04/16/2014

Zebra Goes All-In to Become AIDC Powerhouse

MSI’s enterprise business unit opens the door to broader client base and diversified offerings

Yesterday, Zebra Technologies announced the purchase of Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business for $3.45 billion.  The acquisition will provide Zebra with the opportunity to access new technology markets in addition to extending its geographical reach and serving 95% of Fortune 500 companies worldwide. More importantly, however, the purchase will broaden Zebra’s product and service portfolio to encompass nearly all areas of data capture and asset tracking, from barcode printing to scanning solutions, mobile computing, and software.

Currently, Zebra is the leading barcode printer vendor with a considerable margin over the competition in global market share for a market that is over $1 billion in size. However, as we mentioned in VDC’s Auto ID and Data Capture blog in February, the company has experienced a flattening of revenues in its core businesses and has been looking to innovate and expand their global presence through new avenues and acquisitions.

A bold but risky move

Although the deal makes sense from a strategic point of view, the financial side underscores the magnitude of the deal; of the $3.45 billion, only $200 million comes from Zebra’s cash on hand, with the rest coming from new debt, as the firm currently carries none. Motorola Solutions’ earnings for its enterprise business far outstrip those of Zebra, with earnings of $2.5 billion versus $1 billion for Zebra.

VDC considers this to be a very interesting move by Zebra Technologies, particularly as the company is taking on an entity that is much bigger than itself. While we fully expect integration to be a long, drawn-out process, with an additional base of 4,500 employees worldwide and entry into several brand-new data capture technology markets, each with their unique nuances, this deal gives them access to a strong customer base, especially in the Retail vertical — an area of growing focus for Zebra. At the same time, however, VDC remains skeptical about Zebra’s ability to turn around Motorola Solutions’ struggling enterprise business sales given the onslaught of consumer devices and growing threat to incumbents from low-cost competitors.

VDC will be taking an in-depth look at the ramifications of the acquisition in a report next week by Richa Gupta, VDC’s Senior Analyst in the AutoID and Data Capture practice, and EVP David Krebs.  

(with contribution from Richa Gupta)

 

04/11/2014

IBM Steps up Competition with MobileFirst Initiative

This week, IBM announced the expansion of its MobileFirst Consulting Services, its mobile solution portfolio launched in 2013 to streamline and accelerate enterprise mobile adoption. The announcement highlighted eight services designed to solidify mobile infrastructure consulting, mobile application management, and mobile device procurement and management services.  With this, IBM is further expanding its reach within a market that has matured and consolidated considerably within the past year.

IBM paves the way to go big with mobile solutions

IBM has made significant strides to increase the scope of its services, increasingly eschewing hardware in favor of applications and services and bolstering its already strong presence in the cloud. The firm’s acquisition of Fiberlink in November of last year came as no surprise and will provide the opportunity for IBM to be a significant player in their mobile infrastructure consulting services space. As early as 2012, VDC blogged that the roster of vendors offering EMM solutions would likely broaden to include a spectrum of technology-oriented vendors including hardware OEMs. Fiberlink, a mobile-first MDM vendor, was a smart and necessary acquisition if IBM wants to become a leader of MDM consulting services. In light of the tech giant’s recent activity, we believe that IBM is in a position to put programs in place to enable partners to sell its MobileFirst platform both as a managed service and on an a la carte basis. Given IBM’s resources and brand recognition, VDC feels it’s only a matter of time before IBM launches a large-scale marketing campaign to fully leverage its position and kick the competition into high gear.

Let the mobile hunger games begin

Recent activity in the mobile solutions market underscores how the sector is more competitive than ever. Wave after wave of acquisition have mostly cleared the way for larger companies, who are increasingly feeling the pressure to perform either on price or innovation. Following IBM’s acquisition of Fiberlink, VMware’s January acquisition of AirWatch and the much-anticipated entrance of Microsoft with its EMM solution offering announced at its Build event last week shows that the stakes are higher than ever. While these acquisitions provide the means to offer a broad portfolio of solutions, integrating these vendors quickly and efficiently is still critical.  

Those who have survived the acquisitions are digging in their heels for the long run: just last week, MobileIron filed its S1 in anticipation of going public and Good Technology isn’t far behind as it moves towards its own S1. The filings show a proven business model and investor confidence, but competition will still be high as IBM expands its reach and other large firms like Oracle and Dell enter the space. The market has matured at a lightning pace, with smaller and larger firms alike experiencing compressed timeframes as ever-larger companies enter the ring. 

