Below is an article I just wrote for my current employer MSC Mobility.

 

Watching the mobile market for many years now it is interesting to see the wholesale changes that have happened like BYOD consumerisation and adoption vs the mainstays of where the true ROI lays. (Field service automation etc). The IT world has a habit of coming up with new names for the same thing. Cloud = Mainframe…

So to get above the weeds in your MDM selection we have started to see attraction becoming more and more important. In my opinion I see 3 layers of attraction:

1. The Consumer.

The devices you choose to deploy must have consumer market attraction to be successful. Blackberry, Symbian or Win Mo are 3 examples of platforms that now have no market attraction. Deploying these would be the same as telling your employees they need to wear cardigans with leather patches on the elbows as their uniform or insisting that CRT monitors are going to make a comeback. The device, simply put, must be attractive.

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2.  The Platform.

The MDM platform you choose must also be attractive to the device manufacturer. The likes of Citrix, MobileIron or AirWatch are very attractive to Samsung and Apple because of their amazing market penetration (1000’s of customer each). The attraction leads to deep partnering to ensure they are on the inside of what is coming next like per app VPN from Apple’s latest iOS release or Samsung’s Knox program for added security.  Should you pick a non-attractive MDM vendor with little market share such as Silverback MDM, Amtel or Excitor – who all failed to make it into the Gartner magic quadrant at all this year – you may well be left on the side-line wondering what went wrong when everyone else offers support for something new like Knox.

3.  The Ecosystem. 

The wider eco system is probably the most significant aspect of enterprise attraction. In recent times it can be argued that Apple has fallen behind the cool curve and that their current phone is too small. It is however their enormous market attraction and eco system that still provides the necessary attraction to keep them on top of the hill. From car integration to docks and of course the amazing App Store. In enterprise terms you should be looking for the equivalent. Is the MDMattractive to your current firewall provider, mail platform, certificate provider, Document ManagementSystem, Web Filtering Gateway and so on.  AirWatchMobileIron and Citrix have all launched extensive app partner programs ranging from app connect to Mobile Application Management. Their solutions are designed to ensure you can go above and beyond email on a mobile phone and hence their broad market penetration.

Some in the technology office still hold to the mantra ‘we can tell the users what they can have’ however in a consumer driven world attractiveness is a major determinant. Perhaps more enterprise friendly products will gain greater traction combining wow-factor with enterprise needs… or perhaps IT will simply have to give users what they want.

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