Nc design06 0928_graphics_0928f3_file


Published on

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Nc design06 0928_graphics_0928f3_file

  1. 1. S P E C I A L R E P O R T O N B U S I N E S S I N N O VAT I O N10 STEPS TO MOBILIZATION ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// { } A MOBILITY PROJECT CAN This article, the first in a three-part series, is just one element of a special CMP Technology multimedia pack- TRANSFORM YOUR age on business innovation. For links to related stories ENTERPRISE—IF YOU AVOID from INFORMATIONWEEK, INTELLIGENT ENTERPRISE and OPTI- MIZE and additional editorial content, including podcasts COMPLEXITY AND COST PITFALLS and Webcasts, go to BY FRANK BULKCopyright (c) 2006, CMP Media LLC. Important note: This PDF is provided solely as a reader service. It is not intended for reproductionor public distribution. For more information on obtaining a Reprint, please contact a Reprint Services Rep at 516.562.7026 or
  2. 2. S OME SHOPS DEVELOP MOBILE APPLICATIONS the way a BoyScout rolls his sleeping bag: fold, press air out, roll, pressand repeat until you can stuff it in the nylon sack and tiethe pull-string tight. Companies likewise take a desktop > P L U S : See our companion pieces online at /2006 /0928: • Mobile Security: The smaller the device, the easierapp, remove all the white space in forms, rearrange it is to lose. We cover security best practices suchfields to fit tiny screens, shrink the database and jam the as passwords and encryption.package into a mobile device. In this case, though, it’s • Device Disconnect: Why is integrating today’snot a pull-string but a noose they’re pulling tight, damn- smartphones into the enterprise ecosystem so dif- ficult?ing the application project to a slow, painful death at the • Make the Case: Having trouble defining the ROI ofhands of its own inflexibility and dearth of usability. mobilization? Try real-world examples. Repeat after us: Mobile applications are not the • How We Got Here: He who forgets the history ofsame as desktop applications. Mobile application mobile application deployments is doomed todeployment cannot be compared with rolling out the repeat mistakes.latest version of Microsoft Office to PCs on the corpo-rate network. Mobile applications feel different, the reports during off-hours; and extended enterprisehardware is smaller, and connectivity is limited and employees or partners who regularly work off-site, suchsporadic. Unfortunately, as we discuss in “Mobile Ver- as auditors, consultants, contractors and their employees.sion of the Valdez,” at, the mobile- Once group profiles and typical activities are identi-application ecosystem has been thoroughly polluted by fied, you can tally the ROI of a mobility application andthe consumer-focused character of wireless carriers. It finalize a budget (see “Make Your Case,” at’t easy for an enterprise to completely meet its needs 2006/0928).without assembling the parts itself. Never fear: Here’s a The mobility-assessment team should comprise a10-step road map to ensure a successful rollout. cross-functional group of people from multiple busi- ness and IT groups, including security. Business users1. ANALYZE THE PROCESS provide IT with insight so it can correctly scope theSure, you know what process you want to automate. project and develop an open architecture for antici-But deploying a mobile application won’t simply accel- pated mobility, while IT educates the business side onerate existing business procedures. Inevitably, mobiliza- the realities of mobility applications.tion leads to change—in the process, in communication A multidiscipline team also may help avoid a classicpatterns, in how employees interact and serve cus- mistake plaguing mobile applications projects: under-tomers. Slavish adherence to process replication will estimating the complexity related to a new mode ofnot take full advantage of the mobile application’s abil- operation—a different UI, different processes, the logis-ity to save money by increasing efficiency. tics of deploying and supporting users and devices, inte- Say technicians use paper work orders to identify gration with back-end systems, to name a few gotchas.daily appointments. At close of business they file com- The application must be designed to tolerate inter-pleted forms to accounting, which generates invoices mittent access, so it usually requires local storage andmanually. A mobile application could convert a work data replication to a subset of the complete data set.order into an invoice, e-mail it to the customer while That’s an uncommon set of functional requirementsthe tech is on-site, even let the customer pay immedi- compared with the typical desktop application.ately with a credit card. The customer benefits by hav- Another mistake is to work around a specific mobileing an immediate copy of the work order and