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

their lo­ca­tion.

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.”

Vir­tu­al­iz­ing ap­pli­ca­tions

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.

Ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment

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.

Road ahead

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.

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