(Reserach and contributions by Eric Klein and Katelyn Moroney)

04/02/2014

VDC Research Releases Results of its Quarterly Rugged Device Tracker

This week, VDC published the results of its quarterly device tracker, which follows both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year numbers for major OEMs both globally and by region. 

Notebooks lag behind other form factors

The rugged market – including notebooks, tablets, handheld computers and forklift terminals – reached $4.1bn in 2013, a 6.1% year-on-year decline from a total of $4.3bn in revenues from 2012. Excluding notebooks the market increased by 1% over 2012. The strongest performing category was rugged tablets which grew by 22% year over year. The impact of consumer-grade smartphones and tablets being used in an enterprise setting continues to make itself felt on a global level, particularly among field mobile workers and for customer-facing applications.

Q4 continues the upward trend

Performance in Q4 2013 built on the improvements in market conditions we began to witness during the second half of 2013. During Q4 2014, year over year rugged mobile vendor revenues declined by 1%. Excluding rugged notebooks, the market grew by 4.2%. Performance during Q4 2013 was lead by the rugged tablet and forklift segments which grew by 31.6% and 13.1% respectively.

Quarterly tracker chart 2Android and Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1 present 2014 growth opportunities 

“The rugged mobile market is expected to continue to stabilize in 2014 and provide moderate to strong growth opportunities. We expect a stronger retail segment and improvements to investments in North America, which has recently lagged EMEA in performance,” states Kathryn Nassberg, an analyst for VDC. Continued strength in the rugged tablet segment, improved support and availability of rugged Android handheld and tablet offerings along with first generation rugged handheld Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1 will fuel much of the 2014 opportunities However, headwinds and downside risk clearly still exist, especially in the form of adoption of lower cost consumer mobile devices and overall access to capital. 

For more information, click here

For a copy of the report, please email info@vdcresearch.com

 

 

03/17/2014

BlackBerry’s Uphill Battle to Regain Enterprise Confidence

It’s no secret that BlackBerry is working to maintain its relevance in enterprise mobility. CEO John Chen emphasized just last month at Mobile World Congress that the firm had engineered a new strategy to restore customer’s confidence in BlackBerry. Both in Barcelona and at a meeting with analysts in January, Chen has stressed the relationship with enterprise as central to the company’s strategy and success. Potential revenue enhancing opportunities have emerged, such as the news that the company intends to support the Windows Phone platform with its upcoming BES 12 release (BBM support for the Windows Phone platform was also disclosed), and the announcement that Ford will be using the company’s QNX platform for its next-generation Sync system—however, while these initiatives have potential, we see the company’s reluctance to abandon its hardware orientation as hurting its long term prospects. While there remains a window of opportunity to maintain relevance with a device centric strategy (The firm made a wise choice by partnering with Foxconn to defray the downside of its unsustainable (and unprofitable) manufacturing operations), we believe the upcoming Z3 (low end consumer device) and Q20 (a QWERTY keyboard sporting enterprise-grade smartphone) are the company’s last chance. This is primarily due to the fact that there is a marked loss in mindshare with enterprise customers—according a recent VDC survey, the lack of confidence is quite stark.

Forecast is Gloomy

Our survey showed that BlackBerry’s support among larger enterprises (organizations with greater than $500M in annual revenues) has continued to has lose ground to both the Apple and Android platforms. BlackBerry also lagged significantly and was the least-supported OS, both among BYOD and enterprise-issued devices according to our study. When asked point-blank about their likelihood in investing in BlackBerry, the same companies showed a marked level of ambivalence:

Blog_graphic_31714

While Apple and Android are the dominant mobile platforms in the enterprise, we believe that there is room for a third ecosystem—particularly one with enterprise-grade capabilities.

Need for Speed

While the new Z3 and Q20 devices are slated for later this year, BlackBerry needs to move quickly as new devices such as Samsung’s S5 (April) and Apple’s iPhone 6 (September?) are fast approaching. Both are high-end devices and feature notable enterprise-grade enhancements that will be difficult to match.  In the meantime, the company should continue to enhance its focus on its BYOD management solutions—else, the road ahead will continue to be long and increasingy uphill.

