Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Banks, Mobile Technologies and SMAC, Part 3

This article is Part 3 in a series on Banks, Mobile Technologies and SMAC.  Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

In this article my colleague Peter Abatan, a Mobile Technology Consultant and banking expert with Cognizant, shares his insights into the digital transformation happening in the banking industry.  This transformation reflects new and innovative business models, the rapid adoption of mobile apps for banking, social media and other cloud based solutions.  In this article Peter and I discuss P2P (peer-to-peer) lending services and their potential integration with Internet based and mobile banks.

P2P lending sites are part of the emerging digital transformation happening in the banking industry. Their purpose is to provide higher returns for investors/savers, while using SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) based technologies to help find lenders for people/companies that may not meet a traditional bank’s criteria for lending.  They are a in effect, match makers.  They are the match.com for people wanting to lend money for higher returns, and people or companies wanting to borrow it.

P2P lending sites can be risky, however.  There is little protection for investments.  If you invest and a borrower defaults on their loan, your money is at risk.

According to the P2P Finance Association this market sector is growing at a rate of 250% per year, but not all are successful. In December of 2011, P2P lender Quakle became insolvent and many lost their investments.

I believe the logical evolution of this market is for P2P lenders to evolve into, or integrate with Internet/mobile banks.  As an Internet/mobile bank, P2P lenders would be able to expand their products  and services into things like mortgages and insurance to compliment money lending services.

P2P lenders as Internet/mobile banks, will be in a good position to compete with traditional brick and mortar banks as they can offer better rates on savings and other investment tools, plus they will likely have a lower operational cost.   Lower operational costs are the result of not needing to maintain traditional banking processes like check processing, money handling and logistics, large numbers of employees, bank branches and physical security services.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Banks, Mobile Technologies and SMAC, Part 2

This article is Part 2 in a three part series (read Part 1 and Part 3)

For those that missed Part 1, Peter Abatan, my colleague at Cognizant and a banking industry and mobility expert, has been sharing his thoughts on trends in the banking industry.  The following points come mostly from his email messages to me and his blog articles.  He believes Internet and mobile banks will create increasing competition for traditional banks for the following reasons:

  • Checks are quickly becoming obsolete.  In fact, the UK plans to phase out checks by 2018.
  • Internet and mobile only banks will not issue or process checks; instead they will offer alternatives by which you can make payments. This reduces their operation costs.
  • People are carrying less cash than they did 5 ago.  That makes ATMs less important. According to the Financial Times (FT), UK consumers did nearly 10% less shopping with cash in terms of monetary value, in 2012 than in the previous year. FT goes on to say that the use of debit cards and newer methods such as PayPal are making gains compared to the use of cash. If ATMs are needed, Internet and mobile only banks can always join existing ATM networks so that members can withdraw cash.
  • Internet and mobile only banks will be able to pay more attractive interest rates because they have few or no branches and fewer employees to support.  This is a significant competitive advantage.
  • P2P banking (peer-to-peer), NFC (near field communications) and contactless payment adoptions are on the rise: The number of retail outlets that receive small payments through contactless technology is on the rise, at the same time P2P payments, using mobile apps like Barclays Pingit, are increasing in popularity and enabling users to transfer a limited amount of money to another person or business without going through a traditional bank.
  • P2P lending may become the killer app in the banking industry. This is where Internet and mobile only banks can excel. These technology-focused banks can provide P2P lending services, by matching lenders, borrowers and satisfactory interest rates, then charging a fee that will enable them to provide higher ROIs for their customers.  

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Banks, Mobile Technologies and SMAC, Part 1

The mega-trends of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) plus IoT (Internet of Things/Connected devices/M2M) are changing entire industries.  I am being asked frequently now to meet with IT and business teams to review how SMAC and related trends are impacting various industries so companies can better plan to meet these transformations.

