August 28, 2013
Posted by Jay Gordon in Enterprise mobility, Mobility Strategy, Mobility-as-a-Service
Here at Enterprise Mobile, we believe that we provide top-of-the-line services in the mobility space. Well, it turns out that we’re not the only ones who feel this way. I’m happy to report that Enterprise Mobile has been recognized by Gartner in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services (MMS) for our ability to execute and our completeness of vision.
Magic Quadrant Methodology
This is the first year that Gartner has applied its Magic Quadrant methodology to managed services for enterprise mobile devices. Gartner focused its research on vendors that manage pools of globally distributed, corporate-liable devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users. The company divided MMS into six categories, all of which Enterprise Mobile provides as part of our composite services:
- Sourcing and logistics
- Mobile service management
- Device and system management
- Application and messaging management
- Security and content management
- Program and financial management
We like to think that Gartner differentiated us from other providers because of our Enterprise Mobility Planning, Mobile Workforce Support, Mobility Monitoring Intelligence and Analytics services across a broad range of devices. Gartner also called out a number of our strengths:
- We rated well for help desk, device sourcing, hardware support, and software support.
- We are considered a strong provider of device provisioning.
- We were praised by customers for our expense and asset management services.
- We rated well for program management.
- We were regarded for our expertise specific to mobile device technology.
So why is being part of the Magic Quadrant such an honor? Because the Magic Quadrant is a trusted, impartial research tool that provides a critical first step for those evaluating emerging technologies. This recognition is evidence of our true mobility focus.
In addition to our rating as a top company in this space, we have achieved numerous other milestones in 2013, many of which have positively affected our service commitments. A few of these achievements include:
- Exceeded 500,000 mobile devices under management for managed services
- Introduced global capabilities—we now provide in-region deployment and depot services across 70+ countries
- Introduced a global telecom expense management (TEM) service that allows customers to leverage Enterprise Mobile for e-Procurement and ongoing optimization of wireless carrier spend (with an average savings of US$10 to $15 per device per month!)
- Partnered with Box to provide cloud-based content management and collaboration
- Introduced managed services for Mac OS
- Enhanced our position and services for a variety of mobile device management solutions, including MobileIron, AirWatch, Citrix XenMobile, SAP, Symantec, SOTI, and others
The mobility market is changing at a whirlwind rate, and we’re proud that Enterprise Mobile has the depth of experience and service excellence to be identified as part of an elite group of providers that can keep pace. And we truly believe that we help set that pace, which means our customers lead the pack when it comes to forward-thinking mobility strategy and execution.
image via: Gartner
August 20, 2013
Posted by projectline in Uncategorized
August 3, 2013
Posted by Jide Akanbi in BYOD, Enterprise mobility, Mobility Strategy
Summer is typically a busy time, so you may have missed one or more of the outstanding webinars that we hosted this past July. The great thing about a webinar, of course, is that the content is still available, so it’s not too late to take advantage of the following:
In this webinar, my colleague Marco Nielsen, VP of Services and Chief Mobility Architect at Enterprise Mobile, shares tips for selecting the right mobility solutions for successful BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs, from strategy through execution and support. Marco talks about the importance of understanding your specific user segments and requirements. Once you’ve reached this understanding, you can develop the correct usage policies and support models to minimize frustration and control IT budget.
Of course, creating those policies can be tricky business. Organizations need to enforce required policies on corporate information while working around the personal information that’s usually installed on users’ devices. Marco details seven key areas for policy creation, ranging from policies around device and data plans to policies about apps and privacy.
For many organizations, implementing BYOD programs can feel like a series of unknowns, but Marco walks through some of the process-related questions that smart organizations ask and answer at the outset. He also stresses the importance of security and proper execution through management solutions. Watch the webinar to find out some useful mobile application management and security best practices, plus how to avoid the “gotchas” related to support. After viewing the webinar, you’ll be able to confidently move forward with your own BYOD programs, staying at the forefront of mobility trends and fostering improved productivity and user satisfaction. If you need help getting started on your BYOD policy, check out the BYOD Policy Template.
Today’s users expect a lot more from mobile devices than the ability to access email on the go. CRM (customer reference management), invoicing, sales—the list goes on when it comes to apps that users want on their mobile devices.
