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Friday, April 25, 2008

Mobile Device Management Service Growth

A very complex mobile value chain and a growing business reliance on mobile products have created the need for services that help businesses maximize the value of their mobile investments.

In a recent report from ABI Research, mobile device management (MDM) services are forecast to grow from $583 million in 2007 to over $20 billion by 2013, for a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent.

Mobile device management services include policy development, procurement and asset management, billing audit and reconciliation, enhanced customer care, device or content security, and additional services that are vertical- and occupation-specific.

According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The range of services needed to manage a business' mobile investments requires inputs from many different wireless equipment and services providers including operators, MDM platform vendors, IT services providers, telecom expense management firms, and mobility management services firms. All want to be part of the action."

But the biggest disruptors for the market have yet to make their mark on the industry. Mobile device management platforms are slowly evolving with more and more capabilities for mobile device management services.

Their increasing functionality on a growing base of device platforms automates many important mobile device management processes. Not only can these platforms be employed by many value chain suppliers, but more importantly, businesses can acquire and use these platforms themselves.

Shey concludes, Operators are the dark horses in this race: they provide and appropriate revenues for nearly all mobile capabilities, they already use MDM platforms, and they value the mobile business customer highly. MDM platforms, and the possible participation scenarios of the mobile operator, beg the question -- who will manage?