How Mobility Needs to be Managed

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

With 30 years’ experience delivering end-to-end mobile solutions to the Fortune 1000, SAP services partner Stratix has seen the mobile industry reshape and regroup itself numerous times around new business trends, disruptive technologies, changing consumer attitudes, and macroeconomic shifts. Throughout, Stratix has maintained a tight focus on helping companies integrate mobile into their business environments. Today its customer portfolio includes some of the biggest names in American business: Caterpillar, Hallmark, and Genuine Parts Company, to name a few.

This year, Stratix achieved industry recognition for its focus and leadership in the rapidly evolving field of enterprise managed mobile services (MMS). As the industry’s leading MMS provider, Stratix was named by Gartner, Inc., in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services.

First Magic Quadrant focused on MMS

This is the first time Gartner has issued a Magic Quadrant focused on this segment of the mobile market. In formulating the MMS Magic Quadrant, Gartner evaluated the IT services of external providers used by businesses to plan, procure, activate, manage, and support mobile devices, network services, and mobile applications.

Next page: A turning point in the industry

For industry watchers, this new quadrant signals recognition of the growing importance of MMS in business as a means to integrate mobile into corporate strategy, while managing for the inherent complexities of its deployment, infrastructure, and support.  For SAP’s customers, its partnership with Stratix reduces risk, in terms of both business continuity and mobile-technology obsolescence. It also outsources the time-consuming distraction of device management, which frees employees to concentrate on more core, revenue-enhancing activities.

“We believe our inclusion in Gartner’s Global Magic Quadrant validates Stratix’s thought leadership, capabilities, and expertise as we help the world’s largest enterprises mobilize staff and manage complexity,” says Gina Gallo, CEO, Stratix. “The MMS Quadrant marks a turning point in the industry. For the first time, Gartner has recognized the enormous growth prospects beyond traditional Mobile Device Management, as well as every company’s basic need for a coherent and flexible mobile strategy. We look forward to continuing our investment in innovative next generation mobile services and business analytics.”

Mobile brings new challenges for enterprise IT

Commonly cited statistics underscore the growing importance of mobile in business. For example: by 2015, 70% of customer interaction will originate from a mobile device; 90% of CIOs expect to deploy mobile applications in their company in the next 6-12 months; 97% of organizations indicate that all or some of their employees will have an employee-liable device (Gartner, 2011). These numbers, however, do not hint at the intricacies involved in integrating mobile in the enterprise.

Next page: More managed mobile services are a business requirement

“What is common with all these statistics is that organizations are really challenged on how to support these goals,” says Gina Daniel-Lee, vice president, Strategic Alliances, Stratix. “So, they’re looking for companies like Stratix that have a Managed Mobile Services portfolio to help support them.”

Customer requirements continue to evolve to ever-heightening levels of complexity, as well – contributing a key market driver for MMS. “It used to also be that enterprises would choose a single vendor that they would work with, a single device, a single operating system,” says Daniel-Lee. “Today it is a very diverse equation. Customers are looking to deploy multiple devices, multiple operating systems, and having to support them all within the same environment. This has led to the very rapid growth of the need to have managed mobile services within the enterprise.”

Mobile portfolio diversifies over time

Stratix first began offering mobile services for the retail industry three decades ago, when mobile was starting to enter the supply chain. At that time, it was a new type of technology for the enterprise environment and companies did not have the in-house expertise to evaluate, deploy, and support it.

Next page: Stratix becomes SAP reseller and services partner

Through the mid-1990s, Stratix built out its managed mobile services portfolio (though not called that at the time), while it continued its focus on retail. As the U.S. economy entered a downturn in 2000, Stratix diversified its customer portfolio into complementary markets like field services, and transportation and logistics. In response to customer requests for greater support, Stratix also diversified its partner portfolio to include new hardware providers, as well as technology and application providers, like SAP, for which it is a services partner as well as an SAP reseller through its relationship with technology distributor Ingram Micro.

Stratix now offers its customers a Mobile Device Management (MDM) portfolio that includes service, administration, and support based on the SAP Afaria platform. MDM is proving to be a key component of mobile strategy in business, especially in bring-your-own device (BYOD) scenarios in which companies must manage a wide range of equipment, including employee-liable devices (for more information, read the SAP Business Trends blog: “5 Tips for Getting Started with BYOD”).

Stratix moves into additional markets

“As our customers have asked us to do more, we’ve diversified our portfolio and we continue to focus on mobile,” says Daniel-Lee. “Because there is such a lack of understanding of the end-to-end complexities around mobile, we are now being asked to have seats at the table in industries that have not been our traditional market, like insurance, education, healthcare, and hospitality.”