We all know the age of the locked down PC on or desk are behind us. That started as laptops became less expensive but gathered pace with mobile devices, culminating in today's Android and iOS dominated mobile world. We now expect always on access to applications and services. Mobile Device Management (MDM) has given way to Enterprise Mobility Management and that is being usurped by Mission Critical Mobility. I spoke with Carl Rodrigues, the founder and CEO of SOTI about these challenges and what his company is doing in this rapidly evolving space.
The challenges, said Rodrigues, fall into three broad areas. There is a need to deliver truly made-for-mobile applications and services, simplify the development and deployment of what he termed "medium complexity" apps, and get better intelligence about how apps and data are used so you can learn more about how people work.
These challenges come about, he said, because mobility is becoming critical for the core business of many companies. For example, logistics companies want better intelligence about where loads are, when they will be delivered and how long it takes to get them to their destination Nurses now use tablets to ensure medications are delivered to the right patient at the right time. And pilots are now using mobile devices so they can take the most up-to-date information possible with them before taking off.
For these sorts of complex operations, integration between applications becomes complex, said Rodrigues. And while technology is meant to be an enabler, the reality is that it often makes things harder.
These are issues Rodrigues has been grappling with for over a decade. I have to admit a bit of a fan boy moment when I first met Rodrigues. The first software he sold was a PocketPC app called SOTI PocketController. It was a remote access app so you could use a Pocket PC to access a PC screen. I bought that app back in the early 2000s and reviewed it for a magazine at the time.
A simple problem, he said, was bringing together all the data needed to answer a support call. While the device's ownership history was kept in the MDM solution, past support calls are in a helpdesk app and remote access, to diagnose or resolve issues, might be a third system.
This is what led Rodrigues to develop a potential solution. SOTI has taken a six-pronged strategy that addresses everything from applicaiton creation through to information sharing. The six components are:
- SOTI Snap for rapid app creation
- SOTI MobiControl for policies to protect data
- SOTI Assist - a mobile helpdesk solution that works with MobiControl
- SOTI Insight which delivers insights in how devices and data are used
- SOTI Connect for working with IoT sensors and supports automation
- SOTI Collaborate which is a platform for information sharing
What's clear to me is that many businesses are still grappling with understanding how mobile devices are being used, managing devices and, critically, understanding how data is being used and secured.
And what I'm seeing is companies are struggling with the old problem of "best of breed" versus integration. And while SOTI is offering one way through this, it remains a significant challenge.