eliminat- device. Users will want choice, and the device you likeing a future statement and resulting payment cycle. The now may not be available in six months. Productorganization benefits by having an accurate capture of requirements, such as screen size, wireless interfaces,the service work and a lower accounts receivable bal- keyboard availability, size, weight and ruggedness, areance. But to realize maximum benefits, the process all reasonable parameters, but building an applicationmust change, in this case by reducing or redeploying that requires support for specific APIs or special but-accounting staff. tons will guarantee mobile device lock-in and restrict application enhancements, because moving to another2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE device will break a function that was a core componentIdentify the mobile workers who will use your applica- of the design.tion, gather their activities and profiles and ascribe ROI Scalability must remain front of mind as well. Demosvalues to each group. turned into pilot projects may perform well, but don’t Four broad categories can be used: field-service work- build an application and infrastructure that can’t scale.ers; remote salespeople; day-extenders/knowledge workers Middleware vendors we spoke with recounted horrorwho check e-mail, retrieve voicemail and review status stories where a great application concept failed because Copyright (c) 2006, CMP Media LLC. Important note: This PDF is provided solely as a reader service. It is not intended for reproduction54 or public distribution. For more information on obtaining a Reprint, please contact a Reprint Services Rep at 516.562.7026 or visit
  3. 3. it didn’t afford the flexibility or interfaces to grow with cies; some recommended items include a power-onthe organization, requiring a complete rewrite. password, wake-up password after 30 or 60 seconds of idle time, automatic wiping after several unsuccessful3. KNOW YOUR FRIENDS login attempts and encryption of important data.Corporate desktops require a variety of applications and The group supporting the mobile application mustagents to keep them in line, and mobility deployments are commit to automated and consistent application ofno different. Antivirus software, application management, security policies, and these policies must be defined upconfiguration and security policy management, VPN front, certainly before device selection. Your chosenclients, the list goes on. Consider the vendors with whom security-management system may support only a subsetyou’ll partner: Device and asset management by the likes of devices, or maybe only select devices have the securityof iAnywhere Solutions and Research in Motion (RIM) features that the mobile application requires. Mobilekeep track of your stuff. Because native security provided policies will aid the device-selection process and dictateby device manufacturers is insufficient for the enterprise, guidelines in how employees purchase such’ll need mobile security vendors such as Bluefire Secu- Provisioning is another piece of the mobile-policyrity Technologies, Credant Technologies, Mobile Armor puzzle. Who decides which people have access to theand Pointsec Mobile Technologies (read “Security on the mobile application, and is a sign-off required? HowRoad,” at, for more security advice). does the employee acquire the device, and how does he Unless you standardize on RIM BlackBerry or a Win- go about receiving the application? Does device provi-dows device with ActiveSync, you need a product that sioning and application deployment happen over thecan do PIM/e-mail synchronization against the corpo- air, or at the user, department or IT group level?rate groupware platform. If the application is not being What’s your support policy for the device, mobile datadeveloped from scratch, you need middleware, such as service and mobile application? The first two may well beiAnywhere, Intellisync’s Mobile Suite or Motorola’s outsourced because they’re relatively generic, but if theMotoPro Mobility Suite. application is hosted on-site, the IT department will likely Clearly, a fully fitted mobility deployment can be involved. If the application is outsourced, sometimesbecome a little weighty. The reality is, few organizations the vendor manages all three. In any case, this must beput it all on. Rather, they leverage the fact that each com- decided beforehand, clearly defining which aspects areponent has a bit of another—for example, middleware managed by whom, taking care to plug any perceived gaps.products might perform some on-device encryption,while the PIM sync product can run inventory reports. 