My colleague at Cognizant, Peter Abatan, is both a banking expert and a mobile technologies expert.  Recently Peter has been sharing his thoughts with me on the topic of how SMAC (social, mobile analytics and cloud) trends are impacting the banking industry.  Here are some excerpts from our exchanges:

  • Bank branches are predicted to see diminishing foot traffic (visits per branch) at a rate of 8-10% each year for the next 8 years.  People are using mobile apps in increasing numbers rather than visiting branches for routine banking tasks.
  • Given the popularity of mobile banking apps, the banks with the smartest and most responsive mobile banking infrastructure will have a competitive advantage.
  • If banks do not quickly evolve and educate their customer base on the advantages of mobile banking and digital transformation, other competing banks will, and they will use it to their advantage.
  • Traditional banks are feeling an increasing pressure to transform because their current size, structure and legacy IT environments prevent them from adapting rapidly enough to meet new challenges and to address the changing behaviors in the marketplace.  Many banks will become smaller and more nimble as a result of these pressures.
  • Social media impacts the way banks sell and market their products.  People talk about their banks, the service levels they receive and the price of service fees. If a bank tries to sell a customer the wrong product, provide poor service or charge a higher than appropriate service fee, then the customer’s network of contacts will learn about it quickly.
  • Crowd-funding platforms like Crowdcube and KickStarter are offering higher returns on investments than traditional banks.  This is an emerging threat to traditional banks.  These crowd-funding platforms have far lower cost structures to maintain than a traditional bank with branches and labor intensive sales and marketing channels.
Read Part 2 of this article series here.



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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SMAC Ready Enterprise - Changing Tides in Enterprise Mobility

Over the past few months I have noticed a change in the enterprise mobility space.  Cloud mobility, once a distant vision, now seems to be a mainstream topic.  I have seen a shift from companies believing it necessary to set-up their own internal mobile platforms, mobile infrastructure and mobile security, to looking first to cloud based mobile environments, and then secondly, if not finding their requirements met, moving to the traditional on-premise solutions.  I have seen a great deal more flexibility from MADP (mobile application development platform) vendors with their tools and business models.

I am seeing an increasing reluctance by enterprises to purchase million dollar MADPs even before there are apps to use.  Companies are happy to pay based on realized ROI, but hesitate to invest upfront.

I am seeing an increasing awareness of mobile security needs, but again, companies are now seeking first cloud based mobile security solutions to see if their needs are met there, if not, they look at on-premise options.

I am meeting with companies that have completely moved to cloud based Google Apps, Android and Google Enterprise solutions.  They feel they can better centrally manage and secure their company communications and data through Google Enterprise.

It seems to me as the enterprise mobility market matures, it is also rationalizing.  Early adopters were willing to navigate difficult business and licensing environments, implement expensive POCs and experimental solutions, but today they want a rational, logical, flexible and easy solution that mitigates the risk.

Competition in the enterprise mobility space has now matured to the point that there are many reasonable alternatives, business models and deployment scenarios.  These alternatives, i.e. HTML5, native, hybrid, cloud, on-premise, yearly subscriptions, monthly subscriptions, licenses, etc., motivates all competitors to become better and more business friendly vendors.

All of these rapid changes should encourage enterprises to jump into mobility with both feet, but to implement solutions that do not lock them into a particular mobile device, mobile OS or MADP.

For decades the goal of nearly all software vendors was to entice the end user into using a particular tool, OS or development environment long enough so that the accumulated investment made it very difficult to abandon.  The business model of software vendors was based on creating a large maintenance fee based business.  Although this model offered stability for the software vendor and often the customer as well, it is not suited to the fast paced world of enterprise mobility that requires flexibility and agility.

Today companies should be focused less on a particular mobile devices, mobile OSs and mobile vendor solutions, and more on creating a SMAC (social, mobile, analytic and cloud) READY enterprise.  This is very important!  A SMAC READY enterprise means their enterprise is capable of supporting and thriving in a "real-time" world that is driven by SMAC requirements.  A world rich in data, that requires the ability to analyze it in real-time, and to get the resulting business-ready information into the hands of their mobile works in real-time in order to optimize productivity, decision making, sales and services.

