“Waiting for Godot”
I have a Google Alert for Enterprise Mobility. It’s left over from a time in my career when I thought, along with a lot of so-called visionaries, that mobile devices would replace laptops for most large company employees. The promise of providing access to business data, CRM and ERP functions, etc. was touted as being just around the corner by CEO’s of software vendors and the many analysts they paid to agree with them. Even the CEO I worked with told us at one point just before our Chapter 11 filing that we were in a “tornado” market. Yea, OK.
So here I am. Nine years after drinking the Cool-Aid and four years after giving up on pushing the Enterprise Mobility Jell-O up the enterprise decision making hill.
And what are the headlines from today’s Enterprise Mobility Google Alert?
The Enterprise Mobility Conundrum: How to Control the Data?
Enterprise mobility now more of an “apps play” in Australia
IT Managers Increasingly Pressured by the Growing Complexities to Deliver Enterprise Mobility
Majority of enterprise mobility usage described as ‘entry level’ or ‘opportunistic’
Microsoft asks What is Happening Inside Enterprise Mobility?
These headlines are very familiar. If I went back into the archives, I’d imagine I’d find very similar headlines in 2008, 2009, etc. The only one missing is, “iPhone will overtake BlackBerry in the Enterprise”. That headline drove a lot of people’s heads into the sand. This included our CTO who wanted an iPhone deal before he would put an engineer on building an iPhone version. Like BlackBerry, we had a hard time learning from the likes of Polaroid or Kodak.
Why did I bother to write this post when my business is helping companies grow their revenues? I wrote it because I care about the salespeople and sales management that are sometimes sold a bill of goods by analysts, software executives and journalists that talk and write about unrealistic market opportunities.
As salespeople, we’ll never really know if the hype will lead to revenue. Just because some Angel Investors throw their disposable capital into a venture (over and over) does not validate a start-up or a market. And based on the Enterprise Mobility market, even VC money may not be enough.
Salespeople and sales management need to dig deep to understand if the company’s solution is a fad or a trend. Understanding the difference and where the market is in its evolution is critical. And if you find that the hype is not matching reality, get out. Your talent will be appreciated by others with real market potential.
Finally, if buyers of a solution view implementing your technology as a burden and have questions that can’t be answered, beware. Apparently 2017 is no different than 2008. The Enterprise Mobility market is still “Waiting for Godot”.