Mobility has brought us quite a few innovations that have made our lives easier and allowed us to perform many tasks more conveniently. That’s always a plus, but the sad truth is that mobility has also introduced more chaos and confusion into our lives as well.
Nowhere is the chaos and confusion more pronounced than in the area of Operating Systems. The OS determines quite a bit about what you can and can’t do and traditionally, most of the mobility world has focused on the “handheld” market. But a new and even more confusing trend is developing that will kick the confusion level up a notch. There is a blurring on lines between traditional “handheld” operating systems and desktop operating systems.
Enter Microsoft 8. As if the water wasn’t clear as mud before, we now have a new thickener to add to the soup. What Windows 8 could do is break down the traditional roles of handheld and desktop and create a game changing approach (and turn many of us on our heads trying to keep up).
With the old-school handheld OS devices (iOS and Android) the obvious difference between small form factor devices (phones) and larger devices (tablets) it seemed fairly clear. One is a small one-hand device while the other is larger and usually just made things bigger (anybody use an iPhone app on an iPad in 2x mode?). Sure you could target specific app behavior for each device class by using panels and reusing phone app components and other clever designs, but you always had the fallback of big screen, small app if you chose not to build a target-specific application.
After a series of delays and months of industry speculation, RIM BlackBerry has finally unveiled its new BlackBerry 10 OS and accompanying devices – the Z10 and Q10. The big question in everyone’s mind now, is whether it will help save the company…or if it was too little, too late.
The features BlackBerry has been betting on to impress consumers with include dual layer on-screen keyboards, cloud data storage, and cutting edge multi-media capabilities. If you’re thinking that none of this sounds particularly compelling, I understand, but keep reading, because they have also thrown something else into the mix: a single interface with separate ‘work’ and ‘play’ profiles – BlackBerry Balance. The work profile, for example, will include a distinct calendar and a specially tailored app store. For enterprises, a built-in BYOD solution may take the edge off the long wait.
At a conference prior to the launch, the company’s senior director of enterprise product management, Jeff Holleran, spoke at great length about how many of the features of the new Blackberry 10 OS have been designed in response to the rise of BYOD. If you’re thinking ‘about time’, then again, I’m with you – BlackBerry’s server-based enterprise play met its Waterloo when the iPhone 3G launched back in July 2008. In case you were wondering, fierce competition from MDM ‘point’ solution vendors doesn’t worry BlackBerry, because, according to Holleran, “There’s a different hundred players week after week. It seems to be a very young market, with a lot of new start-ups…there is no clear [leader] who customers are flocking to.” Whether or not you think Holleran’s underestimating the competition – and I do think he is to some degree – there’s no doubt that BlackBerry has a strong enterprise brand that might help it steal back some MDM market share. There’s a distinct opportunity for BlackBerry to claim back some lost enterprises and to please some companies in industries that are still using BlackBerries…but who have been considering a device refresh.
There are some really cool things about the new OS and devices – time-shift camera, predictive typing keyboard, BlackBerry Hub for messages, BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Balance. There’s been a few great live blogs and recaps out there – like this one, this one and even this.
Do the terms MDM, MRM or MAM mean anything to you? How about COIT, COPE or MIM? If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Along with the rapid proliferation of “smart” devices has come the equally fast-paced use and adoption of new acronyms for companies and IT departments to learn. With another hectic year in mobility underway and some frigid weather here on the East Coast, I thought we might all warm up with bowl of what we call the “Mobile Alphabet Soup,” designed to help you understand what some of the most widespread acronyms mean. Enjoy, and let us know in the comments if there are any we missed.
Antenna’s Mobile Alphabet Soup
- BYOD: Bring-Your-Own-Device, named after another acronym you may already be familiar with (depending on how college was) – BYOB. This refers to a general IT policy adopted by many organizations where employees are allowed to bring in any smartphone on any platform and connect it to the corporate network. Typically, companies provide employees with a stipend to purchase a device and then support it on the backend.
- COIT: Consumerization of IT is a broad term used to encompass a trend where innovation in the consumer markets becomes a catalyst for change and innovation in the historically top-down driven business world, forcing IT to reorient their policies, practices and procedures. The aforementioned BYOD is a good example of this, but other technology juggernauts like Facebook, Twitter, and DropBox – to name just a few – are having a profound impact on how IT addresses the intersection of mobile, data, social, and cloud.
