Asia a growth engine for MobileIron: CEO
By Benjamin Cher September 2, 2015
- Growth of mobile apps in the workplace a key driver of growth
- Tapping into increasing Android and iOS device use in the region
MOBILITY is a growing trend in the enterprise space, and IDC predictions from 2012 are now ringing true. With productivity apps such as the Microsoft Office suite being made available on mobile devices, enterprises are turning to smart devices to power their business.
“The days of the domain-joined laptop are now over,” MobileIron chief executive officer Bob Tinker (pic above) declared at a recent media briefing in Singapore.
MobileIron specialises in mobile device management (MDM) solutions that manage security, permissions and privacy of mobile devices and apps within organisations.
Tinker’s reference to ‘domain-joined laptop’ describes the process when a laptop logs into a network, and the organisation’s Windows domain server determines whether a user is allowed into the network. Now iOS and Android devices no longer connect to Windows domain servers.
In the future, a laptop will just be a form factor and no longer an architecture, he argued.
“In the future, the laptop would be just a mobile device with a longer-lasting battery and a bigger screen to people,” he said.
Asia Pacific is a fecund market for mobility solutions, and MobileIron wants to ride this trend, expecting the region to be a growth engine for revenue.
“Frankly, we see Asia as one of the big growth engines for MobileIron in the future,” said Tinker.
Fuel for growth
MobileIron’s expecations are fuelled by a few trends in the region, the first of which is the decline of BlackBerry against iOS, Android and Windows devices, evident in sales numbers for the last quarter.
“Mobility [in the enterprise] is moving off BlackBerry and onto iOS, Android and Windows – this drives MobileIron’s growth,” Tinker said.
Another factor is the one seeing mobile access to the corporate network being accepted as critical for just about every employee, and not just senior executives. Even employees on the factory floor are being armed with mobile devices.
“Mobility is now, in many companies, for everybody,” Tinker said.
As a result, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are increasingly important in Asia, MobileIron sees this as fuel for growth.
“While different countries in Asia are at different points of development, we definitely see it as a future trend that will drive our growth in the region,” Tinker said.
The last but most exciting trend, according to Tinker, is the increased adoption of mobile apps among businesses.
“Mobile apps are helping companies transform their businesses, improve productivity, and improve their competitiveness,” he said.
The SME question
The composition of Asia’s businesses is skewed heavily towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up to 96% of businesses in Asean (the Association of South-East Asian Nations) – these are customers MobileIron does not traditionally court.
This however does not faze Tinker, who argued that the company has partners in the region which are strong in selling to SMEs.
“We have major strategic partnerships with mobile operators in the region which are very good at selling to SMEs,” he said.
He said that MobileIron’s telco partners in the region were excellent in bundling their services and selling to SMEs.
MobileIron also works with a broad spectrum of partners to manage devices and apps for customers.
“Our ecosystem of partners includes next-generation companies like Box and Service Now, as well as traditional companies like Cisco and IBM,” Tinker said.
Tinker said MobileIron plans to “invest heavily” and hire more personnel in Asia within the next 12 months, especially in sales and engineering, but did not disclose numbers.
He said he expects to see the different industry verticals in Asia eventually coming round to MDM, and MobileIron needs to be able to scale to meet demand.
“Enterprise mobility and mobile security is a very horizontal opportunity, more or less any medium to large company needs it – the question is when they will buy it,” he said.
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