The initial euphoria about WAP died long ago, leaving the still-developing wireless industry with nothing but wounds. Though WAP died a slow death, its proprietary cousin i-Mode was a huge success in Japan, leaving many astonished. The success of wireless devices has been so immense that Japan seems to be running out of IP addresses for the telephonesa situation that Microsoft has now solved by incorporating support for IP V6 in its latest release of Windows CE.net.
The wireless world grapples with a slew of connectivity standards: 802.11 versus Bluetooth, difficulty in choosing devices, handhelds versus smart phones, and multiple OS variations. Against this backdrop, enterprises are now seriously looking at wireless devices buoyed by better connectivity and more capabilities of access devices.
The first wave of wireless applications were an enhancement of the existing Web or client-server applications, and merely provided alerts because WAP was both cumbersome expensive to build.
Crafting the Wireless Strategy
The whole of the wireless sector is under close scrutiny from research agencies, analysts, consultants, and enterprises keen to implement some sort of wireless solutions. While the debate for ROI (Return on Investment) continues and mixed opinions continue to float, it might make sense to understand what the wireless can actually deliver from a strategic focus.
Even now, the role of wireless applications is twofold: to deliver personalized information and data in a business-to-consumer scenario, and to improve enterprise productivity through a combination of B2B and B2E wireless applications (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Strategic uses of wireless technologies within an enterprise.