For many enterprises developing a SMAC READY enterprise is a big challenge. The mobile apps are the easy part! Their IT systems, processes and business models were not designed to support the unimagined speed and volume of data that floods over us today (see Code Halos article). This challenge, however, is worth pursuing.  Today a company's success and I would dare say very survivability is dependent upon it.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Developing Enterprise Strategies for Code Halos

Ben Pring, Malcolm Frank and
Paul Roehrig
My colleague and Cognizant's Co-Director of the Center for The Future of Work, Ben Pring shares in this guest post, his insights into the idea of "Code Halos" and the role they play in digital transformations and SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).  The concept of "Code Halos" is a useful way to help us understand and develop strategies for the effective use of all kinds of enterprise data.

In my previous post I introduced the idea of “Code Halos” --  the digital fingerprint each one of us is creating with every click or swipe of our phone, tablet, laptop, Glass, Nest, FuelBand, dashboard, or other smart device, which says who we are and what makes us tick. We also noted that these “personal” Code Halos are migrating into businesses in increasingly significant ways (and not just with the digital service providers such as Pandora or Amazon). In this piece we outline a number of key areas in which we see “business” Code Halos emerging and the changing what organizations do and how they do it.

Customer Code Halos: Customer-centric Code Halos — leveraging consumer data and insights — are creating enriched customer experiences through the use of sophisticated algorithms being applied to individualized code — i.e., past usage, input given to systems such as the Amazon Betterizer, artist selections added to Pandora streams, etc. This is not just reserved for companies with a “born-digital” DNA. Disney, for example, is launching a “Magic Band” bracelet to help guide visitors through its amusement parks, manage ticketing, act as room keys, personalize the guest experience and even work as a portable bank. The Magic Band is set to transform a day at a Disney park from a one-size-fits-all experience to a highly personalized one.

Product Code Halos: Every day we see move evidence that we are moving into the era of the “Internet of things.” From mobile phones to GE aircraft engines to even personal grooming tools such as toothbrushes, more and more devices today are becoming network-aware. They all have the potential to generate rich Code Halos that interact with the halos of information from people, business processes and organizations, and generate streams of data ripe for deriving meaning. As Code Halos grow, the “software” of these products becomes far more valuable than their associated “hardware.” For example, with a smart toothbrush, the physical tool itself is a commodity, while brushing habits, dental hygiene history and health needs create a halo of information that is of premium value. In many sectors, new business processes, industry models and products are being formed at this Code Halo intersection.

Employee Code Halos: Halos are being built around individual employees – think LinkedIn – which are creating new models by which knowledge work is conducted. In fact, our employee Code Halos can be far richer and more powerful than many consumer halos, as they comprise our work histories, subject matter expertise, perspectives, work styles and experiences. Employee halos facilitate getting the right work to the right person at the right time, all contextualized within a work stream — delivering the most appropriate organizational assets to the individual. In much the same way that Amazon’s consumer Code Halos and algorithms individualize the shopping experience, employee halos and organizational algorithms individualize and transform the work experience. This is changing how companies and organizations, such as Southern California Edison and Arlington County in Virginia, collaborate to capture business opportunities.

Partner Code Halos: With new technologies and more collaborative mindsets, traditional supply chains (primarily linear and designed for physical products) are re-forming into tightly integrated systems for sharing and co-creating knowledge assets. People will still need tangible things, but companies in life sciences, banking, and insurance, healthcare and manu¬facturing are now using innovative technologies to create more efficient and effective partner ecosystems.

Enterprise Code Halos: Your company’s brand is a Code Halo. Think of all the digital interactions associated with your company or business unit. Information about products, clients, partners and employees creates or destroys value every day. Angry customers, positive media coverage, financial data and a million other infor¬mation sources create a perception of your company as real as the bricks and rebar of a manufacturing plant. Whether you manage it or not, your company is increasingly defining itself by its Code Halo. In many cases, this halo of informa¬tion has much greater clarity and authority than the efforts of your marketing department.

