Research: Which Carriers are Leaders in Mobile Enterprise Services?

— January 24, 2011

A recently published IDC MarketScape report from International Data Corporation (IDC) offers a detailed assessment of the mobile enterprise service offerings from the three largest wireless telecommunications carriers in the United States. The report uses the rigorous IDC MarketScape scoring methodology to produce a definitive assessment of each vendor’s current market capabilities and strategies for competing in the future.

"The U.S. market for mobile enterprise services continues to evolve at a rapid rate with mobile operators adding new capabilities, services, and devices to their portfolios in an attempt to attract and retain the highly profitable business customer," says Carrie MacGillivray, program manager in IDC’s U.S. Mobile Enterprise Services group. "To gain market share in this competitive market, mobile operators must demonstrate leadership in the areas of product and service offerings, go-to-market activities, business capabilities, and future strategy. With these points in mind, it is not surprising that the qualities that will define the market-share winners of the next few years are not necessarily the ones that brought success to today's leaders."

The report, IDC MarketScape: Mobile Enterprise Services 2010 Vendor Analysis (Doc #225770), examines the mobile enterprise service offerings from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. IDC focused only on these three operators due to their broad reach and their comprehensive approach to the enterprise, government, and small and medium business (SMB) space. In the course of the analysis, IDC evaluated how successful each mobile operator has been to date in targeting the enterprise and business segments, and how successful each is likely to be in the future with their business customer strategies.

Based on a review of each vendor's capabilities, strategies, focus areas, strengths, and weaknesses, IDC placed AT&T and Verizon in the "Leaders" category, followed by Sprint in the "Major Players" category. AT&T's placement in the leader category is attributed to its historical strength in the enterprise market, a diverse portfolio of devices, an international strategy, and an integrated sales organization, as well as building value-added business services on top of its nationwide network. Verizon is considered a leader in the U.S. mobile enterprise services market due to its broad range of enterprise solutions, a renewed focus on customer service, and its strong network reliability.

"As the U.S. wireless market moves closer to full mobile penetration and the number of new customers levels off, the battle to attract and retain the higher revenue producing business customers will become more heated," adds MacGillivray. "To be successful in the enterprise mobility space, there are a number of imperatives that all operators must consider. In addition to offering an array of devices and services that are integrated, customized, industry-specific, and competitively priced, operators must tend to the basics, such as network performance and customer service, all while seeking to exploit emerging opportunities for future growth."

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