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January 17th, 2013

We are in the process of rMobile wallet - still iffyeviewing the products, services, and technologies introduced to the consumer and business sectors last year—the hits and the misses. Now it’s time for the business sector duds. Breakthrough products like Apple’s iMac and iPhone, and technologies like ever-faster wireless may get the headlines, but we’ve identified four important “Business Tech Misses of 2012″ that you should know about.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) — This isn’t a product or service, it’s a movement: corporate employees think their IT departments should make whatever they bring into the building (a smart phone, CRE iPad rental, etc.) work with the company system. Where this mindset is taking hold, we see security headaches, inefficiency and confusion. As the BYOD push runs into well defined corporate mobile management, keep your eyes on the battlefield—there will continue to be lots of conflict over this.

Windows Phone 8 — This is technically advanced and powerful stuff, from a company that does know how to deliver cutting-edge, innovative products like the Surface RT. The Live Tiles are no longer too big for the display, and can be tweaked and personalized now, but with only a little over 3% market share—for Windows Phone 7 and 8 combined—this product is already a miss, and could end up a complete flop.

Enterprise App Stores — The concept isn’t new: Take the consumer app store model (Apple, Google) and serve the enterprise market the same way. One industry observer called enterprise app stores “one of those emerging technologies that is always emerging,” as none of the trials have led to full-blown deployment. The fact is, it’s one thing to download Angry Birds for your MacBook Pro rental, and an entirely different thing to install applications on mainframes. Western corporate culture may have let “casual Friday” evolve into “casual week,” but IT managers don’t want to use the self-serve aisle. They want to be treated well for the huge sums they pay to Oracle, HP, SAP and other enterprise vendors.

Google Wallet — On many smart phones, near-field communication technology (NFC) handles the “close stuff” while 4G and Wi-Fi take care of phone calls and Internet access, respectively. We’ve been hearing about mobile phone payments for years. The first breakthrough was the NFC standard itself, which is related to Bluetooth (which Apple installs in the iPhone, MacBook and every other OS X and iOS device). We’re still waiting for the second breakthrough, which is the idea breaking through consumer resistance. People are just not excited about this. This is the confusing, up-and-down story of Google Wallet, and the tale probably won’t end well. As ever, we’ll keep you posted!

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