Not Many Palms In Emerging Markets

Michele Pelino’s recent blog, “HP’s Acquisition Of Palm Is Not A Match Made In Heaven,” concludes as the title suggests that the success of the acquisition remains a wait-and-see proposition and it, in fact, may not pay off.  As Michele notes,

Forrester’s survey of over 1,000 IT decision makers in North American and European enterprises, only 12% of firms officially support or manage Palm devices. In comparison, 70% of enterprises support BlackBerry smartphones, and 29% support Apple iPhones. Android devices, the newest entrants in the mobile OS wars, have strong momentum and are officially supported by 13% of firms.

Well, that got me wondering how Palm had fared in emerging markets.  We know that device preferences are different globally.  So, I thought, maybe there are some Palm fans outside of North America and Europe.  I checked Forrester’s Global Technology Adoption data from last summer (new survey expected back from the field very soon) in which we surveyed 1,412 IT executives and technology decision-makers across 15 countries.  Here is what I found out about PalmOS support across enterprises in a few of the countries:

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Nokia Launches Ovi Music in India: First Take

Nokia today announced the launch of the Indian implementation of Comes With Music.  The fact it is called Ovi Music indicates the degree to which this is a highly bespoke implementation of Nokia’s unlimited music offering, specifically tailored for the local market.  Nokia understand the dynamics of emerging markets more than any other global digital music player and they’re embarking on a first or early mover strategy across key emerging markets such as India, Russia and Mexico.  This is Nokia’s 30th unlimited music market.

Nokia have done a lot to address local market dynamics, such as a 90% local language, 4 million track catalogue, pinless activation directly on mobile devices without a PC (due to low PC penetration) and reducing the Ovi client from 60MB to 3MB to address connectivity issues.  The service will also have a new low end music phone (the X2) to drive its launch.

Even with those features though, the majority of the Indian market will not be addressable.  Most mobile phone users don’t have any download capability (either PC or mobile) and rely upon filling up their phones with illegal content from dodgy stalls set up outside mobile phone shops.  (Nokia’s focus on ‘clean meta data’ for Ovi Music in India is an intended differentiation point from these resellers). 

Of course Nokia fully understand these dynamics and they’ve chosen to launch a service with a remit of addressing a smaller, higher spending, more tech savvy segment, leaving their AM radio enabled phones as a means of delivering a music experience to rural areas etc.

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Building B2B Markets: One Entrepreneur at a Time

Last December I wrote about Building B2B Technology Markets, looking at how to penetrate a market with almost none of the traditional characteristics of a mature technology market? As technology vendors increasingly look to emerging markets as a significant opportunity and source of growth, this question becomes more pressing.  The report explored some of the elements of Cisco’s Country Transformation initiatives in order to identify steps in the process of building market infrastructure:

For example, the report looked at partnering with governments to encourage market-friendly policies and investment in the necessary technology infrastructure to support market development and overall economic growth.  And, from a sales perspective, trade associations provided an alternative channel to reach small and medium businesses in markets where distributors and resellers weren't available.  

But, another element critical to successful market development is the ecosystem of partners developing solutions specific to the particular market, or even just contributing local innovation for new approaches to broader global issues.   Building B2B Technology Markets discussed finding local organizations to act as partners in the market, and even investing in educational initiatives, but missed the next step of how to help create these new local ecosystem partners. 

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Upside-down is right-side up for Telefónica: Latin America shows growth and opportunity

The word for “crisis” in Chinese apparently comes from two roots meaning “risk” and “opportunity” – there is both a downside, and the potential for an upside.  That’s how César Alierta, Telefónica Chairman and CEO, began the opening keynote of their 2010 Leadership Conference in Miami (where I spent several days last week).  For Telefónica, that definition has played out with the global economic crisis.  While results in Spain have been their downside, Latin America has been the opportunity.  Telefónica has a presence in 15 countries in Latin America (and 42 countries worldwide), with offerings in mobile and fixed telephony and in IT services.  Not all offerings are available in all markets but in many countries Telefónica has leveraged a strong position in one offering to expand into the others becoming the first integrated operator in the region. 

According to José Maria Pallete, CEO of Telefónica Latinoamérica, Latin America represents 65-70% of their total customer base, 40% of revenues and about 40% of the operating income. In the enterprise space (as opposed to consumer services), 37% of Telefónica revenue comes from Latin America.  That corporate segment (including public sector) marked double digit growth in Latin America in 2009, with its biggest markets in Brazil and Mexico. 

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