Three things we learned from Mobile World Congress 2015

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Mobile technology is no longer just about consumers; at this year’s MWC all eyes were on the enterprise.

Enterprise mobility took centre stage at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC); the exhibition floor was filled with mobile, social, cloud, analytics and machine-to-machine (M2M) services all aimed at transitioning global multi-nationals into innovative digital businesses.

Brands more commonly associated with a consumer audience, such as Samsung, made a clear play for the enterprise mobility and mobile security markets. And tools such as wearables for the workforce and enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) applications promised to transform businesses and the working lives of the people within them.

At this year’s event we demoed a number of technologies designed to enhance all aspects of the connected enterprise. For anyone who missed it here is a recap of Vodafone’s MWC highlights and an exploration of what these will mean for the enterprise.

We are moving into the ‘we economy’

As businesses navigate the changing digital landscape they are increasingly looking to work together in partnerships and alliances. They are expanding their boundaries and exploiting relationships with digital businesses, customers and devices, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. The change in mind-set from acting as an isolated, self-reliant enterprise to being part of a connected ecosystem is a key element in what has been labelled the “we economy”. At this year’s MWC, we showcased our own varied and expansive digital ecosystem, demonstrating our relationships with customers and partners, such as Accenture, Huawei, Porsche, Panasonic, Windsor and IBM, which are all using connected technologies as part of their digital transformations.

The language of business is changing

Businesses now have access to previously unknown data and can use this to gain greater insight into how, where and why their products are being used. By harnessing M2M technology manufacturers, for instance, have an opportunity to change the way they provide products and services to their customers. M2M connects machines, devices and appliances wirelessly to the internet enabling IoT. Using the data gathered through M2M businesses can introduce new ways of selling and supporting products in the field. Whilst the ability to make informed, data-driven decisions is changing the language of business. It is no longer “I wonder” or “If only we knew,” it is “I know and I can measure”. At MWC 2015, Vodafone demonstrated how data-driven insights are becoming a reality for the enterprise – including user-based insurance that enables car manufacturers and insurers to build a more transparent relationship with their customers.

The workforce is being reimagined

As any enterprise moves towards becoming a digital business, having a unified team of people and machines working together becomes an imperative. Technology is your newest employee, bringing speed and intelligence. But, in the same way that getting people to work together can test management skills, the man-machine interface also raises new challenges. On the path to this harmonious collaboration, 75 per cent of businesses believe that within three years, they will need to focus on training their machines as much as they do on training their employees. Use of software that ‘learns’ and adapts is likely to be a core trend in enterprise technology in the coming years. Being able to successfully manage and get the best from human talent and intelligent technology is the key to gaining real value from the “reimagined workforce”. We showcased technology that can help to deliver and manage this productive workforce partnership, including our M2M Patient Reporting solution which enables end-to-end remote patient services for health workers, at this year’s event.