- COPE: Corporate Owned, Personal Enabled describes a possible response of IT departments to problems caused by a BYOD policy. Instead of employee-owned devices, the policy recommends companies provide devices for employees and allow them to use them for personal purposes as well. Important for such a policy are separate perimeters or “containers” that can manage, and sometimes keep separate, personal and private information.
- MDM: Mobile Device Management is a broad category, which became popular following the explosion in smartphone adoption within enterprises. At its core, the term refers to the variety of options and tools available to companies to say what users can and cannot do with mobile devices provided by companies or brought into the enterprise by employees and connected to a corporate network. One key to look for with MDM tools is the ability to manage and work with the major mobile platforms out there today.
Late last year we released some research about the rise of a new role in enterprise mobility – the Mobile Strategist. Jim Somers talked about this in a blog post you can check out here, but we’ve recently been expanding on the topic since many of our customers, prospects, and colleagues have found it so interesting. We created an interesting infographic to illustrate some of the most compelling research points, which a few mobile and HR publications have really enjoyed – check it out at the bottom of the post!
Earlier this month we released an eBook about the “9 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Mobile Strategist,” which has been a big hit! This week we also hosted a webinar to expand on the topic, featuring guest panelist, Kevin Benedict – head analyst of social, mobile, analytics and cloud at Cognizant and Mobile Strategist. If you missed the webinar, be sure to download the replay here.
As 2013 kicks off, it’s expected to be another banner year for mobile – Strategy Analytics recently declared that mobile business apps revenue reached $25 BILLION in 2012, and predicted that revenue associated with mobile workers using enterprise business apps on mobile devices is expected to nearly double over the next 5 years as a result of hundreds of millions of mobile workers using a growing number of mobile business applications. Defining a mobile strategy is going to be crucial to the success of mobile endeavors, so I encourage you all to check out the eBook and the webinar.
Infographic after the jump!
The elections are over, the turkey’s been eaten and there are now presents under the tree. That means it’s time for the annual blog where we have fun predicting how 2013 will turn out. The key word being “fun”, as this is designed for entertainment purposes only. Although for the second year in a row, one of our predictions was nearly true. RIM did acknowledge that the co-CEO arrangement wasn’t working, but no, they didn’t bring Bill Gates out of retirement and then proceed to license Windows.
2012 was a year filled with exciting news about new devices, patent wars and claims from every carrier that they had the fastest network. Hmm… now that I think of it, that sounds like 2011 too. But heading into 2013, assuming we can all avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the Mayan-predicted end-of-the-world, and consumers actually spend money in 2013…we have a lot to look forward to.
Therefore, here’s a poke at some of the wild things that could possibly come true in 2013. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!
Top Five 2013 Predictions for the Wireless Industry
#5) iPhone Max – What’s a tablet and what’s a phone? The lines are blurred in 2013. Tablets are getting smaller and phones are getting bigger. Apple tries to keep pace with the 6.3” Samsung Note in 2013, intending to beat them by introducing a new 7” iPhone. But Tim Cook wants to keep the Apple supply chain simple. The new iPhone is essentially the size of the iPad Mini but with voice capabilities. Apple Marketing has the answer. Develop one product. On one side of the device, there’s a “call” button with an iPhone Max logo. Flip the device over for the touch screen and the iPad Mini logo appears. One device; two brands. Marketing genius.
Black Friday shopping has always been a polarizing activity. Fans of the ‘occasion’ argue that the bargains on offer justify the overnight lines and mass brawls commonly cited by its detractors.
Cyber Monday is less controversial. Or at least, it used to be. Nowadays you hear as many people complaining about Cyber Monday as you do Black Friday. And it fact, it’s really transformed into Cyber Week.
One of my favorite Cyber gripes goes like this: the Monday after Thanksgiving was originally proclaimed Cyber Monday because it was the first day back at work for many Americans, and therefore the first post-Thanksgiving day on which they had access to the high-speed internet needed to capitalize on deals that move fast. Now that everyone has a home broadband connection (the gripe continues), no one day is more ‘cyber’ than any other. The implication is, I think, that if Cyber Monday is suspect, Cyber Monday deals must be suspect, too.
But are the gripers right? Are the deals suspect? In order to find out, I spent a few minutes browsing through the Cyber Monday deals various retailers offered on tablet devices. Here’s a deliberate selection of what I found:
- eBay sold the Google Nexus 7 (32 GB) at a $20 discount
- Amazon sold the 8GB version of the Kindle Fire at a $30 discount
- Microsoft sold the Windows 8-based Acer Iconia (32 GB) at a $100 discount
- Apple sold the iPad range at a $0 discount
No need to blink – you read that last part right. Apple discounted none of its iPad products this holiday season (although Best Buy gave away store gift-cards worth up to $60 to shoppers who purchased certain models).
