Chai Time Chat with Leigh Williamson: Role of Software in Mobile
ParidhiVerma 2700008QKP Comments (3) Visits (3136)
Paridhi: You were recently in Barcelona attending the Mobile World Congress. Can you share some highlights from the event.
Leigh: One of the things that stood out to me at Mobile World Congress 2013 was the large number of new mobile operating systems that were introduced during the event. There was a large and visible Ubuntu Touch booth, easily recognizable with its orange coloring. Nearby was the Mozilla Firefox OS pavilion. And Samsung is now championing Tizen (Linux kernel plus WebKit runtime) and then there is tiny Sailfish which is a continuation of the Nokia Meego project.
In fact, there are now 8 different mobile operating systems in play, in addition to the heavy weights Android and iOS. This just demonstrates to me the huge desire for alternatives to the leading mobile OS contenders. It will be very interesting to see how all of these systems work out in the market. Maybe there will be even more alternatives by next year!
Of course, one of the highlights of the conference for me was the exciting IBM MobileFirst announcements and the “mini conference” that we hosted on Monday afternoon in the App Planet area of the venue. The formation of the new IBM MobileFirst brand is a tremendous confirmation of the investment that IBM is making in this part of the new era of information tech
Leigh: Increasingly, software is the key innovation for the mobile industry. Over the last couple of years, there were some rapid advances in hardware capabilities for smart phones. But now we are seeing some consolidation across the industry with smart phone technology becoming more and more a commodity, and the key differentiator for vendors coming from software innovation. You can see this especially clearly when you look at the latest releases from Samsung and Apple. There is a terrific NPR article about how Samsung is increasingly looking to software to deliver the value that will keep it above the commodity smart phone sink hole.
Ultimately, end users want apps. They want software that delivers some distinct value for their work or their lives. The mobile devices are just a means of hosting and delivering those apps. So it is software that will continue to power the growth of the mobile industry forward.
Paridhi: How can IBM help our clients accelerate innovation in mobile?
Leigh: IBM helps our clients accelerate mobile innovation by providing a comprehensive array of mobile software development tools and services. These capabilities are embodied in the IBM MobileFirst portfolio (see graphic). The core foundation of the portfolio is our mobile application platform which delivers the runtimes and tools necessary for creating mobile apps. Related to, and supporting, the mobile app platform are three additional capabilities for (1) managing mobile devices and applications; (2) securing mobile applications and associated data; and (3) analyzing mobile data in multiple dimensions – both business analytics and IT analytics.
We also offer a range of industry-specific mobile app solutions that are built upon our mobile platform. We have strategic alliances with companies such as AT&T and Apple that enhance what we can offer our clients for mobile solutions. And we have a very broad set of consulting services to assist our clients with any aspect of their mobile project, from mobile strategy definition, to implementation & testing, and even delivery & monitoring in production.
Meet the Expert: Leigh Williamson
Leigh Williamson is an IBM Distinguished Engineer who has been working in the Austin, Texas lab since 1988, contributing to IBM’s major software projects including OS/2, DB2, AIX, Java, WebSphere Application Server, and the Rational portfolio of development solutions. His current role is as a member of the Chief Technology Officer team, influencing the strategic direction for products addressing the needs of software development teams. Leigh’s primary focus is on tools and best practices for mobile application development. His blog on mobile development topics is the Mobile Frontier Blog. You can follow Leigh on Twitter @leighawillia. Leigh holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Nova University and a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.