Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Newelo's Kimmo Jarvensivu

Newelo's Kimmo Jarvensivu
One of the things that has been missing from my Mobile Expert Interview Series is the European view on enterprise mobility, so this week you will see a number of interviews from mobile experts from that side of the pond.

Today, we are interviewing Kimmo Jarvensivu who is the VP of Sales and Business Development for mobile platform vendor Newelo which is located in Finland. Newelo is a spin-off from Nokia currently with ten direct employees and part of the R&D is subcontracted. He is also a big fan of anything Finnish including Angry Birds!

First, some background on Kimmo.  He worked as a GIS consultant in the 90s, and in 1996 moved to Nokia Networks for Operation Support Systems.  Later, he moved into Nokia's Managed Services area which was responsible for GSM network operations and Field Force Management around the world

Note:  I interviewed Kimmo using Skype.  He also sent me written responses to many of my questions.  I combined my notes with his answers for this article.

Kevin: What mobile device(s) do you carry?
Kimmo: Currently I have with me Nokia N900, N8 and E72. N900 is my personal phone, others are for testing purposes. On my desk, I have iPhone and Android ZTE Blade and Archos 7o Internet tablet. It is good to compare different mobile devices and gain end-user experience. In our business area, the most important factors are end-user experience and integration to backoffice system, so it is good to have "hands-on" experience on those applications and devices.

Kevin: What are your favorite mobile applications on your mobile device?
Kimmo: I guess I'm quite a normal mobile application user - Web browser, email, music player, games and of course Newelo's Need4Fleet middleware.

Kevin: Do you use your mobile device to buy things?
Kimmo: Yes, dvds, music and applications.

Kevin: How many computing devices do you have in your home?
Kimmo: That depends on the definition of computing device – eight total including laptops, Wii and other computing devices. My family consists of my wife and I plus two daughters ages eight and ten.  So the number of old and new mobiles is quite high - everybody carries at least one phone. But kids want to have several phones, so they can use one during this week and another during next week. Maybe they have seen, that I carry many devices with me and they want to do the same...

Kevin: How long have you been involved in enterprise mobility?
Kimmo: Directly on solution provider side from 2010, but of course as a user and indirectly related for several years. In 1990s I was working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and then moved to Network Management business, Network Operations business and System Integrations area. It is quite a good combination to understand the end-user experience from field worker (engineer or sales person), corporate backoffice systems, network operations(building/maintenance) and integration aspects. And it has been excellent that I have got the possibility to live and work all around the world (Europe, China, Asia Pacific and Latin America), so it brings also another aspect to my experience.

Kevin: What is different today, than when you started with enterprise mobility?
Kimmo: Everything!  In the 1990s the focus was on building big enterprise solutions, and nobody even thought that some day you could use data everywhere. In server/client model, client was PC. In 2000, there was a huge hype on telecommunication side - WAP/GPRS etc, but actually the end-user experience was not good enough - people/corporates couldn't gain benefits from mobilisation. The mobile networks were not fast enough and mobile devices were not good enough. But now - like we have seen - mobile networks are fast enough and getting faster all the time and mobile devices are fantastic and what is also important - the price of the mobile devices is reasonable (as well as the data transfer fees).

Kevin: What industries do you see adopting mobility today?
Kimmo: Is there any industry that does not need to adopt it? Any business needs it today. I believe mobility will become more important than PC based IT infrastructure. Mobile is the always available client for any kind of data processing/exchange. 

Sometimes I wonder what will happen when the next generation (my kids) are in business life. They are used to mobile devices from early ages and those are already now a part of their everyday life. But mobility is booming already now - (as devices/networks are good enough) and it can be used for any business.

I also see the huge possibilities in crowdsourcing. Think about the possiblity when Facebook users are linked to enterprise mobility. Of course, there are issues on combining "Facebook type of approach" and strict company policies, but I see crowdsourcing as a great possibility for the future. Crowdsourcing will happen sooner or later in some form, most probably starting with media industry (readers can be part of editorial process) or even in the Field Force Management (trusted persons can be part of Field Force Management process).

Kevin: What business processes do you see companies mobilizing first, second, third?
Kimmo: Usually people's (or companies') behaviour is driven by a must, which means that they will start with the most critical issues. If you can directly gain money by mobilisation or lose money when not mobilising, those are immediate and natural selections. First, it is quite obvious why Field Force Management companies are forerunners in the mobilisation front. Second, the next wave is when you enhance and make corporates' operations more efficient, and you can directly calculate savings with process enhancements.  The third wave is driven by the statement, "I want to use information from my backoffice systems and gain informative benefits." This means that information is available for all (in mobile environments).

Kevin: What are some of the most surprising trends you saw in mobility in 2010?
Kimmo: The speed of Android consumer adaptation.  It has been amazing! And as a Finn, I must admit that I was gladly surprised about Angry Birds' success.

Kevin: What are some of the biggest challenges you see in mobility today?
Kimmo: Usability and integration. If your end-users are not happy about the mobilisation possibility, they are not going to use it. And if you can't integrate (and change integration) easily, your information systems will not be up-to-date and information in those is useless. From the corporate point of view, it is important to take into account the fragmented situation in the mobile device market. Corporates need to use existing mobile devices (both personal and corporate owned), but also be prepared for the future (new devices).

Kevin: What advice do you have for companies just starting down an enterprise mobility path?
Kimmo: Start now!  You will be surprised how adapted mobile business processes bring competitive advantages via efficiency and agility. Start with defining your corporate strategy.  Choose four to five items using an 18 month plan with exact goals. Remember to keep your plan concrete, including your trial solutions. Some solution providers only have slides, some have it only on a road map, while others have it already in practise. Don't get confused with technological terms.  Define what your company needs and calculate business value from that. Remember that you do not only mobilize one back office system.  Your required data can be coming from several different systems.

Kevin: How important is mobile device management and security?
Kimmo: It is an integral part of the mobile applications. Mobile networks are already more secure than the internet in general, but security always needs to be taken into account.

Kevin: What should people know about Newelo?
Kimmo: I think many will be surprised about our capabilities. If you are now thinking about mobility and need a solution that provides a hosted mobile service + SaaS model, and that enables you to develop a mobile application with flexible integration to corporate data in 30 minutes, then you should call Newelo.

Kevin: Where do you see mobility going in 2011?
Kimmo: I see a huge boost for mobility projects.  The focus will be on integrating mash-up data from various systems instead of one-to-one system mobilisation. More and more companies will define mobilisation strategies and start to implement those. From device side, it will be interesting to see how Mr. Elop will change Nokia and further strengthen their device strategy.

I want to thank Kimmo for taking the time to share his knowledge and insights with all of us!

Click here to read more from the Mobile Expert Interview Series.




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Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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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.