Mobile Enterprise Market Still Looking For Somebody To Pull It All Together

From Cellular-News today:

Many mobile service providers are failing to capitalise on potentially lucrative corporate contracts because they don’t focus enough on client’s business needs, according to Gartner. Service providers that don’t update their sales strategies to provide tailored solutions to businesses risk losing valuable corporate customers and becoming chiefly consumer players, analysts warned.

From the Mobile Enterprise Weblog, April 2006:

So enterprise IT is looking for someone to “develop a mobile application.” But the software developers are focusing their business development efforts on the carriers, in the hopes that the carriers will make them rich. Meanwhile, the carriers are looking for help in the channel, and the only companies with any cross-technology solutions capability are the large systems integrators like Accenture, CSC, HP and IBM. And what’s lacking is a set of affordable solutions from small to mid-sized VARs and systems integrators.

From TheFeature, April 2002:

What the chain is begging for is a service integrator to pull all these separate pieces together and to keep an eye on them from the end-user perspective – provide one point of contact and act as a clearinghouse to provide customers with the best possible solutions. But who can best fill that role? The usual suspects of systems integrators and technology consultants, web services firms moving into the wireless space, or specialized wireless boutiques? Surprisingly, many carriers around the globe are positioning themselves in the space, offering up that they’re best suited to deliver the entire wireless enterprise data package.

It doesn’t seem like much progress has been made in this space over the past several years, and the opportunity remains for VARs and integrators to succeed in mobile. The “enterprise MVNO” idea still gets kicked around from time to time, but I wonder if operators truly open up their networks (vis a vis Verizon’s announcement), things might get a little easier for the enterprise space. A reseller could more easily bundle devices with customized services like VoIP, PBX extensions, data apps and so on.

This sort of strategy requires just a pipe, and essentially for the operator to get out of the way. It’s a compelling one, but the potential sticking point here is cost, namely in what operators will charge for this pipe-only access. Operators have done a great job of making BlackBerry and other push email services pervasive in the enterprise, but things are still falling short of answering other enterprise wants and needs. Will they step up and better address this market, or will there be enough of an opening for third-party service providers to step in and take it over?

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