Vince Rogley, a manager at a chemical plant equipment maker, has just been upgraded. And he likes his new toy. Problems with the delivery of three dozen new mobile phones sent by Orange to Rogley and his colleagues has resulted in the mobile network service provider's customer service department offering the group top-of-the-line devices. Of course they get email, calendaring, to-do lists and a contacts database and, yes, a phone service too - but the device is also a 3 megapixel One million pixels. Refers to the resolution of a digital imaging device (monitor, scanner, video camera, still camera, etc.). For example, a five-megapixel digital still camera might take a picture composed of 5,038,848 red-green-blue color dots (pixels). camera, a high-quality video recorder See DVR, DVD-R and DVD drives. , a 50-track MP3 player A digital music player that supports the MP3 format, which was the audio format that started a revolution in online music downloads and distribution. All portable music players, the iPod being the most popular, support MP3 along with one or more other audio formats. , a voice recorder A digital, handheld device that is used to record short reminders. Very lightweight and typically using AAA batteries, such devices use flash memory to hold up to 100 messages and more. Messages can be retrieved sequentially or by direct access by message number. See microcassette. and a games console. The communications package makes it clear that the phone is ready to download music tracks and video clips A short video presentation. , and soon streamed TV.
Asked to put a value on the functionality that is actually useful in his day-to-day job, Rogley estimates that only about [pounds sterling]50 worth of his [pounds sterling]500 Samsung D600 phone is useful. The rest is just fun - and a status symbol.
That account crystallises the position of the mobile phone within the enterprise. The mobile, which started life as a pure business device, has, during the past five years, morphed into a piece of high-value consumer electronics that many observers now say is wholly inappropriate for business use in terms of its cost, capabilities and manageability (or lack of it).
That is evident in the widespread absence of strategic thinking when it comes to corporate mobile phone policy. A recent survey of 6,000 business users around the world by independent research house Simpson Carpenter (sponsored by handset market leader Nokia) highlighted the disconnect disconnect - SCSI reconnect between decision-makers and employees over the perceived use of mobile technology. The 2,700 decision-makers surveyed said that only 24% of their staff used mobile phones for business purposes; however, over 50% of the 3,000 employees surveyed said they regularly made use of mobiles for work. And of those 'informal' business phones, 70% were bought by employees themselves.
Handset manufacturers and mobile service providers have historically done little to help. Confident that the addition of new gadgetry gadg·et·ry
1. Gadgets considered as a group.
2. The design or construction of gadgets.
Noun 1. gadgetry - appliances collectively; "laborsaving gadgetry" and aspects such as photo messaging Taking a picture with a cellphone and sending it to someone. A photo messaging phone enables the user to aim it, take a picture and transmit it. If recipients do not have photo-enabled cellphones, they are directed to a Web page where they can view the images. at a pound a time will drive greater revenue than any business-oriented service, the mobile phone industry has focused almost all of its energies on consumers, leaving corporate 'niches', such as email, to the likes of RIM with its BlackBerry blackberry, name for several species of thorny plants of the genus Rubus of the family Rosaceae (rose family). See bramble.
blackberry device. But there are now signs of a fundamental shift in the industry: an acceptance that the consumer and corporate devices markets are about to go their separate ways.
The world's biggest handset maker has certainly been planning for this moment for some time. Late in 2005, Nokia started to roll out what many analysts believe to be its first line of 'serious business mobiles' - devices that are targeted at multiple levels across the corporation. The trio of 'E-series' devices - the first fruit of a two-year effort by Nokia's Enterprise Solutions group - may in some cases lack megapixel imaging and an MP3 player but they have been built with specific corporate appeal. All are designed to provide mobile email; they support fixed/mobile convergence by marrying the mobile to the corporate PBX (Private Branch eXchange) An inhouse telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other as well as to the outside telephone network (PSTN). , enabling users to leverage a single device inside and outside the office; and they boast integrated security and manageability, enabling IT administrators to use centralised Adj. 1. centralised - drawn toward a center or brought under the control of a central authority; "centralized control of emergency relief efforts"; "centralized government"
centralized systems management tools, such as IBM's Tivoli, to remotely configure devices based on the user's role or to lock or wipe a device in the field that has been lost or stolen (see box, Anatomy of a business mobile).
"The device needs to be business-oriented," says Mary McDowell, the head of Nokia's Enterprise Solutions unit who was recruited to add corporate punch in 2004 from Hewlett-Packard where she led strategy and corporate development. "This is not simply a matter of repurposing consumer devices for businesses. We are building a new competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. for business users and the IT management that supports them."
Analysts do not doubt that this is a turning point. "There is definitely a sea change, without question," says Emma Mohr-McClune, enterprise mobility analyst with research group Current Analysis. Along with Nokia's moves, she points to UK operators O2, Orange and T-Mobile bringing out their first branded devices specifically for business users, while Vodafone has been the first operator to tackle businesses' device management challenges.
