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Harnessing the Power of the Mobile Cloud


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verywhere you turn, “cloud talk” is all the rage – and mobility in the cloud is no exception. In this whitepaper, learn about the advantages of leveraging the Mobile Cloud as the foundation for your mobile strategy.

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Harnessing the Power of the Mobile Cloud

  1. 1. WHITE PAPERHarnessingthe Powerof theMobile CloudPublished November 2010Antenna Software, Inc.111 Town Square PlaceJersey City, New Jersey 07310Copyright© 2010 by Antenna Software, Inc. All right reserved. Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310All products and product names mentioned in this publication are trademarks 1or registeredphone 888.723.2832 web trademarks of their respective companies.
  2. 2. Table of contentsIntroduction 3The Mobile Cloud 3Time to Market 4Ease of Deployment 5Reliability 6Scalability 6Support 7Cost of Ownership 8The Antenna Mobile Cloud 8Conclusion 9 Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 2 phone 888.723.2832 web
  3. 3. introductionMobile technology has been around for decades, but only within the past couple ofyears has mobility become truly pervasive. Whether for work or play, mobile devices are “By 2015, more than 240 millionfast becoming the dominant means by which we interact with information, applications business customers will be leverag-and people. ing cloud computing services through mobile devices, drivingCloud computing has also been around for decades—the concept of sharing comput- revenues of $5.2 billion”ing resources can be traced back to the days of mainframes. Adoption of cloud — ABI Researchtechnology, too, has surged to unprecedented levels over the past few years asInternet technologies continue to mature and get more powerful.In fact, the research firm Gartner has identified both cloud computing and mobileapplications as the top two strategic technologies for 2011--defined as technologieswith the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Bothtechnology trends are driven primarily by the consumer’s unquenchable thirst forreal-time connectivity to information and with each other. But, both trends also haveimportant impacts on the long-term strategy of corporate IT. This whitepaper discussesthe convergence of mobility and cloud computing and discusses six strategic advan-tages by harnessing the power of the Mobile Cloud for driving competitive differentia-tion and delivering happiness to employees and customers. The Mobile Cloud “We are seeing an acceleration ofBefore we dive in, you might be asking, “What is a Mobile Cloud?” adoption of cloud computing and cloud services among enterprises …A Mobile Cloud is a set of hosted services, typically powered by a mobile IT managers are thinking strategi-enterprise application platform (MEAP), that shields the complexities of cally about cloud service deploy-mobility from the enterprise and enables them to focus instead on quickly and ments; more-progressive enterpris-easily delivering transformational mobile apps to customers, employees and es are thinking through what their ITpartners. operations will look like in a world of increasing cloud service leverage.”What’s so complex about mobility? Well, getting data from a backend system to a — Ben Pring, research vicemobile device may sound easy, but it’s a lot trickier than you think. There’s the matter of president at Gartner, “Forecast:extricating the data from a heterogeneous backend environment, communicating Public Cloud Services, Worldwideseamlessly across potentially more than 400 wireless networks across the globe, and and Regions, Industry Sectors,finally presenting data to thousands of mobile device types – with different form factors. 2009-2014”And don’t forget about guaranteeing transactions in an occasionally connectedenvironment, dealing with multiple potential security points-of-failure, optimizingperformance and responsiveness, managing network latency, and many more complexbut necessary capabilities of an enterprise-grade mobile deployment. The Mobile Cloudaims to unburden corporate IT with all these intricacies and leave them with the morestrategic objective of building mobile apps that transform the business.Additionally, cloud computing spreads the cost of infrastructure and support resourcesamong customers that use it, and the Mobile Cloud is no different. By offloading the Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 3 phone 888.723.2832 web
  4. 4. burden of building and administering a comprehensive, end-to-end mobile infrastruc-ture, enterprises can realize faster time-to-market and greater return on investment fortheir apps by simply plugging into the Mobile Cloud.When you add it all up, there are six significant advantages for choosing the MobileCloud as the foundation for a comprehensive and long-term enterprise mobilitystrategy:1. Time to market – ability to quickly build and deploy mobile apps to adapt to ever-changing device technology and user needs2. Ease of deployment – ability to easily publish and distribute mobile apps with greater flexibility and tighter control3. Reliability – ability to run mobile apps with minimal service disruption for all users4. Scalability – ability to extend mobile apps to millions of users and transactions across the globe5. Support – ability to rely on systems and people to optimize operations and mobile app usage6. Cost of ownership – ability to reduce burden on internal IT resources and shift them to more strategic objectives Time to MarketSpeed is crucial in this new era of mobility. Device manufacturers are churning out newand more powerful devices faster and faster. This is great for the end users, but forenterprises and developers, the fragmentation becomes a nightmare to manage. Thedays of writing an app for one or two devices and expecting it to last for three to fiveyears are gone. The shelf life of mobile apps these days is getting shorter and shorter.The mobile world is moving towards smartphones, and there are no less than fivemajor mobile operating systems that developers must address in their apps: Android,BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Mobile/Windows