As they deepen their commitment to mobility, many more organizations are building new, custom apps to address their evolving business needs. The mobile app development process isn’t easy, so this webinar shares ways to simplify that process. The webinar’s panel discussion features experts such as Neil McHugh, Director of Global Software at Intermec Technologies; Garrick Fiala, Software Engineering Manager at Intermec Technologies; and Marco Nielsen, VP of Services and Chief Mobility Architect at Enterprise Mobile.
Our panelists identify some of the processes that are most worth mobilizing, from field sales to business reporting, and they also suggest the best ways to get started. One of their primary areas of focus is secure mobility—the panel takes a look at safeguarding apps through a multilayered security program.
Custom development of mobile apps isn’t for everybody, so the panel examines cases in which it’s more practical to port legacy apps to new platforms, in addition to situations where from-scratch development makes more sense. The group explores off-the-shelf versus in-house development and notes that if you’re considering developing a mobile app, you need to think about which version of HTML to use based on the speed of your development plans. It’s also important to determine whether to run the mobile app in the cloud or on-premises.
Regardless of where your organization currently stands on the mobile app spectrum, knowing your options and all the pros and cons of custom mobile app development will help you make the right decisions as you continue to invest in mobility. Watch the webinar to learn more.
July 16, 2013
Posted by projectline in Uncategorized
July 9, 2013
Posted by Jay Gordon in Mobility-as-a-Service, Windows Phone
Mobility is increasingly recognized by business and technology leaders as a major source of innovation and competitive advantage. In fact, according to a 2013 survey of more than 2,000 CIOs by a leading analyst firm, investment in mobile technologies ranks second on their Top 10 List of Technology Priorities.
But in the rush to get ahead of the mobility curve, many companies underestimate what it takes to effectively support mobile employees. Lack of adequate planning to ensure fast deployment and responsive support can seriously undermine productivity and overwhelm IT workloads. These kinds of formidable headwinds make it difficult to show return on mobility investment. Below are a few ways to navigate these pitfalls.
Top Three Methods for Maximizing Mobility ROI
There are numerous ways to think about measuring return on a mobile investment. Regardless of what metrics are used, it ultimately comes down to whether or not the devices that employees depend on are up and running when they need them. When considering how to shorten the payback period for mobility, business and IT leaders should focus on the following three best practices:
1. Avoid Delays in Delivering Devices
The benefits of providing employees with mobile access to email, critical business apps, and collaboration sites can be powerful. Still, these potential gains in productivity are entirely dependent on getting employees a fully configured and personalized device in as little time as possible.
For example, if a provider says it’s going to take a year to get 500 iPads configured and shipped (this timeline is more common than you might think), your organization foregoes the prospect of more productive and satisfied remote workers during that time. And, of course, there’s the risk of investing in technology that’s already a year-old by the time employees can use it. Given the pace of innovation in the mobile market, a lot can change in the span of 12 months.
2. Provide Responsive, Mobile-Optimized Support
In my view, one of the biggest oversights in mobility planning involves helpdesk setup and management. Truth is, most enterprise IT administrators are either too busy or lack the specific domain training and expertise to properly support mobility deployments. Some companies make the assumption that, because the majority of their employees have smartphones and tablets for personal use, they’ll require minimal technical support for their work device. This leap of faith often backfires, with far reaching implications for productivity, mobile adoption rates, and IT efficiency.
When mobility helpdesk calls come flooding in, overburdened IT staff are forced to shelve other high-priority projects. Or, worse yet, if they’re unable to resolve the issue in-house, they need to send employees to sit in telecom carrier call queues. Outside of their company’s normal business hours, or when no one in IT is available to assist, employees have few options but to wait. This situation never bodes well for productivity and can often sap morale over time.
3. Streamline Device Repair and Replacement
Over the years, enterprise IT groups have found ways to expedite the process of getting newly reimaged laptops into the hands of employees. Yet, when it comes to replacing and reconfiguring mobile devices, the prevailing assumption seems to be that waiting up to two weeks for a handset manufacturer or other vendor to deliver a new device is an acceptable norm. Of course, during this time, employees have to revert to their previous way of doing things—the cumbersome processes that mobile access was intended to fix.
