- Smart, to get GMail iOS app to stop invoking Chrome, I had to uninstall Chrome. Not a great way to grow a services footprint w users 1 hour ago
- Hangouts breaks incoming calls via Voice on PC (I use daily) now iOS Gmail app (my default) keeps invoking Chrome; cramping my style $GOOG 1 hour ago
- There was a lot of news at Google I/O, but what about Android? Google I/O: The Mobile Addendum wp.me/p1ILk4-iK 7 hours ago
- Webinar 5/29: How do companies organize for content marketing? Register to learn abt best-in-class models goo.gl/EUXzq 7 hours ago
- Perhaps it's more than a ten year photo history for me, given this: http://t.co/knyslsV71I 23 hours ago
Mobile strategy from Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva, making mobile work for brands and business.
Category Archives: Case studies
December 6, 2012Posted by on
Attending two days on executive overview from IBM leaders may seem a strange place for a mobile analyst to be spending time. But wait, didn’t they buy a company called Worklight? What about MDM, don’t they have a play there? Both are true, but it’s not a single product that’s big blue’s big idea in mobile. They’re looking at the platform.
Fact is, IBM is working to make their plethora of tools one, contiguous base from which they can sell business solutions. Sound familiar? If you’ve bought a PC in the last five years, it should. When’s the last time you went out and bought memory one place, a processor at another, hard drive at a third and so-on? The days of piecing together commodity components to create a tool are gone in the hardware world. Sure, you can still do it, but who would? IBM – and, to be sure, their large software rivals – are seeing the impending commoditization of mobile. It’s not about playing nice with the top 10 platforms, or having apps in every mobile app store, it’s about the mobile device playing two, critical roles in business; the first, the endpoint on which users will consume information and access tools critical to their job, the second role it plays is a sensor. Approaching the design of mobile business process should start with strategic planning and governance ahead of technology adoption. To date, companies have done just the reverse.
Whether smartphone or tablet, iOS, Android or Windows, IBM sees its role as providing the tools to take processes mobile and gather insights from all of the information that mobile users generate. That big data, in turn, can act as a feedback loop to continually improve workflows and drive more efficient business, or, to use IBM’s favorite adjective, “smart” business. ,When dealing with mobile, companies have traditionally parceled out the infrastructure that makes up our mobile management tools and customer- or employee-facing apps to many different player. It’s true that a company needs a mobile control plane made up on many parts, but those parts are beginning to converge and IBM is betting on a mobile future that depends on being able to harness an integrated platform of tools that follow a business need from application design and development, through management, security and deployment and through to the analysis and data yielded by those mobile tools.
One vendor, one integrated set of tools. Sound like a big buy? It is, at the moment. The company is not shy about sharing that it’s got some holes to fill in fleshing out its solutions, and it’s not in any hurry. The calculated approach takes into account that we’re still in the early days of mobilizing business. We’ve moved from simple, standalone mobile tools, on to mobile-centric tools but have not yet reached a state where we have tools and processes that adapt on the fly to whatever device we’re using, and take advantage of that device’s capabilities.
Take the example of an insurance adjuster in the field, traditionally, “mobilizing” these professionals was all about giving mobile-formatted access to certain tools email and PIM functions, perhaps the ability to look up data on a company intranet, but the information was static, being pushed to mobile. In many organizations, taking this a step further has meant using off-the-shelf tools from mobile centric providers to foster collaboration. The result is a more functional set of tools that are mobile friendly, but often require a migration of data, come from net-new vendors and don’t yield any data back to the company on usage. The unified mobile platform from a large software provider would center on customized or from-scratch apps built with compatible libraries to access existing assets (everything from reporting tools to data protection and ID) be managed by MDM tools that can also facilitate publishing of apps to devices and provide detailed data from the use of those mobile apps. The result? When the adjuster goes to the scene of a car accident and gathers data (images, audio testimonials GPS-tagged notes) all elements of that information is managed and secured and ported back to existing company databases along with macro-statistics on how the adjusters are using the app, when, and with what data.
