Handset OEMs Lack Enterprise Channel

A new study by Datamonitor explains how mobile hardware makers don’t have a good sales channel to the enterprise. Datamonitor explains that OEMs rely too much on word of mouth within the enterprise to create demand for their products. Techdirt notes the case of RIM, with great word of mouth, yet they’ve only sold 500k+ devices ever. As the result, Datamonitor expects mobile carriers to become the main entity to successfully market enterprise mobile devices and service, outgrowing the current leaders: System Integrators and Value Added Resellers (VARs). We at The Kerton Group/Techdirt question this prediction. The study seems to correctly identify how OEMs don’t market well to enterprise, but completely misses the fact that carriers (except Nextel) are equally lousy at it. Recent improvements such as Verizon re-organizing its enterprise sales force, Sprint positioning to steal mobile data users are all positive, but ultimately what the carriers will offer is discount plans, and horizontal enterprise apps (the same apps for all enterprises) like e-mail, Intranet, and PIM connectivity. These horizontal apps are already commodities, and no enterprise will choose a particular carrier because “they have mobile email”. Consultancies, VARs, and SIs will play an increasingly important role in penetrating the enterprise by crafting high-margin, high-loyalty specific vertical applications. Carriers should partner closely with VARs in providing these solutions to avoid the VAR capturing all the V.

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