(Research and written contribution by Kathryn Nassberg)

03/07/2014

Apple moves to open up enterprise IT channels

Taking a more enterprise-friendly approach

Apple may have reinforced its lead ahead of Android in the enterprise market with the announcement this week of its new program to facilitate enterprise usage of iOS on a larger scale. Among the biggest changes is the Device Enrollment Program, which frees IT from the previous constraints of Apple Configurator of having to physically interact with the devices individually via USB to configure them for MDM in what the firm is calling a “zero-touch effort for IT.” The enrollment program also solves a critical requirement for corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) devices, as IT can now install non-removable MDM profiles. This had previously been a source of concern for IT, as users could remove MDM elements from their iOS devices. In addition to an over-the-air approach that lends itself better to a COPE-style of mobile deployment, Apple has also gained a significant enterprise edge by changing its volume purchase and licensing programs to enable businesses to purchase apps in bulk without the need of a credit card. 

Other changes with the rollout of the Device Enrollment Program lend themselves particularly well for scalable deployment. Among these is the elimination of staging and provisioning processes, which in turn streamlines the process of deployment, as devices can be directly sent to end-users. Additionally, the program moves device enrollment into MDM as part of the setup process, simplifying the enrollment process for employees. All these create a powerful enterprise advantage, especially when paired with the recent changes to its volume purchase program.

The changes are well in line with Tim Cook’s focus on keeping Apple front and center in the enterprise arena. In last month’s quarterly phone call with analysts, the CEO noted that “the enterprise area has huge potential,” citing high percentages of global Fortune 500 companies that use their devices. With the recent FIPS 140-2 certification from the federal government, it stands to reason that the company will continue to integrate enterprise and security as core elements of its product strategy.

Apple’s priorities are still with the consumer

While it’s true that Apple is making considerable progress in taking enterprise concerns into consideration as a more central element in its product development, the fact of the matter is that, at the end of the day, its devices are first and foremost a consumer good. We see these limitations in areas such as OS upgrades and Apple ID. Currently, Apple ID is linked very closely with individual accounts, and while it is possible to create more than one ID per person, this can often become cumbersome given the nature of the ID. As a result, this limits businesses’ ability to share devices and can make COPE somewhat more problematic.

Other issues remain surrounding lifecycle support and control of upgrades. This was certainly the case for iOS7, in that many apps and services became non-compliant with the upgrade. Many firms found that their applications were not ready and had to rely on requesting that employees not upgrade their OS. The lack of control over the timing of upgrades, as well as lifecycle support will remain stumbling blocks for enterprises that are looking to deploy Apple devices as part of their line-of-business mobility strategy.

No longer afraid to use the “e” word

Even though Apple’s priorities remain with consumers, the company is definitely maneuvering into a more explicit relationship with enterprise. By timing its announcements to align with last week’s Mobile World Congress, Apple is definitely presenting a considerable challenge to the competition on the enterprise front. So far, Apple has been able to maintain a considerable market share in this arena primarily through its consumer appeal alone; now that the firm is actively taking enterprise into consideration in product development strategy, Android competitors like Samsung are going to have their work cut out for them to increase their foothold. Meanwhile, Microsoft and BlackBerry are going to have to work all the harder to maintain market share. 

02/28/2014

Unpacking Samsung’s MWC – Enterprise Implications

VDC met with Samsung at Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona to discuss the company’s take on enterprise mobility as it announced the launch of the much-anticipated Galaxy S5. The smartphone, with its IP-67 rating for dust and water resistance is the second in Samsung’s lineup for a more ruggedized consumer device after the S4 Active. The latest product in the Galaxy family is leading the trend towards more durable, enterprise-oriented smartphones that continue to blur the line between consumer and enterprise devices that will only turn up the heat further on ruggedized OEMs, who are facing increased competition from their consumer-grade counterparts. In addition to a more ruggedized build, the S5 boats other enterprise-friendly security features such as two-factor authentication that incorporates both password and biometric verification, and the inclusion of its KNOX mobile security solution.

Refining mobile device management with KNOX 2.0

Although KNOX was originally announced at last year’s Mobile World Congress and launched in October of last year, Samsung has brought the security solution back into the headlines with the software’s second iteration as KNOX 2.0, which boasts a compliment of features like cloud-based enterprise mobility management (EMM) targeted at SMBs, a dedicated Knox Marketplace for enterprise applications, and support for third-party containers, such as Good Technology, MobileIron and Fixmo. While the newest version of the solution does not require applications to be wrapped (due to kernel enhancements) in order to work with KNOX, we wonder whether apps will need to be modified in order to work, and whether this could pose a potential problem for Samsung down the road.

