Sramana Mitra: What are the top five applications that are ubiquitous, and that you have to manage on behalf of your customers?
Lori Sylvia: One of the key use cases for our management platform is to be able to do firmware over the air [to send] updates. When we first got involved in the mobile industry, which was in 2003, if mobile phone manufacturers had a defect or some kind of improvement they wanted to correct on the mobile device, the only way to deliver that was to essentially issue a recall. If you had a mobile phone in the early 2000s and you had a defect on it, you had to bring it back to the manufacturer. Today firmware is delivered every day to tens of millions of devices, and it is a commonplace occurrence.
RedBend is the company that is doing that on the majority of mobile phones and tablets on the market. I would say that is a core use of our management platform. Another segment of our customers use our management capability so they can deploy new applications and services separate from the firmware. The customers that want to do that are operators. Operators increasingly have their own branded applications on mobile devices, and they want to manage those in a separate life cycle and in a secure area, separate from the operating system, which is primarily the responsibility of the manufacturer. This is also the case in the automotive world, where you have these very sophisticated in-vehicle entertainment systems that are built into the dashboard, and they have all kinds of services – from music to navigation. So you have different companies that provide content, and they want to have independent management of those software assets. We allow them to do that.
Most recently, in the case of BYOD [bring your own device], we see that the IT administrator as the next type of manager of software assets inside of mobile and connected devices. Their interest is to be able to segment the enterprise data in a secure area inside the phone or the tablet and to be able to implement policy controls. We support all of that. We are about connecting the people who own the software assets or who want to have authority over managing software assets and giving them the means to do that through a combination of our software updating technology, our analytics technology, and our virtualization technology.
SM: Talk to me about analytics. What are people interested in analyzing, and what are the carriers and IT managers interested in analyzing?
LS: They have different interests. Operators are interested in understanding the use of applications and how they affect the performance of the device, so they can try to reduce the number of customer care calls that come in.
There is also an interesting phenomenon that has happened with the rise of smartphones. Hundreds of millions of people, now and in the next years, will own smartphones or tablets for the first time. They are not all sophisticated users. There is a phenomenon called No Fault Found, where they have some problem with the phone and bring it back because they have a complaint about it. Actually there is nothing wrong with the phone, but this can be expensive for the operator or retailer.
In the case of enterprises, their interest is different. They also want to understand performance as well as usage, particularly for applications that drive productivity in the organization. We have an analytics client that is totally opt-in and the consumer can see it is running. They can decide if they want to let it run, and they can see what kind of data it is collecting. The goal there is to try to improve their mobile experience. A lot of enterprises have their own in-house developed applications, and this gives them further data into the user experience of the device and how those applications are performing.