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Customer Viewpoint on the Mobile Enterprise

by Steve Guengerich

The final session of the Enterprise Mobile Summit was Customer Panel: The Buyer’s Perspective, moderated by JP FinnellGigaOM Pro analyst, and led by David Patron, Head of Mobile Initiatives for Pepsi and Roger Hale, Head of IT Security for Brocade.

Roger and David each led off their comments with a short slide presentation and talk, describing the mobile situation at their respective companies.

They then answered questions by JP and the audience on how they dealt with issues from vendors, to internal strategy, to managing user expectations.

Below is the 3-part video of their panel.

In addition, you can read a more descriptive profile describing Pepsi’s approach to managing the transition to mobile for the enterprise.

For more fireside chats and panels, please check our complete list of videos from the 2011 Mobile Enterprise Summit. The Age of Vertical Tablets

by Steve Guengerich

Another intriguing fireside chat during the Mobile Enterprise Summit was “The Age of Enterprise Vertical Tablet” between Mike Wolf, VP of Research, GigaOM Pro, andSean Whiteley, SVP of Product Marketing,

The following are a few highlights of Sean’s remarks, along with the videos from his fireside chat – enjoy!

Tablets have forced Salesforce to rethink the way customers use the software. Salesforce is very committed to using personas they have developed for different customer types; they give them names like Jesse, Tom and Ted, and use them firmwide as a shorthand way to refer to customers with specific attributes; their Salesforce personas have become very mobile over the past year

Salesforce’s approach has been to try to design the app specifically for the experience of the new device; they are resisting the urge to take an existing application and do a straight port of it to an iPad; Sean feels the bar for user experience with mobile apps is much higher.

In terms of tablet best practices, Sean admires twitter calling its iPad version one of the best tablet apps he’s seen. Aspects he likes in the experience: you don’t lose context or place as you navigate around the app; likes the move to filters, instead of tabs; the multiple panes contribute to efficient navigation and context

While Chatter was the first major app Salesforce created specifically for the tablet, the company has been engaged in mobility for awhile, more from the back-end, with contributions like Salesforce’s cloud app dev platform,

They continue to push mobile, not just through but also their platform, with the goal of providing SDKs for mobile developers to build mobile apps on their platforms.

That’s among the big reasons why they acquired Heroku late last year: to give the app development community more choices to build on their platforms – JavaRuby, wrappers for web developers who want to make apps mobile, etc. Sean says Salesforce’s view is that it needs to be accommodating to all sizes of companies and “flavors” of developers

In terms of Salesforce’s own apps, Sean said that the approach a developer takes to entering mobile space should ve very customer-driven. In their case, they focused Chatter development to work on the iPad first, then the iPhone. Then, moving to other OS platforms like Blackberry and finally Android. With the release of Chatter on Android, they’ve seen heavy mobile user adoption; they expect a Salesforce CRM app on Android by the end of 2011.

For more fireside chats and panels, please check our complete list of videos from the 2011 Mobile Enterprise Summit.

RIM’s TA McCann on User Provisioning

by Steve Guengerich

One of the early sessions at the Mobile Enterprise Summit was a great fireside chat between Mike Wolf, VP of Research, GigaOM Pro, and TA McCann, VP for Research in Motion (RIM).

RIM acquired TA’s company Gist just over two months ago, in particular to lead the process for RIM of re-imagining the social user experience.

Here are a few highlights from TA’s remarks – enjoy them and the videos!

Even though Gist was a strategic acquisition for RIM, TA’s team was relatively small with 20 people. Nonetheless, with that small, hard-working core, they produced an amazing amount of product, including apps for the iPhoneAndroid, and RIM OS platforms, that also work well, reliably within GmailOutlook, and handful of other cloud-based apps

The self-provisioning model caught everyone by surprise – it began innocently enough, when people began working without any help to activate their phones, synch to their PCs, and then install apps

But, now that its entering the enterprise in big waves, it’s critically important that models to provision and manage be better understood. In TA’s background, he used to run the Exchange business at Microsoft, so he feels he understands this IT point of view with regard to device management

TA thinks browser add-ins are an under-appreciated “big deal” – he personally runs 7 different Gmail plug-ins. He believes the same is true of the Chrome OS as well, which enable users to customize their experience

TA believes the tech disparity will always be somewhat generational – it’s just the way of things. With the younger generation presently, what’s ‘new’ is the social discovery of new apps, new technologies, new work styles

For the new generation, the whole idea is to try new things out and share the experience with friends – leverage social graphs, blending process and products; the de facto process changes driven by this cultural shift will impact centralized buying – the typical enterprise has to keep a lid on it, or at least ve very watchful, because this change has serious potential implications for budgeting, hardware/software turnover, etc.

