Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Sybase's Mike Oliver, Part 1

Mike Oliver
I first learned about Mike Oliver, European Mobility Marketing Manager for Sybase, because we are both on the agenda for the upcoming conference in Brussels entitled The Enterprise Mobility Exchange.  Mike was kind enough to schedule some time to share with us.

Note: These are not Mike Oliver's exact words, rather my notes from our interview.  However, Mike did review these notes for accuracy prior to publishing.

Kevin: Why are you going to the Enterprise Mobility Exchange in May? What is the value?

Mike: I spoke at this event last year and found that the quality of the delegates is unmatched. People must pay to attend. The focus has been on utilities and field services and this is a great market for Sybase and our partners. We have found great opportunities from this event every time we have attended. We always get more meetings than we have on our schedule.

Kevin: What are your current roles and responsibilities?

Mike: I am the European Mobility Marketing Manager for Sybase. Before SAP acquired us, I was responsible for marketing our mobility solutions across all of Europe. Now I cover a subset of our products including Afaria and SQL Anywhere.

Kevin: Where is your office located?

Mike: I am based out of Maidenhead, England.  However, I am rarely in the office as I am traveling most of the time.

Kevin: What mobile device(s) do you carry?

Mike: A company issued iPhone 3Gs, Motorola Android, Motorola ES400 (durable device) – includes barcode scanner that runs on Windows 6.5, new Dell laptop and an iPad (used mainly for demos and email). [Kevin's comment - Mike uses the ES400 mainly for demos, but he likes it. He appreciates rugged and durable devices that are designed to last many years. He is not a fan of the throw away smartphone culture.]

Kevin: What are some of your favorite mobile applications that you have on your mobile device?

Mike: Lotus Notes Traveler, DropBox, Facebook, Photoshop Express, Maps, TubeDeluxe and Flixster, a movie application that uses your GPS to tell you about movies playing in your vicinity.

Kevin: Do you ever use your mobile device to buy things?

Mike: All the time, especially on Amazon and eBay.

Kevin: How many computing devices do you have in your home?

Mike: I have 15-20 devices - four laps, PCs and many old smartphones.

Kevin: How did you get involved in enterprise mobility?

Mike: It was almost by accident. I was working in a dive shop after a few years in marketing agencies, sometimes working with technology companies. I applied for a marketing job listed at a nearby company, that was Extended Systems. I had to pretend to know corporate marketing until I learned it “on the job”. I have now had nine different jobs here in the past 12 years.

Kevin: What is different today, than when you started working with enterprise mobility?

Mike: When I started there were very few competitors in mobility, and the only companies implementing mobility were the giant companies. Now everyone does mobility. Everyone has a smartphone. Instead of just targeting mobile solutions for the 35 blue collar service engineers in the company, all 3,500 employees want mobility today.

Read Part 2 of this interview.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.