Report: Major Sales Opportunities In Managed Mobility

According to Exact Ventures of Burlingame, Calif., enterprises can greatly reduce their capex through outsourcing contracts with mobile operators, and conceivably through the channel partners of those operators.

"We believe that mobile operators could offer hosted unified communications for about $25, and then be able to layer on additional services," said principal analyst Greg Collins. "Over a six-year period, the net savings would be about $60 billion." (Yes, that's billion.)

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The numbers reflect the opportunity associated with a comprehensive contract that includes unified communications, Wi-Fi as a service, location-based services, compliance services, mobile device management and cloud-based web filtering over a six-year period. The companies studied ranged from 100 to 5,000 in the United States and Europe.

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According to the report, one potential sweet spot involves the use of enterprise small cells, which are intended to support mobile devices being used on corporate campuses. The specific research project had been commissioned by SpiderCloud Wireless, which supplies related technologies.

"Operators squeezed for capacity are starting to really look at small cells as a means of increasing coverage and capacity," said Collins. My client's focus is on leveraging this platform as a way for the mobile operator to provide additional services that were previously unavailable because the coverage was insufficient."

Such efforts to leverage additional services as a means of boosting revenues also translates to opportunities for the channel, Collins added.

"Many of these operators sell directly to the enterprise, but a growing number of them are turning to the channel as well," he said. And this phenomenon continues to gather steam because mobile operators need to look at the enterprise market in order to overcome intense competition on the consumer side. But the enterprise market is where they can begin applying their expertise, and further extend sales efforts beyond the sales capacities of the mobile operators."

This market assessment resonates well for Dan Croft, president of Mission Critical Wireless, a Lincolnshire, Ill.-based mobility MSP. Croft is finding strong sales opportunities in a variety of different customer sizes and verticals.

"We are seeing a significant uptick," he said. "A few years ago, mobility in the enterprise translated to BlackBerry. In those days, it was much easier for companies to develop their own in-house expertise based on that single solution. But now there are a host of different devices, operating systems, middleware solutions and applications, all of which add a great deal of management complexity. In addition to the complexity, companies that fail to find a way to properly manage mobility are also likely to inadvertently open themselves to security risks. So there's very strong motivation in the customer base to off-load these responsibilities to companies that specialize in this area."