THE PROMISE OF ENTERPRISE MOBILITY
The adoption of mobility solutions and services is growing beyond expectation in the country, and presents a multi-billion dollar opportunity to partners
Enterprise mobility (EM) is broadly described as a set of technologies that enable an enterprise to securely permit its workforce to access and consume enterprise IT applications and services through any device of their choice. It is also one of the hottest technology opportunities to emerge in the past two years for information technology solution providers.
Deloitte predicts the global market for mobility related IT services and applications to be worth $140 billion by 2020, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the IT services market. Forrester Research says the total market, which includes enterprise mobile handset purchases, was worth $84 billion in 2013; this is forecast to grow at CAGR of 40 percent. In India, according to Zinnov Research, the EM market is estimated at around $244 million and is expected to cross $1 billion in FY2015-16.
The key factor driving the increasing adoption of EM across organizations is the consumerization of IT-led by the abundance of smart devices at affordable prices, thus making real-time access to enterprise systems possible for employees and customers irrespective of
“The fastest way we could address the growing enterprise mobility requirements of our customers was to grow inorganically through an acquisition” AJAY SAWANT MD, Orient Technologies
Besides, macro-economic trends such as spiraling commuting and real-estate costs are forcing organizations to look at employees tele-working and working on the move. In fact VDC Research says that by the end of this year about one-third of the total workforce globally will be mobile, and that the number of mobile workers will cross 1.2 billion. It also predicts a huge shortfall in applications and services that enterprise mobile workers require, and says this could be the biggest opportunity for an IT solutions provider.
“The technology landscape is changing rapidly,” points out Vishal Tripathi, Principal Analyst, Gartner India. “Broadband speeds have improved, and the constant speed bumps in smartphones and tablets have reduced the performance gap with PCs. While we are at it, let’s not forget that a mobile device for a knowledge worker is a very personal choice.”
Deloitte says that the adoption of EM services is more in industries having a high number of customer transactions such as BFSI and retail. This is followed by government, healthcare and media. Large customer facing industries such as telecom and hospitality have already rolled out multiple applications on devices.
Almost all enterprise vendors and most enterprise channels have woken up to the opportunity. Some have been faster than others in tapping the market prospects.
Mumbai-based SI, Orient Technologies, acquired Bengaluru-based Orbis Media Technologies in December 2013. This has helped Orient to transform itself from being a supplier of hardware and software to becoming a more complete IT solutions provider. Orbis has developed two mobile platforms—Quikformz, a dynamic mobile application builder for field-force management, and Kony, a cloud-based platform for the application software development lifecycle that helps enterprises to define, design, build, test, deploy and manage multi-channel apps. “The fastest way we could address the requirements of our customers was to grow inorganically through an acquisition,” explains Ajay Sawant, MD, Orient.
Delhi-based Bar Code India is another partner which has built a successful business practice around EM. “For us it was a natural progression,” says Praveen Kishore, COO, Bar Code. “For many years we were servicing customers in logistics, retail and transportation in projects around RFID, Windows CE platform and barcode scanners. Today, with many of these functionalities built inside a mobile phone or tablet, we are able to migrate people to use their
“We have cracked average deal sizes of between 20 lakh and a crore, and have rolled out a number of EM projects in retail, healthcare, pharma and BFSI” MAHESH TOMAR Head, Infrastructure Build, Team Computers
personal mobile devices to access applications such as supply chain or ERP.”
“We have cracked average deal sizes of between ` 20 lakh and a crore, and have rolled out a number of EM projects in retail, healthcare, pharma and BFSI. We expect EM to account for 20-25 percent of our services revenue in 2014,” says Mahesh Tomar, Head, Infrastructur Build, Team Computers, Delhi.
Chennai-based Futurenet Technologies has been pushing BYOD and CYOD solutions inside enterprise campuses for the past two years and has bagged nearly
a dozen projects. Says L Ashok, MD, Futurenet, “To help our team grow the business we moved around 60 of our users to sell our BYOD and CYOD practice around the Citrix XenApp and XenMobile platform. The idea is to eat your own dog-food before you prescribe it for others.”
Of the many challenges involved in rolling out a BYOD project, one is that a majority, according to Forrester, 92 percent of enterprise applications are not ready for consumption by tablets or smartphones. “Most traditional enterprise applications have been designed essentially for consumption over PCs,” explains Vijender Yadav, Director & CTO, Propalms India. “While many of them are Web-enabled they are not typically designed for the smaller screens of a phone or tablet.”