Few companies have their mobile ducks in a row yet to be able to “plug in” this sort of mobile development, but IBM and others in enterprise software are building their arsenal of tools when the existing stack of multiple-vendor, off-the-shelf solutions start to teeter under heavy use. IBM has made a business out of taking the uncategorized, large data sets and making sense of them (think Watson) applying this rigor to mobile could mark them as a strong player in taking the next step toward truly valuable business applications, but it will mean revisiting a lot of past tech adoption decisions.
August 23, 2012Posted by on
I’m amazed by the resources available to kids going back to school each year. I’ve officially reached the age where my reflexive response is, “in my day we didn’t have…” upon seeing some newfangled gadget designed for students. I suppose it’s right on time as an expecting parent myself. One can’t be a proper dad without semi-regular exhortations to heed the lessons of a bleak past. Recently one item in back-to-school tech puzzled me: graphing calculators.
Graphing calculators, yes, those constant sidekicks of any adolescent trig student. It turns out they’re as popular today as they were when I was in high school; strangely look to have about the same features. Some have even carried the same model number since 1998. The TI-89 from Texas Instruments runs $149.99 in some stores. It’s pricey for a single-function device, especially considering a far more capable Google Nexus 7 tablet runs about $50 more. The costly calculator is mandated and no replacement will do in many schools.
Why make students pony up for the TI-89 or its equivalent when there are so many more options at near-comparable prices that students may already own? Tablets and other smart mobile devices are too good at what they can do. Read more of this post
July 19, 2012Posted by on
So, we’ve officially crossed the 50% mark (according to Nielsen) of mobile phone owners in the US that are carrying a smartphone. This is an important milestone as it’ll be interesting to see how the second 50% of phone owners cotton to the idea of more expensive data plans, handsets and a new usage paradigm. Will we see adoption move as quickly as it did among the first 50% of smartphone buyers? Economic indicators would seem to point to the trend slowing, after all, the “average consumer does not have a rosy outlook on things, consider the following data points from October, 2010 to July 2012:
- Gallup Economic confidence index values
- Oct, 2010 -28
- July, 2012 -26
- While still negative, the peak value of – 15 still seems relatively well out of reach compared to recent data, we’re not in the trough of despair we have been in this time period but we’re still pretty bearish on things.
- Gallup US Mood values
- Oct, 2010 47
- July, 2012 46
- We’ve been happier, unfortunately, with the peak value in this time scale coming in at 67.
- Gallup Consumer Spending Index (14 day running average)
- Oct, 2010 59
- July, 2012 57
- We’re a bit more thirfty than at our peak spending of 103, big spending is not an everyday occurrence
All of that in consideration, then, we’re a little down, cautious and slow to grab the wallet, all except when it comes to smartphones, which in the same period have witnessed steady growth from a penetration of 25% to 0ver 50% in the same timeframe (http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/smartphones-account-for-half-of-all-mobile-phones-dominate-new-phone-purchases-in-the-us/) are $500 smartphones the true opiate for the masses in these bleak times? Could be. One can argue they’re hardly necessary purchases for the average consumer.
What’s driven you to join the smartphone toting masses?
Economic data sources
July 9, 2012Posted by on
My colleague Brian Solis published a post today that looks at “Generation C,” the connected consumer and how these consumers are, increasingly, the workforce that CIOs are seeking to empower.
Brian, in his post referenced Altimeter’s latest research on mobile that dives into the various roles in organizations and what they need, but there’s a fundamental step that must come first, the mobile control plane. This is the set of security and management policies, governance and technology that makes all of mobility possible.
We’re looking to speak with the vendors playing in the space today for our research on how to build this control plane which publishes in early August. What do we need? 30 seconds of your time to provide us your information on your firm and 30 minutes at your convenience to participate in a research interview so that we can learn more
Our goal is to help CIOs understand where to start when building mobility management, it starts with devices, but goes far beyond.
If you provide solutions for:
- Mobile device management
- Data security and encryption
- Mobile application management
- Identity and authentication management
- Mobile service assurance
- Enterprise email/contact/calendar sync
We want to talk with you.