Phone, and Symbian. Each one of theseplatforms also has its own versions and form factors (e.g., smartphone vs. tablets) thatdevelopers must contend with; and new OS’s and devices are coming out faster thanever. Furthermore, developers not only have to worry about the various native deviceoperating systems, but different types of device-side technologies such as HTML5,mobile Web, and SMS-based apps.With a Mobile Cloud, enterprises and developers are free to leverage whichever deviceand client-types that are most suitable for their target app and end-user requirements.Developers can use a mobile IDE that is a service of the Mobile Cloud to make appdevelopment easier and faster, especially across device platforms. Developers mayalso publish apps built on native device IDEs—such as Apple Xcode or Visual Studio.NET—through the use of API’s to the Mobile Cloud. This development flexibilityensures that the time to market for apps is minimized, and these apps built on theMobile Cloud are future-proofed as the device landscape continues to evolve. Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 4 phone 888.723.2832 web
  5. 5. Figure 1: Time to market of Mobile Cloud vs. Internal Build Ease of deploymentThe app store model has changed how we, as end-users, expect to get our apps. Asconsumers, we are free to seek out and download apps that we want. As businessusers, we are coming to expect this same empowerment. We no longer want topassively accept the apps that we get with our devices. If we can easily download anapp to manage our household expenses, why can’t we just as easily download anexpense reporting app for work?A critical function of the Mobile Cloud is to enable ease of app deployment, not just forconsumers, but for business users as well. This means that enterprises should be ableto easily publish role-based apps through their own channels (i.e., private enterpriseapp stores) to their customers, employees and partners—bypassing the need todistribute apps through device manufacturer or carrier app stores, if they choose. Thisdistribution model is key to democratizing mobility for the workforce and to ensuringproper brand control throughout the mobile app lifecycle with consumers. Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 5 phone 888.723.2832 web
  6. 6. Figure 2: Mobile app deployment and publishing via the Antenna Mobile Cloud ReliabilityMobility is all about getting data from point A to point B, but the main challenge lies inthe nebulous middle area. The two end points are known (e.g., a backend host system The Antenna Mobile Cloud hasand a smartphone device), but the in-between contains many unknowns—such as achieved 99.95% availability of ourspeed of connections, bandwidth, communications protocols, availability of networks, systems, or better, since 2006.load balancing, and redundancy. In the wired world of telecommunications, operators • 2006 uptime – 99.95%strive for “the five nines” or 99.999% reliability, which is about half an hour of downtime • 2007 uptime – 100%in total per year! Mobility may not achieve that level of reliability yet, but the Mobile • 2008 uptime – 100%Cloud makes it easier to ensure maximum uptime. • 2009 uptime – 99.96%The Mobile Cloud makes mobile apps more reliable because all the idiosyncrasies ofmobility are seamlessly processed and managed within a unified technology stack—rather than passing through an array of systems and data centers. Some may refer to it “After reaching around 4.6 billionas mobile middleware, but it’s much more than just integration between the host mobile cellular subscriptions by thesystems and devices. The Mobile Cloud’s technology architecture also encompasses end of 2009, ITU expects thedata compression for faster performance and better battery life, network sensing and number of mobile cellular subscrip-optimization for superior usability regardless of coverage, guaranteed messaging and tions globally to reach five billion indata integrity in an unpredictable wireless world, security and management for tighter 2010.”control, and transactional reliability for optimal operations. The result is that enterprises — International Telecommunicationcan simply plug into the Mobile Cloud to ensure that their apps have the greatest Union, February 15, 2010reliability and availability. ScalabilityThe mobile user population is vast, and continues to grow at a rapid pace. More andmore workers are finding the need for smartphones and tablets in their day-to-daywork whether inside or outside the office. Consumers are increasingly making mobile Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 6 phone 888.723.2832 web
  7. 7. devices their preferred choice for quick and easy access to their apps and the Web,rather than through a desktop. What this entails for any enterprise contemplating a The worldwide mobile workermobile strategy, is that they have to think big. population is set to increase to 1.19 billion in 2013, accounting for 34.9%Don’t think about deploying mobile apps to just a couple of hundred of employees or of the worldwide workforceto a few thousand customers. Think about what it means and what it would take to — IDC “Worldwide Mobile Workerscale the mobile deployment to the entire company and to the entire customer base. A Population 2009 – 2013 Forecast”shiver may run through the spine of the CIO just thinking of all the capital investmentsand personnel required to support such a deployment.The Mobile Cloud is essential to address scalability. Enterprises can leverage it tosmoothly expand their mobile app roll-outs, while also enabling them to deal withunexpected spikes in usage. What this means is that companies can easily add, oreven subtract, users from the deployment without having to worry about the ramifica-tions on the internal IT environment and resources. Moreover, the Mobile Cloud is builtwith overhead to accommodate spikes in transaction volumes and mobile app activity,so that any surge in the popularity or usage of an app can be handled without disrup-tions to service. Currently, the Antenna Mobile Cloud processes more than 35 million transactions per month from mobile Support users.The Mobile Cloud is not just about technology; it is also about the people supporting it.The main challenge for many organizations