Carriers Are Missing Mobile LinkBy Michael Vizard | Posted 2008-08-05 Email Print
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Carriers such as Verizon will have to get channel savvy fast if they want to capitalize on the shift to smart phones as a primary device for mobile computing.
With smart phones increasingly becoming a mainstream element of enterprise computing, mobile computing is an expanding opportunity for the channel.
The problem with that opportunity, however, is that it requires solution providers to work more closely with telecommunication carriers that for the most part are channel ignorant.
One of Motorola’s key partners in the endeavor is Verizon, which at a recent press event in New York pledged to educate its sales force about the value of selling higher-end smart phones in corporate environments as opposed to just pushing the standard consumer models available from any number of vendors.
Of course, the problem with the pledge is that Motorola already has a large number of solution providers pushing its wares in corporate environments. So, even if Verizon follows up on its pledge, the potential for Verizon to create conflicts with Motorola’s existing channel partners is high.
To make their plans successful, telecommunications carriers need to get serious about working with partners to push mobile computing solutions. There’s not much money to be made reselling smart phones. The real money is to be made from the development, deployment and management of applications that make use of smart phones.
Smart phones are well on their way to being ubiquitous. Arguably, they are supplanting notebooks as the primary mobile computing device as notebooks increasingly become relegated to the role of creating content while smart phones become the primary device for consuming content.
But telecommunications carriers don’t have the expertise to sell custom mobile solutions to corporations. They excel at the mass marketing of products. But if they want to take mobile computing in the enterprise to the next level, they are going to have to develop effective channel relationships.
Of course, we can hope that companies such as Motorola will use their considerable influence with carriers to help create those channel relationships. But in the meantime, the carriers have a golden opportunity to drive awareness of mobile computing solutions in the enterprise, if they can only find a way to get out of their own way.