We were invited to the first ever European analyst day held by Computacenter in Brussels last week. CEO Mike Norris highlighted a targeted approach to global companies and gave a key statement in his opening pitch:
“We have arrived in the transformation from hardware to services which make up 31.5% of our revenue today. That part is growing and we are now in the user enablement business.”
We believe holding the analyst event was a good decision with a respectable outcome! Here is our take:
Computacenter is a customer focused business. To the credit of the company, three IT professionals of leading European brands gave testimony to the services received. They conveyed that Computacenter executives understand their requirements and service teams go out of their way to support the internal infrastructure or employees with network and helpdesk services. Interestingly, all three customers on stage agreed on the two main criteria for giving their business to Computacenter: Trust and flexibility. Despite the powerful message on solid delivery for classic IT optimization services, all three of them stopped short of talking about how Computacenter could empower their own service to their customers.
My colleague Dan Bieler laid out the overall impressions on his take of the MWC. I fully agree with his view, noticing the number of cars being displayed as attractors to make up for the lost appeal of devices.
My questions were more focused on the impact of announcements and innovation in the enterprise sector. Here is what I took in that respect from Barcelona:
Enterprise providers are preoccupied with mobile integration beyond MDM. Complexity of enterprise content integration into different mobile architectures dominated the agenda of many providers. In this context, everyone in the services arena talks about being a leader for the “end to end” value proposition. The overstretched term “end to end” means different things to different people. Vendors talk about technology stacks, service providers also talk about global reach. In this context, the exclusive alliance model for local best-of-breed providers by GEMA offers an interesting realization of the “think global, act local” concept.
The growing imbalance between the expectations of mobile users and the ability of enterprises to meet those expectations remains a key challenge. Users expect mobile productivity support, while CIO organizations are stuck on decisions about device deployments and policies.
Juggling different priorities for different stakeholders who expect greater support to exploit the mobile experience with the basic requirements for compliance and security remains a tall order. Time to revisit the top priorities. In Europe, these key trends will set the agenda for sourcing in the next twelve months:
The mobile cost equation shifts to devices and content. In 2014, we'll see the cost for broadband voice and data services as roaming charges coming down for enterprise customers. Users will shift their focus to the rising cost for immature services such as mobile device life-cycle management, application sourcing, and workplace integration.
CIOs will roll out corporate devices and embrace mobile content management. European CIOs realize that they are running out of time to shape the mobile workforce agenda. In 2014, we'll see a more strategic approach to mobile workforce engagement based on corporate device rollouts, clear policies, and mobile productivity.
My latest research report, European Mobile Workplace: The Strategic Sourcing Agenda In 2014 provides support for setting the sourcing agenda, supporting CIO organizations in their mobility plans for 2014. It addresses key issues such as steps to deliver on CYOD programs, mobile productivity content, and role-based packaging.
Mobile device management remains the starting point for a true mobile workplace experience. VMware's recent acquisition of AirWatch isn't the first time that a leading provider of virtual desktop technology has bought mobile device management capabilities. But the road to creating a true mobile workplace experience is long. The task of meeting workforce requirements by consolidating device management, desktop management, virtualization, and the delivery of the right applications and content to mobile endpoints remains complex. A number of managed service providers are positioning themselves as strategic partners to support you in this transition. Are you ready for such an engagement? How do you select the right partner?
One obvious starting point is to check the capabilities of the provider you have already picked to manage your devices. But which of these providers are up to the challenge? Our research reveals that the European playing field is evenly shared between telecommunication providers and IT service providers.
IT Providers, Telcos, And Disruptors Are Fighting For Your Business
For our new report, Managed Mobile Workplace Services In Europe, we spoke with a number of leading telcos and IT providers that are expanding into comprehensive mobile services beyond device management. Here's our take on their plans to support your mobile workplace transformation strategy:
Much has been written and debated about the rising popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) throughout the world. The subject continues to cause headaches for European companies. Our latest research with HR professionals, IT professionals, and suppliers in Europe reveals that:
The business climate in Europe does not favor BYOD deployment.The threat of cost explosions due to cross-border data roaming inhibits BYOD programs; mistakes like putting a BlackBerry SIM into an unauthorized smartphone can cause massive bill shock. Employment regulations, data protection laws, and tax laws inhibiting flat budget models also raise barriers. Finally,asking employees to shoulder responsibility for security andlimited support for private devices endangers business continuity.
BYOD in Europe is happening by accident. European employees are unsatisfied with corporate devices and want to use their own — but according to the Forrsights Telecom And Mobility Workforce Survey, Q2 2013, only 6% of them are willing to pay the full cost of a mobile or smartphone used for business purposes. Official BYOD policies remain the exception rather than the rule. Only 15% of European mobility officers surveyed have gone beyond a pilot phase; fewer than 9% include tablets.