In their haste to capture the benefits of mobility, business and IT executives often underestimate what it takes to adequately support mobile workers. The most commonly overlooked factors include fast time to market for mobile devices, the need for a dedicated, 24x7x365 mobile helpdesk, and standardized, SLA-driven timelines for device repair and replacement. To realize rapid return on investment in mobility, it is imperative that companies address these needs. By working with a mobility services provider, companies can streamline mobile deployments and remain focused on these priorities—while easing the burden for their IT team. This ultimately means that mobile employees can spend more time collaborating with colleagues and customers, and less time waiting.
Read more about how Enterprise Mobile can help support your mobile workforce to maximize productivity and accelerate ROI.
July 2, 2013
Posted by projectline in Uncategorized
June 28, 2013
Posted by Marco Nielsen in Enterprise mobility, Mobility Strategy, Windows Phone
A lot of companies launch devices, build or buy mobile apps, or enter into mobility-related contracts without thinking about how those pieces fit into the greater whole. The result? The new stuff may be exciting for employees, but it doesn’t work well within existing environments and/or support long-term goals. Those companies are sacrificing efficient use of resources for a short-term productivity boost.
Just as with any other area of business, getting it right in the mobility space requires planning. Smart companies take into account not only device and app choices, but also infrastructure and management considerations before implementing mobile solutions.
Before delving into the nitty-gritty, consider taking a few key steps:
- Think about how mobility fits into your overall business strategy. What are your objectives and requirements? By linking mobility directly to your business strategy, you’ll focus on the right long-term solutions and budget avenues.
- Conduct a mobile platform risk assessment to understand potential risks and see which could be showstoppers and which have workarounds.
Devices. For a lot of companies, it is easy to decide which devices to use. And the growing momentum of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend may remove some decisions altogether. You may want to raise the following issues prior to adopting a BYOD policy:
- What level of risk does your particular company assume by letting corporate data live on personal devices?
- What is the right balance between usability and security? How much do you want to lock down devices? What are the right security solutions (e.g., Network Access Control) to protect data while still allowing usability for your employees?
- What do you need in order to support a variety of devices, platforms, and operating systems?
- Does your budget cover security for solutions in a BYOD environment? If not, what sorts of investigation and assessment efforts are needed to make the right financial decisions for your organization?
Apps. With 50 billion downloads in six years from the Mac App Store and 48 billion downloads in even fewer years from the Google Play store, it’s clear that it’s all about the apps. And the growth of business-focused apps has just begun. Ask yourself a few questions to make effective app choices:
- How will your business-critical data be used on mobile devices?
- Have you conducted an application risk assessment to understand how and where your data is protected and, again, to determine the right balance between usability and security?
- Are you going to use off-the-shelf, browser, and/or custom-developed apps?
- How will you support employees as they use those applications?
- If you’re leaning toward custom development, what platforms, development cycles, budget requirements, and support mechanisms should you put in place?
- Do you want to take advantage of application security features, such as app wrapping (where you can dedicate specific requirements around existing applications) or custom APIs (where you can designate tasks, such as secure data transport, remote application control, and single sign-on)?
- What sort of workflow will you follow to purchase, deploy, and update applications for your corporate and/or BYOD mobile devices?
Infrastructure. As you drill down into your mobility strategy and solutions, it will be important to look into the IT infrastructure requirements necessary to properly support them. Mobility projects often start small and quickly grow to take up a major slice of the infrastructure pie. Understanding which mobile solutions easily scale and which come with additional budget and infrastructure requirements is part of identifying the full cost of a solution:
- Can your company support fully hosted/cloud solutions, or do you require high-security on-premises solutions?
- Do you have the necessary IT staff and resources to support your desired mobile solutions?
- Do you have a content management strategy for your mobile workforce so that you can provide secure access to stored information?
- Are you protected from BYOD risks through Network Access Control, secure email and browsing, etc.?
Management. Determining what is business critical for the lifecycle management of your mobile solutions will help you ensure that today’s decisions have a positive effect on tomorrow’s productivity. Without proper management, mobile solutions will be short-lived, wasting valuable financial resources and failing to give your employees the tools they need. It’s critical to address the following:
- What level of help-desk services will employees have, and will you accommodate different VIP/CxO service levels?
- Do you have the staff and processes in place to handle a large number of employees requesting new devices, needing device replacements, or wanting answers to mobile plan questions?