Overall though, I’m forced to admit that the information I’ve gathered for this post says more about the tablet market than the reality of the Cyber Monday bargain. Amazon and Google’s devices are reasonably desirable and subject to token discounts. Apple’s hardware is still the most popular by a margin and the company neither has to nor wants to discount its products. And Microsoft? It’s still struggling to get Windows 8 into the air one month after the official launch date.
By the way, comScore reports that Cyber Monday 2012 was the ‘heaviest’ online shopping day in US history: revenues of $1.46 billion were recorded. It may be one of the more transparent ploys in the American marketing playbook, but the day is clearly retaining its status as an ‘event’ in the minds of consumers – and doing so despite the fact that more retailers than ever are rolling out early Thanksgiving deals/trying to turn the five days through Thanksgiving into a festival of discounts™.
With the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I’m reminded to be thankful for all the things we have that make life great. The Northeast was hit pretty hard recently with the Superstorm Sandy, so being thankful for the little things in life has been really easy. But one thing the storm highlighted for me was how much we take connectivity for granted. There were several days when it was difficult to get in touch with loved ones because of compromised mobile service.
It made me thankful that for the majority of the time we are better able to connect with the ones we love. And it also made me realize how much mobility has actually made it possible to spend time with family and friends.
I think the pervasiveness of technology makes many people feel as though there is no longer a time when we disconnect – that mobile devices and mobile working makes us “always on.” On the flip side, it can also create more time for the things we want to do because of increased flexibility. Here’s an example. My father worked for a large insurance company, and he worked in a large city near our home. When I was little, he had a commute (in a lot of traffic) and he traveled often for work – for conferences, seminars, etc. If there was something that required his attention at work or something he needed to complete, he had to do it in the office. He was great about balancing his time so he could coach my softball team or come to violin recitals, but there were times when he just wasn’t able to make them because he was out of town or still in the office. With the advent of mobile technology, employees have more flexibility to work remotely and still reliably access the corporate data and applications they need. More fathers can leave the office, get to those soccer games and still do what they need to get done – outside of the office.
Like many of my colleagues and “mobilists” alike, I watched with interest when Apple recently unveiled its much-anticipated iPad mini. The rumor mill, as always, had it partially right (display size, A5 chip) and partially wrong (the lack of retina screen and sub-$300 price, most notably). One thing is certain: despite the lack of the long lines outside stores that have accompanied their product launches of the past, Apple has another hit on its hands. As proof, the company sold 3 million iPad minis in its opening weekend.
While the device certainly makes a great holiday gift, the jury is still out on the tablet’s impact on the enterprise. Speaking to PC Advisor, industry analysts like Frank Gillett of Forrester and Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates clearly think the more portable form factor, smaller price, and access to Apple’s vibrant app ecosystem will appeal to many businesses who have thus far held out on the tablet revolution. Others, like Zach Whittaker at ZDNet, think the device will be a bust and faces serious competition from Microsoft, who is investing heavily in the dedicated tablet sector within the booming tablet market.
When the iPhone 5 was unveiled last month I made some comments on the device and Apple’s strategy that were covered by quite a few of the media outlets interested in industry reaction to the launch.
I actually had a couple of different observations, but those that seemed to resonate the most were:
“The iPhone 5 has not been re-designed – it has been re-fitted. It was the same story with the new iPad when it launched earlier this year, and that’s going to raise more questions about Apple’s ability to innovate in the post-Jobs era. Even more so when you consider that the most significant update to the iPhone 5’s hardware—an increased screen size—looks like it’s straight out of Samsung’s playbook.”
Incidentally, both Mobile Entertainment and Mobile Marketing jumped on that last sentence to criticize Apple’s litigious behavior towards Samsung – but that’s a blog post for another day.
The point I’d like to make here is that my observations on the launch weren’t wholly critical of Apple – I also released the following statement:
“With its larger screen, faster processor, and improved battery life, the iPhone 5’s success in the enterprise is all but assured. The iPhone 5 will only strengthen the BYOD culture created by the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007.”
The question is – do I stand by these remarks now that I’ve had a chance to get to know the device first-hand?
In short – yes, I do.