IoT Software Platform Wave Evaluation Helps Firms Navigate The Complex Solution Landscape

As businesses pursue digital initiatives, I&O execs must assist their line-of-business colleagues with addressing software, security, data, and business analytics integration complexity associated with deploying these IoT solutions. Digital opportunities to use IoT include:

  • Building connected products. Product manufacturers are creating smart, connected products to differentiate their offerings and generate new revenue streams as well as ecosystems for other partners to participate in and create their own value.
  • Transforming operational processes. Businesses across many vertical markets are using IoT-enabled use cases to transform supply chain processes, enhance inventory management and operational processes, and track and monitor asset performance
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Telefónica Leadership Event 2014 Highlights Plans To Lead The Digital Telco Parade

With Brownlee Thomas, Ph.D., Forrester Research

Forrester recently attended the Telefónica Leadership Conference 2014, its annual global customer event that brought together more than 600 customers, partners and its Global Solutions leadership team. This year’s event was an exemplary mix of Telefónica and external content, including a keynote live video interview with former US President Bill Clinton on day one, and also a keynote speech by Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile 2010-2014 on day two. Additionally, well known academics presented research findings related to how cloud and social are changing marketing (Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard), and how multigenerational workforces are reshaping business – from how they use technology to interact, and also to learn and transfer skills (Dr. Paul Redmond,  University of Liverpool).

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Internet of Things World Forum In Barcelona Highlights Emerging Connected World Momentum

Last week, I attended the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum event which was hosted by Cisco Systems in Barcelona, Spain. This inaugural event included more than 15 vendor sponsors such as AGT International, Oracle, IBM, SAP, and Zebra Technologies, and was attended by nearly 800 attendees including press and industry analysts. Breakout sessions addressed Internet of Things initiatives in industry, government, technology, education, and culture. A highlight of the event was a walking tour of the city of Barcelona, which is being transformed into a smart city.Examples of demonstrated IoT applications included: connected bus stops which provide citizens with real time travel information; smart parking sensors in on-street parking spaces to help citizens find open spaces via a smartphone application; and smart waste management solutions which incorporate sensors in street waste containers to monitor when the containers are full.  

A few key themes emerged from the conference. First, there is not a standard definition of the Internet of Things, however, there is a sense that the “time is now” for vendors, service providers, and organizations to participate in the Internet of Things market. In addition, there is a complex vendor and service provider ecosystem offering network infrastructure, devices, applications, and services built on multiple standards to address emerging demand for IoT solutions. Vendors and service providers must partner to develop user friendly IoT solutions, as well as clearly define and differentiate their IoT solution implementation capabilities.   

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Key Steps To Capture The Value Of BYOD Programs


Results from Forrester's Q2 2012 Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey show that more than two-thirds of North American and European information workers who use a computer for work an hour or more per day personally choose the smartphones or tablets they use for work, and 46% of information workers personally choose work laptops that are not on the company-approved device list. To address the increasingly complex mobile device landscape, many companies are deploying bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs to support devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops. Successfully planning and implementing a BYOD program requires infrastructure and operations (I&O) executives to address the following four key issues.

1. Build Relationships Outside IT

Implementing a successful BYOD program requires cross-functional collaboration across many IT and business groups in the organization. The I&O team should take the lead in BYOD program development. However, I&O executives must collaborate with security and governance, sourcing and vendor management, application development, and enterprise architecture professionals to determine the correct strategy and tool set. It is also critical to include line-of-business executives, as well as legal and finance professionals, to develop corporate BYOD program policies and procedures.

2. Create A Shared, Multi-Year Vision

Proactively working with decision-makers to identify the potential ROI and impacts on corporate business processes enables the I&O team to create a consistent, shared vision of the overall goals and desired outcomes of implementing a BYOD program. This shared vision of the cross-organizational effects of the BYOD program ensures that line-of-business decision-makers and stakeholders understand what investments they must make to support the program.

3. Develop A Compelling Business Justification

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Vendors Prepare For Corporate Application Store Opportunities

Firms are expanding beyond basic applications, deploying line-of-business mobile applications to address the needs of specific workers including the sales force, help desk, supply chain, logistics, and inventory management personnel. A growing number of firms are using mobile application stores to distribute these apps. In fact, 35% of enterprise organizations currently use mobile app stores, up from 27% of firms in 2010 (see Figure below).

An Increasing Number Of Firms Use Mobile App Stores To Distribute Applications

Mobile application stores gained momentum over the past few years as firms including Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Google developed mobile application stores to deploy applications over their devices. Now application stores are evolving to include corporate mobile application stores. These corporate app stores help firms control employee access to applications and ensure consistent mobile application use across the organization. Results from our 2011 networks and telecommunications survey of IT decision-makers show that nearly 5% of enterprises currently use corporate mobile application stores to distribute mobile apps. These corporate app stores provide an easy way for employees to find and download corporate-approved apps for any officially supported operating system or device.

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Verizon Apps Store Unveiled At VDC Conference

Last week Verizon held its Verizon Developer Community (VDC) Conference in Las Vegas, where the company unveiled an updated and newly branded Verizon Apps store, which replaces the VCast app store. The Verizon Apps store includes improved search capabilities through a partnership with Chomp. Verizon certifies the apps in the store and is reducing the time necessary to test and install new applications to within two weeks. The Verizon Apps store will be accessible on Droid smartphones, and users can purchase apps and pay for them through their Verizon phone bill. Verizon is also creating a new private application store for businesses, which will include applications built by enterprises and third parties to address the specific needs of line of business workers within the organization. These enterprise app stores will provide yet another distribution channel for developers.

