Tag Archives: Mobility

The Future of Mobile Payments is Now

Mobile payments are a form of monetization that has not yet gained significant traction, despite years of attempts and dozens of startups. According to multiple sources, growth of mobile payments could contribute over $100B in U.S. retail sales alone by 2017, only a part of total business-to-consumer (B2C) revenues, and that’s not counting its potential in business-to-business (B2B) markets.

Some sources say that B2B e-commerce has now more than doubled B2C, with $559 billion in 2013 sales. And while currently less than 5 percent of B2B revenues come from mobile payments, more than 75 percent of B2B vendors will support mobile payments by YE 2015, up from nearly 60 percent in 2014. Going forward, any Digital Business, whether B2C or B2B, will leave significant money on the table without support for mobile payments. It is, then, important to understand the drivers and dynamics of mobile payments for any Digital Business to compete successfully.

Figure 1: Three Key Mobile Payments PlayersMobile_payments

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.

Ultimately, mobile payments as a form of monetization, is about the customer experience, convenience, in a word. If customers Continue reading

Beyond Apple, Cheap Mobility Catalyzes Digital Business Now

What is Happening?          

This Research Alert is being written on the eve of this year’s highly-anticipated Apple product announcements, which should include a new iPhone priced in the $700 range, along with one or more wearables that complement and extend the Apple ecosystem and revenue streams. Apple certainly has been successful with high-end smartphones, tablets, and associated devices and services, and as such, has helped to pioneer, promote, and shape growth in consumer and business mobility in a very high-profile manner.

What lurks further down the food chain from glossy i-devices is what enables and catalyzes business mobility for the vast majority of Boundary-free Enterprises™ and the accelerating trend toward Digital Business. Juxtaposed against Apple’s high-end rollouts comes news of a $99 smartphone selling out online in India in less than 5 seconds, while more than a dozen manufacturers promote sub-$50 smartphones, with more planning sub-$30 smartphones for developing markets within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, cheap-yet-functional tablets have so saturated business and consumer markets that pundits fear the form factor may have plateaued if not dead-ended in some markets.

We (almost) suddenly have billions of digitally-enabled users globally, with at least twice that many affordable and easily-used devices being used to perform and adapt daily life and business tasks into digital, Cloud-enabled marketplace realities. The net result? Cheap, “good enough” smartphones and other mobile devices, enabled and supported by Cloud-based functionality, are catalyzing a user-driven Digital Business reality well beyond that conceived by many, if not most, western enterprises and IT providers – and of which few are ready to take full advantage. Continue reading

How Mobility and Big Data Empower the Boundary-free Enterprise™

Traditionally, mobility was a means of personal interaction and accessing business systems, data, and operations. Mobile technology means more than just personal enablement. Now, mobility is also a means of gathering/producing business, which in turn generates and requires an increasingly wide and deep volume and variety of data. For example, businesses can improve their customer engagement by using mobile devices to collect more feedback around the customer experience. Some mobile applications use location to expand and improve marketing efforts to customers. There is a global surge in mobile payments both via card scanners and mobile money.

It’s not just mobile phones and tablets; wearables and sensors on movable items such as vehicles and retail goods contribute to the mix of devices generating and consuming data and bandwidth. Accompanying the resulting deluge of data is uncertainty. Uncertainty abounds concerning data volumes, network capacity, security, privacy, and other processing requirements. Cloud implementations can help address this uncertainty by handling the fluctuating data and communications demands while ensuring availability and reliability. Continue reading

Progress Surfaces with Enterprise Mobility

Progress, the below-the-radar development platform provider (formerly known as Progress Software), just announced an extension to the Progress Pacific platform to enable mobile app development. The importance of tools for mobile app development probably cannot be exaggerated, given the importance of this capability both to enterprises and to Cloud providers.

For example, in Saugatuck’s 2013 global Cloud adoption survey, we learned that C-level
mobility
executives see mobile capability as at least as important as Analytics – and a greater competitive value than SaaS, Social or Cloud Infrastructure through 2015

However, mobile app development ranges in complexity and sophistication from a simple browser-like front end to a  fully-functional set of capabilities that may be called “enterprise class.” The latter, enterprise class mobile apps, is the target of the Progress Pacific platform just-announced capabilities.

Progress has three primary objectives for this mobile development Continue reading

Microsoft Build, Free Windows, and Strategy

What is Happening?

So far, focus at Microsoft’s Build developer event on the audio-driven Cortana PDA has garnered tremendous publicity. Saugatuck believes that Cortana right now provides a sexy sideshow distracting from what Saugatuck considers to be a public acknowledgement by Microsoft concerning its core strategic positioning.

cortana

Source: Microsoft

In Saugatuck’s opinion, the Microsoft news this week with the greatest impact on Microsoft and IT markets was announcement of free Windows licensing on smaller mobile devices.This announcement puts clear and massive Microsoft internal and ecosystem emphasis on Cloud; it positions Cloud as keystone in Microsoft’s strategic business. That’s an excellent move, and at in business terms, it is much more sexy than the Cortana PDA. The move helps to push developers and users away from traditional computing devices, and reduces (and over time removes) the company’s opportunity for massive, volume-driven revenue growth in smaller, more numerous devices.

