Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hot Mobile Topics Broadcast – Next Week!

It’s been a busy first few weeks for me as I dive into my new Mobile role at IBM. One of the big projects has been working with our product teams to think through the right solutions to best help our clients all around the world.   I’ve also been canvassing as many industry peers as I can who are leading thinkers on mobile to learn their perspectives and insights.

The great news is that on October 10 from 12:00-1:00 pm ET , we are hosting a virtual broadcast, “Speeding innovation and extending reach with Mobile Enterprise”.  We will be bringing together a range of mobile experts from across industries and geographies to examine mobile trends, challenges, and opportunities to transform how we work, sell and communicate. The in-depth discussions will focus on the latest mobile technologies and how successful enterprises are ahead of the trend.

In all my travels to talk with clients and experts over the past thirty days, one thing is abundantly clear – mobile is the hottest topic in the industry – more so than even cloud, security or social (and yes, they all do fit together as well.) What makes mobile such a hot topic is this – it’s deeply personal, we can all relate to it and have experience with it, and everyone admits we’re just scratching the surface of it.

When you consider that in 2012, the shipment of smart phones and tablets is expected to exceed that of traditional computers and laptops, and consider that in 2013 there will be more mobile devices in existence on the planet than people – many of us must be carrying lots of devices! (Going out on a limb here – remember 9% of the world population is under age of 5 – they probably don’t have devices yet. Another 8% are age 5-9 and most probably don’t have devices either!) (see data here for details).

This data was confirmed by my very unscientific crowd survey at the ITExpo Keynote I gave in Austin, TX earlier this week. When I asked the crowd how many of them had 3 or more devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone), over half the room raised their hand, and almost 1/4 of the room carried two or more smartphones!

Both business and IT executives at companies large and small know they need to take advantage of mobile devices to provide access to their internal systems and processes for employees, as well as to enable easier purchasing and support services for their customers. Most also recognize that mobile devices are also creating a unique opportunity to connect with and interact with employees, customers and partners, leveraging real-time data, information and expertise to drive better, and more meaningful engagement and transactions.

But — embracing mobile is difficult — and it’s not as easy as just creating a simple app because you also have to think about:

· The variety of devices used
· Employees who increasingly wish to use their own devices at work
· Application level and device management
· Cost controls
· Security concerns

And yet, on the positive side, the clients see the real opportunity to use mobile technology as the catalyst to improve employee productivity, increase customer satisfaction, grow market share, drive innovation and improve client loyalty.
During our broadcast on October 10th, the group of experts we’re convening will discuss how to:

· Extend existing business capabilities to mobile devices
· Transform your business by creating new opportunities around mobile solutions
· Build mobile applications and connect them to, and run, back-end systems in support of mobile
· Manage mobile devices, services and applications, and secure your mobile business

TV host and technology expert Katie Linendoll will moderate the broadcast that features some of the leading IBM thinkers, a case study of Tire and Battery Corp (TBC)’s use of mobile to transform their business, an Air Canada example (for all you Road Warriors out there) and IT analysts and other experts who can share the new opportunities they’re seeing.

If you’re building out a mobile strategy, or looking to improve your current mobile capabilities, you definitely cannot afford to miss this broadcast.

You can follow online conversations around the broadcast by following the #ibmmobile tag.

Yes Its True….!

Over the past few weeks it has been rumored that I was taking a new role to lead Mobile marketing across IBM – and yes it’s true! (Special shout out to thevarguy for reporting it first…) As many of you know, for the past three years I’ve had the privilege of leading IBM’s business development and marketing around all of IBM’s ISV partners, our start-up programs and our efforts around the globe with colleges and universities. As my good colleague Mike Grandinetti often said when he introduced me at various start-up or venture capital events “Mike has one of the coolest titles and jobs in IBM…”

It was a cool job indeed — working with our best ISV/application alliance partners, so many entrepreneurs and leading edge inventors in the start-up community, and so many great teachers and administrators at colleges around the world who dedicate their lives to teaching and empowering students to be successful in life. It has been incredible to see the uptake of IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy in all these areas – with hundreds of key ISVs embracing our Smarter Planet industry blueprints, over 1000+ start-ups working on cool smarter planet related business models amidst our venture capital network, and millions of students (literally) being trained on key new skills like analytics, mobile technologies, smarter commerce, smarter healthcare, and so many other areas.

And quite honestly – I expect a similarly cool outcome in my new job leading the mobile computing marketing and strategy for IBM around the globe.  As you would all expect, IBM sees the mobile revolution as one of the great technology revolutions facing our clients and the technology industry and we’ll be leveraging all of our company’s strengths to help our clients adapt and leverage the mobile era.

Judging by most of the discussions I have had during my first month in the role – it feels like we’re still in the very early stages of the mobile revolution. As Dan Rowinski of RedWriteMobile said to me at a small gathering of thought leaders last week in Boston – mobile consumer is at 3.0 and companies are at 1.0. So we’re just a the beginning of the mobile revolution. In some ways it feels like the beginning of the web revolution – everyone knows they need to embrace mobile somehow, many are putting out new apps to get started, but very few companies have a holistic, breakthrough strategy to really take advantage of the mobile revolution.

Are you seeing similar? Can you share any great breakthrough strategies you have seen in the mobile space?