CTIA Fall 2011 was about how consumer applications, devices and services are meeting up with the enterprise and how the enterprise should plan and react. This can be seen from a number of different viewpoints. Consumer devices flowing into the enterprise and needing to be managed based on enterprise criteria. Enterprises reaching out and interacting with customers via their mobile phones and devices in a B to C arrangement. The mobile revolution that Steve Jobs created with the iPhone has now reached important levels inside enterprises. Decisions need to be made and solutions created that will allow enterprises to work in this environment and also be able to communicate and transact with customers effectively whether they by other businesses or consumers.
Enterprises adapting to the multi device environment
Vendors provided solutions for security and device management and capabilities for smartphones to improve productivity.
The EMF (Enterprise Mobility Foundation) (theemf.org) had a boot camp which laid out the basics and the primary issues of the enterprise mobility as well as gave real world examples of how that transition actually takes place. Much of this revolved around keeping data secure so that employees could take advantage of mobility on smartphones and tablets.
Nukona (www.nukona.com) discussed an apps based security system that in effect puts wrappers around applications so that they work in conjunction with enterprise policy. This in effect makes that communications between the device and behind the firewall secure and allows for employees to have personal applications on the phone. It also allows enterprises to adopt any smartphone, to manage the data on the phones effectively and deal with other issues like personal data, and lost and stolen phones or tablets.
SOTI.net (www.soti.net) also showed its MobiControl device management case study with American Airlines and the capability of the system to handle a wide variety of devices.
Video Conferencing and Distribution
Polycom (www.polycom.com) made a big demonstration of its HD quality video conferencing solution, RealPresence. It works on several tablets including iPad2, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Enterprises also are using video more in a mobile environment with smartphones and tablets. QUMU which was recently acquired by Rimage Corporation demonstrated its enterprise video optimization, security and distribution system. www.qumu.com
Enterprises Interacting with its Customers
There were a number of solutions providers that used the various capabilities of the smartphone and tablet to increase business efficiency or promote products.
The camera of the smartphone is becoming an important business tool. Mitek Systems (www.miteksystems.com) is using the camera to allow customers to deposit checks with their cellphone, and pay their bills by taking a picture of the bill. In addition, it is allowing insurance companies the ability to give quotes by taking a picture of a driver's license and an insurance bill. All of these solutions are saving people and companies time and money.
Jumio Netswipe Mobile is allowing the smartphone to be a secure credit card reader allowing for additional security via card in possession authentication. This allows for transfer of funds without an external device attachment like Square has. www.jumio.com
Scan Buy (www.scanbuy.com) is using the camera to scan bar codes which can then be sent to Facebook pages and Twitter messages to distribute content or coupons. The company has seen a 1,600% growth since 2010 in the amount of barcodes scanned by phones. The beauty of the Scan Buy solution is that is able to track the devices, carriers, movement of the barcode to twitter and Facebook, and redemption of coupons or activation of content which originated from a barcode. The analytics captured by smartphones are going to become increasingly important as more phones are used to make purchases. This is also evident in Neustar’s (www.neustar.com) purchase of TARGUSinfo. Neustar’s product lines include short code/barcode management services
Geo-fencing is not only being used to find people’s location it is being used to bring people together with products they enjoy. Hipcricket (www.hipcricket.com), recently purchased by Augme (www.augme.com) a mobile site development company, has a geofencing solution that allows customers to who like Blue Moon Beer to know where in an airport they can get Blue Moon on draft.
Call Intercept and Data Capability
Nuance (www.nuance.com) offers a call intercept solution that allows carriers and enterprises to change a phone call into an online experience, allowing customers to find information to commonly asked questions like account balances, or recent purchases, and to text or message customer service people. It is a lot more pleasing that dealing with an IVR system and the enterprise can save on IVR costs.
Mogreet (www.mogreet.com) took care of the messaging for the CTIA show but also talked about its solutions that allow radio broadcasters and other new media to extend their reach to a mobile phone. This included offering breaking news and multimedia content, song delivery, multimedia video advertising, contests and sweepstakes, daily deals and coupons and important analytics to track these activities.
Physical payments with a phone at a retail environment are still waiting to become mainstream and most of M-Commerce is on mobile web sites which make these sites vitally important. There were also examples of using iPod touches to speed registration at sporting events by Active Network (www.activenetwork.com). Next iterations will include doing this self service style on a smartphone. Active Networks also demonstrated a good solution for information and organization of events via a smartphone for very large events like Cisco Live to smaller chaotic events like swim meets.
Gemalto (www.gemalto.com) showed with a rail pass demo that NFC is not going to be just about payments but about permission with a transit train demonstration. The standardization of NFC will help bring down the costs of implementing entry permission systems as well as give better customer service like alerting companies if there is a problem or giving advice to transit card holders about train and bus arrivals, and delays.
Pay with cell phone also got some traction from PaymentOne (www.paymentone.com) and Charge Anywhere (www.chargeanywhere.com). PaymentOne charges payment for digital products to the carrier cell phone bill and introduced the ability for customer to view their purchase history. Charge Anywhere offers a Square like payment system that allows smaller merchants to use the cellphone and a card reader to take payments. Both of these products use the cell phone to facilitate commerce.