What Your Carrier Isn't Telling You
Posted: 06.04 - By Matt Purdue

With all the buzz over ring tones, SMS dating and other consumer detritus, it is easy to forget that it’s the enterprise manager who holds the reins of wireless data. According to a new report from Cambridge University and Chicago-based consulting giant A.T. Kearney, “The Mobile Mindset,” the “business market is the hottest market out there.”

The study, written for telecom providers, offers some insight into how carriers might approach enterprise telecom dollars. Armed with this inside information, CIOs can gain some leverage during the next sit-down with a wireless vendor.

Half of all U.S. corporations will use some form of wireless data service in the next two years, according to the study, which adds that this “growth spurt is still in its infancy.” To realize these gains, vendors must “clearly and explicitly” understand your strategic goals and business model. Only then can they match their products and services with your needs.

Carriers must also begin to show a correlation between new offerings and enhanced business performance, the study reports.

Carriers must also forge tight partnerships with vertical software providers and systems integrators to supply necessary solutions. “A single, bundled solution that delivers end-to-end capabilities” might still be a pipe dream, but vendors should show they are moving in that direction.

Finally, the study predicts that by 2007 companies will spend $9.5 billion on hybrid devices, handhelds that double as mobile phones and PDAs. Carriers who work with device manufacturers like Nokia and PalmOne might say you are ready for hybrids, but without taking a close look at your business requirements, all that talk is just static on the line.•

—Matt Purdue


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