5. ARTICULATE YOUR APPSSybase subsidiary iAnywhere recently launched its Infor- Buy or build? As in any IT project, the application couldmation Anywhere Suite, which bundles its own products be a best-of-breed amalgamation of OS, mobile deviceand those from previous acquisitions to essentially wrap management vendor, mobile security solution and soft-up all of the above. For more on the vendor landscape, ware development platform. Middleware vendors such assee “How We Got Here,” at iAnywhere bring a lot of this together, but you must decide if the features provided by certain components are4. BE THE POLICY POLICE complete enough or whether you need further add-ons.Creating a set of policies to address your mobility proj- Alternately, many CRM and ERP vendors, such as Ora-ect is just as critical a component of the road map as cle,, SAP, Siebel and their partners, offerchoosing hardware or a primary mobile data provider. mobile extensions for their products. An interestingIn “Don’t Get Burned,” page 28, we discuss building poli- example from is AppExchange Mobile, the S M A RT P H O N E S S E L L I N G Worldwide unit shipments of smartphones by OS1 MARKET SHARE (%) MARKET SHARE (%) GROWTH (%) Q305 Q305 Q304 Q304 Q304-Q305 Symbian 8,403,008 66.4 3,196,111 78.3 162.9 Linux 2,925,165 23.1 211,244 5.2 1,284.7 Palm OS 594,903 4.7 333,177 8.2 78.6 Microsoft 538,544 4.3 289,870 7.1 85.8 RIM 188,000 1.5 50,037 1.2 275.7 Total 12,649,620 100.0 4,080,439 100.0 210.0 1Figures include both consumer and business sales. Source: Gartner Dataquest Copyright (c) 2006, CMP Media LLC. Important note: This PDF is provided solely as a reader service. It is not intended for reproduction or public distribution. For more information on obtaining a Reprint, please contact a Reprint Services Rep at 516.562.7026 or visit
  4. 4. result of its acquisition of Sendia. Like all of Salesforce. a smaller deployment, building redundancy and load-bal-com’s offerings, AppExchange is fully hosted, but that ancing may require just two servers, but if you need todoesn’t prevent data exchange between the enterprise and scale it up, you’ll need to add iron accordingly.the CRM app; in fact, the API is used by If you decide to build the application yourself with-more than 50 percent of transactions. Also unique are out the benefit of middleware, it’s important to exten-AppExchange Mobile’s many prepackaged apps that use sively simulate and perform live testing to confirm’s back end, but run on the most popular the in-house choice supports not only average loads,hardware, namely Windows Mobile, RIM and Palm. but also peak demand and anticipated growth. A third option is to purchase applications targeted for Mobility application outsourcing can happen at sev-specific verticals. Many organizations assume they need to eral layers. Most obviously, the application can be builtdevelop software from scratch, only to discover later that by independent software vendors and companies suchsomething appropriate has already been built. One conun- as Dexterra or Antenna Software. Unless the applicationdrum of the mobile application market: It’s relatively is absolutely basic, budget at least $50,000 to $100,000small overall, yet it sports hundred of applications, often for Version 1.0. The next level mixes application develop-very obscure, each with a tiny customer base. RIM alone ment, integration with back-end systems and applicationoffers hundreds of applications covering a dozen verticals hosting. This might mean you continue to operate thethrough its “Alliance” partner program. Palm, Symbian and back-end systems, likely serving desktop users, but let aWindows CE/Mobile also host online Rolodexes that third party operate the mobility piece.assist in identifying potential applications. One step further, the service provider actually hosts Mobility management providers such as Traq-wire- the application, à la SaaS (software as a service). On aless also maintain relationships with application ven- small scale, does just that with adors, and wireless carriers have forged similar partner- hosted version of QuickBooks and mobility applicationships tied to their own consulting and integration development tools by E-Tech Solutions. On a much largerservices. Sprint’s recently formed Enterprise Mobility scale,’s AppExchange Mobile offers asubsidiary, for example, offers consulting, analytical hosted mobility platform for its own hosted CRM suitetools and experience in certain verticals. for $50 per user per month. Purchasing a ready-made app is not without gotchas. Outsourcing—of application development, the mobil-Any given application will run on only a subset of the ity piece, or the whole enchilada—can be attractivepopular devices, and customization will be limited. But because the hosting provider has expertise with the soft-if you’re willing to limit device selection, forgo extensive ware, which should result in fast development. It also willcustomization and follow the product development life- have the resources to scale, implement best-practice secu-cycle of a vendor, this can be an