SIIA Summit tackles mobile business and distribution models

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To help digital business information providers address the impact the wireless revolution is having on their business models, the Software and Information Industry Association built its 10th annual Information Industry Summit last month around the theme “Moving from wired to wireless.” About 250 people attended the event in New York.

Bob Egan, chief research officer of Sepharim Group, an advisory firm that studies the business and social impact of emerging technologies, was a panelist in a session on the mobile M&A landscape. “When we talk about mobile, we’re no longer talking about devices. We talk about information mobility, and the real change comes from the ubiquitous connectivity [of users],” he said, noting that smartphones and tablets allow users to constantly seek and consume information over the Internet no matter where they are.

Another panelist, Steve Brotman, managing partner of Greenhill SAVP, said some media companies fear the impact mobility may have on their online business, but “smart media companies are embracing mobile because they realize that this [soon] will be the primary way people are consuming content.”

Throughout the two-day event, many speakers advised business information companies to go beyond simple content delivery and develop mobile applications that help their audiences perform specific job functions.

Lisa Mitnick, an executive director within Accenture’s Mobility Services Practice, said, “There are two important [opportunity] segments. One is the mobile field force. The other is the workforce that uses mobile devices ‘in place,’ such as hospital workers who are constantly moving from one patient to the next.”

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