Mobile Device Management in Emerging Markets: Killer Combo

Mobile Device Management in Emerging Markets: Killer Combo

Mobile device management (MDM) is a fast-growth market. But what if managed services providers took the MDM trend one step further, and focused their efforts on emerging markets like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries or emerging MSP markets like Germany or South Africa? MDM plus emerging markets, in my mind, is a killer combo opportunity.

Roughly 1.7 billion smartphones will ship worldwide in 2017 -- up from 450 million in 2011. Of those 2011 shipments, 160 million -- or more than one-third of devices -- were sold into emerging markets. Plus, market researcher Ovum estimates that  smartphone shipments could reach nearly 57% of total devices sold in emerging markets by 2017.

Oh, and did I mention all the tablet trends in those emerging markets (of course not... because I want readers to fill in the blanks for me plus I'm running off to meet another deadline).

Of course, MSPmentor has been careful not to hype the overall MDM market. Among the challenges:

  • Finding MSP-centric solutions. A lot of MDM and mobile applications management software and cloud platform companies lack MSP-centric partner programs. Fortunately, a growing list of RMM -- remote monitoring and management -- software companies are stepping in with MDM modules.
  • Monetizing MDM. Alas, many MSPs are giving away mobile device management, offering free mobile, tablet and smartphone guidance to clientele. Further complicating matters, many tablets are low-maintenance -- I haven't had any technical problems with my first-generation iPad. So folks like me need to understand why we need to pay for MDM.
There are plenty of answers to that question. Surely, customers will open their wallets when they realize MDM and MAM include corporate compliance, security, storage, data protection and other types of built-in services.

On a regional basis, the overall MSP market continues to show healthy growth in North America, most of Europe and Australia, I believe. But in the BRIC nations -- plus areas like South Africa and Germany -- we continue to hear about higher-growth opportunities for MSPs. Lump in the MDM trend, and it the opportunities seem even larger in those regions.

For about two or three years now, most of the major RMM software providers have been empowering MSPs in
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