Device manufacturers other than Nokia are also releasing more business-ready mobiles, but analysts have viewed them as both late and merely responding to the runaway success of a single application - mobile email. "The popularity of RIM's BlackBerry PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) A handheld computer for managing contacts, appointments and tasks. It typically includes a name and address database, calendar, to-do list and note taker, which are the functions in a personal information manager (see PIM). created a dilemma for users - although they were happy with the BlackBerry's hardware design and security features, they worried about its proprietary platform and small memory," analysts at IT industry research house, Gartner wrote last year. "This led many to wish for a BlackBerry-like PDA that would operate on a Microsoft platform... It's rare that so broad a customer demand has taken so long to fulfil." Not surprisingly, over 2005, RIM responded by making BlackBerry more of an email device/PDA hybrid.
As that underscores, email is still the 'killer app'. All three of Nokia's E-series can receive such 'push' email, even on a more standard 'candy-bar' form factor, and are set at a price point which allows a much wider deployment of mobile email, between e350 to e450 without subsidy.
"Email was the big story in 2005 and we see it being the big story for 2006 as well," says Mohr-McClune. "Traditionally it was always the executive class playing with the BlackBerry, but that is probably not the most adaptable or cheapest email device to be pushing further into middle management, where it is actually needed. Many companies only get productivity efficiencies when more people are using them."
To this end, Nokia in November 2005 acquired mobile email specialist Intellisync. "The average employee spends one to two hours a day away from their desk, and one to three hours per week away from the office," says McDowell. "Business life is going mobile and the opportunity is there to bring the essential pieces together. Secure connectivity, applications mobilisation, cost effectiveness, manageability: these all have to come together if we are to go far beyond the 8 million mobile email boxes that exist today."
One factor that has held that back has been a lack of standards throughout the mobile email market. BlackBerry's proprietary system has trouble dealing with large attachments, opening the door to smaller rivals such as Good Technology, Visto and Seven as well as Nokia and, now, Microsoft.
PDA maker Palm's decision to switch from PalmOS to Windows Mobile The Windows platform from Microsoft for handheld devices, including PDAs, cellphones and Portable Media Centers. See Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, Smartphone and Portable Media Center. for the latest version of its Treo smartphone A cellular telephone with information access. It provides digital voice service as well as any combination of e-mail, text messaging, pager, Web access, voice recognition, still and/or video camera, MP3, TV or video player and organizer (see PDA). was a significant win for the software giant, which launches 'push' email in the first quarter of 2006 with a free service pack for Exchange Server 2003.
"The next year will be very interesting, with Microsoft, Nokia and RIM all battling fiercely for control of mobile email," says T-Mobile's UK sales director Simon Ainslie.
And there is a great deal at stake. Analysts at Gartner suggest that by 2008, 100 million to 200 million of the world's 650 million mobile phones will have mobile email.
But email is just the opening gambit (language) Gambit - A variant of Scheme R3.99 supporting the future construct of Multilisp by Marc Feeley <email@example.com>. Implementation includes optimising compilers for Macintosh (with Toolbox and built-in editor) and Motorola 680x0 Unix systems and HP300, BBN . Once they get a set of devices that are more fit for purpose, organisations are looking to roll out a much wider line of applications to employees - from business performance monitors for senior executives to workforce self-services applications, such as expenses filing.
Of course, some sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, field service, retail, logistics and banking, have already developed their own specialised mobile applications - usually for so-called 'blue collar' workers. And Clive Richardson Clive Richardson is an English director who made music videos for the British band Depeche Mode. During the 1980s he switched careers and began work for a media company in Essex. , head of product development at Orange, says that he is seeing a "huge upsurge" in field service mobility in small to medium enterprises (SME (1) (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) See SMB.
(2) (Subject Matter Expert) An individual who is well-versed in the policies and procedures of a particular department or division. ).
But it is in the white-collar, office arena that the business mobile is changing fast. At this point applications beyond email tend to be relatively simple with easily demonstrated value, such as calendar synchronisation Noun 1. synchronisation - the relation that exists when things occur at the same time; "the drug produces an increased synchrony of the brain waves"
synchroneity, synchronicity, synchronism, synchronization, synchronizing, synchrony , or the recording of time spent with clients for lawyers and other professional groups, says Quocirca analyst Rob Bamforth.
He says that blue-collar field service applications are usually structured processes and so offer more measurable benefits than enabling management to make decisions or communicate more quickly. As such, he says mobile email deployments are typically given longer ROI (Return On Investment) The monetary benefits derived from having spent money on developing or revising a system. In the IT world, there are more ways to compute ROI than Carter has liver pills (and for those of you who never heard of that expression, it means a lot). periods of up to 18 months to prove themselves.
Other new initiatives in enterprise mobility are often those which extend or increase the value of a previous investment, such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) An integrated information system that is used to plan, schedule and control the presales and postsales activities in an organization. system. "It's an important way to think about it: there is no such thing as mobility or mobile working, there is just work," Bamforth says. "Aspects of work are done in different places and as people now need access to IT for every part of their work, that has to be extended."