As of yet, the activation rate remains modest, with 1 million user activations to date out of the 25 million devices that feature KNOX capabilities on the market today, although the manufacturer revealed to the media that it now see a monthly activation rate 210,000 devices. KNOX 2.0 firmly underscores Samsung’s belief in the solution’s potential in an enterprise setting, as the firm currently has 2,000 engineers working on KNOX and has partnered with 42 carriers globally to provide the solution.

Building a greater service presence

While Samsung has made considerable inroads into enterprise mobility with its hardware and MDM solutions, there are still considerable gaps on the service side that will need to be addressed, especially in looking to service Tier-1, multinational firms. Samsung has handily proven that it has the hardware capabilities to be successful with consumers, but to truly be successful in the quest to become more enterprise-friendly, it will need to get closer to clients. This is not to say that Samsung should build out direct sales; rather, the firm needs to establish a more direct relationship, both with partners and with end-users. In this vein, Samsung has had some early success; the company has been working closely with DMI on the massive DISA contact, and is expected to provide new details on the program’s expansion soon. Earlier this week Samsung revealed that it has entered into a strategic alliance with GEMA who continues to draw important partners into is ranks. While these relationships have put Samsung in a strong position, the company has a target on its back. BlackBerry has stumbled, but the company continues to maintain large enterprise deployments, and is betting big on the enterprise market as a mean of survival―others such as Lenovo and Microsoft are also in hot pursuit of the enterprise market and certainly have an opportunity to challenge Samsung going forward.

02/24/2014

Travel, Transport and Logistics organizations get on the Mobile Bandwagon

FeedHenry recently released a whitepaper in collaboration with VDC, examining the use of mobile apps in the transportation sector[1]. The findings underscore not only a trend in using mobile solutions to reduce operational costs and improve worker productivity, but also highlight the role they play in improved customer engagement and brand loyalty. Mobility is nothing new to this industry sector. However, the potential for innovation and transformation that can be gained from coupling smart device features with real-time transportation information cannot be ignored. Although the industry relies significantly on proprietary IT systems that were not conceived to be mobilized, the adoption of cloud computing and the emergence of new software tools liberates backend data to the mobile device - securely and easily.

An interesting finding is the extent to which the transportation sector is taking a more long-term, strategic view in the adoption of mobile technology as an integral part of operations. When asked which metrics were the most important to measure the benefits of mobile solutions, reduced operational costs and mobile worker productivity topped the list followed closely by “competitive differentiation and advantage”:

Most important metrics utilized to measure the benefits of mobile solutions in the transportation industry (Percent of respondents, multiple response question, n = 318)   Feedhenry2

 

The increased recognition of mobility as a driver of competitive differentiation speaks to a greater focus beyond here-and-now operational considerations and demonstrates a less opportunistic approach to mobility in favor of a longer term, holistic mobility strategy.

Overcoming legacy barriers

VDC research revealed that many transportation organizations have been delaying the modernization of aging IT systems and applications due to upfront capital costs, as well as maintenance and support. Until these legacy systems are superseded, companies need to look for ways to unleash the data and make it securely available to mobile devices. VDC believes that next generation mobile app platforms that use the cloud as a data abstraction layer can help to overcome these technical barriers and that organizations with a strong mobile mindset will benefit by using these platforms to create nimbler and more user-friendly applications that improve operational efficiency.

… with custom-developed applications as the key

Cloud-enabled solutions are helping organizations to move beyond traditional on-premise software licensing. Currently, 30% of respondents within the transportation sector stated that they were  developing their own applications internally – a proportion that VDC believes will only increase as the use of the cloud to connect mobile applications to backend systems will help to drastically reduce development time and costs.

Click here to download a copy of the complete report.

To join FeedHenry’s upcoming webinar on March 13th, 2014 presenting the challenges and a case study from a rail infrastructure provider, please register here.



[1] For the purpose of this Transportation covers Travel, Transport and Logistics

02/14/2014

Rumors and Rugged Consumer Devices at Mobile World Congress

Lions and tigers and phablets, oh my!

With Mobile World Congress looming on the horizon, there has been considerable buzz surrounding the anticipated unveilings in Barcelona. The enterprise-friendly range of display sizes continues to grow, with rumors of HTC introducing a new member to its line of Desire phablets, and LG’s recent confirmation of the G Pro 2. This reinforces predictions of phablet use to grow significantly in 2014, particularly within business environments. The increased focus on mobile devices in a data-centric setting and desire for larger screens could help bolster the form factor’s popularity, despite its unwieldy size and ungainly nomenclature.

