Enterprise Mobility for 2015 and Beyond

This last year was full of spectacular moments as mobility continued to consume the world.

We now have almost three billion people online and most of that number is due to smartphones. Mobile apps eclipsed the web as the place people spend more of their time and an estimated 80% of adults will be using a smartphone by 2020. Since the best way to review the most important mobile events of 2014 is through a long, run-on sentence, take a breath and dive in:

Microsoft acquired Nokia, tablet growth slowed, VMware acquired AirWatch, mobile games outsold mobile apps, MobileIron went public, Apple shipped a phablet, Good acquired BoxTone, Gartner’s MDM Magic Quadrant became their EMM Magic Quadrant, Xiaomi ate everyone’s lunch in China, IBM and Apple got together to build business apps, Microsoft brought Office to the iPad, MEAP vanished while MBaaS appeared, Apple launched a Swift way to Pay, HTML5 became a recommendation, Android dominated market share, Apple dominated revenue and the Internet of Things won the hype award. Whew!

With the ‘Year in Review’ out of the way, let’s talk about the things that will make the most impact in the enterprise mobility space in 2015. Expect the ‘Bring Your Own App’ (BYOA) trend to hit a speed bump by corporate mobile centers of excellence that require enterprise mobile apps to meet security standards around authentication, data at rest and data in transit. Mobile developers need to up their game to break into the enterprise. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) companies will continue their move from Mobile Device Management (MDM) to Mobile Application Management (MAM) to data protection and on to Identity and Access Management (IAM). The goalposts will always be moving in this space.

In the smartphone space, low-cost devices will continue to garner the most market share. Remember, once you leave the world of subsidized phone plans, economics takes over. The trick for enterprises looking to use them in corporate-liable scenarios is to ensure the mobile operating system meets security and manageability needs while performing well on low-end hardware.

With millions of Win32 apps currently running most global businesses, large investments will be made in moving these apps to modern, sandboxed, mobile operating systems. Unlike many of the large, monolithic desktop apps built for Windows over the last two decades, mobile apps focus on specific tasks. This means for every Win32 app, multiple mobile apps will be built. Additionally, they will take advantage of device sensors to provide employees with better contextual experiences.

With the back end systems of most enterprises unable to speak the language of mobile devices, let alone support their performance and scalability requirements, upgrading these on-premises systems or moving them to the cloud represents another large investment companies will be making. Some companies will wrap their existing systems in REST/JSON APIs; others will connect them to MBaaS offerings, while others purchase new vertically-integrated mobile packages.

Rapidly shrinking wireless and sensor-enabled chipsets with low power consumption have given rise to the Internet of Things (IoT) with IPv6 ensuring there are enough addresses to go around. When combined with things like streaming analytics, machine learning and cloud scale, this descendant of SCADA and M2M is going to help companies unlock insights that lead to cost savings and new revenue opportunities.

In the end, the promise of personal computing is being realized via small, portable, sensor-filled, picture-taking, supercomputing, payment processing, low-powered communication devices that connect the citizens of the world and that’s a good thing.

Increasing Revenue via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 4)

How can the Internet of Things (IoT) help your company increase revenue?

As an owner of vending machines in a building, a neighborhood, or throughout an urban area, how do you let people know what drinks and snacks you have available?  With remote inventory telemetry combined with the location of the associated vending machines streamed to the cloud, it’s just a matter of delivering a mobile app that allows people to find the nearby food or drink item they want with their smartphone.  In a manner similar to how Uber uses location and car availability to match riders with drivers, a mobile app can use GPS and available inventory to match hungry or thirsty people with a close by vending machine.  A person walking down the street can search for jalapeno chips and an orange soda in the app and be directed to a bank of available vending machines with the inventory to fulfill the request and you’ve made a sale.

Other IoT scenarios:

Reducing Expenses via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 3)

Increasing Revenue via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 3)

Increasing Revenue via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 2)

Reducing Expenses via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 2)

Increasing Revenue via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 1)

Reducing Expenses via the Internet of Things (IoT Example 1)

Windows Phone 8.1 is Here

For users of the Nokia Lumia 1520 on AT&T, the Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system update is available for immediate download.

The smartphone built from the ground-up to address the security and management needs of every enterprise has arrived.  Some of you developers and early adopters running the developer preview may need to use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to downgrade back to Windows Phone 8 before you phone will recognize that the Lumia Cyan update is available.  Here at Microsoft, we’ve created the ultimate device to span your business and personal life.  Our super-efficient operating system runs great on inexpensive hardware so no one gets left out.  Highlights include:

Cortana

She’s a personal digital assistant (Did I just say PDA?) powered by Bing that keeps track of your interests, makes appointments, answers questions,  provides helpful suggestions and reminds you of meetings.

Action Center

With a swipe of you finger, you get notifications, messages, alerts and configurable control of functions like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and brightness.

Start Screen

All devices get a third column of tiles with the option of making them translucent to reveal a background image.

Word Flow Keyboard

The world’s fastest keyboard (ask Guinness) delivers shape-writing out of the box, so get swiping.

Data Sense

This allows you to get the most out of your data plan by compressing images and text while warning you when you get close to the end of your plan.

Battery Saver

Extend your battery life up to 20%.

Internet Explorer 11

This hardware-accelerated, HTML5 web browser with JIT-compiled JavaScript supports unlimited tabs, InPrivate mode, inline video and reading mode.

Skype

Deep Skype integration allows you to upgrade incoming voice calls to video calls and Cortana is always happy to help you start a Skype call of any kind.

Volume

Select custom volume levels for the ringer, notifications, media, and apps while being able to quickly switch between silent or vibrate mode.

Device Encryption

BitLocker provides encryption for internal storage as well as the app partition of the SD card.

Enterprise Enrollment

Automatically configure devices for enrollment in Exchange, SharePoint, network profiles, certs and many other configurations all in a single step.

Certificates

Cert-based auth for accounts, Wi-Fi, VPN, web browser, and line of business apps.

Enterprise Wi-Fi

You get enterprise auth with PEAP-MSCHAPv2, EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS so now you get to use certs for Wi-Fi authentication.

Virtual Private Networking

App-triggered VPN including IPSec (IKEv2), SSL-VPN, Intranet SSO, auto-reconnect and support for split or forced tunneling.

S/MIME

Exchange encrypted email messages.

App Allow/Deny

IT can now require apps to be pushed to devices for installation as well as blocking certain apps or even the entire Microsoft Store.

Workplace

Enroll devices with enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions to enforce policies, provision profiles and distribute apps.

 

Windows Phone 8.1 not only fits the bill for BYOD scenarios but it has security and management capabilities needed to be a corporate-liable phone at your organization. I’m just scratching the surface here, so update your phone and find out for yourself.

– Rob