These five enterprise Code Halos – and the skillful management of them – are increasingly separating those companies that are forging ahead into the brave new digital world and those that are simply playing defense; trying to hang on to old outdated approaches and sustain business as usual for as long as possible, or at least until next quarter’s results.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Infonomics and Using Information as a Competitive Advantage

Do you value and treat your enterprise information like it is a strategic asset?  Do you view your information logistics system (including your enterprise mobility system) as a competitive differentiator?  Enterprise mobility is more than just a convenience for people on the move.  It is about how to use information to optimize productivity and achieve competitive advantages.  How can the effective use of mobilized information change and improve your business?

I have shared some of this article before, but I believe it is important enough to review.  In an insightful article by Gartner Inc.'s Douglas Laney, titled Infonomics: The Practice of Information Economics, the value of company information is explored.  I read this article with great interest and interpreted it in the context of enterprise mobility.

Here is Laney's description of Infonomics, "When considering how to put information to work for your organization, it’s important to go beyond thinking and talking about information as an asset, to actually valuing and treating it as one. This is the basis of the new theory and emerging discipline of Infonomics which provides organizations a foundation and methods for quantifying information asset value and formal information asset management practices."

In my mobile strategy workshops, I spend time with my clients exploring the value of "real-time" information to a company and the role enterprise mobility plays in it.  Laney's article takes it to the next level by treating it as a discipline.

Here is another excerpt from Laney, "Infonomics posits that information should be considered a new asset class in that it has measurable economic value and other properties that qualify it to be accounted for and administered as any other recognized type of asset—and that there are significant strategic, operational and financial reasons for doing so."

If the right information can be available to a mobile worker, on the right device, at the right time, in the right amount so that "right" decisions and actions can be made, then that is a huge benefit!

Let me add some context, if you have a mobile workforce in the field and you know the following real-time information:
  • Location
  • Job status
  • Next job site
  • Skills and qualifications
  • Inventory
  • Equipment
  • Costs (hourly wage)
...then you can make many important decisions as to how you can optimally schedule and utilize your workforce.  Much of this can be automated using business analytics, and artificial machine learning as well.  In contrast, if you don't have real-time knowledge of the points listed above, you cannot.  There are significant competitive values to this real-time information.  Laney's article explores how you can measure that value.

Once you have placed a value on real-time information, then you can determine an ROI for developing and implementing a system that supports the use of real-time information (and mobilizing it).  I see this a lot when discussing mobile workforce scheduling solutions.  Many organizations simply do not have the IT systems in place that can support real-time scheduling based on real-time information (location, job status, etc.).  This is a limitation.  This prevents them from transforming their company into a real-time enterprise and effectively competing with companies that are.


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Bridget Bradley

In this interview with mobile expert Bridget Bradley from AnyPresence, we discuss cloud mobility, pricing models and mobile platforms.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/GMc4guRJM44


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Tathagata Nandy on Healthcare

In this video I interview mobility and healthcare expert Tathagata Nandy on the trends he is seeing around enterprise mobility in the healthcare industry in 2013.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sar9h73k940&feature=share&list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Revisiting Enterprise Mobility and 4D Strategies

In this article I want to revisit the subject of the 4th dimension as it relates to enterprise mobility and and its importance to many industries and business processes.

First, let's review our definition of 3D and 4D.  Three dimensional is made up of length, width and height in one context, or latitude, longitude and altitude in a geographic context.  With GPS coordinates you can find and identify a location on the earth or map.  The challenge, however, is that in the real-world, people and resources aren't stationary.  They move all over the place.  Knowing their location is only useful if you know the "time" they were at that location.  Time is the fourth dimension.  Latitude, longitude, altitude and time are the 4 dimensions we will be reviewing.

