"The United States has the highest percentage of mobile workers in its workforce," says the IDC 2009-2013 forecast. "With 72.2 percent of the workforce mobile in 2008. The U.S. will remain the most highly concentrated market for mobile workers with 75.5 percent of the workforce, or 119.7 million workers, being mobile in 2013."
Those numbers represent enormous opportunities for enterprise mobility vendors. The first question that came to my mind when I read that quote was, "What kind of mobile applications are they going to need?" I think the answer is thousands of different kinds.
I assume that others including SAP's co-Innovation partner Syclo also believe that. Sylco has spent the last ten years investing in their Agentry Mobile Platform and Smart Mobile Suite to make them flexible enough to serve a broad market. Here is how they describe themselves, "We offer fully configurable, rapidly deployed mobile applications that run on a variety of devices and support real time wireless and offline computing." They don't know what mobile applications all of their customers will want, so they have invested years worth of effort developing capabilities that will enable it to be useful for a broad audience. That is something I learned as CEO of a mobile application company. The more flexible the platform, the more investment in time and money it took to develop. Simple mobile micro-apps can be developed quickly that just connect point A to point B. However, it you want point A to connect to point C, D, E and X then you have an expoentially larger task.
The point is that MEAPs (mobile enterprise application platforms) that are flexible enough to handle a broad range of mobile applications are extremely challenging to develop. However, they offer enormous value, and the price is likely going to reflect the investment.
Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.