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Mobile VoIP Trends: Enterprise Mobility-as-a-Service Set for Growth

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July 27, 2012

Mobile VoIP Trends: Enterprise Mobility-as-a-Service Set for Growth

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

First there was enterprise mobility. Then, there was the cloud and software-as-a-service as an alternative to internal IT systems. Welcome to the next phase in corporate computing: enterprise mobility as a service (EMaaS).

EMaaS moves enterprise mobility to the cloud by outsourcing IT functions such as device management, security, app deployment and policy enforcement. Right now it is a niche service provided by only a few companies, but that should change in a hurry, predicted IT analyst Jack Gold in a recent article on the topic.

“I expect EMaaS to grow dramatically over the next three to four years and become 20 percent to 25 percent of the overall market for enterprise-directed applications and services,” Gold said in the article.

There are at least seven benefits of an EMaaS approach, Gold said.

First, cloud spending is an operational budget (OPEX (News - Alert)) item, not a capital expenditure (CAPEX), making EMaaS an easier sell for technology champions in a company.

Second, “EMaaS allows a mix-and-match approach between OPEX and CAPEX,” too, Gold pointed out, “since it is possible to supplement or partially replace internal facilities. That makes the transition smoother than with a rip-and-replace approach.”

A third benefit of EMaaS is its ease of adoption, allowing companies to be more responsive to changing technology trends.

Fourth, like other cloud services, this also means enterprise mobility can expand and contract as necessary. Instead of using a fixed-cost structure, Gold noted, companies can deploy and purchase only the mobility services they currently need.

“It provides more flexibility in choosing devices and applications and in providing management and end-user support,” he said. “The rapid pace of change that has been seen in the mobile market is likely to accelerate. Internal systems will have to strain to keep up.”

A fifth benefit is that EMaaS offers economy of scale over traditional enterprise mobility because it works in a shared environment where companies effectively pool resources. This lowers the total cost of ownership for a company’s enterprise mobility needs.

Finally, EMaaS makes it must easier and less costly to extend mobility solutions to partners, customers and affiliates, noted Gold.

Not that it is a good fit for all organizations. Highly regulated industries and those that require complete control (such as healthcare, finance, government and public safety) might not be well-suited for EMaaS.

“But even among these exceptions, I see opportunities for some level of EMaaS being provided for any users who are less subject to regulation or susceptible to data loss,” Gold suggested. “And I expect that EMaaS, over time, will achieve a level of security close to that of internal infrastructure.”

He predicted that large infrastructure and applications vendors such as SAP, Oracle, IBM and HP will expand and develop EMaaS offerings and focus on hosted and shared apps, and carriers such as AT&T (News - Alert), Verizon and Sprint will focus on managed services. Outsourcing vendors such as Accenture and Dell will get in on the action, too, as well as security vendors like McAfee and Symantec and mobile device management vendors such as Zenprise (News - Alert) and Mobileiron. This will lead to consolidation, too, as the smaller players partner with larger vendors to offer true EMaaS capabilities.

For many organizations, the emergence of EMaas will be the next area of conquest for the cloud over internal IT systems.

To find out more about REVE Systems, visit the company at ITEXPO. To be held Oct. 2-5 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert)  offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. Visit REVE Systems in booth # 320.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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