- If you are a global organization or have employees who travel internationally, can you be staffed 24/7 with proper resources who have the right technical knowledge?
- What is your financial strategy for mobility management? Would you rather pay to staff your own help desk to cover peaks or pay a service provider a fixed monthly fee?
As you can see, it isn’t easy to put all the right components of a mobile strategy in place. Many companies either have a hard time staying up-to-speed or would rather focus on their core competencies. They choose instead to rely on mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers to put a mobility strategy on track and implement best-in-class management solutions.
Read more about what Enterprise Mobile can do to help you reduce costs, adjust strategy, and keep your business growing.
June 18, 2013
Posted by Jide Akanbi in Mobility Strategy, Mobility-as-a-Service
As more employees use mobile devices and create increased demand for mobile apps in the workplace, organizations have to figure out the best way to shoulder the burden that comes with mobility. Gone are the days of managing a homogeneous stable of Blackberry devices. Today, mobility equals complexity.
Some organizations have a large IT staff and the infrastructure to support mobility management, while resources at other organizations are already maxed out. Some decision makers like spending time investigating and evaluating all the device, app, and management options out there, while others would prefer to focus on the company’s core business and leave mobility strategy to the experts. Some want to make sure their infrastructure, help-desk staff, and budgets can handle peaks in mobile usage, while others choose to work with outside partners to make mobility management an ongoing operational expense.
The mobility outsourcers of the past primarily handled device management, but today’s mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers offer a complete lifecycle of mobility services. Considering the speed with which the mobile landscape changes, MaaS providers can offer strategic expertise to advise organizations about direction, trends, and how to make the most of their mobile investments.
For many organizations, working with a MaaS provider allows for the right combination of involvement, control, and financial stability. Organizations can rely on their MaaS providers to:
- Help set mobile strategy
- Determine the best devices, apps, and management tools for their needs
- Develop custom apps as appropriate
- Track advancements in mobile technology
- Manage the infrastructure
- Ensure the right mix of device, app, and infrastructure security
- Provide around-the-clock support
- Monitor usage and optimize the environment
- Make strategic recommendations as the market changes
Along the way, those organizations can scale up and down as necessary, paying only for what they need. They also gain flexibility when it comes to device types, apps, and management because their MaaS provider handles the support for the range of mobile solutions. And, of course, they transform their mobile infrastructure and its management from a capital expense into a consistent operational one.
Organizations in highly regulated industries and areas, such as financial services and government, may not be able to benefit from MaaS because many are required to maintain complete control of their assets. This may change over time, as MaaS proceeds along the security continuum.
Many others, however, are taking advantage of mobility advancements and even using them as competitive differentiators, thanks to the insights that their MaaS providers offer. Not all MaaS providers are created equal, so make sure you find the right one for you. Many have skills in a particular area (mobile support, mobile app development, etc.), but very few reach across the entire mobile lifecycle to help with everything from planning to business intelligence and analytics.
Read more about MaaS and how Enterprise Mobile can help you get the greatest value out of mobility.
June 13, 2013
Posted by Marco Nielsen in Enterprise mobility
In the coming weeks, I’ll publish a post to this blog about the key technical considerations that every company needs to address as they consider implementing a mobility solution. This post looks at the fundamental technical and non-technical questions that factor into this important decision. For any company that has just begun thinking about all of the facets involved in a mobility deployment, we’ve created a decision model for determining how best to move forward. Check out the full-size version here.
Mobility is Gaining Momentum
The momentum behind the adoption of enterprise mobility is staggering. In a recent survey by a leading analyst firm, 59 percent of CIOs responded that they have already implemented a centralized strategy for mobility. Another prominent research firm estimates that by 2016, business purchases of tablet computers alone will reach 53 million units. Every way you look at it, the evidence is convincingly clear: enterprise mobility is growing—fast.
Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Going Mobile
Mobilizing business activities can bring new opportunities. Benefits can include faster access to information and increased collaboration through the use of cloud file-sharing portals, as well as improvements in work-life balance, which can lead to higher employee satisfaction. In fact, it’s fair to say that mobility is already completely changing the game in industries like health care and air transportation to name a few. Some organizations in these industries are already reporting massive gains in efficiency and cost savings.
