DeviceLine Radio: Philippe Winthrop On Enterprise Mobility

My guest this week is Philippe Winthrop (@biz_mobility), vice president of corporate strategy at Veliq. He is also the founder of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, which calls itself a global community builder and evangelist for showcasing the value of successfully deploying and managing mobility solutions within organizations in the public and private sector. They recently published a paper entitled Five Predictions for Enterprise Mobility in 2013, which we talk about.

You can hear the full conversation, along with a recap of this week’s news here.

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Or you can read the full transcript of the conversation below.

Robert Vamosi: Can you talk a little about the predictions you made for enterprise mobility in 2013?

Philippe Winthrop: These predictions were published under the Enterprise Mobility Foundation. The foundation is a think tank that I created back in 2010 to be the epicenter of unbiased best practices around enterprise mobility. One-hundred percent vendor neutral, never talking about season feeds or the merits of one product versus another, but instead to create a community where people all around the world who are interested in enterprise mobility could literally come together and discuss their issues.

In that vein, we decided, come January 2011, to start publishing yearly predictions, if you will. Not trying pie in the sky kind of stuff, but trying to be pretty tactical and tangible for what we felt was going to be the key trains moving forward for the next 12 months.

Why for just the next 12 months? Because, as you know, in the world of enterprise mobility, things change at such a rapid pace, that to try to look into a crystal ball even 18 months out gets very, very hazy.

Once Veliq acquired the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, we continue to use the Enterprise Mobility Forum, the website, as a community source, as a resource, to continue that discussion. Still remains 100 percent vendor neutral. There's no mention of Veliq other than in the footer because we wanted to keep it completely neutral. Pure MDM.

In that vein, we decided again to put out our five predictions for Enterprise Mobility in 2013. The first one was mobile application management follows the path of mobile device management. What does that mean? You've got to, again, be able to understand that; you've got to take a step back.

If you look at the evolution of MDM, pure MDM...Unfortunately that term gets overused and becomes, unfortunately, an umbrella term for all sorts of other things. When I was at the EMF, we looked at MDM as a pure term focused specifically on device management. There were any number of organizations that were created as startups to addresses the issue of MDM, particularly around iOS and the Android.

You have the BlackBerry Enterprise Server for BlackBerry. We needed a solution that was going to be equivalent for all the other operating systems.
If you look at the evolution of MDM, pure device management, it has evolved unbelievably rapidly. Why? Because the underlying operating systems evolved so rapidly. Look at the fact that we had iOS version one, there was no MDM. Now, Apple, obviously, today, is providing rich API's that third party mobility management companies can tap into to manage those devices. They've all evolved.

The operating system itself has evolved. The API has evolved. And all of the "MDM" vendors all evolved with it. But the fact of the matter is if you want to manage iOS devices, there are fundamentally two ways of doing it. A, the way that Apple wants you to do it. B, not do it at all. That's straightforward.

The point is that device management I'm being very, very strict on that use of the word managing the device has become, for all intents and purposes, a commodity. Everybody is doing pretty much the same thing. Now there are certain nuances here and there, but the upshot is that they are all doing the same thing.

The prediction was that MAM, as an evolution, and if you think about MAM application management, that really started percolating up, if you will, around January 2009 at a new space of MDM. It, too, has evolved dramatically.

By the same token, our theory is that it is evolving so quickly that it is getting increasingly difficult because we all think of MAM as an app store. That's obviously just part of what MAM is. But, if you look at the highest level, just the highest level, it becomes increasingly difficult for a non technically proficient individual to differentiate between the capabilities offered between the various MAM vendors. Notice I am being very specific in saying the MAM vendors.

The legacy MDM's say that they are also providing more and more MAM capabilities. But, if you look at it at face value, particularly when looking at the sales brochure and the PowerPoints, is increasingly difficult to discern differentiation. That's where we're saying that that is how MAM is following MDM in terms of its rapid evolution because this space is changing rapidly.

In certain respects again, I'm being very precise here it, too, is commoditizing. Now, of course, if you look at a company like Mocana, it's highly differentiating because of the fact it can provide wonderfully secure levels at the app level itself with the FIPS 140 1 and 2 that they can have for this specific app providing granular configuration control of any specific app per user --that is still to some degree fresh here.

But if you look again at the 30,000 foot level, it's evolving. MAM, as its own category, it is evolving very much at the same kind of pace if you will that traditionally pure play MDM did and that's the price. Does that mean that it's not important? Of course not. MAM is absolutely critical to how an organization is going to leverage mobility moving forward just like MDM still remains absolutely critical. But, the whole industry is evolving at that same frenetic pace. That was the point.

Robert: Carrying on with that, it's important for BYOD to have either MDM or either MAM in place. You've made this point previously in other interviews that there's a difference between consumerization of IT and BYOD and you introduced this concept of COPE which is "company owned, personally enabled." Can you explain a little bit about that and why do you think in 2013, BYOD may start to lose its shine?

