Will BB10 be happy with fourth place? Will Bring Your Own Device become popular in India? Management strategy expert Venkat N. Venkatraman, professor in management at Boston University’s School of Management, has the answers. Venkatraman will be speaking at Guru Speak 2013, the annual full-day advanced knowledge workshop, organised by IIM Calcutta Alumni Association, at Taj Bengal on February 2, in association with The Telegraph.
Samsung vs Apple
Both are focused on design and user experience. The key difference is software. Apple iOS is not yet big in India (despite the popularity of iTunes and iPods). And so far, iPhone is for the rich segment. The tablet is the computing device of choice for the current generation and Apple has captured the imagination with iPad and iPad mini in the West. But these are still high-priced offering in places like India and China. Google is well positioned in India and Samsung is positioned with TVs (and appliances). So, the combination of Google plus Samsung is unbeatable in India. And the price point is right. Till Apple specifically introduces a phone for the Indian middle-class, it will play catch-up.
Just as IBM felt secure with their mainframe architecture, RIM (Blackberry) felt secure in the belief that they defined the enterprise mobile worker market with their mobile phones. The advent of two new entrants from outside the traditional industry boundaries Apple and Google has seriously challenged Blackberry and upset the industry equilibrium. Now, all hopes for RIM’s revival hinges on BB10. By looking at recent history of companies such as Kodak, Palm and others, one would expect RIM and Blackberry not to succeed. It can be a game changer and hence defy expectations if it can do three things well
First, continue to be a darling of the enterprise CIOs. Second, attract the core set of developers who have largely abandoned the Blackberry platform recently to come back and launch enterprise-grade business apps preferentially on BB (relative to Apple iOS and Google). Third, licence BB10 to non-RIM devices, especially oriented towards the consumer market. The mobile game is now a two-horse race with Apple and Google. The jockeying for the third place is between Microsoft (Nokia) and BB.
Social media network
Facebook and Twitter are clearly becoming mainstream. They define the social web not only for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) interactions but also for consumers-to-business interactions through Facebook pages and YouTube channels. I expect that more businesses in India will embrace social media more formally and aggressively as part of the marketing campaigns. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter should seek to find examples of application of social media in India that have broader applicability, so we learn from exciting experiments in how social media can facilitate C2C and C2B conversations and interactions.
Cloud computing in India
I see cloud computing as an inevitable shift provided the bandwidth is adequate (read: fast) and reliable. Even in USA, some of the recent service failures at Netflix have raised concerns about reliability. Assuming we can work through such issues, we will inevitably rely on virtual cloud networks not only for individual computing and storage (read: Google and Amazon) but also for business applications and interoperability across enterprises.
Bring Your Own Device
If executives believe that they are truly carrying multiple devices for different purposes, there would be a push for the enterprises to introduce BYOD. As executives find that they need an integrated access to all their applications so that they can seamlessly shift from work to home and back, there will be more pressure on allowing BYOD.