Overall, TA expects (hopes?) to see more month-to-month, subscription-based offerings for services; some of the best-in-class of these apps, presently, in his mind are a number that plug-in to Gmail, including:Reportive, Taskforce, Gist, TextExpander, Tungle, and Evernote

TA’s bottomline: Things will get a lot ‘messier’ before they get cleaned up when it comes to self-provisioning and device/app management – which leads to a very big opportunity right now

For more fireside chats and panels, please check our complete list of videos from the 2011 Mobile Enterprise Summit.

Raj Nathan of Sybase / SAP: Fireside Chat

by Steve Guengerich

Among the topics at the Mobile Enterprise Summit was a fireside chat titled “Create Your Apportunity” between Summit emcee JP Finnell of GigaOM Pro and guest Raj Nathan, EVP & CMO, Sybase and director of the Mobility Applications Group for SAP.

We hope you enjoy the video of the fireside chat, as well as the highlights we summarized from their remarks, below.

Sybase is extraordinarily active in app development, with an estimated 2,300 enterprise applications being developed by customers.

In general, these apps tend to cluster around four broad categories:

  • Rich UI or graphically intensive – examples include mobile service management, or trade promotion and pricing, involving multiple process steps
  • Personal engagement with consumers or other end users – an example would be a legal app or other professional services
  • Enhancing general productivity of employees – an example is an app that enables employees to accomplish HR-related tasks, rather than require an HR staff member be available physically or by phone
  • Executive information – examples are apps that provide KPI (key performance indicator) reporting and other dashboard summary information. NOTE: refer to Appconomy’s In-depth article on Retail Food & Beverage

When considering app strategy, it’s worth the effort to consider apps that can be transformative for the operations of the business. At the same time, note that transformative doesn’t necessarily require excessive technology risk; for example, Raj believes that 60-75% of app development in the future will be suited to HTML5.  NOTE: refer to our podcast with James Pearce of Sencha

Mobile best practices advice for which Raj has the “scar tissue” to show for it, drawn from his IT leadership role at Sybase / SAP, includes:

  1. Lock in strong device management capability – only 35-40% of mobile devices are company owned, so it’s imperative to have both the written policies and the technology to manage mobility,
  2. standardize platforms of choice – it’s fine to multiple standards, especially when there is a developer class of employee, whose needs will be different than non-developers,
  3. acquire the expertise for in-house app development – SAP has 13,000 people who can build apps in the company; this provides them a tremendous competitive advantage, in Raj’s opinion, for both internal app development and work with customers

We welcome your comments and questions.

The State of Enterprise Mobile

by Steve Guengerich

Kicking off the Mobile Enterprise Summit in March was a morning panel on the state of enterprise mobile, moderated by Mike Wolf, VP of Research for GigaOM Pro (shown in photo), with analysts Sameer Patel, managing director of The Sovos Group, and JP Finnell of Mobility Partners, who served as an emcee of the Summit for the remainder of the day.

A few comments from Sameer and JP’s remarks that we’ll highlight, to spark your interest:

To borrow a sports metaphor, what inning are we in for the enterprise mobility era?

Still in the 1st inning, because we’ve really only just gotten to the point of emulating PC desktop user interfaces on the phone. If you consider that as the baseline, then we are really in the infancy of enterprise mobility.

Because, so many people still are largely mobile and unable to sit at a desk for the performance of much of their work: factory workers, deliverymen, doctors, real estate agents, etc. For them, mobile enterprise apps have yet to really make much of an impact, compared to the promise.


Where is there opportunity in enterprise mobility?

There are many: IT should be facilitating the use of alternate devices in areas like sales and marketing – up to now, it’s been more responding to simple hardware convenience, i.e., providing limited access to sales people wanting customer contact information on their mobile phones and product information on their tablets.

There is also a huge opportunity to remove the pain (cost, labor, security risk, etc.) of managing mobile devices in the enterprise.

How will IT be shaped by the move to mobile in the enterprise?

IT has been through this once before with outsourcing, in the 1980s and ’90s. It moved towards letting go, from being doers to becoming managers. With mobile in the enterprise, the same thing is happening again, but this time moreso with apps.

Yet, while IT is intellectually familiar with being in this position, due to outsourcing, there remains a lot of anxiety as apps to the cloud and more employees’ devices are used for personal and company purposes.

Fortunately, there appears to be a real win-win as the locus of control shifts from dominant, centralized IT management to a model of increased user self-service, with lower costs to the organization and users more satisfied with the greater freedom to configure their mobile devices as they choose.

As always, we welcome your comments and questions on the remarks in the videos as well the summary presented here about the state of enterprise mobile.

AT&T, iPass and Mobile Iron: Building Out Mobile Infrastructure

by Steve Guengerich

Among the topics at last week’s Mobile Enterprise Summit was a morning panel on infrastructure, moderated by JP Finnell, a GigaOM Pro analyst and one of the Summit emcees.

Speakers for the panel were Vishy Gopalakrishnan, Director, Industry Mobility Solutions, AT&T , Barbara Nelson, CTO, iPass, and Ojas Rege, Vice President of Products and Marketing, Mobile Iron.

In partnership with GigaOM, we are very pleased to bring the first in a series of these videos to you. There panel video is in three parts, with parts 1 and 2 being a discussion facilitated by JP and part 3, a question and answer session with the Summit audience.

If you lack the time to watch or listen to the videos now, you can skip to the bottom of the page to scan some remarks we highlighted.

Part 1 – Infrastructure panel discussion

Part 2 – Infrastructure panel discussion

Part 3 – Infrastructure Q&A

A few comments from the panelist remarks and the Q&A that we’ll highlight, to spark your interest:

You can’t define infrastructure any more; can’t put a box around it as in the past. Users don’t stay inside the box…they want to use services all around the world, so putting technical boundaries around them is very hard. Instead, you need to think more about how to enable them.

There are 2 types of infrastructure: technical and organizational. Most people immediately think of the former, when they hear the word ‘infrastructure.’ But the latter is equally if not more important because it addresses questions like: whose organization owns and operates it? What are the policies? What are the new skill sets for mobile to be overlaid on existing IT skill sets?

Enterprise users are more savvy users than ever before – and they demand more straightforward means to get to the data and software assets they want, insisting on easier and easier ways to connect. If the organization, especially IT isn’t responsive, then mobile users will bypass IT.

IT must evolve from being the “department of saying ‘No’” to deciding what is important to the organization and critical to IT’s responsibilities, then focusing its more deliberative review and concerns on those critical areas, yielding to a more open, less restrictive environment for remaining IT operations

Permitting employees to start using their personal mobile devices on an enterprise-scale at work can have some interesting, unforeseen effects. On the one hand, while it can help reduce capital equipment purchases by the organization, on the other hand, it can certainly increase the actual help desk / support costs.

In another interesting anecdote, specific to the roll-out of iPads, there are instances now when the help desk is becoming last resort instead of the first resort for fixing a problem. In other words, the users’ posture seems to be “before I call IT, I will spend 20 minutes to try to fix the issue myself.”

JP referred to this as the “IT-ization of the consumer” effect. Part of their greater willingness to serve as their own IT support comes from the reduced likelihood of users “getting into as much trouble” with iPad as they would have in the past trying to fix a problem that involved the registry of a Windows MobileOS phone. The other part of this greater willingness is simply due to stronger emotional attachment to their mobile devices, which they consider more personal and more essential.

Users are hungry to use mobile devices for more and more of their work. IT organizations seeking to provide leadership in identifying good use cases for mobile apps should consider how to perform work better in the following four areas:

  1. Workflow: especially any activity that requires 6 to 7 steps or more. A couple of good examples that lend themselves well to mobile are expense approval workflow and IT change management and approval, particularly in large organizations where the are thousands per day across a national or global group
  2. Knowledge enhancements: for example, in the situation of a salesperson needing to “get up to speed rapidly” on a new product or service; or similarly, an account manager in the field that wants to review information with customers, but wants to avoid the time it takes to boot up, go through 15 different screens to get to the one they want, etc.
  3. Transaction enhancers: with good mobile use cases including rental car pick-up or return at airports; proof of delivery for packages, etc.
  4. Reporting: Even though many organizations have “slaved over” improving he ease of use of executive information and dashboard, spending millions of dollars on knowledge management, a new generation of mobile devices and the apps available on them provide the best way for managers to receive and act on the reports

As always, we welcome your comments and questions on the remarks in the videos as well the summary presented here about mobile infrastructure.

SRI’s Raj Singh: The “Swiss Army” Smartphone

interviewed by Tim Gasper

Raj Singh is an Entrepreneur in Residence for SRI Ventures at SRI International.

SRI, of course, is a familiar name in innovation and entrepreneurship, with the institution and its many related groups pursuing tech research and commercialization for more than 65 years, since its beginnings as the Stanford Research Institute.

I love making disruptive and kick-butt mobile products
-Raj Singh, SRI Ventures

And communications, wireless, and mobile innovation is no exception. For example, in 2010, an SRI artificial intelligence project yielded the iPhone app, Siri: an app that understands what is said and executes subsequent actions, adapting to a user’s individual preferences over time.

The result is a tailored, concierge-like experience helping to accomplish everyday tasks, like making restaurant reservations, buying movie tickets, or hailing a taxi.

We first caught up with Raj at SxSW Interactive in March 2011 where he spoke on the panel “Mobile Opportunities for Entrepreneurs.”

At Southby, Raj wasted no time jumping to the near future with predictions that phones used in the enterprise may become virtual phones with two SIM memory cards, enabling them to serve as the smartphone equivalent of the famed Swiss Army knife – with one “virtual phone” for personal use and one “virtual phone” for work.

In this Skype’d interview, Raj shares his perspective with Appconomy contributor Tom Parish on the value of virtual phones and web-based enterprise apps that work with any handset manufacture.

In addition, Raj speaks about the new challenges in 2011, like HTML5 apps versus native apps in the enterprise, and other trends in the app economy.


Three Minutes with Microsoft’s Phil Wheat

by Steve Guengerich

I had the pleasure of  making a quick stop at the Innotech San Antonio event yesterday and catching up with a few people.  This is the Innotech, if you are unfamiliar with it, where you would be happy to work, as opposed to the infamous version in Mike Judge’s cult legend Office Space.

The Innotech conference team, led by Sean Lowery, has been putting on great regional IT conferences for many years now, meeting the demand for those small- and mid-sized companies with IT budgets that can’t afford to fly to New York or San Francisco, when the presenter quality may be just as strong locally.

Case in point: in less than 3 hours in San Antonio, I had occasion to speak with the Chief Information Officers of Freescale (formerly Motorola’s semiconductor division), Harden Healthcare, Tokyo Electron (the world’s 2nd largest maker of semiconductor equipment), and more.

One of the ‘more’ visits was with Phil Wheat, among Microsoft’s several evangelists in the field, with his focus being on developer and platform evangelism for start-ups.  Listen to us talk about what Phil does for Microsoft, how mobile has become the dominant theme in start-up activity, and what advice he would give for firms focusing on mobile for the enterprise.

Look for more interviews about the appconomy and mobile for the enterprise from our South-by-Southwest 2011, March 10-15.

How Mobile Has Changed Live Music – 1

by Sam Nachbar, special for The Appconomy

With five weeks to go before the major music industry festival, South-by-Southwest (also known as SxSW or “Southby”), the music industry is clearly in a state of transition.

On one hand, the shift to digital first led by MP3s and file sharing, then blown galactic by the iPod and iTunes, seems to support the picture of a thriving marketplace of talent and works. According to a report by Nielson and Billboard, “digital music accounted for 46% of all U.S. music purchases in 2010, up from 40% in 2009 and 32% in 2008” (dmwmedia, 2011).”

Downloads for iTunes Mp3s are well over 10 billion, and while nobody comes close to competing in the download arena, a number of smaller companies are successfully segmenting portions of the digital music space.  Further, with the advent of social media, bands and other artists have an unparalleled opportunity to create and own their original works, selling them directly to a worldwide audience, at practically a click of a button.

On the other hand, a mid-January meeting of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade group based in London, claimed that while sales of music in digital form had indeed risen, the overall music market had shrunk up to 9% during 2010, extending a decade-long decline.  As reported in the New York Times, Forrester Research analyst Mark Mulligan summed up the sentiment from many: “Music’s first digital decade is behind us and what do we have?  Not a lot of progress.”

Making matters worse, hidden processing fees and a seemingly yearly increase in the cost of a concert ticket have contributed to the generally held belief that live music is overpriced, with producers like Ticketmaster and Live Nation beginning to be affected by this sentiment. A growing distrust of these and other companies among music enthusiasts, paired with the inability by American households to spend as much on leisure activities as in years past, has led to concert-goers purchasing tickets less frequently …or purchasing directly from venues whenever possible.

Perhaps as a perfect coda to the state of live music, in his comically titled article, Breaking!!!: A Handful Of Dudes Control the Live Music Industry, Jacob Ganz notes that despite the much-hyped merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) operating income was “$40 million lower in 2010 than it was in 2009” (NPR Music, 2010).

Music represents a relatively modest-sized industry, when compared with others that are less sexy but vastly more important to our day-to-day needs like agriculture or housing.   Yet, it is an important bellwether for trends in the app economy, due to the diversity of technology, creative, and business interests that participate in it.  With that in mind, we’ve outlined the trends we see – both now and in the near future – that will drive music and, quite possibly, other industries that are heavily influenced by popular culture.

1.  Subscription services will dominate the market for music

Particularly in music, but really across all content industries, users are becoming less concerned with ownership.  We predict that the subscription model (as utilized by Rhapsody and Netflix) will continue to gain popularity, and as people become more comfortable with the concept of paying rent to lease content, subscription services will begin to dominate the marketplace.

Apple is rumored to be working on its release of a subscription based music service.  Considering that iTunes single-handedly developed a working model, albeit imperfect, in which users are willing to pay for music in a post-Napster world, Apple’s venture into the subscription market will likely be a success.

Simultaneously, the popular European music streaming service, Spotify, seems to be approaching a deal with U.S. recording companies. Following its launch, unlimited listening will be available for $10 a month, ad-free. However, unlike Rhapsody or MOG, Spotify is a freemium service and the vast majority of current users, about 92% (PC World, 2010), use the free version. Surprisingly, this figure indicates a significant increase in subscriptions, and as more users opt for the premium, negotiations with the record companies will be eased.

Ultimately, we believe this shift will be fueled by an increase in smart phone users. The advent of mobile will truly unlock the capabilities of subscription services as users begin to experience the ease and accessibility involved with streaming music on the go.

2.  Major Labels Continue To Lose Influence

With regard to promotional trends, music blogs are gaining favor, and a strong online presence is critical to building a significant buzz around a band today.

For example, if Pitchfork names a band to its coveted “Best New Music” section, the groups downloads for that week will jump astronomically.  The term “leak” is now a marketing verb, and many copyright owners are excited to give away their songs in advance, hoping that their content will be featured on the blogosphere.

Also, the continued rise of the amateur musician is altering the music publicity landscape. Labels are becoming decreasingly important as musicians and bands are finding ways to transmit their music via the web.

Recently, many indie rock groups have opted to release albums and EP’s through bandcamp. Although comparable to Myspace in many ways, bandcamp artists are giving away tracks and offering free downloads for some content (usually two or three tracks). In return, fans are more likely to purchase an entire digital album (despite the popular notion that digital downloading is solely a singles driven market).

Meanwhile, the major record labels continue to pursue copyright infringement in an effort to stall digital downloading. Attempting to control individual copies on the internet is a fool’s errand, yet at this point, the U.S. Record industry has sued over 40,000 people (, 2010). Copying is not going to get any harder, and many emerging artists are undercutting traditional outlets by embracing the technology and putting out their own music.

3.  Do It Yourself Technologies Reshape the Musician-Fan Relationship

Digital technologies have enabled the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement, and with the controls now in their hands, amateur musicians can record, produce, promote, and circulate their own tracks.  In the hometown of Southby, for example, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Austin CVB) recently released an iPhone application that serves as an instant, interactive guide for locals or visitors interested in finding local music.

Austin’s independent music scene continues to thrive as non-profit organizations like the Austin Music Foundation help DIY artists by providing free educational programs and seminars focused on music business topics relevant to the professional development of independent musicians. Similarly, a number of modest local booking agencies such as Green Potato Ventures are helping area bands find gigs by exclusively booking independent, local musicians.

Nationally, Shazam and other music discovery applications are helping artists increase web traffic via social networks. Shazam has been responsible for over one billion tagged songs on facebook (Music Ally, 2010), and as people find new ways to share music with one another bands are able to develop a following without even performing live.

Once a fan base has been built, unsigned artists have the unprecedented ability to fund projects using online pledge-based platforms like Kickstarter. New avenues of communication between musicians and fans are being created and Kickstarter donators can track the growth of the project relative to their donation and receive gifts in the mail from the artist.

As Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is finding out in his series of experimentations with social networking, music enthusiasts are willing to help and are excited by the concept of an artist/fan cooperative. NIN’s standalone iPhone application (which gives fans the ability to submit concert footage, remix NIN tracks, and locate other fans) is Reznor’s latest exploration of new-media, and while it remains unclear how efficient his methods will be for less-established bands, the existing buzz surrounding the free launch indicates that the application will be wildly successful.

It still probably makes sense to record a hit album before launching a standalone app, but regardless of the band’s following, this web enabled personalized interaction between artist and listener will be a highly influential trend in the future of music.

Sam Nachbar blogs on the music industry, including work for the popular LA-based music blog, and is a 2nd year student in the Digital MBA at St. Edwards University.

PREVIEW:  Part 2 – In Part 2 of How Mobile Has Changed Live Music, we will look at trends in management, ownership of works, promotion, and other business issues at the heart of the music industry.