Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Sky Technologies' Neil McHugh

I caught up with Neil McHugh from Sky Technologies the other day. He is a transplant from Scotland to the USA via IBM and is now on the Texas side of the Sky Technologies family.  He is VP of Marketing and Business Development – Americas.

Kevin:  Neil, tell me about Sky Technologies. I have been working in the mobility industry for many years, but only recently started hearing about Sky Technologies.

Neil:  I can understand that. We have actually worked through partners in the US for many years, but never really pushed our brand until last year when we decided to change our go-to-market model and sell directly to customers under the Sky brand (imagine a Scottish accent when you read his answers).

Kevin:  How are you finding the market today for enterprise mobile applications (imagine an Idaho accent when you read my questions)?

Neil:  We have been very fortunate. The mobile market is strong, and we are winning deals on a monthly basis so our market presence is growing quite rapidly. We also have excellent partners in SAP, RIM, and Motorola and each of these companies bring us business.

Kevin:  SAP, RIM, and Motorola all have partnerships with your competitors as well, so how much business do they really bring Sky Technologies?

Neil:  Fair question - let me put it this way, these companies will always have multiple partners, but we are known for our ability to support mobile requirements that most other mobility vendors cannot. We are the go-to-guys when they are not getting the answers they want from other mobility vendors.

Kevin:  Is this why I see a flurry of press releases from you guys recently. Do you get bonused on the number of press releases you write?

Neil:  No, but that is a good idea. We are experiencing record growth in 2010, and every department in Sky Technologies is working around the clock with new implementations, new products, new opportunities, and there is much more to come. In addition, recently some of the very successful and experienced SAP partners have realized mobility is hot and have approached Sky to become their mobility partner. So, the flurry of press releases you see are not just issued by us, but by partners also. It is nice to be receiving this recognition.

Kevin:  I remember a mention of Colgate as a recent Sky Technologies customer in the SAP CRM space. Tell me about that.

Neil:  You are referring to the EntryPoint statement, right ? This will be a great relationship. EntryPoint are known experts in the SAP CRM market, and we were very excited when they approached Sky. As for the Colgate account. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on that due to confidentiality. Sorry, Nice try Kevin.

Kevin:  How significant is the SAP CRM space to Sky?

Neil:  All areas of the SAP market are significant. We are not vertical industry focused.  We are SAP focused. Anywhere there is an need to mobilize an SAP application, Sky Technologies is there. We have customers both inside and outside the four walls across every industry that SAP works in.  So, although we love CRM, we are just as active in the field, manufacturing, utilities, construction and the list goes on…

Kevin:  Do you see Sky as a Global solutions company or primarily US and Australia.

Neil:  We have customers across 6 continents and 25 countries, so I guess I would classify that as global.

Kevin:  Can you give me an example of a global typical customer scenario?

Neil:  Certainly. A typical example of a global company utilizing SAP would be BlackBerry and iPhone CRM users in the US, with their field services in Latin America using rugged Windows-based mobile devices and the European operations running Symbian and internal sales using laptops.  We can manage them all with a single mobile framework. I guess that also answers the question regarding why partners bring us deals.

Remember to check out the SAP EcoHub this week!  It is focused on mobility.

More articles from the Mobile Industry Expert Series:

Kevin Benedict
Author of the report Enterprise Mobile Data Solutions, 2009
Mobile Strategy Consultant, Mobile Industry Analyst and Web 2.0 Marketing Expert
twitter: http://twitter.com/krbenedict

***Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant and Web 2.0 marketing expert. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles. ***************************************************