Conversational Analytics / 01.05.2013

15 Criteria to Use when Selecting Your Enterprise Mobility Vendor

As the number of mobile devices now outpaces humans on this planet, mobility is becoming a more critical part of enterprise technology strategy. However, many organizations don’t know how to move to this new mobile world, and they can’t afford costly mistakes like a failed investment, which could damage their reputation. These businesses need help with their enterprise mobility strategy, and they’re turning to mobility services providers to design, develop, and support their mobile applications.

Today’s enterprise mobility market comprises many providers, ranging from the agencies that specialize in user interface (UI)/design work to development boutiques to large multinationals.

 Different service providers often specialize in different elements of enterprise mobility support — from ERP implementations to cloud solutions to customer experience transformation projects. Furthermore, vendors often vary in their capabilities across areas required for success in enterprise mobility services, such as mobile design, mobility strategy, mobile application development, testing, security, and support.

According to Forrester Research, there are four types of firms that have skills in the enterprise mobility market:

  • Design firms and agencies, which focus on user experience. Organizations that seek highly creative, innovative mobile projects — especially for consumer-facing apps— should consider agencies and design-oriented consultancies. These firms pride themselves on hiring highly skilled, creative developers and the best design talent they can find.
  • Technology boutiques, which excel at mobile development and focus on flexibility and value. Smaller mobility practices provide more nimble, flexible, and lower-cost alternatives to large technology consultancies. With mobility moving so quickly and taking a high priority at many organizations, mobility services buyers may want to consider a smaller shop where they can have attention from top executives and more flexibility in pricing and delivery models versus larger peers who will be more tied to corporate policy. Uniphore is one of India’s leading examples of a boutique mobility provider.
  • Global multinationals and outsourcers, which provide breadth and depth of mobility services. Global technology consultancies have deep pockets to invest in building mobility resources (organically and inorganically), global resources, and a broad range of technology expertise. They are a strong choice for many larger-scale mobility initiatives, especially ones that require broader technology expertise that smaller firms lack, such as mobile initiatives that touch SAP or heavy analytics initiatives.
  • Telcos, which provide highly managed services and extensive network integration. Telecommunications providers offer the broadest range of mobility solutions, especially in categories including device and network management. Leading telecommunications options for mobile solutions also have a strong heritage in enterprise applications and consumer applications so that they can deliver an end-to-end mobility solution to customers.

Given this broad range of vendors, it is often difficult for businesses to understand how to evaluate different offerings against their needs. Therefore, Forrester has developed 15 criteria in order to help businesses weigh their options and see how various solutions providers stack up against each other. Below is a summary of these criteria, grouped into three high-level buckets:

  • Current offerings:
    • (1) User experience and usability capabilities.
    • (2) Process and advisory capabilities (understand how providers can help businesses navigate the business goals, industry, and domain needs that surround their mobility projects)
    • (3) Strength of the technology practice (numbers and breadth and depth of tools, industry resources, IP, and technology prowess)
    • (4) End-to-end capabilities of the provider’s ability to deliver mobility services (from strategy to implementation to testing and QA through to hosting and cloud options and ongoing support)
    • (5) Strength of the provider in enterprise applications and how the mobility practice ties into other relevant practices.
  • Strategy:
    • (6) R&D (dollars of investment, dedicated centers of excellence, patents)
    • (7) Go-to-market strategy (how they differentiate, and)
    • (8) How focused the provider is on mobility services.
    • (9) Target Market (how they tailor marketing, sales, and solutions for well-defined target markets)
    • (10) Pricing and business models.
  • Market presence:
    • (11) Installed base (mobility services customers)
    • (12) Mobility services revenues
    • (13) Mobility revenue growth
    • (14) Mobility employees
    • (15) Overall financials for the corporation

When evaluating vendors on these criteria, businesses will find that providers differ in their individual strengths and weaknesses by industry, domain, geography, and service line (i.e., creative design versus process consulting versus technical developer services). Based on the priorities and budget of each individual organization, these criterion will help executives evaluate which vendor can help them to truly get the most from their mobility investments.

About Uniphore: Uniphore Software Systems is the leader in Multi lingual speech-based software solutions. Uniphore’s solutions allow any machine to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines. Uniphore operates from its corporate headquarters at IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai, India and has sales offices in Middle East (Dubai, UAE) as well as in Manila, Philippines.