This is seen as an opportunity by most virtualization vendors who are selling application virtualization solutions. Over the past 12 months, Citrix India has trained over 100 partners on the XenMobile platform which allows enterprises to virtualize a non-native application for a mobile platform. “We are providing 100 licenses for a premium partner and up to 25 test licenses for a smaller partner so that they can train their own staff and experience the power of virtualized desktops and applications before pitching them to their customer base,” says Seemant Chaudhary, Director, EM & Transformation, India Subcontinent, Citrix Systems.
VMware has acquired companies such as ThinApp and AirWatch to roll out its own application virtualization platform especially for customers planning to implement BYOD or CYOD. Explains Ganesan Arumugam, Senior Director, Partners & SMB Sales, VMware India & Saarc, “Suppose you have legacy applications such as a Web-based application that requires Internet Explorer 6 or a legacy app that runs only on Windows XP. By using VMware ThinApp you
“To help grow the mobility business, we moved 60 of our employees to BYOD. The idea is to eat your own dog-food before you prescribe it for others” L ASHOK MD, Futurenet Technologies
can create a container within your device which helps you get the same experience.”
While the recommended practice for many customers is to port the application to any of the mobile platforms, the cost of porting applications can vary depending on the complexity of the task involved.
In H22013 Delhi-based V-Core Solutions deployed Propalms TSE on iPADs for doctors of a leading cancer hospital in Delhi to virtualize a Windowsbased application that needed a laptop or a desktop to access. The doctors wanted to access patient records while doing their rounds, but carrying a laptop was cumbersome. “The customer did consider porting the application to iOS, but at approximately ` 9,000 per device, and nominal systems integration costs, application virtualization was found to be a more costeffective option,” says Yadav.
Mumbai-based Mikroz InfoSecurity also rolled out a project for a manufacturing major whereby SAP ERP data was made available on Android tablets by virtualizing the SAP client application.
Though application virtualization is perhaps the fastest way to port enterprise applications to mobile devices, there are challenges. Comments Limesh Parekh, CEO, Enjay IT Solutions, Bhilad, “The biggest challenge is that a virtualized application can rarely match the look
“Most traditional enterprise apps are designed for consumption over PCs. While many of them are Web-enabled, they are not designed for a phone or tablet” VIJENDER YADAV Director & CTO, Propalms India
and feel of a native Android app or an iOS app. This is where you will need an application to be integrated or the client application created from scratch for the targeted platform.”
Building mobility applications for existing products is one of the models partners such as Parekh have explored. “We have several applications on the mobile platform that are being used as part of a more common solution. An example is our mobile call logging system which has extensible APIs that can be used for integration with any CRM application. We also sell it as a solution along with Sugar CRM,” he adds. He says that while the consumerization of IT provides a number of models to sell mobile applications, its project-based revenue that helps companies such as his.
Bengaluru-based 3P Technologies, a Tally partner, took advantage of the fact that Tally was not very keen to build a mobile application. 3P launched a platform called Juno which has a native Android application that connects to the enterprise Tally.NET server and provides a dashboard for registered Tally customers. The application, which was launched in Q22013, has already bagged more than 50,000 users. “We see the number growing because almost every business owner has a smartphone and would like to access data on his mobile screen,” says Saurabh Srivastava, CEO, 3P.
Pune-based Mobien Technologies has evolved into a full-fledged mobile application vendor and is focusing
“The biggest challenge is that a virtualized application can rarely match the look and feel of a native Android application or an iOS application” LIMESH PAREKH CEO, Enjay IT Solutions
on migrating legacy enterprise applications to mobileready platforms. Informs Ajit Gokhale, CEO, Mobien, “Our iNotify platform has around 60 customers, and we have built revenue of over ` 13 crore in the past one year, with almost all coming from EM services around application migration and modernization.”
Hyderabad-based Shell Networks has set up an Android development team to cater to existing customers. “We realized that almost all our existing customers needed some service or the other to be made available on a mobile device. Our first few projects have been from the government and education sectors,” says AL Srinath, CEO, Shell.
While application development offers a lot of potential, many partners are wary of jumping into mobile application development. Apart from competition, the overhead costs of building and maintaining teams bother many.
There are four dominant platforms—Apple
“We have 60 customers on our iNotify platform, and we have built revenue of 13 crore in one year on EM services around application migration and modernization” AJIT GOKHALE CEO, Mobien Technologies
iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows 8 and BlackBerry—which are vying for market share in India. Though many customers have started perceiving BlackBerry as a legacy solution, and are considering migrating to other platforms, BlackBerry India is betting on channels to stem the attrition.