trying to build a mobile infrastructure is that The Antenna Mobile Cloud hasit takes time and experience—a luxury that cannot be afforded in today’s ultra-competi- built-in capacity to accommodate ative markets. The Mobile Cloud offers instant access to people with the know-how and doubling of typical transactionskills to not only implement the mobile strategy, but also to support the deployment volumes for the trailing 12 months.operationally to make sure the company and its users reap the maximum benefits.The work doesn’t stop once an app is deployed or downloaded. One of the mainreasons for the failure of many mobile app deployments is lack of ongoing manage-ment, support and feedback—particularly for employee-facing apps. It is rare that youship an app and expect users to instantly fall in love with it. Inevitably there will need tobe tweaks and updates to the apps—maybe just for specific user groups. The MobileCloud offers support services that can help identify and quickly get these incrementalupdates out to the field and have them be made transparently to the user is critical tosuccessful app adoption and usage.Additionally, the beauty of mobile apps is that it offers so much rich data into thebehavior of the user. The Mobile Cloud can capture all this data—from screen views tologin activity—and enable analysis of it to further improve upon the app. This capabilityis especially valuable for consumer apps since analytics from the Mobile Cloud canprovide instantaneous and detailed glimpses of what your customers are interested in. Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 7 phone 888.723.2832 web
  8. 8. Cost of OwnershipThe Mobile Cloud refers to a multi-tenant infrastructure where the hardware andsoftware systems for mobility reside outside the enterprise and are shared amongmany customers. Companies can share resources and applications without a high levelof capital expenditure or impact to their own hardware and software resources. Thismultitenant approach reduces the costs of the Mobile Cloud to each customer and atthe same time it enables them to take advantage of new innovations driven by allcustomers and applied to the Mobile Cloud. The result is not only a lower total cost ofownership, but a greater benefit from joint innovation.When evaluating a Mobile Cloud (and cloud computing in general), companies naturallywant to compare TCO against an internally deployed project. However, such compari-sons are often not “apples-to-apples”. By going with a cloud-based vendor, companiesget price transparency and they can predict what their costs will be. Companies areprovided with the pricing structure and typically have set contracts that define thepricing parameters and the project deliverables. In comparison, internal projects maystart with a set budget, but it may get out of scope quickly and there is no singlevendor to hold accountable. The antenna mobile cloudFor customers that choose the Antenna Mobile Cloud, they are choosing a solutionthat has a long, successful heritage. The Antenna Mobile Cloud has a proven trackrecord of ROI for its Global 1,000 customer base.Figure 3: The Antenna Mobile Cloud Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 8 phone 888.723.2832 web
  9. 9. The Mobile Cloud is not simply a solution where the mobile app servers are hosted in athird-party data center for the customer, which many mobile software vendors can “95 percent of respondents wereeasily do. The Antenna Mobile Cloud is run as a carrier-grade Network Operations Cen- satisfied with Antenna as theirter (NOC) with a multi-tenant architecture, full redundancy, and end-to-end enablement hosted mobile solutions provider,and support services to make consuming our cloud services as easy as possible. and 97 percent would recommend Antenna to a colleague.”The AMP Gateway, which is the heart and brains of the Antenna Mobility Platform, — Antenna 2009 Customer Servicemanages transactions from the backend host systems to the wireless devices, without Satisfaction Surveythe need to store or replicate host data in the cloud. The customer’s mobile projectteams (developers, administrators, managers, etc.) have secure, role-based access toa Web management dashboard—the AMP Management Center—and to the Eclipse-based development environment—AMP Studio. By leveraging the Antenna MobileCloud, customers also gain a unique advantage because it provides complete visibility “Our resources are doing develop-into every detail of a customer’s mobile deployment status. As a result, Antenna can ment on the cloud at Antenna. Thatprovide unparalleled 24x7 customer support that can proactively monitor, troubleshoot, gave us the ability to jump startand mitigate network issues to minimize system downtime. everything. We knew this was the right strategy to transform to a conclusion real-time, event driven value chain.”The Mobile Cloud is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is important because itis the intersection of two pervading technology trends: mobility and cloud computing. — Kevin Flowers, Director ofThe Mobile Cloud can be used to transform your entire business by driving real-time, Enabling Technologies, CCEfrictionless operations, impacting not just internal employees, but also external partnersand your end customers. It offers the quickest route to deploying game-changingmobile apps, while ensuring that the solutions built are not made obsolete by the fastchanging mobile technology market.The Mobile Cloud is different from other cloud services, because a Mobile Cloud needsto address all the intricate nuances of mobility (such as a diversity of devices andwireless networks) while providing a truly shared infrastructure. By harnessing thepower of the Mobile Cloud, you can gain key competitive and business advantages indeploying mobile apps, while ensuring a solid foundation for your long-term mobilestrategy. Get Ready to Deploy HappinessAre you ready to take your mobility strategy to the next level? To learn more about theAntenna Mobile Cloud, AMP or other Antenna products and services:Visit www.antennasoftware.comCall (888) 723 2832Follow @antennasoftware on Twitter Antenna Software, Inc., 111 Town Square Place, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310 9 phone 888.723.2832 web