Next week will mark three months in for my new role as head of market management for IBM MobileFirst. As mentioned yesterday, I'll spend that 90th day among thousands of IBM clients, partners, and employees at Impact 2013. I realize I have not been blogging as much about the topics that are part of my every day conversations in this role. Thus, with the conference at hand, it seemed timely to start to share.

Here are some enterprise mobility topics that I expect to be talking a lot about during the conference....

1) Indoor location. Location as context for apps is becoming increasingly important. Terms like geofencing, which defines a different app experience based on a physical location, become even more relevant as a new generation of sensors get deployed to help with indoor location. Google's Don Dodge wrote a great blog entry recently on indoor location. This concept comes up a lot in discussions with retail, healthcare, and manufacturing companies. For example, a geofenced application in a hospital might make different data available to staff based on whether they are in the emergency room or the cafeteria. A retailer might use indoor location to provide department-specific offers or augmented reality views of merchandise on the shelves. Indoor location will also help in social networking, as you truly will be able to figure out if your friends are in the same place as you are.

2) Machine to machine. Watch for this topic to get a fair amount of attention at Impact and beyond. With sensors and embedded technology, non-human mobile devices will quickly surpass the number of smartphones and tablets. That kind of scale requires dedicated back-end infrastructure to manage the flow of data. Connected cars, fleet management, healthcare monitoring, and many other industries will use M2M across the "Internet of Things." One example we published when MobileFirst was launched in February was the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where sensors in the cars are not just being used for traffic management, but also roadway safety overall. From our announcement: "Relevant sensor data -- that were indicators of potholes or icy roads -- was collected in-vehicle and transmitted to the cloud-enabled IBM Smarter Traffic Center." Very cool stuff.  

3) Mobile analytics. Analytics is clearly in the buzzword category, and across IBM we have dozens of solutions in this space. Specifically as it pertains to mobile, though, we are leading the market. IBM Tealeaf CX Mobile examines the behavior of end-users on mobile devices and apps, and provides the data needed for developers to optimize the client experience. Having just installed an app where company names are on a scroll without the ability to jump from letter to letter in the alphabet, I wish someone was watching me to find out how difficult that UI paradigm is in the app. Tealeaf really fits in the conversation about why the second wave of mobile matters...why just building an app is not a sufficient commitment to delivering the right experience to customers.

If you are coming to Impact, be sure to share your thoughts. Best times to find me are Sunday or Monday afternoon/evening in the product showcase - IBM MobileFirst zone, or my book signing for Opting In on Wednesday at 3:15 in the conference book store.

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