 “Samdroid” continues its enterprise push

Other anticipated launches include Samsung’s Galaxy S5, which could help the firm make further inroads into a predominantly Apple-dominated enterprise setting.  Nokia has also garnered considerable attention with talk of the Nokia X being launched at MWC. Leaked images of the Android OS featuring Windows 8-style tiles has people both intrigued and confused, especially given its new relationship with Microsoft. The device also raises questions as to the possibility of devices capable of running on multiple platforms, which could potentially be alluring in enterprise setting, particularly for BYOD.

Smartphones get tough

Meanwhile, VDC is keeping an eye on manufacturers like Kyocera and Sonim, who are making inroads into the consumerization of ruggedized features that have traditionally been associated with specialized enterprise devices. As price points continue to drop, this could pave the way for consumer-grade devices that boast greater levels of ruggedness and environmental protection, particularly in regards to water-resistance. While current options for non-enterprise rugged smartphones are limited, announcements from MWC could well herald a shift towards more durable consumer devices and create an upset among more traditional rugged manufacturers.

Big changes on the horizon

While VDC anticipates announcements at Mobile World Congress to highlight the continued development of devices that are increasingly enterprise-capable both in regards to performance and form factor, we nevertheless believe that the truly disruptive technologies are still on the horizon. Right now technology such as flexible displays and wearable devices are in their infancy, and have generated significant buzz, but current pricing and a lack of widespread practical applications have meant that they are primarily in a proof-of-concept stage. If the technology is able to move beyond this and gain more widespread acceptance, it has the potential to revolutionize the mobile device market…just not this year.

02/07/2014

A surprising lack of clarity in ruggedized mobile device display information

Rugged device manufacturers are facing increased competition from their consumer-grade counterparts. Much of their competitive edge and differentiation stems from their quantifiably better durability and a broader spectrum of user environments. However, rugged OEMs have encountered difficulties in overcoming the perception that their devices are overpriced for the value that they offer. Given the situation, manufacturers are hindering their differentiation through a lack of clarity in regards to display information which makes it difficult to quantify and compare devices across a given form factor.  There is a definite need for a more uniform and comprehensive approach in providing information to enterprise decision makers, especially when compared to other criteria for ruggedized devices.

A glaring omission of contrast and daylight readability standards

What comes as a particular surprise is the lack of uniformity for display information among spec sheets for ruggedized devices across all form factors. End-users frequently cite daylight-readability as being highly important in line-of-business applications and as a major shortcoming among many existing devices.  And yet, the information provided by most manufacturers is hazy at best when describing daylight readability. Frequently, there is no quantification involved, despite the fact that there is in fact a military standard for contrast and daylight readability (MIL-STD-3009, which is defined as a contrast ratio greater than 3.0:1 in daylight conditions) that is not unlike the standards that exists for environmental specifications (like that of the IEC’s IP rating or the vibration/shock ratings for MIL-STD-810F/G).  If the notion of calling a device dust- or waterproof without listing the IP rating seems laughable, should that also be the case for a device deemed “daylight readable”? And yet, VDC found that a minority of manufacturers listed even the contrast ratio, while even fewer still featured the MIL-STD-3009 standard with their display information.

Nit-picking luminance information

Another area that is woefully underrepresented is luminance, or screen brightness. This is another element that can affect daylight readability, although frequently at a greater cost to battery life. Here, too, manufacturers tend to gloss over the information (VDC research revealed that only one in five devices listed luminance information). Even when the information is provided, there is a lack of uniformity in the units used between cd/m2 and NIT, which are technically the same. Worse still are the manufacturers who list the display’s brightness as having “high brightness” or being “super bright” on actual spec sheets without any actual quantification.

OEMs need to clarify their value proposition

This lack of specificity and overall uniformity in spec sheets for ruggedized devices is particularly surprising when one considers how central a display is in the overall user experience of a mobile device. VDC research reveals that outdoor readability remains a highly important criterion for frontline employees, especially in manufacturing and field mobility. By obfuscating the information of such a critical component, manufacturers are not expressing a strong facet of competitive differentiation from consumer-grade devices to decision makers who are looking to invest in mobile devices. VDC believes that while there will always be a need for specialized ruggedized devices, OEMs can help to minimize the encroachment of consumer-grade devices by making their value proposition as clearly as possible. 

01/31/2014

Large-scale Deployments Increase Growth Potential for BLE, iBeacon

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology is poised to revolutionize consumer in-store experience in 2014, further augmenting already existing mobile retail applications. VDC research from last year revealed that 23% of retail organizations had rolled out mobile applications to supplement their current in-store services, and that an additional 42% planned to deploy mobile applications in 2014. BLE technology, like that of Apple’s iBeacon, strives to address this gap with increased location and engagement services by allowing devices to communicate directly with one another.

