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Enterprise Mobility Management

Public Group active 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This is where we can share our questions and answers to our experiences and needs around enterprise mobility management.

MEAP Vendor Comparison (42 posts)

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  • Avatar Image Mike Yost said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Does anyone know of a good un-biased source of MEAP vendor comparisons? I’m particularly interested in Antenna Software vs. Sybase.
    Thanks.
    -Mike

  • Avatar Image Philippe Winthrop said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Hi Mike,

    What specifically are you looking to compare between the two?

    Cheers,

    Philippe

  • Avatar Image Mike Yost said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Hi Philippe,
    Since all I have to go by is marketing materials, I have to read between the lines. Antenna claims “write once, run everywhere”, while Sybase’s claim is not quite as strong: “runs on a wide variety of platforms”. Further, in one of their white papers Sybase mentioned something about further customizing an app for a given platform.
    So, to answer your question, I’m interested in
    – which devices are supported and how,
    – to what extent are they native apps,
    – do they offer hosting services.
    Thanks!
    -Mike

  • Avatar Image Philippe Winthrop said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    There are so many pros and cons to the different solutions….including to MEAP or not to MEAP. I’d be curious to hear from the users who have deployed various methods to get their input.

  • Avatar Image Adam Sivell said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Hi Mike,

    I work for http://www.skytechnologies.com so its difficult for me to give you a non-biased approach. Off the top of my head (and far from comprehensive) I think you should atleast consider the following:

    Device & Operating System Support
    • Which devices are supported?
    • What hardware features are supported (e.g. gps, camera, scanner, rfid)?
    • Which operating systems are supported?
    • Are their specific limitations for a certain platforms?

    Application Management
    • What features are supported by the sdk?
    • Can you integrate through the sdk? If so how using what technology/language/etc?
    • Are there templates or accelerators for applications built on the MEAP?
    • Are there off the shelf applications built on the MEAP?

    Architecture & Security
    • What security methods/protocols are supported?
    • What architectural models are supported e.g.
    • Cloud/Middleware/Hosted/Web-Based/Direct

    Remote Management
    • What OTA capabilities for management of the SOE?
    • What about OTA for the Application & Data management?

    Integration
    • What integration / back end systems are key to your success
    • What credentials does the MEAP have in integrating to your target systems
    • What middleware is required?
    • What data modelling for online/offline replication of data is supported?

    General
    • What are the low hanging fruit from a process perspective?
    • What experience does the solution provider have with these processes?
    • What experience does the solution provider have with the non build activities e.g. testing, training, rollout, user up take, support?
    • How can you learn to use the SDK?
    • What’s the R&D roadmap for the future?

    Hope it helps somewhat in gathering the data.

  • Avatar Image Mike Yost said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Hi Adam,
    I appreciate your list; it certainly helps to make explicit some of the assumptions in my thinking.
    Since you mentioned SkyTechnologies, I’m curious how your “Super Client” and “Code Free” environment compare to say, Pyxis Mobile’s “Config once, run anywhere” approach. They appear to have a native container app which is configured with XML to present data to the user.
    Thanks again for the list.
    Best regards,
    -Mike

  • Avatar Image Adam Sivell said 3 years, 10 months ago:

    Hi Mike,
    I’m certainly not an expert on Pyxis however there are some obvious similiarities between aproaches. In our FAQ on the downloads section of our website we have a lot more information about our UI, Architecture, Systems Management, etc. And of course I’m happy to answer what I can or get you in contact with someone from our team.
    Cheers
    Adam

  • Avatar Image Christopher Willis said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    Since it’s come up, I will try to help out on this topic in as even and fair a way as I can, based on my position as a Pyxis Mobile employee.

    Some things to consider when looking at MEAPs:

    * Most MEAPs, Pyxis Mobile excluded, are code generators. Meaning, the product of their design tool is a piece of code that then needs additional custom coding to run on each supported device. Our approach is quite different. We have already coded the operational clients for each device we support. That client knows how to interact with the individual devices’ features and functionality (camera, GPS, etc.). The product of our Application Studio is the configuration (application) which tells the client application what it will be and what it will do. Two reasons this is important. One, because you don’t have to code, our customers and integrator partners can use our platform themselves without the need to engage our professional services. Two, this approach provides customers AGILITY. Once you release and deploy your app, you can make changes to it without re-engaging our team, without needing to recode and recompile anything, and without even redeploying the client. There is no other product on the market that allows you to be flexible in this manner. This is a primary reason that companies are buying our product.

    In the wild: A major US insurance company leveraged the platform to build their P&C app. Shortly after the release, app reviews showed that users wanted “bill pay.” Our customer was able to add this new feature (including new screens, new data connectors, etc.) without the need to code or even redeploy to users. The change was made in AppStudio, and the next time users logged into the app, they were able to use the new feature.