Philippe: I'd be happy to. I still keep on blogging on "EMF" and sharing my personal opinions completely unrelated to my day job, my day to day responsibilities at Veliq. My day job is running corporate trends at Veliq and my night job is still to curate and feed EMF, if you will. When I'm writing stuff on EMF, it's my personal opinion with my bombastic nature and what have you. I wrote recently a blog post that suggested that BYOD needs to be renamed VoEM.

What the heck is VoEM? It's not voice over or something. It's the Voldemort of Enterprise Mobility. You know who Voldemort is, right?

Robert: A little "Harry Potter" reference there, right?

Philippe: Exactly. I don't know how much you're into Harry Potter. I'm actually not at all into Harry Potter, but you have to live under a rock not to know who Harry Potter is. Voldemort was the big bad buy in the series and he's such a big bad guy that even the other bad guys are afraid of him. They are so afraid of Voldemort that they say, "He Who Shall Not Be Named." That's how much of a big bad guy he is. He's like the Darth Vader of Harry Potter.

I will make the argument that BYOD is the term that shall not be used in enterprise mobility, hence Voldemort of enterprise mobility. Why do I say this? It's because BYOD is being used everywhere. It's the lightning rod. It's the A kind of solution coming out of there. I'm saying, "Guys, it's not about BYOD. It's about the consumerization of IT."

If I give you an iPhone, how is that fundamentally different from you bringing your own iPhone from a management perspective? Any thoughts?

Robert: If I bring my own iPhone, it's my property. It's my property and so, if enterprise wants to go and wipe some data off of it, they've got to deal with me.

Philippe: What if you're going to use that iPhone to take photos of your kid during the soccer game?

Robert: Who owns those pictures?

Philippe: That's the thing. BYOD for me, it's netted out. I look at it and say, "The challenge of BYOD is how do I secure the corporate data on the device that I don't own?" That's the bottom line of the challenge of BYOD. I threw out a thesis a year and a half or so ago at this point, I don't exactly recall when. Wouldn't it be easier as opposed to struggling with the concept of, "How do I secure something that I don't own?" to say, "How do I allow my employees to be responsible individuals and use the devices that I'm going to provide them in a way that is Win Win for both sides?"

I give a team full corporate and legal ownership and control of this thing, all the while saying, "There's a new reality. People are going to be on Facebook. People are going to be using Twitter." Heck, some people in marketing need to be using Twitter and Facebook for that matter.

These are not bad things and there's another reality that says, "With mobile, the line of demarcation between personal time to professional time as you know is completely blurred for anybody." I know that at Mocana, it's a nine-to-five job. You never have turned on your computer or sent out an email off your smartphone past working hours, right?

Robert: You know in negotiating this conversation today, that's not true. We were talking at all hours of the day and night to set this up, so the reality is that it's not a nine to five, five day a week job. It's 24/7 in some cases.

Philippe: Right or wrong, it has become 24/7 and that has its benefits and that also has its challenges. And so, the theory with COPE is that it's all the corporate ownership and it's personally enabled, so absolutely go and take your photos of your kid at the soccer game. You want those memories. Go on Facebook and do what you want. Just behave. By the same token, we're going to behave, too. I'm an out-of-the-closet geek. I've always been a closet geek, but I'm a geek and everybody knows it. One of my favorite lines from super hero stuff comes from Stan Lee when Spider-Man said, "With great power, comes great responsibility."

The theory and my thesis is that a company in a COPE model has great power. They can look at everything but just because they can, doesn't mean they should or that they would. Here's the funny thing. Before we started talking about BYOD as a buzzword, as this whole category of stuff, the precursor was called "individual liability versus "corporate liability."

Back then, I would say, "Why do we have to focus on such as negative term, liability? Why not instead talk about mutual responsibility? We both coexist together. We're adults. We know that we shouldn't be sending out bad things or looking at bad websites, immoral or illegal or what have you. Let's just all behave like adults."

That's where COPE really fits in because by the way in a BYOD world, we've already seen it's proven. There's a number of research studies. There are examples. IBM is a great example of this. IBM, when they first mounted, they were going to go for a BYOD program. They said flat out, "The number one reason why we're doing this is the need for cost cutting."

Three or six months later, I can't remember exactly when, they came out with another press release or another interview where they said, "BYOD is actually costing us more." What? BYOD is costing IBM more than what they were doing before.

From a telecom expense management perspective, there are terms of scale that you gain by having it be a corporate owned device. You can negotiate much more aggressive rate with carriers. You can buy devices in bulk and get a discount that comes from economy of scale. You get all those benefits and by the way, you get to provide the employee with the device they want.

You want a Samsung Galaxy S3 or the S4 when that comes out? Great, go for it. If you want an iPhone, go for it. If you want an iPad, they have it. You want a new Blackberry 10? Go for it. Windows Phone, hallelujah. We're going to give you what you want. You can do what you want as long as you behave. By the way, we retain the right on owning and controlling the device because we want to be able to control the corporate data that's on that device.
To me, it's pretty straightforward.