Please let us know a bit about your solution here, no details will be shared publicly: http://goo.gl/rVBGL
April 24, 2012Posted by on
With all of the hype in mobile, the conversation most often shifts to “who is doing it right” or even, somewhat prematurely, “who is doing it best?” Altimeter showcased a method to take a look at mobile applications and understand how mature an app strategy is and what steps can be taken to move to the next, higher maturity phase. I’ve since had conversations with clients and others suggesting that taking this maturity model and looking at the present state and impact assessment areas and using those as a way to measure maturity of an overall mobile strategy, beyond just apps.
Read more of this post
August 4, 2011Posted by on
An Education In Binders, And Aviation
My first day at college, in addition to the stress of moving to a new place and leaving much that was familiar behind I faced the additional uncertainty so many frosh dread – random roommate selection.
Over the summer I’d been given a slip of paper (a carbon printout, no less) that gave the name and hometown of my prospective roommate. A handful of unreturned calls over the summer to my mystery cohabitant heightened my stress to panic level by the time move-in day came around. Thankfully, I arrived to learn of a late-summer swap that provided me with a new roommate with whom I’m still best friends today.
In addition to learning the ins-and-outs of x86 architecture from my new pal, I also learned a bit about the paper industry, specifically, binders. My roommate’s father owned a small business close by that made custom binders for businesses like law firms and also had an exclusive contract for flight chart binders for Jeppesen. I’d never heard of Jeppesen, not being a pilot, but came to realize that this contract was a huge deal to a small, family owned business. Their quality in manufacturing made them a natural choice for a piece of gear that’s standard issue and required for most pilots and was something they took great pride in, and made a good deal of revenue from.
Consumerization’s Effect On Flying… And The Fed
The fate of those binders has been on my mind lately as I read about how pilots are flocking to devices like the iPad to use as EFBs or electronic flight bags, lighter, with richer data and far less cumbersome than shuffling through traditional paper charts; a key benefit when studying a non-standard approach while underway. While the FAA is still weighing the decision to allow pilots on major commercial airliners go completely paperless with EFBs, the advent of tools like Jeppesen’s Mobile TC app for the iPad has set the course toward this in motion and will fundamentally change the way pilots go to work.
It’s even changed the way many folks will learn to fly. The Piper J-3 or “Cub” is a popular training aircraft and has been in service as such since the 1930s. A recent update, showcased at last week’s Airventure air show has been dubbed the “iCub.” The plane has been fitted with, you may have guessed, an iPad located in the gauge cluster. While the manufacturer stresses that the included iPad should not be relied upon as a primary flight instrument, the addition of functions like GPS and an a software-based artificial horizon that iPad brings by way of pre-loaded software transform the experience of flying a cub and learning to fly.
With the capabilities included in a sub-$1,000 piece of personal technology, the way in which an industry will function is beginning to change. Would an iPad have proved helpful in an emergency landing on the Hudson? That’s hard to say, but it’s clear that the way pilots think about flight technology is changing; similar to other professionals leading consumerization shifts, the fact that they can buy the device at a local Best Buy does not preclude them from relying on it for critical functions in their day-to-day.
The pressure from pilots to ditch the heavy bag of paper charts will likely bring the FAA along with it, which means at least three major sectors: aviation, Federal aviation legislation and suppliers of aviation tools are experiencing fundamental changes in their market due to adoption of a device that did not exist 3 years ago.
Filing A New Flight Plan
The last few years have not been kind to my friend’s company where he’s been employed since graduation, in line to take over the reigns. In spring of this year, the company was bought out having reached the limit on what it could borrow to manufacture inventory as demand for some of its core offerings dropped off sharply.
There’s a silver lining, however. My friend is lucky enough to still be working on new products under the company’s new owners. When I talked to him just this week, he told me they’re working on developing an iPad cover that looks like an old Jepp binder. He added, however, “it’s not an area we’re really comfortable in.” So, as aviation students and pilots start taking to the air differently, a small company in Western Massachusetts is taking on the task of learning to fly all over again all as a result of advances in mobile technology.