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2012 Predictions: How Exponential Data Growth Will Impact the Enterprise-Carrier Relationship

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Al SubbloieBy Al Subbloie

The rise of mobile communications has impacted every aspect of our lives and changed the way we do business, providing benefits of increased productivity and flexibility. On the other hand, enterprises are challenged with a vastly changing market of platforms and devices and carriers are facing exponential data growth. These changes are only adding to an already complex marketplace – and the enterprise is feeling repercussions in the form of increased costs and reduced service quality.

With IDC predicting 35 percent of the global workforce to be mobile by 2013, the enterprise IT organization has been forced to make dramatic shifts in how it manages mobility. Challenges persist. A year ago, unlimited data plans were an amenity the carriers could afford to offer. With wireless data usage projected to grow tenfold over the next four years, carriers are abandoning the “pay one price" plan in favor of data-plan structures that include tiered data buckets and the throttling of data speeds. While users are feeling the effects of these changes, it’s the enterprise that really pays for it. For instance, take bill shock (a topic that received extensive attention one year ago following an address from the FCC) and multiply it by 10,000 mobile enterprise users — it can cripple a business’s mobile budget.

Looking ahead to a new year, I believe I can safely make a couple of predictions about where we will see an impact in the carrier-enterprise relationship, largely shaped by the changes we’ve seen in 2011.

  • Enterprise interaction with communications data will shift. The interface that users have with enterprise communications management systems will begin a rapid transformation in 2012. Information presented to users and administrators will include historic, real-time, and predictive information about usage costs and device utilization. Information will be delivered to mobile users and system administrators in “intelligent" layers based on multiple criteria such as location, business unit, user, management level and more. Ultimately, the enterprise will have “anytime" access to communications data allowing for more informed, real-time decisions, lower costs, decreased data and application security risks, and a better user experience.
  • Data transport will continue to strain network capacity. Projections for mobile-data usage to increase 10X by the end of 2012 will place increased demands on the network carriers. New ways of interacting with mobile communications (for example, Apple’s Siri) will increase network utilization and enable expanded communication and data portability. In addition, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications will continue to expand, placing further demand on mobile network data traffic.

It is inevitable that data consumption will not only grow, but its function and accessibility will continue to expand. Real-time communication, flexibility and an infinite amount of information will be more effectively made available anytime, anywhere. It is a best practice for enterprises to track commitment compliance on a monthly basis and adopt software to efficiently streamline management for the entire device lifecycle. I look forward to seeing enterprise communications continue to advance in 2012.

Recognized as a telecommunications technology and Internet pioneer, Al Subbloie is CEO of Tangoe Inc. Al was among the first to develop and market both call center voice and data solutions for integrated sales, marketing, telemarketing and customer service activities.

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