Telefónica invited us recently to its European Analyst day at the headquarters of Telefonica UK (O2) in Slough. Jose Luis Gamo Global Solutions CEO Multinationals started off the day with an ambitious outlook on strategy and revenue growth. He highlighted Telefónica plans to deepen customer engagements by addressing their needs for global contract consolidation, as well as demands for M2M solutions, big data & s analytics and cloud services. Telefónica certainly has a lot to offer. But is Telefónica doing enough to position itself well in the evolution to markets driven by customer experience? We believe that there is potential because:
Telefónica is increasingly competitive in winning global enterprise network contracts. After the global landmark deal with DHL, Telefónica has added large companies including Ferrovial to its customer base. Telefónica, the largest European operator by capitalization, is increasing contract values with existing customers through cross selling activities. Their ability to do so is enabled by a demonstrable focus on the following initiatives: Strengthening professional account management, increased commitment by Telefónica group to the enterprise market, as well as initiatives to improve service management, the technical architecture, customer services and the terms and conditions.
Dan Bieler, Henry Dewing, Henning Dransfeld, Katyayan Gupta, Brownlee Thomas, and Michele Pelino
Vodafone hosted its annual global analyst event in London recently, and it was a good event. Vodafone’s CEO Vittorio Colao kicked it off with a passionate endorsement of Vodafone’s enterprise ambitions. But will Vodafone’s market position as a leading mobile telco give it a tangible advantage in the broader enterprise global telecoms marketplace? We believe there is a good chance it will because:
Vodafone’s integrated pitch is credible. Vodafone comes up in nearly every conversation with Forrester enterprise clients that want to consolidate vendors for multicountry or “global” mobility services. Increasingly, our clients also are asking about Vodafone’s wired services. And those based in the UK and Germany are the most interested in learning about what’s available and what’s coming with respect to fixed-mobile bundling. Vodafone made a big play on fixed-mobile integration, most notably with the acquisitions of Cable & Wireless and Kabel Deutschland. Its network now covers 140 countries, 28 of which support MPLS networks for mobile backhaul. Vodafone also has big plans for refreshing and expanding its international IP backbone network to more than 60 countries.
European IT departments actively deploy mobile capabilities in their organization, edging ahead of their North American counterparts on the journey to provide managed corporate services to their employees, according to Forrester’s Forrsights Mobility Survey, Q2 2013. Our data also showed us that:
European IT leaders prefer to control the distribution of corporate applications. Forty-three percent of European respondents report that they have implemented or plan to implement a corporate mobile application store within the next 12 months compared to only 26% of their North American counterparts (see Figure 1). These findings point to a key difference in the European approach: less self-sourcing by the employee, no laissez faire attitude to application sourcing, but active guidance on corporate devices and applications. European IT leaders we spoke to confirm these findings.
European mobile deployments look unstructured and often lack stakeholder alignment. While there is much activity around building out mobile application delivery and investing in the right infrastructure to support mobile engagement, there is no visible pattern or strategy behind many deployments. Many European enterprises fail to apply the classic strategy of starting with a mobile strategy, rolling out mobile device support, and ensuring mobile productivity.
On October 15, I was invited to the launch of Unify, the new name for Siemens Enterprise Communications. Giving up a heritage stretching back to the age of the telegraph is a courageous move at best. Like some of its peers with a strong history in communications, Siemens Enterprise Communications has been through a tough period recently. Like Nokia Handsets and BlackBerry, the company has had to reposition its business to regain lost ground. But this is where the comparison stops, for this move is a bold departure and is being put into practice differently:
Unify is not an evolution; it's a new beginning. As the CEO Hamid Akhavan announced the new Unify brand, there was a mixture of emotions; it was both a sad departure from the powerful parent and liberation in the face of a new mission — harmonizing the enterprise. Mr. Akhavan presented the brand as young, hip, and customer-focused. A fresh, apple-green Unify logo completes the picture; it is differentiated, concise, and a good base upon which to build a lively brand in the years to come.
I was recently invited to join the celebrations for the opening of Portugal Telecom's (PT) new tier 3 data center in Covilha, Portugal. On this occasion, CEO Zeinal Bava reported the completion of major milestones in a five-year transformation program, including: 1) the transition to a next-generation network (NGN); 2) the transformation of business models to become more responsive to changing consumer needs; and 3) a transformation of the customer experience to become a customer-centric organization. Mr. Bava also announced the launch of a public cloud that's freely available to Portuguese citizens and elaborated on PT's hunger for cloud business in a competitive marketplace. As a symbolic act, 38 companies — including Accenture, the Football Association of Lisbon, Banco BIC, and Wipro Portugal — signed a cloud deal with PT on-stage. PT staged this event, located at its new state-of-the-art facility, to demonstrate its capabilities for innovation in terms of resilience, architectural design, energy efficiency, and capacity. Here is what it means for PT: