The mobile and wireless market is a rapidly evolving and dynamic space, full of options for the channel, says Craig Mathias, principal of Ashland. Mass.-based Farpoint Group, an advisory firm specializing in the wireless sector.
"We're looking at a period of high innovation and great diversity. That means there are many opportunities for the channel moving forward," Mathias on Thursday told the crowd at XChange Americas, taking place in Denver, Colo.
The diversity of devices carried by consumers drives demand for increased wireless capacity. Trends including the prevalence of consumers simultaneously using two or three mobile devices, all connected to wireless networks, as well as the growing requirement for constant wireless access, allows channel partners to build business through sales and support of wireless technology, Mathias said.
"We have to be able to handle a broad range of users over a broad range of applications, devices and networks," he said.
Wireless technologies also open the door for cloud-based management services. Armando Siliceo-Roman, vice president of client services at St. Louis, Mo.-based Blade Technologies, attended an XChange Americas session for information on moving clients toward the cloud.
"After watching this session I know we need to take a serious look at internal skill sets both on the technology and sales sides," Siliceo-Roman said. "We also have to challenge our clients to look beyond the ways they would have done things in the past, and encourage them to advance into these new technologies and ways of doing business."
Mathias recommended several considerations for those interested in mobility.
A clear strategy determines how much mobility is needed and under what circumstances.
Management visibility and control mechanisms allow an organization to stick to the strategy, or alter course as needed.
Flexibility and scalability buffer losses if initial calculations are incorrect and pave the way for future progress to happen seamlessly.
Finally, user support transforms good planning and preparation into a successful system.
Opportunities for the channel stretch beyond distribution and retail, Mathias said. He encouraged partners to consider wireless and mobile systems integration, ongoing operations and customer education.
"The biggest variable for you in the channel system is the complexity of the WLAN architecture. With complexity comes opportunity," he said.