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Here at Channel Insider, mobile is always on the radar screen. In 2009, the mobile market saw Android make a splash, Windows Mobile lose market share and Apple gain traction in the enterprise. So, what does 2010 hold for the mobile software and device market? Channel Insider sat down with Al Crawford, VP of Technology for mobile computing company and VAR favorite CipherLab to get his view on next year’s mobile trends and get the inside scoop on what Cipher is planning for 2010.

What trends in mobile computing are you excited about for 2010?

We have been watching the Google Android world very closely. Android is one of the only true multi-tasking operating systems in the mobile marketplace.  From a business perspective it will probably be the No. 1 operating system for business smart phones by the end of 2010.  The largest smart phone manufacturer in the world (HTC) is now moving to Android along with Motorola…..where would you put your money?
So, what’s 2010 look like for CipherLab?

CipherLab USA is having good success despite the current recession. Our solution-based sales approach, along with very affordable mobile devices which allow companies with tighter budgets to move forward with technology solutions. We expect 2010 to be our best year.

What should CipherLab VARs look for in 2010? Are you making any changes to your partner programs to make it easier for them to communicate and sell CipherLab products?

As always, CipherLab will continue to deliver technical and sales support “second to none.” Because we strongly believe in human-to-human support, CipherLab has never had auto attendants, online FAQs or unskilled personnel to support our VARs, and we won’t have any of those in 2010.

CipherLab is currently developing applications and tools to assist VARs and integrators to easily develop solutions for their customers.  In 2010, CipherLab will be expanding its offerings with solutions provided to VARs like Quickbooks Accounting and POS interfaces, communications tools, and custom programming.

CipherLab is also currently working with wireless companies to incorporate and integrate technologies as a solution.  For example Verizon’s MiFi 2200 mobile router is becoming a big success story for both companies.  Mobile users can purchase an inexpensive 802.11 device and in minutes connect to Verizon’s cellular data system almost anywhere in the U.S.  We are currently working with AT&T and Verizon smart phones to connect the new CipherLab 1160 bluetooth barcode scanner to the Blackberry and Android cell phones. This SDK tool will be made available to the channel partners for business application development on smart phones. With Google’s backing of the Android technology, we expect this to be very successful.

What differentiates you from competitors like Motorola and Honeywell?

Well this is the David and Goliath challenge. Without question they are the leaders, but we have the advantage of quick response. Many of the 2010 strategies I pointed out are much easier for a smaller company. As we develop new products and solutions our chain of command is much smaller and we can react to market changes much quicker. Where we really shine is with small to medium business customers, typically too small for the Goliath. There are many more SMBs than Fortune 500, and it also makes our sales cycles much shorter.What makes a CipherLab VAR successful?The top 10 CipherLab resellers tap us almost daily for new solutions for their customers. Why? Because they solution sell and together we offer the best hardware for the job along with good software packages for custom designs.

For example, CipherLab now offers a large amount of pre-packaged and pre-tested offerings for Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) . Migrating to bundled turnkey solutions isn’t new, but what is new is that CipherLab is taking the time to integrate these solutions before a reseller has to. This trend is a direct result of the current economic environment we live in, where every penny and second counts. Offering a pre-tested, turnkey solution reduces the time and resources end-users need to choose the right products for their business while helping resellers add to their bottom line. Furthermore, end-users get a solution that isn’t cobbled together and doesn’t take months to integrate.

Besides these solutions, a CipherLab VAR becomes successful because CipherLab provides something many VARs cannot: data communication skills. At CipherLab, communication skills are our middle name

Any upcoming products that we should know about?

CipherLab has introduced two new Windows CE products (9300 and 9600) that are designed specifically for the SMB world.  As I mentioned we expect the new 1160 scanner to do well in the cellular marketplace, which will make mobile business computing very affordable to almost any size business.  CipherLab has been delivering wireless barcode scanners for the past several years, and our new 1562 is a great fit for POS, smartphones, tablets and laptops.