Of course, as with any innovative technology, there are risks too. Organizations considering a mobility solution rightly wonder about data security, particularly on personally-owned devices. And there’s the question about support for mobile users. Most organizations do not have the IT resources or the expertise in-house to troubleshoot problems with things like mobile application delivery, especially in a multi-platform environment.
Simplifying the Decision Process
These are just a few of the issues that businesses must address as they take a closer look at the benefits and risks of going ‘all-in’ on mobility. There are numerous other dimensions involved in the decision. How can enterprise business leaders prioritize and sort through the most important issues, as they begin the process of evaluating their company’s mobility readiness?
Admittedly, enterprise mobility can sometimes seem like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. So to help, we’ve created a decision tree that companies can use to start vetting some of the fundamental questions involved in any mobility deployment. Check out our decision model infographic and read more about the mobility solutions that we offer.
June 10, 2013
Posted by Jay Gordon in Device Management, Mobility Strategy, Security
Today’s mobile landscape is shifting more quickly than a late-model sports car. New feature-rich devices, security advancements, and innovative content management options mean that organizations have a lot to consider. Being aware of some of the coming trends will help you make smart choices as you look down the road.
Emphasis on Apps and Content
Until recently, most organizations have focused on which devices to deploy, but more and more are starting to put thought into enterprise apps (whether purchased off the shelf or custom developed) and content management. New online storage options provide flexibility in the way that organizations think about where content lives and the kinds of connectivity that are required to use and share that content. For example, a retailer could use a solution like Box to remotely push targeted content to the devices used by employees on the retail floor each day. That content might include details about daily sale items, videos about seasonal items, or tips for product usage, all of which employees could share with customers—without needing WiFi connectivity to download the content. Having new, industry-specific solutions to choose from can help you get ahead and derive the most value from your mobile environment.
Adoption There have been several highly regulated industries that have not yet been able to take full advantage of mobility in general and Mobility-as-a-Service in particular. But as more organizations push to equip employees with mobile devices, some of those walls are coming down. Already, governments, healthcare organizations, and even financial services companies are starting to do more with mobile devices in limited use cases. That trend is likely to continue as vendors place greater emphasis on the enterprise mobile environment, rather than the current focus on consumers. Vendors will, by necessity, improve their security and encryption layers to give those in highly regulated industries greater flexibility when it comes to mobile device use and Mobility-as-a-Service options.
Replacement of Traditional Tools
So far, mobile devices have been considered an “and,” rather than an “or” in the business setting. Organizations deploy laptops and smartphones, tablets and traditional devices. But increased device power, processing speed, portability, and robust functionality is changing that. Soon we’ll start to see a true replacement; organizations may stop deploying laptops and only adopt tablets, or they might remove credit card processing machines and have employees use smartphones instead.
Specialty Solutions – Native Capabilities
Today, there are several niche solutions—such as those associated with mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM)—that organizations need to consider and deploy to properly manage their mobile environments. As more organizations invest in mobile management software, there will be greater incentive for new players to enter the marketplace, which may cause a quantum shift in the way that MDM, MAM, and MCM are handled. Operating system developers may start to natively incorporate those capabilities. As a result, it will be critical for specialty solution providers to innovate to bring new capabilities to the industry. Even with this forward-thinking approach, it is likely that mobile management vendors will need to deal with market consolidation in the months and years ahead.
But you can’t wait for tomorrow’s advancements. Your organization’s productivity and overall effectiveness depends on putting the right mobile strategy in place today. However, keeping the industry’s fluidity in mind can be helpful as you invest in mobility. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your mobile environment now, without locking you out of future capabilities:
- Consider using subscription services rather than purchasing full licenses so that you can get the tools you need without long-term commitments.
- Lease devices to give your employees the latest and greatest features but retain the ability to refresh as new devices enter the market.
- Carefully determine the reasons for upgrading your mobile environment; don’t do it just for the sake of staying current. Make sure you’re investing in the right devices, apps, and storage options, and know what’s coming down the pike.
- Think about storage. Larger file sizes make finding appropriate storage solutions an imperative. Make sure you know where you’ll store your content and how you can access and easily share it.
For help determining the next steps in mobility for your organization, learn more about Enterprise Mobile and watch the recent webcast about putting the right mobile strategy in place.