    * While our Configure Once, Run Anywhere statement is clearly a marketing message, the fact of the matter is that it is every platform’s job to ensure that you only need to build once. However, because of the whole “code generation” thing I reference above, you’re building app logic once, and then custom coding the rest of the client, which is definitely not what you’re promised. Further to that, every time you make a change to one of the code generators’ apps, you need to recode for each device, recompile and then redeploy (tasks generally carried out by the vendor’s PS team). In our Application Studio, apps are produced that will run across all supported devices (today that means BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Android Tablet). When changes are made (once in App Studio), those changes are available on all devices.

    * Data connectivity is important. You need to look at the methods available to connect to known and not-so-known data sources. Many of the MEAPs have a limited list of data sources available to the user. Additional data sources need to be developed into their core middleware. We’ve taken a different approach. Customers, partners, or our team build data connectors (Plug Ins) using our plug in toolkit, external to our middleware, using a standard language (Lua). This means you can connect to big systems like Siebel and SAP, but you can also connect to your old product database that you built 15 years ago that is living in an AS400 farm in a basement in Jersey City.

    * Proof Points: recent customers include State governments, major insurers, life sciences companies, oil & gas firms, auto manufacturers, and many, many others.

    While a lot of vendors in the space look a lot alike, we have begun to truly differentiate ourselves from the pack. Pyxis Mobile is the only mobile application platform designed to meet today’s constantly changing needs. Customers from all over the world are picking us over even the biggest names in the space due to the strength, flexibility and agility of our platform.

    While the above message may seem slightly self-serving based on the context of your original question, it’s all true.

  • Avatar Image Philippe Winthrop said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    With all these MEAP vendors out there – maybe there should be a bake off of some sort….

  • Avatar Image Christopher Willis said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    We’re in!

  • Avatar Image Dee Goldschmidt said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    a bake-off…count me in!
    BTW – just joined the group..looking forward to interesting discussions

  • Avatar Image MobileAdmin said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    The big gotcha is price as these MEAPS all want to charge per user per month and any App you wish to deploy to a large mobile deployment just get killed when you propose budget.

    What we want is an enterprise site license to make any Apps we wish and push to 10 user or 4,000. Price your solution like a CAL as the current model most of you use sucks.

    Check out UsableNet as they are much cheaper in the long run but you lose native App functions due to them being web based.

  • Avatar Image Mike Yost said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    I think PyxisMobile charges per server CPU, no limit on number of users or apps.

  • Avatar Image Cynthia said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    I have followed this string with interest while I performed my own research. My criteria may be different from others but our key business requirements are :
    - Easy Integration to our SAP systems
    - Ability to access non-SAP data into our chosen mobile platform
    - Support of the big 4 devices (Apple, Android, RIM and Windows)
    - Easy customization of the APPS & functionality without the need to pay for more PS (we have our own developers)
    - Pricing. The requirement to use 1 platform for all our in-house and external applications. Enterprise licensing for CRM, SRM, Field Services, Asset Management, Workflow, DSD and any others we design in the future.
    Reduced complexity – some of the offerings from companies like Sybase were just too complicated and expensive. We would only entertain a one platform, easy integration, quick to deploy solution.
    Lastly, with our growing inventory of mobile devices we needed to ensure this “write once deploy anywhere” marketing fluff was a legitimate statement. For my team, this simply means every time we enhance a mobile app, we do it once and then roll it out across our multiple device types. It does not mean write it once for BB and once for iPhone etc..This ruled out Syclo & Pyxis.

    We basically did our own bake-off using feedback from existing customers of vendors mentioned above which quickly reduced the horses in the race from 6 to 1.

    I would encourage all potential buyers to do this type of bake-off. We learned so much. We analyzed data from Sybase, Syclo, Clicksoft, Pyxis, Antenna and Sky Technologies. We spoke to reps, analysts but most importantly customers of the chosen vendors. We saw through the marketing hype and determined the reality of the claims. We also rejected advice from our SAP rep when we found out how she was being compensated.

    By performing a matrix evaluation across all the products, the winning solution became very evident.

    We chose XXX because they did exactly what they said they could.
    They run inside SAP, which reduced complexity and eliminated the need for additional servers. They supported all 4 devices.
    They were a software company and not a PS driven company, so we receive training and certification for our own developers enabling us to enhance and build applications.

    Their write once run anywhere statement was actually truthful and they demonstrated during a demo/POC. The pricing was as much as 50% cheaper than the largest vendor, but what really sold the vendor to us was the willingness of other customers to come forward and talk about their experiences. Although this company was the smallest in the group, they were miles ahead of their competition in functionality, design, ease of use and pricing flexibility.

  • Avatar Image Christopher Willis said 3 years, 9 months ago:

    I appreciate Cynthia’s detailed comments. One area of clarification: “It does not mean write it once for BB and once for iPhone etc..This ruled out Syclo & Pyxis. ” Not sure how that ruled Pyxis Mobile out. Here’s a short video showing the building of a basic application on our platform. Since we are not a code generator, you only build one application that runs across supported devices. Give it a watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSxV5oVFLaU