Cover Story: The Mobile Technology Revolution

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The myriad disparate and largely unprotected mobile devices now used in the workplace have added a whole new dimension to solution providers’ portfolios, which almost overnight has seemed to explode into a viable business division.

One big area of growth for solution providers has been in the consulting arena, creating comprehensive mobility plans and policies for SMBs overwhelmed dealing with a host of new issues.

Rob McMillen, president of All Tech 1, a security solution provider based in Portland, Ore., said that his mobility business has expanded by incorporating mobile device security into existing contracts with many of his SMB customers. “That will be the vulnerable spot where they get hacked. In order to be our customer, you need to have a mobile security plan,” he said.

McMillen said that his mobile business has gone from zero to 30 percent by handling smartphone and tablet issues, and he anticipates it growing.

Meanwhile, Gary Fish, CEO of Kansas City, Mo.-based FishNet Security, is already seeing expansive growth in the company’s mobility business, which has evolved into business division. Unlike other segments of his business, the explosive growth of mobility was largely consumer-driven, Fish said. The challenges reached a critical mass when his customers complained that employees were bringing iPhones, iPads and Android devices into the workplace, unleashing a slew of security and compatibility issues.

“Mobility is so different. It’s consumer-driven,” Fish said. “There are these great new devices, and the end user was bringing these to the corporation and finding ways to use it by getting around security policies. It had to be addressed.”

—Stefanie Hoffman

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