Parks Associates Blog

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mobile technical support offerings - a trend to watch

While the Mobile World Congress was abuzz with smartphones, operating systems, and apps, I was following announcements related more to enhancing mobile support applications. Given the interest in this space expressed to me during some CES meetings, mobile support is an area that we are adding to our digital home tech support coverage.

I would classify the mobile support offerings into three categories:
  • Mobile security: These features can include "safe browsing" and anti-theft features (such as remote lock or remote wipe capabilities) if a smartphone gets lost or stolen. Companies such as F-Secure and bsecure are active in this space.
  • Mobile device management: This kind of feature is going to be utilized more in the enterprise sector, where IT support for Blackberry devices can be managed more efficiently by delivering services remotely. From personal experience, I know how difficult it can be to reconnect a Blackberry to the office Exchange server after a power outage. With remote device management, the IT professional can actually take control of the handset and facilitate updates and other needed maintenance. Companies such as Motive (Alcatel-Lucent), BOMGAR, LogMeIn, and AetherPal provide solutions in this space.
  • Tech support as a value-added service offering: Just as certain landline providers are now rolling out premium tech support services, I would expect mobile operators to also deploy PC care services. This is already happening with companies such as RSUPPORT in Asia. As mobile operators deploy more netbooks, smartbooks, and mobile Internet devices, they will probably want to address remote support for these devices as well.
  • Mobile backup: Uploading contacts from a mobile phone to a secure remote storage service is something offered by a number of carriers. As we see continued migration toward smartphones that can store a growing amount of media, I think you'll see mobile backup move to also secure photos, music, and video.

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