Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Learning about The Real World of Enterprise Mobility in Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland
It is valuable for me to leave the office and spend time with different IT teams wrestling with real world enterprise mobility challenges from time to time.  This week I had the privilege of working with a team in Scotland.  We explored the use of MEAPs (mobile enterprise application platforms), the role of HTML5, MDM (mobile device management), IDEs (integrated development environments), mobile business strategies, and how to create RFIs for mobile solutions.  This was the general overview, after those sessions, we jumped into how each of those components work in the real world - where nearly every company has a challenging mixture of back office applications and legacy systems.

In the real world there are many bespoke/custom software applications.  There are good software applications and bad.  There are software vendors that don't want to expose their data to other vendors or mobile apps.  There is corrupt and incomplete data. There are mobile applications that don't work well.  There are old, expensive handheld computers with out-dated mobile operating systems.  There are old mobile apps that only run on old handhelds.

Let me digress for a minute and just say - Microsoft has purposefully destroyed the ruggedized handheld industry.  They stopped developing upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.x and left the entire industry of handheld manufacturers desperate for something new to sell.  They chose to not provide an upgrade path, nor a replacement.  This is like laptop manufacturers trying to sell MS-DOS based laptops today.  It is bad for both the customer and for all the ruggedized handheld manufacturers.  Shame on you Microsoft.

Back to the subject of real world enterprise mobility.  In the real world - there will need to be multiple platforms that support mobile solutions in many companies.  They may need a campaign based mobile marketing platform.  They may want an HTML5 environment for online only mobile apps that is separate from their MEAP environment that supports field services with online/offline mobile app capabilities.  There may also be a B2C environment that is unique and focused on providing multimedia experiences, or mobile banking.

All of these real world discussions, with a Scottish accent, make for a great experience.

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Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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.