affordable option. rity measures, provide redundancy as required, transpar- While enterprises will want to limit device options ently maintain version levels and convert what would nor-for support reasons, to limit yourself to just one mobile mally be a capital expenditure to an operating one.OS is probably a shortsighted mistake. By using a middle-ware product, you’ll be able to take advantage of new 7. PICK YOUR PIECESdevices that might be cheaper, faster or lighter, without It’s somewhat artificial to separate them from the mid-rewriting the application from scratch. dleware, application and hosting choices because they The fourth track—internal application development are in many ways so intertwined, but form-factor,without middleware or mobile database tools—has device, platform and connectivity selections remain.complexity and cost levels such that only the largest of A mobility application doesn’t necessarily presume amobile deployments can justify this route. Maybe if cellular-data-supported PDA. Some deployments mightyou’re the next FedEx or UPS; otherwise, not likely. use regular laptops; even smartphones with small user interfaces and no QWERTY keyboards support simple6. SELECT YOUR HOST applications for short-character communication or sim-Going relatively hand-in-hand with application sourcing ple information the decision of where to host the app. In-house hosting As mentioned, middleware vendors help smooth outprovides the comfort of physical proximity to what could the differences among back-end databases, mobile plat-be sensitive data. Middleware such as Dexterra Concert, forms and device features. Nevertheless, certain platformsiAnywhere and Nokia Intellisync support this choice. If have greater attractiveness than others. RIM applicationsyou purchase middleware, you have just added another only run on RIM’s own BlackBerrys, while Microsofttier between your mobile devices and your application; Pocket PC and Mobile are offered across several hardwareadd the cost of requisite servers to address design tiering, lines. Despite the popularity of RIM’s e-mail app, thescalability and redundancy. Factors to consider include BlackBerry application development environment is rela-extra cooling, power, OS licensing and management. For tively closed compared with Microsoft’s Windows CE and Copyright (c) 2006, CMP Media LLC. Important note: This PDF is provided solely as a reader service. It is not intended for reproduction or public distribution. For more information on obtaining a Reprint, please contact a Reprint Services Rep at 516.562.7026 or visit
  5. 5. Mobile platforms. Symbian, popular in Europe, is avail- 8. PILOT THE APPLICATIONable from several handset vendors and has a strong affili- Even if your organization has deployed a mobile appate program and software application choice. before, best practices dictate piloting the project to a sub- Palm OS continues to idle at Garnet (version 5.4), set of the entire group. Look at what Toshiba Americawhile Cobalt remains unused. Japan-based Access Co., Medical Systems, a provider of medical imaging systemswhich owns PalmSource, has introduced the Access and customer of mobile systems vendor Antenna Soft-Linux Platform, which claims to run native Palm OS ware, was able to do. Dave Croteau, project leader, says itapplications for backward compatibility. took an average of 13 days for employees to finalize repair Many apps were developed for Palm OS, of course, jobs. Rather than identify employees with the longestwith the Treo 650 and Treo 700p the most popular close times and try to overcome process issues, Croteaudevices. The Treo 700w, which runs Windows Mobile chose a small pilot team with an average close time of 8.5 days. Antenna Software developed about 75 percent of the app, then Croteau deployed and provided some training.‘NO MATTER THE BACK-END After six weeks, close times were down to 3.9 days, butCONNECTIVITY, THE more important, the pilot team provided valuable feed-APPLICATION SHOULD BE back for development of the last 25 percent of the app.DESIGNED TO PERFORM 9. DEPLOY YOUR SYSTEMCONSISTENTLY IN BOTH Don’t overwhelm users with new hardware, new soft-SPEED AND BEHAVIOR.’ ware and new procedures all at once. Toshiba’s Croteau says employees needed time to adjust to the BlackBerrys5.0, demonstrates that Palm is diversifying its offerings his team had selected for this mobile application, soin case Palm OS falls by the wayside. where possible he deployed the devices well in advance As for connectivity, cellular data services from major to be used for phones and/or mobile e-mail.wireless carriers—CDMA-based technologies from Veri- Only the smallest deployments will be complete inzon Wireless and Sprint, GSM-based technologies from one shot. It’s more likely you’ll take a staged approach,Cingular and T-Mobile—are the almost de facto choice for targeting certain user groups or geographical areas todevice connectivity. A recent NETWORK COMPUTING cover give the helpdesk and project manager time to get func-story on 3G broadband data offerings revealed that, tionality or stability issues resolved and any surprisethough throughput far exceeds speeds of yesteryear, they scalability concerns addressed.come with price tags to match; see specifics at Croteau performed training using WebEx. He alsoshowArticle.jhtml?articleID=192203038. Larger organizations identified another reality: Not every technician uses thecan negotiate volume discounts or per-megabyte pools. mobile application. Whether due to personnel idiosyn- Metro Wi-Fi offerings in select areas promise good crasies or data coverage, 100 percent penetration mayprices and higher speeds. Most offerings are $20 to $30 not be a reasonable goal.per month for roughly 1 Mbps of access, which will offerconsistently higher speeds and lower latency at half the 10. HOLD A POSTMORTEMprice of cellular data services from the likes of Cingular Completing a mobile application deployment reallyand Verizon. But because they lack nationwide service means the beginning of regular assessments of thethey’re really applicable to only a subset of mobile deployment’s effectiveness. Functionality that wasapplication deployments. Mobile WiMAX services, missed in the pilot stage must be worked into futureannounced by Sprint, could in the future offer carrier- releases. At this point, you’ll learn how effective yourclass service in large swaths, but it will be several years infrastructure is in supporting application changes. Busi-before small-form-factor devices sport radios with the ness processes will morph over time as mobility evolvesbattery life necessary to make daily use possible. how users interact with customers and internal staff. No matter the back-end connectivity, the applica- Organizations that fail to adjust will not obtain the fulltion should be designed to perform consistently in both benefit of their investments, so set dates one, three andspeed and behavior. Inconsistent “page turn” times, six months out to get your team together for ongoingtime-outs and failed data retrieval are sure ways to evaluations and monitor the helpdesk for trends. Ialienate end users. The application should functiontransparently no matter if it’s tethered or has good F R A N K B U L K /// is an NWC contributing editor.wireless connectivity; background database synching He works for a telecommunications company based in the Midwest. Write to him at f b u l k @ n w c . c o m .shouldn’t require end-user input unless there is an egre- Post a comment or question on this story atgious consistency problem. Local data stores that con- w w w. n w c . c o m /g o /a s k . h t m l .tain an appropriate subset of data are almost a must.Copyright (c) 2006, CMP Media LLC. Important note: This PDF is provided solely as a reader service. It is not intended for reproductionor public distribution. For more information on obtaining a Reprint, please contact a Reprint Services Rep at 516.562.7026 or
  6. 6. SECURITY ON THE ROAD> DESPITE ALL THE BENEFITS of mobile appli- cations, concerns such as security, effectiveness and policy are hindering movement. Desktops arehard to lose, laptops, less so—just read a newspaper! Small-er form factors take the risk of loss to a new level: When adatabase containing intellectual property or PII (personally tial information remain encrypted. Because security prac- tices delay or annoy employees, the temptation is to turn them off; put agents on these devices to record those changes or enforce policy to restrict them. If you’re imple- menting NAC, incorporate mobile devices. Closely related to security is device management. As theidentifiable information) on employees or customers is in number of supported hardware platforms grows, it becomesthe wind, no one cares whether the data resided on a laptop increasingly difficult to enforce policies and execute codeor a Blackberry. releases. Standardizing can reduce costs considerably. On And because the person using the mobility device is the subject of cost, note that the device itself is the least ofessentially traveling in hostile territory without benefit of a your worries: Although high-end mobile devices approachfirewall, mobile devices themselves need to be hardened for the price range of a low-end laptop, the annual cost forprotection against viruses and worms lest malware come mobile data can easily exceed hardware costs, and thatback to the organization, either remotely over a VPN or doesn’t include application development, back-end integra-physically into the office network via a USB cable. tion and related maintenance, future enhancements, or Security best practices mandate power-on passwords, helpdesk support. Some mobility projects offer more hard-wiping the device after a given number of failed password dollar ROI than others to offset these expenses; for infor-attempts, specifying connectivity modes (disabling Blue- mation on selling a mobile application project see “What’s intooth, for example), and the requirement that all confiden- It for the Biz?”