I can finally blog again after months of quiet period for the MobileIron IPO and Q2 earning release. I piled up a lot of great things to talk about especially what I learned in the IPO process. I believe there are lessons I’ve learned, which will be useful to other people who have the fortune to go through the same process in the future. But today, I want to talk about something else, the EMM market and competition.
Our main competitor from the magic quadrant and another legacy device company launched programs to move from other EMM platforms to theirs basically for free. I will bundle them together and call these programs the EZ-Passage Campaigns
In my career, I always pushed back on resorting to these types of campaigns. I believe they are a sign of weakness for two main reasons. First, customers are fine paying for value so why give the software away for free? If you can differentiate and deliver value, charge for it.
Secondly and more importantly, the EMM market is just getting started and there are so many opportunities out there, so why focus on customers who have already selected an EMM solution versus winning new ones? At MobileIron we are focused on going after the untapped Mobile IT, multi-OS market while ensuring our existing customers are successful and see the value in buying more. I’m all in favor of helping customers who want to migrate from other platforms by offering them free technical support and best practices, but we do charge for the software. For example, to respond to strong customer demand (see third party study here) and Gartner recommendation to move off the BlackBerry, we created a great program that helps customers do just that –i.e. move away from BlackBerry and adopt a secure and scalable EMM solution that delivers enterprise flexibility and agility.
Put EMM Products to Work
While the Gartner Magic Quadrant sheds some great light on weakness and strengths of the various vendor solutions, there is still a lot of noise in the EMM market and things are moving very fast. Therefore my recommendation to prospects and customers is the following: Mobile is a strategic decision so make sure you run a software evaluation for the top leaders in the EMM Magic Quadrant to validate what you are buying works and addresses your requirements. If you decide to evaluate MobileIron, you can apply for a free trial by clicking here. We will be delighted to help you.
Saturated Market, or Lack of Traction?
In conclusion, when a vendor, any vendor in any industry, offers me something for free, I ask them why. If the product is valuable, why are they giving it away for free?
I understand the concept of free offers when it comes to switching programs in saturated markets such as cable TV, DSL and phone services. But Mobile IT is clearly just starting. According to IDC, there are going to be a Billion (with a B) devices in the enterprise in the next 3 years which creates a massive and mostly untapped market. If anything, these EZ-Passage-type programs sound like a sign of lack of traction in the market for the vendor in question.
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter