NetMotion's new CEO Prusch: BlackBerry's struggles highlight fast-moving enterprise mobility world

NetMotion Wireless recently hired a new CEO, Erik Prusch, who was formerly the CEO of wireless company Clearwire. Prusch is still getting used to his new role as the head of an enterprise mobility management firm, but he said  BlackBerry's struggles in the smartphone market, particularly as it has confronted the bring your own device phenomenon, highlights how fast mobile technology and tastes can change.

In an interview with FierceMobileIT, Prusch said BlackBerry is going to continue to be a force in enterprise mobility, but so will privately held NetMotion, which was founded in 2001. Since September 2012 the company has been backed by Clearlake Capital, a private equity firm.

"When you're talking about BlackBerry there's always going to be a tail but it's amazing how fast that customer can move away from you when you're not addressing customer needs," he said. "We were always looking at those types of underlying market movements, even at Clearwire." Sprint purchased Clearwire last summer and is using its wireless spectrum to increase capacity on its LTE network.

Prusch has different topics and trends to worry about these days. This week NetMotion announced the latest version of Mobility, a client/server software solution and one of its core products. The platform provides a central control point from which enterprises secure, manage and optimize connectivity for critical work teams.

The company said the new version improves the performance of real-world networks, improving connectivity while protecting applications from packet loss and latency issues. The new software also supports certificate-based authentication for Android, and also supports Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.  Additionally, organizations can deploy Mobility and Riverbed Steelhead Mobile support to further reduce data consumption and improve performance.

NetMotion has around 1 million deployed users on its platforms, which also includes Locality, a hosted, cloud-based Software as a Service, or SaaS, solution that lets enterprises track real-world field user experiences. The Locality platform includes real-world data coverage maps that let organizations track network performance and chronic connectivity issues related to signal quality, location, network saturation, older network technologies or devices.

Prusch said his main goal is to help enterprises scale their mobility businesses, which will lead to more sales for NetMotion.

"I do expect us to get onto a very high growth curve," he said.

Prusch said he thinks BYOD is going to continue to accelerate as a trend, but that enterprises are still going to need security, performance and management solutions for their mobile workforce. "The complexity increases the more the devices start to differentiate themselves," he said.  

He said NetMotion has been very focused on vertical industries--healthcare, finance, energy, and the like--and will continue to be. "There's still a lot for me learn but there's still a lot for us to go after," he said.

"In vertical markets there is usualy a set of requirements or a set of needs by customers that are shared," he said. "The better a company can be at coming up with simple, cost-effective solutions quickly, the best they are going to do." 

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