Business/E-Business
Commentary
9/26/2007
07:59 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
Commentary
50%
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bMighty Mobility Poll Yields Surprises

I spent yesterday morning moderating a bMighty.com Webcast on Business Mobility: Best Practices For Small and Midsize Companies. It was fascinating in many ways, but I was especially interested in the results of the live polls we conducted among the attendees.

I spent yesterday morning moderating a bMighty.com Webcast on Business Mobility: Best Practices For Small and Midsize Companies. It was fascinating in many ways, but I was especially interested in the results of the live polls we conducted among the attendees.The Webcast (free bMighty.com registration required) features blogger extraordinaire Stephen Wellman from InformationWeek's OvertheAir.biz, analyst Elmer Choy from the Dell'Oro Group, and Cisco's Lynn Lucas.

Their presentations were all great, but what we learned from the three poll questions we asked attendees was just as intriguing.

First, we asked how attendees' companies supported their mobile workforce. More than 60 percent of the 301 respondents said the company supplied phones and service, while 22% said their company did not cover workers for mobile expenses. Only 18 percent said their company reimbursed workers for equipment and service. That may not be surprising, but it is disappointing. If you ask me, every worker is different and allowing people to make their own choices on mobile equipment and services -- and reimbursing up to set limits for approved purchases -- is a great way to keep users happy while controlling costs.

Next, we wanted to know if smaller companies could find Wi-Fi products tailored to their needs, or if they were forced to use consumer-grade solutions or pay more than they wanted to for enterprise class products. A whopping 64% of the 401 respondents said they couldn't find what they wanted. That sounds like an obvious opportunity for Wi-Fi vendors.

Finally, we asked what was the biggest mobility frustration for small and midsize companies. "Inability to easily get to my core business applications and data (beyond email) on my smartphone" topped the list at37% of the 415 respondents. Next came "Difficulty in deploying a truly secure wireless LAN for my offices" at 21%, "Lack of support for dual mode (cellular and Wi-Fi) phones" at 17%, and "Lack of [international] roaming agreements among cellular service providers" at 14%. Bringing up the rear was my own personal frustration: "Lack of roaming agreements among Wi-Fi hot spot providers" with just 11.6%. I end up hardly ever using Wi-Fi when I'm out and about because I don't want to pay $29.95 for a connection I'm going to use for 25 minutes.

So, check out the Webcast for yourself. It's too late to vote in the polls, but feel free to post your thoughts on these questions here on the blog.

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