Robert: That seems straightforward as well to me. Your next point is a little tangential to what we've been discussing thus far and that is you say, "Mergers and acquisitions activity will increase significantly in 2013." Do you see a maturation of a lot of these startups, a lot of these companies that are in this mobile enterprise space?

Philippe: I'm sure you remember the seven layers of the OSi model. Layer One is the Physical layer and layer seven is the Application layer. The OS 5 model is in locality. You've got the apps in the Application layer, the Extraction layer, the Presentation layer, the Network layer, the Security layer, all that stuff. They all coexist together. Don't we all see therefore how that's going to parlay into enterprise mobility? You need all those things together because mobile is not just about the app itself, it's about the device. It's about the security. It's about the connectivity. It's about the support. It's about application development. All these things and then some.

The point being more and more companies are going to say, "Tell me again why I'm looking to purchase a best of breed MDM, then a best of breed MAM, and then a best of breed extent management and a best of breed service management? Isn't it better to just have one whole suite that does everything? And by the next quarter, it will also have world peace as part of the functionality."

Robert: (laughs) They're working on that.

Philippe: Q3. We have that too by the way. World peace.

Philippe: The point is that maturation of enterprise mobility is going to require this consolidation. This happens in every industry.
Robert: It's already happened in the PC security.

Philippe: Exactly. Look at how just recently Citrix acquired Zenprise because here's the other head spinner, I have a thesis that within three years, we are no longer going to be talking about enterprise mobility. What? Philippe Winthrop, founder of the EMF who's addicted to enterprise mobility says enterprise mobility is going to be gone in three years? Yes because it's going to be everywhere. It's going to be so pervasive that it's just going to bundled back into enterprise IT. If you start thinking about the totality of what is enterprise IT, it's security, it's apps, it's networking, it's support, development, blah blah blah. We stopped worrying so much about the medium with which you're accessing that stuff, meaning, the mobile device. It's assumed.

Robert: If mobile enterprise is going to be everywhere, then we lead right to what was the theme of RSA this year, and that is the Big Data that's out there. Talk to me a little bit about how mobility's going to play into Big Data.

Philippe: What's Big Data? Big Data is, we have exabytes, petabytes, googlebytes, I don't know, that's not a word, but unbelievable amounts of information in corporate environments that we're trying to access and leverage. It's all about having, what's the problem with enterprise mobility, by the way? Being able to do what you want, what you need to do, wherever you are, whenever you need it. That's the fundamental pieces of what the empowerment of the mobile workplace. What is special about email? Is it having the most amazing email client? No. Is it able to be able to afford something? No. Is it able to read something? Sort of. Is it able to reply to something? Sort of.

It's about having the information, the data that is in that file that is the email. That is a form of Big Data, I'll argue. It's not the traditional definition of big data, but it's still information.

The power of Big Data is not in having the information necessarily at your fingertips. It's to be able to act upon it. Imagine having all that information in a gorgeous consumerized app consumerized app meaning it has a GUI and being able to act upon that piece of information anytime, anywhere. That's the power of enterprise mobility.

Robert: Finally, in your paper, you say that the winner of all of the mobile ecosystems war is going to be the end user. You point to the fact that four years ago it was laughable for someone to say that iOS or Android would be a dominant platform in the mobile space because Symbian had such a large market share and now that has virtually vanished.

Philippe: Well, Symbian, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Three years ago when iOS came out, who was the massive, dominant company for mobile?

Robert: It was Nokia.

Philippe: Yes. But in terms of smartphones, it was our good friends in Waterloo. Now Blackberry, right? Look at how the tides have turned. The point being is yes, there's no question that right now iOS and Android are the dominant players. If you think for one minute, that Microsoft will not use its last dying dollar to fight in the mobile world, I think you're mistaken. If you don't think that RIM is going to use its last Canadian dollar to fight, in terms of innovating in mobile, again, I think that one would be mistaken to think that.

Who wins? We do. We, as users, win because those platforms, all four of them, are going to be in this slug fest for the foreseeable future. They're going to keep on innovating, and trying to improve the user experience that is their operating system and their devices.

How is it that we, as the end user, regardless of whether we are "a consumer or a professional." I think that's an unfair statement because I consider myself both. Do you consider yourself both or are you a consumer or a professional?
Robert: I'm both.

Philippe: We all are. If you have job, I'm going to assume you have a family, and that means you are both. That's what we were saying before, in terms of there's no such thing as a nine to five job anymore, that the lines have blurred so much, that how can we define and delineate between a consumer and a professional? I'm Philippe Winthrop. At 7:00 AM on a Monday morning, I am Philippe Winthrop and at 7:00 PM on a Saturday evening, I am still Philippe Winthrop. There's no difference.

As the four major operating systems, and now, by the way, we've got Firefox getting in here, and we've got Tizen coming from Samsung and Intel. Guess what?

Robert: And Ubuntu?

Philippe: Yes, Ubuntu. Ubuntu is very interesting, by the way. They're just going to beat each other up and we win. I think that's fantastic.

Robert: Well, it's good to end on an optimistic note. I appreciate your insights and thank you for your time.

Philippe: Thank you, it's been great.