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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
According to research from Ovum, there is a limited window of opportunity for software providers in relation to wireless connectivity. The market for wireless middleware software and services alone should add up to about $2.6 billion in 2003. But with arguably too many specialist vendors now in the market, Ovum expects a long period of consolidation. Wireless is no longer an exotic vertical niche, and will increasingly be served by mainstream software technologies. Ovum therefore advises wireless software vendors to start planning their survival strategies now. To support them in this process, the company is launching a new advisory service, WirelessSoftware@Ovum, dedicated to software and services vendors.
This service is designed to enables software and services companies to understand the wireless market landscape and the needs of their various customer groups: mobile operators, services providers and enterprises. It helps vendors identify their options, and advises them on appropriate strategies. According to Ovum, one of the key features of the wireless software market is new competition between IT and wireless vendors. "Who would have thought five years ago that Nokia and Microsoft would be competitors – or even Ericsson and IBM?" says Figueras. "But consolidation resulting from the violent collision of the IT and wireless industries will create giants spanning both worlds. There will ultimately only be room for one or two small independent players." To survive, software and services players need a clear understanding of what they can realistically achieve in the wireless market by themselves. "It is crucial to start thinking about who they might want to end up in bed with," says Figueras. "But they must be realistic and decide whether they want to be a giant or a potential acquisition. As a result, they must start reviewing their partnerships and forging closer links with the right organisations."
More research on the area can be found on Ovum's Web page at: Wireless Software: What software and services companies need to know: www.ovum.com/go/content/018714.htm