Consulting firm BRC, which analyses enterprise networking markets, has published a report revealing how Microsoft Windows Mobile is poised to win high end enterprise mobile customers from Blackberry and Symbian.
As enterprise mobile computing evolves to combine more personal computer capabilities on mobile handsets, a critical factor will be the number of tools available for extending corporate applications to mobiles. Comprehensive packages are already available for using Windows Mobile to access Lotus, various SAP offerings, Oracle CRM and (unsurprisingly) Microsoft Office.
This will encourage large corporations to go Microsoft for mobile. Conversely the proprietary nature of Blackberry's operating system will inhibit third party developers, as will Symbian's software development kits which are device dependent, fragmenting application markets. Since new applications cannot readily run on Symbian devices developers will be more attracted to Windows Mobile.
"RIM and Symbian have attracted millions of business users through Personal Information Manager (PIM) and e-mail, but without middleware solutions they will lose them to Microsoft" according to Jeff Ace, one of the report's authors. "Developers look to the easiest system to place their wares. Windows Mobile is well marketed, targets the most lucrative market and hides the complexity of devices from them. It is not surprising that all major middleware for CRM is available on Windows Mobile." Ace continues "Nokia has the marketing clout to attract developers, but seems reticent, while the natural attraction of Windows Mobile must be troubling device manufacturers."
The report says that to counter this challenge, and stop more revenue share going to Microsoft, Blackberry too will need a comprehensive tool set for accessing corporate middleware. Symbian should move to a device-independent development platform to attract innovative developers.
The BRC report, entitled Enterprise Mobile Strategies, examines the wide range of elements in a next generation enterprise mobile solution. It shows how the various parts fit together and the choices at each level. It compares the enterprise capabilities of technologies such as Linux, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile, and the offerings of major players such as Orange and Verizon. It also provides a basis for understanding how the market will evolve.
About BRC Consultancy Ltd
Founded in 1990, BRC Consultancy Ltd is an independent telecoms consultancy advising major network providers and buyers about data network services.