Verizon enters mobile management services; enough to take it beyond early adopters?
Verizon will announce its entry into a new market today, offering a full suite of services designed to help business customers analyze usage, manage devices, maintain security and more through a suite of software tools.Deja Vu.
Verizon will announce its entry into a new market today, offering a full suite of services designed to help business customers analyze usage, manage devices, maintain security and more through a suite of software tools.
Just yesterday, I posted about Zenprise, a company that's also in this space and just released an upgrade to include security and expense management modules. Earlier this year, I also wrote about another player in this space: Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services. For the smaller companies, it validates the concept that there is, in fact, a demand for these sort of services among companies.
For Verizon, it's a nice addition for the portfolio of services offerings. The segment is growing and Verizon is jumping in feet first, launching in the U.S. and 19 European countries and crossing carrier lines. IDC projects that the market for mobility management will reach $758 million by 2013. Meanwhile, Forrester says that 73 percent of global workforces will be enterprise mobile users by 2012. Already, more the one-third of IT decision makers consider mobility to be a "productivity-enhancing priority." In a statement, Nancy Gofus, senior VP for Verizon's global business products, said:
Mobility in the workplace is fast becoming a necessity, and IT decision-makers everywhere are seeking ways to enable the modern workforce - no simple task. IT organizations are struggling with the incredible magnitude of defining mobility requirements touching every part of an organization.
As part of the announcement, Verizon is also announcing partnerships with Sybase and Quickcomm, which provide the software and invoicing services for the suite - all branded under the Verizon name. The deals are non-exclusive but terms of the deals were not disclosed Rob Beach, senior director of business development at Sybase, said announcement of Verizon's offering was like a turning point for the industry.
Consider the ROI on mobile devices in the past. E-mail was pretty much the killer app and not everyone really needed it. It was easier to manage and control costs. The ROI on today's smartphone is much better when you consider the apps that allow employees to perform work functions remotely. It's not just email anymore. But all of that increases the complexity, as well - hence the need for managed mobility services.
Verizon's entry, Beach said, takes us from the early adopter market into the first step toward majority adoption. He may be right. Any company whose employees are carrying around mobile devices and accessing the company network - even if just for mail - should consider these sorts of tools and take some guesswork out of that piece of the IT department's puzzle.
Separately, Verizon also unveiled a set of IT consulting services intended to complement the mobility services by offering deployment strategy services, development of mobile policies and assessments of mobile security.