A conversation with Mike Coleman, Samsung
A candid conversation around enterprise mobility’s role in the Digital Transformation.
The global workforce is becoming more and more mobile focused. Remote work is on the rise and employees are no longer confined to their desktops. But how can enterprises give their changing workforces the tools and support they need, especially at scale? We spoke with Mike Coleman, VP of Channel Sales at Samsung, to explore this new dynamic and understand how enterprise mobility is sparking the digital transformation.
Q: What does digital transformation mean to Samsung and how does the role of mobility play into this theme?
Coleman: Well, it's an interesting question around a topic we have spent a lot of time researching and studying. IDC, for example predicts one third of the U.S. workforce will be mobile by next year. These companies, including ourselves, don't want to be weighed down with heavy technology. They want to have lightweight, on-the-go and connectable technologies. Mobile is now the core platform for business transformation.
A survey Samsung conducted with GfK found mobile workers spend one-third of their day working on their smartphone and can get half of their work done using only their phone. We are now seeing the transformation right before our eyes.
We are moving from mobile-first to mobile-only. In that same GfK survey, we found 62 percent of workers are willing to give up their PC entirely, provided they could connect their smartphones to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. We have achieved this with Samsung DeX, which uses a Galaxy smartphone to power a desktop experience. Today's Galaxy smartphones are more powerful than some laptops and grants users the freedom and flexibility they need.
Endpoint devices are vital in order to access data from anywhere, at any time. Businesses have already transitioned their app development efforts to mobile and the cloud. Whatever industry you take a closer look at, workflows are being transitioned to mobile. The efficiency gains of moving from paper-based workflows to mobile are enormous and dwarfs the investment being made in mobile devices and connectivity. This mobile format is critical to the business transformation.
We’ve focused on making this transition easy by building out an ecosystem of leading business software providers who can help our customers quickly deploy new mobile apps to meet their unique demands. There are now so many use cases for mobile that workers need to be able to utilize information in a way that is comfortable, efficient and quantifiable in terms of value. The end goal for every organization is to improve productivity and profitability. Mobile is the vehicle that is allowing users access to these types of data and solutions.
Q: What types of emerging technology do you think will be most prevalent in 2030?
Coleman: The rollout of 5G will be the biggest technology shift of the next decade and certainly will impact how companies approach mobile. 5G will bring huge increases in the speed of data download. When 5G coverage is expanded, you’ll see download speeds up to 10 times or even 100 times faster than what you have with 4G today. At the same time, you’ll be able to deploy up to a million devices within a square kilometer, which will be crucial in supporting new consumer experiences at sporting venues, concerts or smart city IoT applications.
With 5G, you’ll also have a much lower latency. New response times within the network can be as fast as a single millisecond. This will be crucial in the advancement of AR and VR, which will be among the key emerging technologies over the next 10 years.
Supported by low latency 5G connectivity, we’ll be able to create AR experiences and tools that respond in real-time. What used to only occur in a gaming environment has now expanded to business applications. For example, remote surgery will become possible, as will true virtual meetings where you appear to be sitting together in the same room but are actually thousands of miles away.
5G also will support the expansion of autonomous vehicles, which we anticipate becoming increasingly common over the next decade. This appears very futuristic but is not as far off as you may think. We are in exciting times, and I think Samsung is certainly at the forefront of utilizing this technology to deliver real solutions that will enable businesses.
Q: Do you have any examples of how you help futureproof the operations of your customers by leveraging these emerging technologies?
Coleman: In working with Stratix, we were able to deliver integrated mobile solutions to a leading LTL carrier. They needed to migrate from thousands of legacy Windows-based rugged mobile devices to a modern ELD solution with full life cycle management and enterprise-grade security. With Stratix, we helped to enable digital transformation for their fleet via the adoption of Galaxy Tab Active2 tablets for their drivers. This gave them real-time access to routes, truckload contents and other detailed information on a daily basis.
Another great example is our work with Quadrant Biosciences. They developed a solution for brain health testing which is at the forefront of our minds these days with an increased awareness of concussion in contact sports. 2.5 million student athletes get concussions each year, but there hasn’t been a proper way to test them and decide when they can safely return to play. We partnered with Quadrant in their development of a Galaxy tablet-based tool for concussion testing.
