Thursday, 24 November 2016

Monetising Mobility

By Lee Prior

It’s not often in life you have a genuine “Eureka moment” but I had one whilst attending an ‘Accelerate your growth’ training session at HPE in Bracknell.

Being a Marketing person you might ask yourself “what was I doing at a sales training event?” So let me cover that off up front…I was spying, there I said it. I wanted to see how HPE delivered content to the Channel so that I could pick up some tips, make some contacts and perhaps even learn a thing or two about the products and services on offer, and boy did I learn!

As with most things in life familiarity does breed a certain level of…well if not contempt, then at least a lack of appreciation, and as somebody that writes and talks about IT in general and HPE in particular on a daily basis, I can be accused of sometimes losing sight of what the technology we eulogise about can do for businesses in the real world.

That realisation was bought home as I sat and listened to a session about Mobility and the solutions available from HPE Aruba.

Whether it was the expert delivery, the simplicity of the drawings or even the fact that I was on my 3rd cup of coffee I couldn’t really say, but for some reason the penny dropped hard on the business applications that mobility, and location based services in particular offered, and it was all I could do not to externalise the expletive that rattled around in my mind…My face must have resembled Duffy Duck as the cash signs cha-chinged into my eyes. 

Suddenly the possibilities for monetising this technology seemed endless and I began to write notes in a way I haven’t done since I managed to fudge my way through A-level Psychology whilst still at school in the late 80’s.

As with many training courses we had some group exercises in place to break up the day. Usually I’m not a big fan of these awkward 20 minute sessions that for the most part start with a 10 minutes of silence followed by another 10 minutes of discussion as to who will be the unlucky soul voted as team “Spokes-person”. This time however the task at hand was to think of ways in Location Based Services could be used in practical applications today and 20 minutes just wasn’t enough…

Everything from offer notifications to mobile devices whilst shopping at the supermarket, to interactive billboards based on buying habits and your proximity to the store, to Pre-ordering food so it’s ready when you arrive at the restaurant. It would appear that the future that so many Sci-Fi stories predicted is finally here, and Mobility has been the driving force for innovation.

So what exactly is it then….Mobility that is?

To the uninitiated it would appear to be some sort of wizardry, a throw-back to the Orwellian prediction of Big Brother when the all-knowing, all-seeing machine could see everything we say, do and even think. In reality though mobility doesn’t strike the same Machiavellian tone, and is the simple application of data and networking based on the history we display and preferences we choose through our digital footprint combined with the knowledge of where we are down to a range of a few metres.

With this information the possibilities are almost limitless. Think about it, you walk into your local supermarket and are automatically registered to their Wi-Fi. Information on your buying habits are stored on the company database and as you walk down the aisle that has your favourite brand of cereal….boom a message is flashed onto your mobile device to tell you that there is a 2 for 1 offer, or how about an interactive billboard?

This was one of many ideas that flowed not just from our group, but from all the others as well and is what led me to write this article, as it seems that Mobility is a development that everyone can see the value of, almost as if the need was already there and now technology has caught up to make it a reality.

In my experience this is unusual in the technology world as its people that that have driven the innovation not the other way round. There will be no need to sell the idea as the idea has come from the people who want to use it.

If HPE saw this trend when they acquired Aruba then it’s an example of great corporate planning, as the synergy of offering is hard to deny. HPE & Aruba solutions combined make true mobility possible as the delegates to the Westcoast Ignite Symposium discovered during the Session by Eugene Berger.

You can see the full session by clicking on the image below or if you wish to find out more contact a member of the solutions team on 0118 912 6000

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