“The majority of large Indian enterprises have deployed business solutions on top of BlackBerry Enterprise Servers,” says Akash Mainra, Business Lead, Large Enterprise, BlackBerry India. “We have strengthened both our tier-2 channels and ISV platforms. Many of our tier-2 channels which do not have in-house development teams are being supported by our ISVs such as Wipro.”
Though the smartphone and tablet markets are dominated by Google’s Android platform, Google is relying on its developer connect teams to enable the channel community. “Android and iOS skills are the most in demand, and fortunately there is a good supply
“We have strengthened our tier-2 channels and ISV platforms. Many tier-2 channels which do not have in-house development teams are being supported by our ISVs” AKASH MAINRA Business Lead, Large Enterprise, BlackBerry
of good talent in the country,” says Srinath.
Microsoft, which is currently catching up with the rest of the market, is investing heavily in enabling channel partners who are keen to build an EM practice. Adds Srikanth Karnakota, Director, Servers & Cloud Business, Microsoft India, “We are helping a set of partners to become ISVs by training them in key skillsets. A bigger opportunity exists on the consulting side where we are educating partners on how they can position themselves as solutions providers of all the stacks.”
Security & MDM
The biggest concern for customers deploying EM is around security. Users often access sensitive applications and data that may be stored on the device or in a private or public cloud. There are many crossplatform security controls such as authentication, encryption, device wipe and anti malware. “However, the number of different security capabilities supported across different OS types and versions makes it difficult for security and management vendors to provide uniform policy enforcement across all devices,” says Vishak Raman, VP, Tata Communications. “Cloud security must also be assessed as a component of an overall mobile strategy.”
One of the key challenges around BYOD and CYOD implementations are around authentication. “Enterprises must be able to authenticate users and grant access to appropriate business resources. There are three aspects of identity and access management to focus on: single sign-on, adaptive access control and privacy. We have created a framework which has been deployed across more than 20 enterprises and which allows them to migrate users to mobile devices without worrying about security issues,” says Uttam Majumdar, Founder & President, Consulting & Services, Locuz Enterprise Solutions.
Remarks Rajesh Maurya, Country Manager, Fortinet India, “We believe the next generation firewall will play
“We are helping partners to become ISVs. For opportunities in consulting, where we are educating them on how to position themselves as solutions providers” SRIKANTH KARNAKOTA Director, Servers & Cloud Business, Microsoft
“While we believe almost 60 percent of corporate desktops have licensed antivirus, just one percent of smartphones have antivirus installed” PANKAJ JAIN Director, ESS Distribution
a bigger role as customers roll out BYOD. CIOs would want edge devices to control user behavior so that data leakages are stopped and applications are not accessed without authorization.”
A more pertinent challenge which many CIOs face is around virus attacks and data leaks. “While we believe almost 60 percent of corporate desktops have licensed antivirus, just 1 percent of smartphones have antivirus installed,” says Pankaj Jain, Director, ESS Distribution, Mumbai. “This represents a major opening for any partner to start discussing mobile security with customers.”
To the vast majority of MSPs in tier-2 channels, mobile device management (MDM) is an extremely promising opportunity. However, many admit that most customers have not yet taken seriously the security and management of the smartphones and tablets that employees own. “But we expect all that to change soon,” remarks Nanda Kumar, VP, Kaseya India.
Gartner India has forecast that by 2016 38 percent of enterprises will roll out their own BYOD or CYOD strategy.
“The implementation of BYOD programs aggravates the challenges of information security, device management and workspace delivery,” says Jagdish Mahapatra, MD, India & Saarc, McAfee. He says that an ideal solution for partners would be to bundle data leak prevention solutions along with MDM products.
Endpoint security controls, MDM tools and workspace delivery mechanisms are inconsistently implemented across numerous mobile platforms. This is making it difficult for most vendors to offer stable tools that can cater to all platforms.
To solve the problem network hardware vendors will step in to offer MDM-based solutions with Layer 7 devices. “In future we will see solutions that will protect content with contextual management based on attributes such as location, role, time of day and type of content. Security will be present at all layers from the device through the application,” predicts Shibu Paul, Regional Sales Director, India, ME & SEA, Array Networks.
In 2014, almost every IT decision inside an enterprise will have mobility as a standard, and this will mean that channels cannot ignore the subject of mobility in any discussion with their customers. This in turn calls for preparedness—which the IT channels must invest in.