By working with Samsung, Quadrant was able to develop an all-in-one solution and deliver a better user experience for their customers. Now, doctors and medical technicians are able to assess athletes in real time to determine if students are fit to return to the field or in need of further medical assistance. This is how we make these emerging technologies “real” and build solutions to solve today’s problems.
Q: Those are great use cases. Does wearable technology play into this trend at all?
Coleman: Absolutely, smartwatches are becoming key business tools in many Industries where workers need to operate hands-free. A great example of this is how we solved a problem for Magna’s manufacturing facility in Ontario. With close to 40 assembly lines for automotive parts, they were looking for a comprehensive enterprise solution that would not only provide them with real-time information about their factory environment, but also allow them to take the first step toward becoming a smart factory.
We worked in partnership to deploy Samsung technologies, including smartwatches, tablets and displays. It’s allowed Magna to reap the benefits of wearable technologies by improving maintenance personnel response times and gaining plant intelligence that wasn’t previously available. The plant can now further reduce downtime and improve their manufacturing waste through smart factory projects.
Q: What are some barriers to technical/organizational change and mobile tech adoption you are seeing, and how can we overcome them?
Coleman: If technology is not intuitive, it's not going to be adopted at a high rate across an enterprise. We strive to build solutions that are scalable, yet easy to use for frontline employees.
For many organizations, taking a BYOD approach to mobility has been the biggest barrier to adoption. Many businesses viewed smartphones as personal/consumer devices but are now realizing they’re core business tools that power productivity.
End users want the flexibility to use their own devices, but a BYOD solution makes taking full advantage of mobility more challenging. Device management and security becomes more complex as you are dealing with various operating systems and models. Deploying innovative new applications also becomes more cumbersome due to compatibility issues. Yet, enterprises must still deliver a seamless user experience, while ensuring that all company data is secure.
At Samsung, we understand launching mobile initiatives can be complex for businesses. Understanding this, we’ve created tools to make the entire process easier, whether at the individual level or BYOD. Device management and security begins with Samsung Knox. This is a multi-layered defense-grade security platform from the hardware up and designed for the enterprise. The Knox platform is recognized as highly secure and trusted by the Department of Defense as well as governments around the world.
Knox allows an entire fleet of devices to be configured and customized remotely, while making device enrollment easier for both IT admins and specific users. The platform offers affordable device management to keep data protected across multiple operating systems. With Knox, we want companies to feel empowered to manage the user experience in a secure and scalable fashion. In working closely with the Stratix team, we've come up with very trusted and proven solutions that can do just that.
People are sometimes resistant to change, so our job is to educate and inform our customers at all levels of the organization about what's possible. We need to show them how new platforms can be fairly intuitive and used to solve real business problems, which at the end of the day, is what they're looking for.
Q: What is the value of partnerships in the digital transformation landscape – for you & your customers, and how does a partner like Stratix add value to Samsung?
Coleman: Partnership is central to everything we do. We focus on open collaboration and providing choice to our customers. Over the past five years, we’ve established a broad ecosystem of partners – from leading software providers, to hardware accessory partners, to leading device management solutions. This means when a customer comes to us or to one of our partners with a challenge, we can bring together not just the right mobile devices, but the total solution.
Through our strategic partnership, Stratix uniquely offers one of the most well-integrated and supported deployments of Samsung devices and services for the enterprise. From the Samsung Knox security platform to Samsung’s industry-leading portfolio of smartphones, tablets and wearables, they provide premium field services, deployment and Day-2 support of the entire Samsung ecosystem.
This has been the fastest growing segment within our mobile B2B business here in the US. And that's because partners like Stratix take the technology we offer, collaborate with us and then build solutions that allows our customers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
Customers are viewing the channel in this case as a true solution builder. They've shifted their thinking from procuring devices from the carriers to procuring devices from the channel partners when there's a true solution that needs to be wrapped around it. And that's where we see our partnerships essentially thriving.