We think that this is an interesting step, an important step, but one that indicates that Microsoft is really still pursuing its traditional business model – just under a “Cloud-first” halo. Continue reading

Google Wear OS: Acknowledging the Mobile, Sensor-driven Data Age

What is Happening?

Much of the IT world is abuzz this week due to Google’s announcement of its Android Wear operating system (OS) and SDK for wearable computing and communications devices. Motorola and LG announced smartwatches built to use Android Wear, and the mainstream media and tech media alike are focusing on the “smartwatch” aspect, comparing what could be coming to products already in the market and to Apple’s yet-to-be announced smartwatch offering.

Not all details regarding Android Wear have been released as of this writing. What we do know is that Google is aiming first at the fitness niche, promoting the availability of  “real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle, or walk.” Google Maps will be included, as will the Google Now card-based reminder/information application. And Google indicates that Wear will also enable multi-device functionality – e.g., users can voice a command to the watch to activate certain apps on other devices enabled by the OS, which could include thermostats in the home, entertainment systems in an automobile, and more.

This is why Saugatuck sees the Android Wear announcement as much more than a smartwatch OS and SDK proclamation. In fact, we see the smartwatch aspect as a bit of a red herring, distracting attention from where it should be.Android Wear is Google’s acknowledgement of the steadily-emerging reality of the internet-of-things, with individuals (not just consumers) always connected as both a source of data and as the actuator/controller and beneficiary.

Android Wear is therefore not (just) about smartwatches, it’s about enabling a personalized IT network environment that includes portable and sensor-driven devices. This has huge implications for enterprise IT, Big Data and advanced analytics, and how/what we consider Mobile IT.    Continue reading

Mobile Location: Much More Than Finding Your Business

Location is a critical predictor of customer behavior, yet is underused by most enterprises.  Yet modern mobile devices provide a new and growing extensive data set upon which new models are being built for customer services and marketing. Mobile app developers are tapping into that trove of data for both aggregate analyses and personalized services to device holders. This surge of mobile location data means more opportunities to improve service and add revenue streams, but also expands challenges in data privacy and security.

Location is possibly the most reliable indicator of consumer intent; where a person is at any given moment is an excellent indicator of intended behavior. If you are at a fast-food restaurant, you are likely to order food (or maybe just use the restroom). Many enterprises that could benefit from location data hesitate to collect their customer locations via mobile devices because they don’t know how to apply it or have privacy concerns. Yet a person’s location is a critical part of the equation – their propensity to act – respond to an offer, for example. Continue reading

The Importance of Time and Place in Digital Marketing

The advent of Cloud and its related technologies (mobile, social, advanced analytics and sensors) has introduced two important and fundamentally new dimensions to marketing strategies, and driving an altogether new type of customer engagement.

Time and place are now critically important elements for marketers to consider, as they pursue their digital marketing strategies. Adding these elements into the equation not only makes for a more complex marketing model, but it demands that marketing initiatives be real-time, and that customer engagement be context-aware, highly relevant and personalized to the time and place they are being presented. In fact, in the mobile-first world that we are entering, consumers are demanding this from the brands that want to market to them. Continue reading

A Year in Review: Looking Back at 2013

What is Happening?

As January 2014 rapidly approaches, Saugatuck analysts have taken a look back at some of the most significant trends of 2013 – with an eye toward those that will have important long-term impacts.  A companion Research Alert will be issued next week, when we identify key emerging trends that we believe will have broad and significant impact on enterprise IT in 2014.

Why is it Happening?

Earlier this December, Saugatuck held a series of Research Meetings that focused on the key trends and events that have and will help shape business computing going forward. This included reviewing myriad research that we published earlier this year, as well as key trends that are influencing the evolution of enterprise IT. We grouped these 2013 trends into the following three overarching themes:

  • Uncertainty and Unlimited Potential
  • Integration and Synergy
  • Organizations and Transformation. Continue reading

Cloud & The “Mobility Multiplier”

Saugatuck’s ongoing discussions with Cloud providers, and with user enterprise business leaders, have identified a factor that we project will have a substantial amplifying influence on the amount and types of workloads that are moved to Cloud-based offerings: The Mobility Multiplier.

Business leaders view Mobility as a means to achieve key performance objectives ranging from reduced sales costs to improved business operations and competitiveness. As a result, IT organizations are being tasked with implementation of Mobility across a wide spectrum of areas. Continue reading