Enterprise Smartphones: Now the Heavy Lifting Begins

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More than three-quarters of U.S. and EMEA enterprise decision makers recently interviewed by InfoTech for its “Driving Enterprise Smartphone Sales” report have begun equipping mobile workers with smartphones.

Smartphone vendors and channels have been successful in convincing large U.S. and EMEA businesses to begin deploying multifunctional handhelds. Now the challenge is to convert this broad but shallow coverage into deep, pervasive smartphone utilization.

More than three-quarters of U.S. and EMEA enterprise decision makers recently interviewed by InfoTech for its “Driving Enterprise Smartphone Sales” report have begun equipping mobile workers with smartphones. “However, the vast majority of these companies have fewer than one-quarter of their mobile employees using the device,” says Jeanine Sterling, vice president for the “InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility” (IEM) program. “There’s plenty of room for smartphone growth within these companies. Current customers – rather than new prospects – offer vendors the greater incremental sales opportunity, but now vendors have to get canny on how to make that happen.”

She continues, “Our interviewees were very clear that they expect to roll out smartphones (both full-keyboard and 12-button models) to significantly more mobile workers between now and 2009 – and they have firm ideas regarding which mobile employee types will be first in line.”

What is interesting in the interviewees’ feedback is that it’s not just the “traveling worker” who is considered a good smartphone candidate. Enterprises expect the next wave of significant growth in smartphone utilization to include certain on-campus roamer categories. “This may reflect an increasing corporate desire to keep even on-premises workers constantly tethered and accessible – both on and off the job,” adds Sterling.

Vendors and channels will need to promote usage by these particular segments when they pitch their smartphone portfolios to the purchase decision maker. “And, no, it’s not the end user who’s deciding whether to buy anymore,” Sterling clarifies. In the United States, in particular, enterprises report that the IT organization is exerting stronger control over smartphone platform and device decisions – for both integration and security reasons. And if it is not the IT organization acting autonomously, it is a collaborative team of technology, business unit and staff representatives that needs to be convinced to buy.

“So the easy direct sale to the CEO has been pretty much exhausted. Now vendors and channels must better understand who now buys, which employee segments are the low-hanging fruit and which smartphone functions have the highest value in today’s business sector,” Sterling concludes. “Combine that with a good strategic pricing strategy, and you’ve got your next-wave smartphone marketing plan.”

About InfoTech

InfoTech, part of The Telecom Intelligence Group, publishes a series of 10 annual reports on enterprise mobile communications as part of its “InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility” program. Its just-released report, “Driving Enterprise Smartphone Sales,” analyzes the burgeoning market for smartphones, and it defines the critical factors vendors and channels must recognize to drive future sales in the U.S. and EMEA enterprise sectors. Topics include current and projected enterprise preferences and plans, high-potential mobile worker segments, high-value smartphone functions, potential displacement impacts on other voice-communications devices and projected product-adoption cycles.

For more information on the IEM program and the “Driving Enterprise Smartphone Sales” report, please visit http://www.telecomweb.com/marketresearch/enterprisemobility/smartphone6_06/ or contact Craig Born cborn@accessintel.com/ or 973/602-0123.

About The Telecom Intelligence Group

The Telecom Intelligence Group includes market-intelligence provider InfoTech; “TelecomWeb” and “TelecomWeb news break;” newsletters “Wireless Business Forecast,” “Broadband Business Forecast,” “Telecom Policy Report and Inside Digital TV;” tariff consultancy Tarifica; and the Web-based business-telephony-product database TelecomTactics. For more information, please visit http://www.TelecomWeb.com.


Jeanine Sterling, vice president and program director, 586/228-0687

Sharon Valencik, marketing director, 800/610-3109

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