2007: The Year of Software

5:50 PM -- Wireless is usually viewed as a hardware business centering on mobile devices, radios, adapters, and antennas. But its real value (beyond the obvious voice communications) is as a vehicle in support of IT. Now that IP is the only protocol that matters, it should be relatively simple to mobilize essentially every application -- if we have the right software for both middleware and application.

I recently did a briefing with Vocera Communications Inc. , which makes the clever little WiFi communicator badge popular in healthcare, hospitality, and retail. So, what did we talk about? Software -- workflow, to be specific, but it’s the applications that drive the future of their business, not raw wireless technology. In fact, many of the applications we discussed are quite independent of any particular radio or wireless technology.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is buying Good Technology Inc. (I wonder, was Great Technology taken?), best known as being competitor to BlackBerry ’s BlackBerry service in the push email space. (See Motorola Gets Good.) One wonders why, of course, with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) getting into push email as well. Oh, yes -- it’s not just about push email, it’s about establishing platforms for application mobility. That’s really what Good (and now Motorola) are all about. Interestingly, Good’s products support many brands of mobile device beyond Motorola's. I wonder what Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is thinking at this moment? Could Motorola use different implementations of Good’s software to drive business to their handsets over the competition? Now that’s going to be interesting…

But the real point here, and there are many more examples, is that we now have the basic wireless and mobile device technology to mobilize almost every enterprise application. And big investments are now being made in the last piece of the puzzle -- software. Expect to see a lot more here in 2007.

— Craig Mathias is Principal Analyst at the Farpoint Group , an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. Special to Unstrung

Be the first to post a comment regarding this story.
Sign In