The common-sense justification for mobile device management (MDM) makes it surprising that the category has not expanded faster and a near certainty that it will be hot as mobility grows.
Indeed, a technology can be tapped as close to a sure thing when there is more than one compelling reason for its existence. This is the case with MDM, which can save a company a good deal of money by making its mobile initiatives more efficient and productive -- and save its hide by making them more secure.
Work released last month by ABI Research suggests that MDM is set to explode and that it will erect an all-encompassing canopy over organizations' mobile endeavors. ABI says that MDM includes:
policy development, procurement and asset management, billing audit and reconciliation, enhanced customer care, device/content security, and additional services that are vertical- and occupation-specific.
In other words, just about everything. ABI says the value of the category will grow from $583 million last year to more than $20 million in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent.
The writer of this InformationWeek piece expresses surprise that 52 percent of respondents to a survey have no plans for MDM systems. The article assumes that this will change and MDM will become a mainstay of an organization's management tool chest.
Perhaps the article's most valuable element is the listing of companies and products that are available. In a graphic, the article briefly describes HP Enterprise Mobility from Hewlett-Packard, LANDesk Management from LANDesk, Good Mobile Messaging from the Motorola Good Technology Group, Movero Technology's Maestro, Nokia Intellisync, ZENworks Handheld Management from Novell, Athena from Odyssey, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server from Research in Motion, and Afaria from Sybase iAnywhere.
At least two of these products have recently been in the news. Late last month, Sybase iAnywhere said that Afaria will support the Symbian platform. This means the platform now accommodates a homogeneous mix of devices running the Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian operating systems.
This piece profiles the HP Mobile Management Center. Telephony Online reports that the suite uses products gained when HP acquired Bitfone. More importantly, the story points out that the family can be put to good use by three groups: carriers, enterprise and device makers. The product line, initially called FusionDM, empowers over-the-air activation and a number of other procedures in addition to insight into usage patterns, the company says.
Service providers -- the target of this piece in TMCnet.com -- focus on mobile carriers. The writer points out that MDM can be the linchpin to deploying new services and otherwise tweaking devices in the field. Monitoring and tracking can be done with an MDM program, and the results used to deduce trends and preferences. The piece looks at the value of the platforms in carriers' dealings with consumers. The possibilities and potential to which the piece alludes are available to enterprises -- especially those with large and diverse mobile workforces.