Mobile World Congress 2019 is just wrapping up in Barcelona. I’ve been following along remotely, and as always, I was watching for two types of news.
First, what were the big enterprise mobility management announcements? And second, were there any announcements in other areas (like devices, voice UI, AR/VR, etc.) that could have a disruptive effect on end user computing?
On the EMM side, the biggest news from Mobile World Congress 2019 was Samsung’s support for OEMConfig. I wrote about this yesterday; basically it’s great news for EMM admins and EMM product managers alike.
There were some other smaller announcements. For example, VMware Workspace ONE announced some communication service provider partnerships, and this week Google talked about updates to Google Play Protect. But otherwise, my inbox was not overflowing with EMM and EUC press releases from MWC.
Possible EUC disruptors
When it comes to things like different types of devices, voice, AR/VR, edge computing, IoT, 5G, and all those other hot buzzwords, my thinking is informed by my early years at BrianMadden.com. This was when we talked about the consumerization of IT, and things like BYO iPads and rogue Dropbox accounts made us wary of big tech announcements. (In fact we went searching for these things back at CES 2012.)
And the verdict for Mobile World Congress 2019?
Well, we got folding phones from Samsung and Huawei. Someone might bring these in via a BYOD program, or some organization might even eventually decide they have a business case to deploy them. But either way, it’s 2019, and Android management and security is great, so no big worries.
Microsoft announced HoloLens 2. This thing is aimed at the enterprise, so, it’s just not going to be flooding in like iPads did. Heck, it runs Windows and you can even buy it bundled with security and management. We also got the Azure Kinect Developer Kit, but again, this is not a big BYO issue.
Edge computing, IoT, and 5G got a lot of attention, but we’ve been getting prepared for these for years.
From the EMM and EUC angle, Mobile World Congress 2019 did seem a bit quieter than other years.
For example, I was there in person in 2014, where we saw Samsung Knox 2.0 (a big deal), a whole AirWatch Connect event was embedded in the expo hall, Good acquired BoxTone, CA Technologies got into EMM, BlackBerry announced BES 12, several vendors showed off dual work/personal phones, among other EMM news. Oh, and don’t forget that five years ago, BlackBerry OS 10 and Windows Phone still had a chance of working out, and at MWC we also looked at phones running Firefox OS, Ubuntu, and Cyanogenmod.
The relatively quietness and predictability of Mobile World Congress 2019 is not a bad thing, though!
Gadgets like foldable phones are always fun to think about, and there’s no doubt that IoT, edge computing, wearables, AR/VR, voice, and 5G are all opening up important enterprise use cases.
It’s just that none of these seem to be overwhelming EUC like the flood of BYOD smartphones and shadow IT SaaS apps did back in the day. And while that might be slightly less exciting in some ways, I’m sure most folks like avoiding painful disruptions.
Just a few more points: This shows all the progress that enterprise mobility management has made, as well as the importance of having a good unified endpoint management strategy in place. Today, you can take all of this in stride.
Also, MWC is still a great networking event. There were a lot of folks from the EMM community there, and while I missed having the opportunity to see them in person, I’m looking forward to hearing more of their impressions of the show.