A cheaper, more precise way to engage consumers

BLE represents a drastic improvement from existing solutions like Near Field Communication (NFC) and GPS-based geo-location. Bluetooth beacons eliminate the need for close proximity for interaction between devices by vastly increasing the data transfer range from the current distance of 8 inches to 150 feet, and at a much reduced cost. Additionally, BLE has a greater potential consumer reach, as all mobile devices come equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, instead of requiring a specific installation, as is the case for NFC. The greater range and improved precision also allows for retail stores to use micro-triangulation services in-store to improve both analytical capabilities and in-store promotions, creating endless opportunities for personalized marketing strategies on an individual level. Consumers who opt in will be able to view information such as reward points, daily deals, and history of purchases upon entering a given store. Such interactions have the potential to increase both consumer spend per visit and overall brand loyalty.  As of January 2014, a handful of companies have begun trial runs for BLE technology, with Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters, and Safeway Supermarkets all running iBeacon in select stores across the US.

iBeacon goes mobile

Other companies are looking to take the new technology out of the store and onto the road. This week, smart driving assistant maker Automatic announced its device, which plugs directly into a car’s data port will now support iBeacon, representing one of the largest BLE beacon deployments to date. Automatic speculates the roll out will transform the traditional iBeacon retail framework to provide their users with similar automotive services such as pay for parking, gas, or automatic alerts as they drive. If successful, this could help pave the way for greater integration of BLE as a payment solution, boosting acceptance for other POS solutions, like that of PayPal, which was announced in September of last year, but has yet to gain widespread adoption.   

BLE is lucrative, but barriers remain

While many of the advantages that BLE offers revolve around its energy efficiency and potential reach, these strengths are tempered by existing barriers to adoption. Although the energy requirements for businesses deploying BLE are low thanks to its design (the technology can run on coin-cell batteries for months or even years), this is not the case for mobile device users, who frequently keep their Bluetooth capabilities switched off to conserve battery life. VDC estimates that only small fraction of device users keep theirs switched on. Another barrier is the limited access for Android devices and even Apple devices to a certain extent. BLE’s current reach within the Android ecosystem is severely limited (the technology requires Android 4+) and Apple’s reach is not as pervasive as believed: only iOS devices from the 4S generation have the same capabilities. However, with the imminent launch of Android-based Datzing as an Apple competitor that can function on older phones, Android’s present gap in this market could narrow significantly in the year to come. Barriers also remain on the enterprise side, as BLE in its current incarnation requires individual apps. Currently, there is no central iPhone app to interact with retail beacons using iBeacon. For businesses that already have mobile apps, this presents less of a limitation, as the functionality can be added, but for firms, a dedicated app will need to be designed to capture the benefits of the new technology.

Privacy remains a primary conern

One of the remaining hurdles that BLE technology will need to overcome is the most pressing of them all: that of privacy. Right now, beacon technology is based on company-specific applications that require opting in. However, the question remains whether, despite the current opt-in setup,  users will want businesses to know their every step and whether payment software can be trusted to charge the correct amount to a customer’s  credit card. More importantly, the issue remains as to whether BLE can succeed given the current environment in which revelations of security breaches like that of Target are becoming increasingly prevalent. Additionally, there are growing concerns surrounding data collection and overall privacy that many companies will need to address in order to allay consumer fears. VDC believes that the inherent effectiveness of the technology has tremendous capacity for consumer buy-in and will likely overcome most concerns surrounding privacy and security, but firms will nevertheless have to work to earn and keep consumer trust as BLE continues to gain traction. 

 

(By Kathryn Nassberg.Research and written contribution by Katelyn Moroney, Research Intern for Mobile and Wireless)

 

Recent Posts

Zebra Goes All-In to Become AIDC Powerhouse

IBM Steps up Competition with MobileFirst Initiative

VDC Research Releases Results of its Quarterly Rugged Device Tracker

BlackBerry’s Uphill Battle to Regain Enterprise Confidence

Apple moves to open up enterprise IT channels

Unpacking Samsung’s MWC – Enterprise Implications

Travel, Transport and Logistics organizations get on the Mobile Bandwagon

Rumors and Rugged Consumer Devices at Mobile World Congress

A surprising lack of clarity in ruggedized mobile device display information

Large-scale Deployments Increase Growth Potential for BLE, iBeacon

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