  Recently Apple reported a drop in product margin’s, but their pricing has not really changed.  It shows smart phones are not going to get any cheaper anytime soon.

If anything consumer choice will be between the high margin expensive full featured hand-sets and the lower cost feature limited devices.  Or putting it another way, choosing between high margin devices and low margin devices.  Of course it’s in the interests of the vendor to urge the consumer to purchase the high margin product.

So future options are limited, I see them trying to protect existing product margins by releasing a new product with lower cost base.  I cannot see them compromising flagship products in terms of quality or features being a route for established brands when they battling with each other for market share.

For Example….

Samsung is currently being probed by the Taiwanese authorities for possibly paying people to post bad reviews and poor readability reports for the HTC One in Taiwan.  The HTC One uses higher quality materials in its case design and Samsung is concerned they may get into a new battle where their material costs increase to defend against other products, and this would be an unwanted downward pressure on their product margins.

The Apple iPhone is generally accepted to be of high quality design and build.  What Samsung fears is having to compete with another Android handset where the only real difference is quality of materials used in it’s industrial design.

Everyone selling is under pressure from falling margins!

Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

Rugged devices, though initially more expensive do last longer before being replaced, they are more stable in design and feature sets.  Typical customers do not like unpleasant surprises, because their investment is larger and the time to reach their ROI is longer.

You shouldn’t expect rugged device makers to jump onto latest OS releases or design features their customer base has a predefined expectation of their products.  If you look at Conical responsible for the open source Ubuntu Linux distribution, they have a two track release solution, a LTS or Long Term Support release and a general release.  Think of their LTS release as the enterprise edition (stable) with the general release aimed directly at the consumer (with latest features).

Rugged device manufactures also work to the LTS concept but all their products adhere to the LTS concept!  Where they commit to a number of years of support, service and updates for their platform.

Enterprise customers must get a stable platform to build their business; not to be distracted by worrisome and unimportant support and life cycling of the product.  It allows customer’s to manage their mobility system over a known period of stability in terms of the platform, allowing them to build and plan their applications and solutions with very low risk along with favorable Total Cost of Ownership TCO numbers.

Buy a consumer device for use in the mobile workforce and you will be going through some sort of product and/or software refresh every year.  Because consumer devices change with annoyingly regularity, to the delight of the vendors and retail stores, as it drains consumers wallets regularly.

In short, it’s not in best interests for consumer products to have a LTS approach, they rely on phones being replaced regularly to maintain revenues.  Google likes to tell the market they have 1.5 million phone activations every day, but they don’t let on if these are existing users upgrading or new customers.

In April 2013 Google changed from reporting new hand-set activations to only reporting device visits to their on-line app store called ‘Play Store’!

So a LTS products may not have all the latest features and leading edge (or bleeding edge) options like  consumer products.  But they are what is called ‘stable’ releases, nothing is included that may have a negative affect on smooth running of the device.  Be assured the LTS designed products do not suffer like some iPhone batteries have after a recent iOS update from Apple, and solved by two subsequent updates.

Imagine (as an enterprise user) having to manage, push and pay for (if pushed over 3G) an update to your mobile workforce.  Not to mention dealing with users suffering from shorter than expected battery life, this happen recently with Apples iOS devices.  Just because the vendor pushed an update to hand-sets automatically.

Get a new Windows Phone device, and even if you to use it in the enterprise, be ready to create a new Hotmail (Microsoft Live) account for each device.  Use Bing to find out more! Something else to manage and filter and control and lock down and…

It’s not the incorrect decision to purchase a consumer device, all companies are at different stages in their cooperate life.  Some have more important projects with bigger positive impact on their operations commanding a larger percentage of the available budgets.  Some may not be able to afford the initial costs of rugged mobile devices.

No matter how you look at it, there is someone who will supply a product to fit your financial requirements, guaranteed!  So I would go as far as to suggest that companies who can only afford consumer devices or think they are stretched too much to get into rugged devices should wait until they have the budget or consider leasing, because maybe they are spending their cash on the wrong kind of project and its better spent elsewhere!!

So don’t dismiss those who tell you ‘you’re making a huge/massive mistake by looking at consumer products’.  Help them understand where your company is today and what resources and projects you are working with.  It will save everyone a whole lot of wasted time and money!

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand why a company would choose what looks to be an inferior product.  I would like to be driving a Range Rover and I could if I wanted, but I drive a cheaper 4×4 because my children are still young and make a complete mess of the interior.  So choosing the cheaper car fits my situation today and I live with that decision and my car delivers exactly what I expect!

What Everyone Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

Timothy C B Cox Mobile Workforce Strategy Consultant based in Dubai. Get in touch with Tim through Linkedin

What Everybody Ought to Know About Identifying a Mobile Computing Platform for Enterprise Mobility

Call us to discuss how we can help you identify the right opertaing system for your enterprise mobility project.

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

Worcester, UK – MobileWorxs announced today that it has joined forces with SOTI to resell the award winning Enterprise Mobility Management software, SOTI® MobiControl®

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller CommunityMobiControl allows companies to manage, support and secure their mobile field force using a web-based management console.  With MobiControl, enterprises can control, access and secure mobile devices remotely, saving time, labour and money. Mobile administrators can locate, gather and track information and lockdown GPS enabled devices, enable security protocols and provide mobile application and document management capabilities. The system tracks hardware and software assets effortlessly.

Read the Press Release

MobileWorxs Joins the SOTI Reseller Community

Get in touch to learn more about how mobile device management can have a positive impact on your enterprise mobility deployment.

 

Yes, We Are Open !

MobileWorxs are accepting and processing orders. Sales service and logistics teams are ready to assist you. Use the chat function to get in touch or send an email to sales@mobileworxs.com. Some products may have extended lead times during this period.