During the past couple of years, mobile device manufacturers including Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM have deployed mobile application stores. Applications available in these stores are primarily consumer focused including games, music, news, and entertainment - but many applications are emerging that help business users. Work related application examples include PDF document readers, expense report viewers, and productivity enhancing applications for LOB workers such as medical decision-support tools and ECG-reading applications for doctors and nurses in healthcare.
According to the GSM Association, 49,000 people attended the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) in cold wet Barcelona last week. The weather was not a metaphor for the event which has maintained its glitz even though it is no longer a showcase for all devices new. Sure there were plenty of cool handsets on view, but this indicates how the mobile sector has matured into something different - a theme we will pick-up in research to be published shortly.
But what MWC has really become is one great big networking event, and Forrester was there in the thick of it. Personally met with senior executives from Alcatel-Lucent, Orange Business Services, Cisco, HP, Amdocs, Telefonica, Wipro, Tieto, Oracle, Comptel and Convergys; and had the opportunity to hear what Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Motorola had to say in my 2 days at the event. Other Forrester colleagues had equally full agendas, as is the way at MWC. As ever these interactions were as much about explaining our take on developments as hearing announcements (of which there were many).
From these meetings, podium presentations, and a deluge of press releases, four things stand out to me. They are:
I am writing this blog as I return from a whirlwind visit to the Vancouver Olympics - a truly digital Olympics relying on a converged network from Avaya and Bell Canada to deliver all of the data and media required for the games. The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games(VANOC) CIO, Ward Chapin, has been oft quoted saying that hosting the Winter Olympics is similar in scale to hosting 3 Super Bowls a day for 17 days, so when I spoke to him I asked how he does that. Relying on a team of suppliers and partners that includes Atos Origi
Oracle is about to launch its Cloud Computing strategy with a worldwide roadshow. What does this mean for Oracle customers and partners?
First of all, Oracle remains a technology platform provider and will not jump into the hosting business themselves for PaaS. Only for the space of hosted applications, will they remain in the OnDemand hosting business. Let’s have a look at the SaaS and PaaS segments separately:
The deregulation of the UK communications market began in 1984 and heralded the start of the competitive era. This week the UK regulator Ofcom removed one of the last vestiges of the monopoly era by requiring BT to open it's ducts to allow wholesale rivals to lay fiber cables in them if they wished to do so. This change was supported by the incumbent BT, which just goes to show how far the industry has changed since the dawn of deregulation!
SAP changes its board structure to focus again on product and technology
2009 was a tough year for the whole IT industry but SAP’s performance (-8% in total revenue and -28% in software revenue) was somewhat below the results of many other leading IT companies. The product launch of Business ByDesign is years delayed and clients are still unhappy about the way the new Enterprise Support was introduced. No question, SAP is currently in a difficult situation. At this point SAP announced yesterday that CEO Léo Apotheker’s contract will not be renewed and his resignation is effective immediately. In his place, the company appointed the two board members Jim Hagemann Snabe, responsible for product development and Bill McDermott, in charge of field operations, as co-CEOs.
After 20 years of service with SAP it would not be fair to blame Apotheker, who was certainly instrumental for SAP’s tremendous growth in the past, for the challenges SAP is currently facing. Over several years the company shifted from its traditional strengths, such as products, technology, quality and reliability to a strongly sales driven entity. In fact the whole board of SAP was slowly replaced by a team of pure sales professionals. Product innovation and quality, or customer satisfaction was no longer in the center of corporate strategy, but replaced by sales performance and quotas. In a press and analyst call today Hasso Plattner, Co-Founder of SAP and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, acknowledged that mistakes e.g. with Enterprise Support, were made, but the whole SAP board was involved and it was not Apotheker’s fault.