Welcome to the latest edition of Inside Looking Out. This past week, I spoke with Cliff Cibelli. Alan is a manager at Verizon. Cliff works in the Managed Network Services team – an ex MCI guy.
You might be asking yourself “Why Verizon and not Verizon WIRELESS”? Well, I met Cliff just a couple of weeks ago when he came to the office to talk about that very topic: the new partnership that Verizon created with Sybase and Quickcomm. Needless to say, that started an interesting coversation that continued this past week and which is summarized after the jump
Enterprise Mobility Foundation: Hi Cliff. It’s good to speak with you again. Thanks for taking the time to chat today. Enterprise Mobility has changed a lot in the last few years. What would you say is the greatest recent advancement?
Cliff Cibelli: I would say the greatest advancement is the convergence or at least the linkage between Visibility – Expense Management and the Control – Device Management / Security. Aside from some of the recent mergers / partnerships / announcements, these services give enterprises the ability to look at Corporate Liable and Personal liable options and more flexibility to choose what is right for them. A major driving force in applications in the consumer space are showing IT departments that end users can download and implement applications. The IT departments are now struggling with: How do I do this across disparate devices, etc.
EMF: What do you think is the greatest risk for organizations right now?
CC: The greatest risk right now is not having corporate polices in place to govern growth. Enterprises need to create Mobility Circles of Excellence/Governing Bodies. These “groups” can create policies that cut across almost every aspect of the business. While most enterprises are not organized to make the decisions quick enough, these “councils” — composed of cross sections of the business — can provide direction for the IT departments to follow. It’s amazing how many middle to large companies still allow executives to carry devices without even password protection. It’s like giving an outsider an open window into everything your company does.
EMF: What steps should executives take to ensure the success of their mobility implementations? What’s the first step they need to take to have an effective mobility strategy?
CC: As mentioned earlier: Create a Governance Committee to evaluate the use of the mobility and effective implementations. They should define what the strategies are, not all applications will save money, some mobility applications may actually cost money, but the productivity gains could be game-changing and have a significant positive impact to the bottom line. Of course poor strategies and implementation may have the direct opposite effect.
EMF: Security is always top of mind for IT departments (especially in the context of anti-virus and malware), but it doesn’t seem to be as important for mobility. Do you see that changing any time soon?
CC: While laptop security seems to always take precedence, more devices along with more people with mobility access to the corporate infrastructure translates into more chances to become a news headline. No one wants to be the first — as mobility becomes more ubiquitous, more focus has to be placed on security. The first headline breach that has causes significant human or financial costs will cause many IT departments (driven by their executives) to tighten security.
EMF: With HTML5 and “The Cloud” getting so much buzz these days, where do you see their impact on enterprise mobility? How “real” is mobile cloud computing in your mind?
CC: Cloud computing is in its infancy. Mobile device proliferation along with the ability of these devices providing context (both in terms of location and content) to interact with a network and/or an application will drive even more collaboration. Whether it is an application running on a device attached to your hip, in your car, or in your home, the wealth of knowledge in the “network” will provide real time information and demonstrate assistance in our everyday life beyond what we can even comprehend now. Applications will be placed in the cloud allowing access from a wide variety of devices will provide greater flexibility for the remote worker.
EMF: Many people are speculating we are finally getting out of the recession. What does that mean to you in the context of enterprise mobility?
CC: The recession has really forced companies to look at what and how they spend money on, and what initiatives they will invest in. As purse strings start to loosen a little, those projects that not only demonstrate a return on investment but can provide a spark will be the ones implemented. Enterprise mobility not only can provide investment in areas such as “green initiatives”, but may also provide flexibility in quality of life issues as well. Providing the ability to speed approvals via applications like SAP while still being able to watch your children in a sporting can provide big dividends.
EMF: One last question Cliff. With Verizon’s recent announcement around managed services (in partnership with Sybase and Quickcomm), how do you see this impacting other managed service providers?
CC: I think it will have more people looking at partnerships that make sense, it demonstrates that you do not have to build capabilities organically, but look at the innovation that exists and align yourself with those companies investing in technology where you want to be. I think many companies that today are one dimensional will have to look at how they can join forces to provide multiple services. I also believe that our offering will continue to grow and evolve. We have built a foundation that meets the needs that many enterprises are looking for, along with the hooks to add many other services in addition to what we just recently announced.
Thank you Cliff for taking the time to chat with me today. If interested, you can connect with Cliff on LinkedIn here. Do you know anyone who should be a guest here on Inside Looking Out? Drop me a line.