It is important to recognize that mobile application developers have a lot of choices regarding which mobile storefronts they use to distribute their applications, including the Android Market, the Apple App Store, and app stores from many other telecom operators and mobile device manufacturers. To capture the mindshare of developers and facilitate the success of the store, it is important to:

1) Provide marketing opportunities for developers. Competitive application stores include hundreds of thousands of applications, making it difficult for developers to get visibility for their applications. Developers also want to ensure their applications are seen by the correct user segments. Offering segmented marketing programs to ensure relevant users have visibility into the appropriate applications is a way to address this issue.

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Amdocs Agrees To Purchase Bridgewater Systems For $215 Million

Yesterday, Amdocs, a leading provider of customer experience systems, agreed to acquire Bridgewater Systems, a provider of policy, subscriber management, and network control solutions for mobile and convergent service providers, for US$215 million. The combined solution resulting from this acquisition will combine Amdocs’ existing BSS/OSS and customer experience solutions with network level information from Bridgewater’s solution. The integrated organization will provide service providers with an enhanced ability to monetize data services and to support complex pricing strategies across multiple devices, users, and networks. From a customer perspective, Amdocs and Bridgewater share some key service provider customers including Bell Mobility, Sprint, and Telstra. 

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Ericsson Enhances OSS Service Capabilities By Acquiring Telcordia

Ericsson made a $1.15 billion offer to acquire Telcordia, a provider of operations support systems/business support systems (OSS/BSS) for telecom service providers. The Telcordia acquisition enables Ericsson to establish a leading position providing service fulfillment, service assurance, network optimization, and real-time charging services to wireless and wireline operators worldwide. Ericsson will gain Telcordia’s 200+ customers in 55 countries, including AT&T and Verizon in North America. The acquisition will also augment Ericsson’s managed service capabilities, which are currently used by firms including Sprint and Telefonica Brazil.

BSS/OSS solution demand is increasing due to communication service provider requirements to deploy a variety of converged services and applications to customers across fixed and wireless networks in a seamless manner. Telcordia’s OSS software solutions, combined with Ericsson’s global position, marketing clout, and existing billing services will enable the combined organization to offer a more comprehensive range of BSS/OSS solutions. This acquisition will also change the competitive and fragmented BSS/OSS vendor landscape. Ericsson will be in a better position to compete against key BSS/OSS vendors, including Amdocs, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as systems integrators, including Accenture, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, that also offer BSS/OSS solutions.  

Themes From Management World 2011: Innovation And Collaboration Are Keys To Telecom Vendor And Service Provider Success

Last week I attended the TM Forum Management World 2011 conference, which was held for the first time in Dublin, Ireland.  Over 3,500 attendees including nearly 200 service providers participated in the event, the largest group ever to attend the conference, which is sponsored by the TM Forum, a global industry association focused on helping simplify the complexity of running a service provider’s business. For me, the highlights of the event were in the renewed positive energy and focus of the delegates, vendors, and service providers in identifying opportunities for communication service providers to innovate and collaborate in new ways in order to address emerging opportunities in the communications industry.

Keynote presentations during the forum highlighted the diverse perspectives from traditional telecom operators and new participants in the communications industry. For example, Kevin Peters, Chief Marketing Officer of AT&T Business Solutions highlighted the network as a critical asset that is global, efficient, and robust with the ability to connect billions of smartphone devices and the growing number of machine-to-machine (M2M) end points. These connected devices use the network to provide intelligence and insight into the status of objects, items, and people. Stephen Shurrock, Chief Executive Officer, Telefonica O2 Ireland, highlighted the ability to deliver a wide variety of new mobile applications and services.

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Mobile Cloud Services Present New Vendor Opportunities

Enterprises of all sizes are challenged with supporting a wide range of mobile devices and applications. In addition, empowered employees are circumventing the IT organization by purchasing their own mobile devices and downloading applications used for work from mobile app stores sponsored by mobile device manufacturers. Adding to this complexity are the accelerated mobile device release and application update timelines, which often occur in a matter of months, not years. Mobile cloud services are emerging as a method for the corporate IT department to address these challenges, while still maintaining control of the firm’s mobile device and application environment.

Cloud services have been available in a traditional software and hardware arena for the past few years. However, now vendors and service providers in the mobility ecosystem are offering new types of mobile cloud services to help firms simplify and manage the complex mobility landscape. The key characteristics today’s mobile cloud services include:

  • Standardized, on-demand mobile services delivered in a public or private cloud environment. Today’s mobile cloud services tend to focus on helping firms deliver mobile applications. However, mobile cloud service deployment will evolve over time to include other services such as storage, security billing, governance, and reporting capabilities.
  • Mobile cloud services are delivered in an “as a service” manner, and promise to deliver operational savings by only requiring firms to pay for the software, platform, and infrastructure resources used. The software as a service “SaaS” delivery model is commonly used to distribute mobile applications, and infrastructure as a service components include mobile network and storage which can be incorporated into public clouds or private clouds.
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