Accelerate mobile device management deployments and move to the second wave

Last week I met with Fernando Alvarez, SVP for Mobile Solutions at Cap Gemini in Paris. We discussed the second wave for enterprise mobility (see my blog on “the mobile workplace – is your company ready to replace the PC?”) which has been held back by long sales cycles for mobile device management. Fernando stated that as an industry, “we have spent too much time wrestling with features and functionality of mobile device management. But this is just an enabling service for the productivity wave, no longer a value proposition in itself. Since we realized that prices would rapidly decline, we went ahead and commoditized this market. We want to move on to more crucial issues on the value chain.” He actually launched a very aggressively priced mobile device management service based on SAP Afaria and Amazon AWS for € 1 per month in May 2013.
 
The view that it is time to move beyond mobile device management and into innovative productivity scenarios is shared by Sven Lange, Vice President Partner Ecosystem & Expansion with SAP with whom I met a day earlier.
 
He mirrored the opinion of Fernando Alvarez. “Finally, we get over this mobile device management deployment hurdle. More customers are now actively exploiting real business grade alternatives to popular consumer services including SAP Mobile Documents instead of drop box. We have been waiting for this productive stage and it is here now. This is where we can help IT leaders to educate their business peers on the value of the sourcing decisions they make.”
 
Last year he was responsible for selling, and I was responsible for marketing, Mobile Enterprise Solutions at T-Systems. We had observed long sales cycles for mobile device management despite competitive pressure on price. Our overall policy was similar to the one aired by Fernando, get mobile device management deployed quickly, and move the discussion on to the productivity services.
 
Let’s move beyond mobile device management…
 
Mobile device management is a necessary ingredient for mobilizing your workforce. The service itself is now a commodity and should be sourced for universal deployment in the enterprise. Don’t waste time on features and functionality testing as all leading vendors, SAP Afaria, Mobile Iron and Airwatch cover the basics.
 
…to concentrate on the second wave of enterprise mobility
 
There are more strategic issues for the sourcing community to consider such as BYOD policies in different countries, deployment of productivity applications by business units and building the right partnerships for network, communications and integration services to empower the mobile mindshift.    
 
We will be discussing those issues in the forthcoming European Forrester Customer Event Series “The Mobile Mindshift” next week in Paris, London and Geneva.