Last year, I created my first Enterprise Mobility Holiday Wish List. It wasn’t the typical, I want “this cool device” for the holidays list. It was a “please provide these products and services to the Enterprise so we can continue to push the boundaries on productivity and efficiency” list. This year I thought it would be fun to look back on what came true and then add a few more “stocking stuffers” for 2013.
- Wireless Coverage Everywhere – “Can you hear me now?”, not always! Many of our company’s sales reps work out in desolate areas that would benefit from accessing the wireless internet. I wish there was some sort of company that “resold” wireless coverage and aggregated multiple providers to provide the best coverage or we just had wifi everywhere (not just coffee shops and hotels). 2012 Outcome - Well, this is probably a bit mixed. Networks have improved with LTE technologies in areas that had coverage already, but very few of the places that did not have coverage or limited coverage have it now.
- Blackberry focuses on being a “Cool Business Device” – Given the “consumerization” of IT, for some reason Blackberry decided to start making devices for consumers. Start making cool devices that totally integrate with the Enterprise. 2012 Outcome – This did not happen in 2012 and it may be too late no matter what they come out with in 2013. If the federal government moves away from Blackberry, most enterprises are not far behind.
- Pay for what you use data plans – Enterprise customers are frequently “treated” to higher data plan costs for using a MDM solution. Shouldn’t it actually cost less for Enterprises? They typically are accessing applications and email, not streaming videos. 2012 Outcome – Although this is not totally true, the new shared plans offer business users the ability to add a device for the price of the device, plus a low monthly cost. This is a win for most users!
- More Business Apps in the App Store and Marketplace – I know this is getting better and there apps that are out on the app stores help improve productivity, but there is opportunity to do a lot more. 2012 Outcome – I would say there are more business apps in the app stores, but the real productive apps are still lacking. Do we really need another list or notes app?
- Private Clouds that are functional – We want the ability to save documents like the typical consumer does in “dropbox”, and the cloud should be owned or “leased” by the company. 2012 Outcome – Definite success in 2012! With solutions like Box, Office 365, Sharepoint integrations and many more, this is success!
- More devices like the Atrix – The concept of the Motorola “Atrix” is what our Field Sales reps want. One device that can dock in a tablet, but has the power to do everything. 2012 Outcome – The Atrix type phones did not take off too well, but perhaps the tablet is becoming that one device or the “phablets” of the world may fit that function. Either way, I see this as improved in 2012 and improving even more in 2013.
- Tablets or Phones that can beam out a presentation – We have cameras, how about a projector? 2012 Outcome – Supposedly this is on the way soon from Samsung. The jury is still out on this one.
- Ability to setup meetings with the iOS calendar app – Yes, Apple took it one step in allowing us to find users within the enterprise, but without being able to check availability of those users, what is the point? 2012 Outcome – This is better, but not what enterprise users need. It is hard to schedule an appointment unless you know the user is available. Hopefully this is coming soon.
- “Siri” for Enterprise Apps Help - It doesn’t have to be specifically “Siri”, but it would be great to have an app that provided verbal instructions on how to use or setup that app as you were using it. 2012 Outcome – Too early to tell and perhaps a well-designed app would not need that functionality.
Stocking Stuffers for 2013
- Surface Tablet to work with web enabled software – The enterprise would love to be able to “plug and play” with business software without the need for a mobile version. Yes, most enterprises would love mobile apps to accompany all of their software, but this is the next best thing.
- Apps that have many integrated functions – The concept is to have a “suite” of apps that integrated CRMs, notes, calendar, office products, sales materials/presentations, etc. This probably exists within some CRM web solutions that have migrated to the web, but it would be nice if there were some “off the shelf solutions out there.
- Devices that won’t break – There is a whole market out there for companies to replace glass out there. Isn’t there a technology that prevents breakage from a simple drop?
- New device credits or shorter upgrade times – There are companies like US Cellular that have decent upgrade cycles for your device, but the big “3” still have about a 2-year window on getting a new device. Considering the average user keeps a new mobile device 18 months, this is way too long of a period to upgrade.