Enterprise mobility: A complex opportunity

Mayur Sahni and Emma Mohr-McClune
08 Dec 2006

Enterprise mobility represents a fast-evolving and potentially powerful market environment for all stake-holders, but one that poses tremendous challenges.

The first challenge is how to best define the concept. At its simplest, enterprise mobility is an ICT eco-system addressing an end-user need to access business information remotely, simply and securely, in a location-independent manner across any access bearer.

To this end, the enterprise mobility eco-system has evolved from symbiotic prerogatives that are now forcing co-operation between device manufacturers, access and application providers. This has lead to the emergence of several new synergistic alliances, partnerships and acquisitions - as well as the rise of new 'integrated operators'.

Making the PBX mobile

PBX mobility extensions are emerging as the key enterprise mobility market driver. The capability to extend PBX features, such as short-number dialing, transfer and forwarding, to mobile phone has been available for some time from a number of suppliers. These capabilities went beyond the relatively simple function of forwarding calls to mobile phone, which allows users to employ one business number.

In 2005, however, a number of key PBX vendors, including Cisco, Nortel, Ericsson and Avaya, started to allow enterprises to leverage in-house PBX investment to create better voice cost savings in the wide-area, and to enrich the types of features available to mobile users to support, for example, full directory and messaging integration, and to supply presence information.

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