.—Frank BulkMOBILE VERSION OF THE VALDEZ> DESPITE RECENT ACQUISITIONS and merg- ers (see “How We Got Here”), the mobile enterprise ecosystem remains thoroughly disintegrated fromthe enterprise, says Daniel Taylor, managing director of themobile enterprise alliance. Enterprises have existing applica-tions, but only the largest CRM and ERP vendors routinely may not integrate with middleware or the application. The middleware market has made more progress, as it provides the glue between multiple device platforms. Middle- ware offerings may include a device management component and some application connectors. Application vendors, eager to gain market share, culti-build in mobility components, and precious few applications vate relationships with the top wireless carriers, but thiswere designed for mobility from the ground up. leaves little time for them to work with system integrators We see wireless operators pushing devices and connectivi- such as Accenture, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. In an idealty, but not tying them back to the needs of enterprise cus- world, starting from the hardware side, technology vendorstomers, a losing proposition in the long term. And hardware will work with distributors who in turn will take their array ofvendors primarily target the larger and more lucrative consumer products to resellers that can sell complete mobile applica-market with such mobile devices as the Motorola Q and RAZR. tion solutions to all-size enterprises.This leaves major distributors such as Ingram Micro and Tech Progress is being made, but it’s slow going. Part of theData in a vacuum, selling only a subset of major models and problem, as it relates to mobile devices, is that the wireless car-forcing enterprises to deal directly with carriers, find a local rier provides an incentive for the enterprise to purchase from itretail outlet or work with hardware vendors directly. directly or though one of its agents, where it offers the device Device management is not an integrated part of most at a heavily subsidized discount for a term contract. If we couldmobile platforms, save RIM’s BlackBerry servers and to some disaggregate that subsidy for the enterprise market, thenlimited extent, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. This means devices could be sourced from other locations, including VARsthat, especially for heterogeneous deployments, mobile and ISVs. And then, voice/data services from the wireless car-device management products need to be installed on top of rier would be appropriately priced. The idea is to let each mem-all devices … where the back-end management system may or ber in the value chain do what it does best. —Frank Bulk WWW.NWC.COM I 9.28.06 I NWC 1
  7. 7. WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE BIZ?> There are plenty of hard and soft benefits to mobi- lizing an application. For knowledge workers or field representatives, having information at one’s finger-tips, on demand, as needed, without lugging around a lap-top or attaché case of manila files, can dramatically increaseproductivity and responsiveness. on-call person was dispatched from the main office or a call was made to pull someone off a job. Now, with mobile appli- cations, appointment schedules can be adjusted dynamically. Ready access to data, enhanced communications and dynamic workload scheduling all lead to enhanced efficiency and hence savings. Many mobility project leads find the nec- There are plenty of use cases: A NETWORK COMPUTING edi- essary ROI by calculating how many minutes will be savedtor was recently blindsided while driving down the road, per day, per person. As little as 10 minutes per day couldresulting in damage that made her vehicle unsafe to drive. mean three more jobs completed per month, leading toThe auto insurance adjuster came to where the vehicle was higher levels of productivity with the same number of peo-parked, avoiding having to tow it to a claims location. He ple. Mobile applications may be cheaper than hiring staff.evaluated the damage, used his laptop to retrieve case Improved data accuracy and integrity can be yet anotherdetails and confirm repair estimates electronically, then cut a benefit of mobile applications. Because the mobile device ischeck and issued all required paperwork on the spot, with- always handy, it can be used to enter information at the pointout even a phone call to the office. of service while the person’s mind is fresh. The appointment Warehouse personnel can fill orders without using paper or service request can be converted