The Channels Momentous Opportunity: Enterprise Managed Mobility

Similar to “cloud”, the word “mobility” is rampantly running throughout the IT channel community. And just like “cloud”, there are many ways to skin this cat. Depending on what role you play in the IT space today — VAR, manufacturer, carrier, distributor, telco agent — your definition and approach to mobility will vary. While each facet of the IT community has major opportunity to capitalize on the mobile explosion in their own different way, there is one very significant concept that all the major players could and should take advantage of — EMM or Enterprise Managed Mobility as Gartner has coined it.

EMM encompasses the IT and process management platform required by a company to acquire and provision devices, track inventory, report critical metrics, manage expenses and enforce policies such as BYOD.

Let’s first explore how various Industry players define their value in the mobility space. If you’re a Cisco partner, mobility is defined in the context of building out networks to support and secure a mobile world and the Internet of Everything. If you’re a virtualization shop like VMWare it’s all about end-user computing and accessing anything from anywhere from any device. If you’re a storage player like EMC or NetApp, the focus is to provide an agile and secure storage solution to support the onslaught of big data and applications that come along with mobility. As for the average telco agent, their definition of how they deliver value in mobility is narrow — to them mobility is defined as an organization’s mobile carrier such as Verizon Wireless.

With these players rapidly building out their individual solution sets to support various aspects of mobility, many challenges are also created within the enterprise as we move into a device- and machine-driven world:

  • Distributing and Enforcing Corporate Policies. Managing mobility properly is contingent on managing the people with the mobile devices. A centralized way to distribute polices and track acceptance is the first step in enforcing.
  • Staff Time: Receiving orders, tracking down approvals, placing orders and following up with a carrier is a time-consuming effort. Resources are often diverted from higher value tasks to manage the mobility practice.
  • Mobile Spend Is Out of Control: Mobility is a hugely dynamic cost center, and at an enterprise level,  many aspects of spend are constantly overlooked without an automated process — international roaming, zero-use devices, employees downloading third-party ring tones and apps, inefficient pooling plans for voice and data. All these components add up to a lot of wasteful spending.
  • BYOD Enforcement: While having an MDM provider is a good start, lack of policy enforcement often leads to an unsuccessful BYOD program rollout. 

Regardless of what role you play in the mobility space and what solutions you deliver to your clients, the opportunity is ripe to layer EMM onto your solution. It does not compete with your initiative; in fact it complements it. Like the revenue opportunity that the convergence of IT and telecom has created for many, a substantial revenue gain exists for those who start thinking bigger picture about mobility and not just within their specific solution set.