As digital agencies jockey for space developing mobile apps alongside traditional IT resellers, Darren Besgrove, BlinkMobile Interactive director, looks at the role of the reseller.
With the industry largely equating mobility solutions with mobile apps, many of the traditional IT channel participants are running into new competitive forces.
Digital agencies for example are positioning themselves in this space with a value proposition built on design and cool graphics, something not traditionally core skill sets of the traditional IT value added reseller or systems integrator.
So how does the IT channel earn a place in the emerging world of mobility and what role does a mobile enterprise application platform play?
The first point to make is that true enterprise mobility cannot be easily aligned with the ‘infotainment’ side of mobility.
Enterprise solutions always have and always will be driven by commercial grade design, build, test, deployment and management solutions.
Robust environments created to deal with the complexities of security, redundancy, reporting and ongoing management, without sacrificing the agility and flexibility that the medium demands.
The other point to note is that enterprise mobility is not about building a cornerstone app or two.
Enterprise mobility requires looking at all aspects of the organisation and treating mobility as an enabling technology, a fundamental piece of an organisation’s infrastructure, ‘plumbing’ that allows services to be turned on, as and when they are needed.
The journey is just beginning
In many ways, having the digital agency sell in the first app can work to the advantage of the VAR or SI, because it allows you to ask the questions, ‘so what do you plan to do next?’ and ‘how will you engage different classes of customer, or your business partners, contractors and the many different staff/departmental needs?’
For most complex organisations, mobility is a journey that’s only just beginning and resellers have a real role to play assisting organisations to look to the future and help them avoid a mobile repetition of the desktop ‘app outbreaks’ of the past.
CIOs and IT departments value this counseling, but it needs to go hand in hand with a solution suggestion built around the needs of the enterprise.
A mobile enterprise mobility platform is designed to handle all the ‘heavy lifting’ in mobile development and remove from the VAR and their client all the device end issues, allowing the VAR/SI to do what they do best in terms of consulting, project management and data integration with APIs and web-services.
Platforms make for far quicker development timescales because functions like reporting, security/access, geo-location, time zone handling, international deployment, enhanced device memory management, online/offline operation and signature panels have all been resolved within the platform and are simply able to be ‘called’ as required as part of a solution.
This is not an area VARs/SI’s can pay scant attention to. To be regarded as a credible and trusted source requires immersing one’s business and people in this rapidly evolving opportunity of enterprise mobility.