Technology vendors are distancing themselves from the term enterprise mobility management.
Earlier this month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen called enterprise mobility management (EMM) a “lousy market.” Meanwhile, SOTI Inc., in Mississauga, Ont., is aiming to become more of a household name in enterprise mobility by expanding into new areas.
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“Anybody selling just EMM these days is a dinosaur,” SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues said.
SOTI, which has 17,000 enterprise customers, offers products designed to address businesses’ various mobile needs, from managing and securing devices to building and supporting applications. SOTI software includes MobiControl for EMM, MobiAssist remote help desk software and SOTI Snap for mobile app development.
Here, Rodrigues discusses his company’s push into new areas, as well as changes in the EMM market.
What do mobile-minded organizations need to focus on besides EMM nowadays?
Rodrigues: In the first wave of companies needing EMM, they were just trying to manage office devices. We’re way past that. Mobile is becoming mission-critical to companies’ operations. Many are running completely on mobile, and they need to be able to create apps that run on mobile devices effectively and support remote workers.
Are there too many EMM options for IT?
Who can deliver a disruptive business with just EMM? You need to buy 10 other pieces of technology. To create an app, that can cost $800,000 to create one on an Android platform; then you need to do it again on Apple. RMAD [rapid mobile app development] tools eliminate that barrier. If companies know they don’t have to spend millions to get started, mobile becomes more accessible.
How has the EMM market changed, and how has SOTI software evolved to address that?
Rodrigues: Customers have many more problems than EMM. Our platform tackles the core problems that our customers and IT have, from app generation to how to support your people out in the field.
SOTI software has some major competition in the EMM market. What sets you apart?
Rodrigues: There are other EMM solutions out there, but [those customers] need to buy a separate help desk solution. That’s not designed for the modern era. We can remote in to the mobile device and see what’s happening from the desktop.
What about joining forces with one of bigger players as the EMM market consolidates?
Rodrigues: They’ve all come to us and tried to purchase us. [Rodrigues declined to disclose which companies.] But why partner up when we have the better product?
If SOTI has the better product, why are other vendors doing better, and why isn’t SOTI ranked higher in market reports?
Rodrigues: Traditional analyst and market reports speak to outdated ways of evaluating businesses. Profitability is overlooked, with market share [valued] over profitability. The traditional way of looking at the EMM market is quickly becoming outdated and irrelevant.
But SOTI’s market-leading position has been validated by top analyst firms.
What is your favorite movie?
Rodrigues: The Spider-Man movies — the classic ones, with just Spider-Man. Now they have 95 other superheroes in one movie.
What is the best dish you cook?
Rodrigues: My family is from the Portuguese colony of Goa in India. One of the things I make is this special tea with cardamom and dark pepper. You use loose-leaf tea and cook it with the milk.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Rodrigues: After university, I visited Santorini in Greece. It’s a beautiful place. The food is amazing.