into an invoice to leveragepicking tickets by relying on skid-loader-mounted ruggedi- existing contact information. Forms, with requisite checkbox-zed PDAs. Service technicians can retrieve diagrams and es and drop-down lists, help eliminate the requirement to typemanuals for all supported equipment rather than reschedul- in standard information and can be combined with businessing calls or having someone in a call center walk them rules to validate the entered data. Completed forms with allthrough the work. The list goes on. important details can be sent back electronically to the main Mobile applications also enhance communications among office within minutes or hours.employees, customers, products and assets. For example, Pro Some companies are starting to deploy mobile applica-Mechanical Services, a commercial refrigeration specialist, tions because they see it’s giving their competitors a compet-implemented text messaging and dramatically reduced its itive advantage. Ellen Daley of Forrester Research has seencellular bill because it has reduced voice minutes. If a cus- this in the pharmaceutical industry, where mobile devices aretomer calls in to the main office and gives some special used to share information and take on-the-spot orders. Theinstructions, the dispatcher can attach it to the work order justification is that if the mobile application has value for theand push out an update to service technicians in the field. competitor, it probably does for the company, too.Sales representatives, who must be responsive to customer With mobile applications in a nascent stage, assistinginquiries, can take advantage of mobile e-mail so that they perhaps only 7 million of the 700 million potential employ-can appear to be at their desks, no matter where they are. ees worldwide (see At one time, field-service workers would travel to central 2006/01/the_future_of_m.html), it’s likely that the mobilitydispatch to pick up their day’s paper-based appointment projects identified at this stage are the ones that generateschedules. If a service call arose that was of higher priority, an the most benefit in spite of the relative costs. —Frank Bulk WWW.NWC.COM I 9.28.06 I NWC 2
  8. 8. HOW WE GOT HERE> F IRST- GENERATION mobile applications tend to be ness unit, but the company as a whole. Because the point solutions, tactical and as such, opportunis- majority of applications are not mobile-ready, an archi- tic in nature, says Eugene Signorini, vice presi- tecture is set in place to support the whole enterprisedent of Yankee Group’s wireless/mobile enterprise solu- and be expandable to other lines of business. Rathertions group. A particular department or business unit than function-specific solutions, a more open frame-sees a potential to, say, dramatically increase productiv- work based on middleware offers the flexibility toity or more carefully track expensive parts. They project change the end-user application and interfaces to back-dramatic ROI and pitch the plan to management. The end systems as needed without dispensing blank checkssolution could be as simple as using spreadsheets with to consultants. And policies relating to device selection,Pocket Excel and synchronizing them on a daily basis, hardware and application support, and security settingsor as complex as custom-developing software, but there are hammered out long before the solution goes live.was no long-term strategic vision to tie into a broader This second generation of mobile applications andenterprise architecture. And policies? Those were creat- associated maturation of enterprise mobility require-ed as the department or IT group encountered issues or ments has led to some consolidation in an attempt tosignificant support events, such as assisting a key per- more synergistically address some vendors’ feature gaps.son in the organization using a non-standard device on Most significantly, middleware market leader iAnywhere,a Sunday evening. a subsidiary of database-vendor Sybase, purchased Xcel- These first-gen projects shouldn’t be pooh-poohed, lenet’s Afaria for its device management and security,however: Executed well, they were financially responsi- AvantGo for its end-user data and news delivery andble decisions that often continue to generate ROI for Extended Systems for its e-mail and development tools.the business unit or company. Nokia purchased mobile sync vendor Intellisync, and mobile e-mail vendor Good Technology has purchase JPTAKE TWO... Mobile for its device-management capabilities. While noSecond-generation mobile application deployments have equipment provider, carrier or vendor is a one-stop shop,taken the proverbial bull by the horns. Mobility applica- these events confirm that customers are seeking a moretions become a strategic initiative, not just of the busi- complete mobility solution. —Frank Bulk WWW.NWC.COM I 9.28.06 I NWC 3