The demand has prompted a rush by mobile systems makers to establish their offering as the application platform of choice. The new BlackBerry Enterprise Server BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) is the name of the middleware software package that is part of the BlackBerry wireless platform from Research In Motion.
BES connects to messaging and collaboration software (Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWise) on enterprise version 4.1, due in early 2006, is the first to be web services-enabled, allowing drag-and-drop creation of applications and highlighting the growing role of the IT department in mobile deployments.
"There is a lot of buzz in terms of business mobiles but what I think is going on is the erroneous belief Noun 1. erroneous belief - a misconception resulting from incorrect information
misconception - an incorrect conception that functionality should exist in the device," says Rick Constanzo, RIM's VP of commercial operations in Europe. "When you do that you make mistakes in architecture: security and scalability are must-haves for the IT department." RIM's system allows over 160 policies to be set out of the box to manage deployment, such as automatic screen locks after a set time.
One service which has been crucial in convincing IT departments to manage mobiles themselves is the ability to lock lost or stolen devices. Now, patches and virus protection can be delivered 'over the air'. Nokia's E-Series phones, for example, support security updates from Symantec and Pointsec.
Real complexity comes when IT departments have to replicate changes to processes and applications out to mobile devices. Analysts estimate around 70% of handsets require re-configuration after their initial delivery. Vodafone plans to be the first operator to take advantage of this opportunity, selling device management capabilities at the same time as mobile applications. "Mobile device management will help deliver the peace of mind enterprises require to invest in mobile data solutions and devices," says Current Analysis's Mohr-McClune.
IT must also take control of the cost of mobile. Today, many employees simply expense their mobile phone bills and Current Analysis found that as a rule of thumb only 20% of enterprises and 40% of SMEs provide their employees with mobiles. As those percentages grow, organisations will need a whole raft of tools to check usage, to prevent illicit calls to high-tariff numbers, or to split bills between employer and employee.
Just as, eventually, IT took control of the desktop PC, defining and standardising its applications and interfaces, so too will it play the central role in corralling the business mobile, ending a short era in which employers found themselves providing consumer electronics simply as a side effect of mobile-enablement. This is the birth of the mobile phone as business asset.
Anatomy of a business mobile
Over the last few years, as consumer mobile phones have been augmented with MP3 players, cameras, video, radio and other multimedia features, businesses have found themselves taking a cold, hard look at the kinds of devices they are handing out to employees. And the indisputable conclusion is that the two worlds are diverging di·verge
v. di·verged, di·verg·ing, di·verg·es
1. To go or extend in different directions from a common point; branch out.
2. To differ, as in opinion or manner.
3. fast, with corporate users shunning the multimedia features in favour of business-specific functions, lower prices and better manageability. New enterprise-ready devices reflecting this shift include Motorola's Q, Palm's Treo 700, HP's iPAQ 6500 line and Nokia's E-series. While there is no one-size-fits-all, some key requirements for a business mobile are:
QWERTY keyboard The standard English language typewriter keyboard. Q, W, E, R, T and Y are the letters on the top left, alphabetic row. Designed by Christopher Sholes, who invented the typewriter, the keyboard layout was organized to prevent people from typing too fast and jamming the keys. for emailing
Ability to manage attachments
Appropriate screen size for reading email
Tightly defined set of standardised Adj. 1. standardised - brought into conformity with a standard; "standardized education"
standard - conforming to or constituting a standard of measurement or value; or of the usual or regularized or accepted kind; "windows of standard width"; devices that can be issued to different classes of employees
Long battery life
High quality speaker phone for conference calls
APPLICATIONS AND SUPPORT
Business-adaptable user interface
Business class 'push' email
Text and multimedia messaging
Application editor/viewer for access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel attachments
Instant messaging Exchanging text messages in real time between two or more people logged into a particular instant messaging (IM) service. Instant messaging is more interactive than e-mail because messages are sent immediately, whereas e-mail messages can be queued up in a mail server for seconds or and presence services
Integration with collaboration tools A collaboration tool is something that helps people collaborate. The term is often used to mean collaborative software, but collaboration tools were being used before computers existed, a piece of paper can for example can be used as collaboration tool.
Calendaring, contacts databases and to-do lists synched with desktop
Built-in security agents for remote updates to applications and the OS
Support for systems management tools that enable administrators to remotely configure user roles and lock/wipe lost or stolen devices
Platform for developing mobile applications and for mobile-enabling standard business applications
Integration with corporate PBX phone systems to enable fixed/mobile handover n. 1. The act of relinquishing property or authority etc. to another; as, the handover of occupied territory to the original posssessors; the handover of power from the military back to the civilian authorities s>.
Multi-band GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) A digital cellular phone technology based on TDMA that is the predominant system in Europe, but also used worldwide. Developed in the 1980s, GSM was first deployed in seven European countries in 1992.
WiFi (capable of supporting VoIP)
Support for WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) A 3G high-speed digital data service provided by cellular carriers that use the TDMA or GSM technology worldwide, including AT&T (formerly Cingular) and T-Mobile in the U.S.
Push to talk
Circa C400 (unsubsidised)