Knowing locations and times are critical to managing real-time operations.  The power of real-time business analytics is best realized when you have the capabilities of reporting and planning in a 4D environment. Here are some examples of how time added to location data can offer business value:
  • Predict travel times
  • Monitor actual travel times by capturing departure and arrival times.
  • Adjust schedules based upon the difference between the predictive and real-life travel times
  • Predict job completion times
  • Monitor actual job completion times
  • Adjust schedules based upon the difference between the predictive and real-life times
  • Dispatch service technicians based upon location, schedules, qualifications, costs, etc.
  • Capture KPIs and analyze them.
Most companies recognize the importance of using 4D in their strategies, however, it has only recently become possible to exploit 4D data in real-time.  Exploiting 4D data in real-time takes a real-time strategy.  You need IT infrastructure, databases, analytics and enterprise mobility solutions all finely tuned for real-time operations.

As many of you know my mantra is, "Mobile technologies without mobile strategies is wasted."  There are a lot of interesting things that can be done using 4D strategies and mobile technologies to provide a company with competitive advantages.

A while back I read a book titled, Stray Voltage, War in the Information Age, by Wayne Michael Hall.  In this book he takes the concept of 4D, and adds two more, cyberspace and cerebral to make 6D. Here is a quote from Hall, "Information superiority is firmly connected to making decisions that are superior to an adversary's and combines information technology and intellectual power to create conditions with which to make better decisions."

Hall is making the point that with mass volumes of data collected in real-time using remote sensors, data collection technologies and mobile solutions we need to improve our operational strategies and ways of thinking.  The data can provide us with real-time "situational awareness," but can we understand it and use it to make better real-time tactical decisions for our businesses?

More from Hall, "Human beings will need to improve their thinking capabilities to cope with the increasing complexities of the world...people will depend more on visualization to help understand complexity quickly.  Visualization will fuse data and information and display the result in a multimedia format.  Visualization will allow the integration of data, information and knowledge from all sources and will allow for the integration of numerous contributors."

There is power in taking all of the real-time 4D data inputs that you have, integrating them, analyzing and displaying it visually on a map with powerful infographs in real-time.  This can help us quickly understand what is happening in the field.

In my mind I see a field services manager using an iPad.  He can look down at his iPad at anytime and see the location of all his assets, resources, work crews, jobs (past, present and future) and equipment.  He can see bright yellow circles for all job status that are running over their estimated times, he can see work crews in transit and he can see all locations of upcoming jobs on a map.  In one quick glance the manager can understand where there are challenges, trouble spots and customer issues.

The visualization of 4D information allows for rapid and good decision making.  This is a true competitive advantage.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Healthcare, Mobility and Digital Transformations

Healthcare is one of those industries that will be most impacted by SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) developments.  It is information based.  Information, as we all know, is easily digitized, analyzed, stored in the cloud, and shared via mobile devices.

Here is a personal example.  Yesterday, I was experiencing stomach ailments and jumped on the website, WebMD.  I then added some reminders on my iPhone regarding health practices that I want to follow.  Ideally, I would engage with my doctor on non-serious issues via a mobile app.  I could record my symptoms and have her review and advise me no matter where in the world I am at the moment.  Our crazy healthcare system in the USA, however, would not know how to handle this simple mobile services or the payment for them.  I can only hope that someday logic will prevail.

Here are some of the key reasons mHealth is being transformed today:

  • The recognized need by providers, insurers, and governments to improve services and reduce the costs of caring for those with chronic illnesses.
  • The emergence, and proliferation of smartphones, broadband internet access, dedicated remote patient monitoring devices, and patient-centric applications
  • Patients increasingly understand how mHealth technologies can help them better communicate with providers and manage their health.
  • The rapid movement toward standards that will form the backbone for interoperability within the health industry.

If you are a healthcare industry software vendor or systems integrator with some clever and cool healthcare related solutions please share them with us in the comments section of this article, or email me at kevin.benedict@cognizant.com.  I would love to learn and write about them.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.