Mobile device manufacturers still do not understand how to sell mobility solutions into enterprises, according to research from analyst Datamonitor.
The firm claimed that solution selling to corporates was of paramount importance, but that manufacturers were relying on individuals buying mobile devices and then taking them into the business arena.
"The main market at the moment is for people buying their own PDAs and hooking them up," said Richard Clifford, mobility analyst at Datamonitor.
"This will change. In the short term, system integrators and large software companies will deliver mobility solutions, and manufacturers will have to partner with these firms to get to market.
"In the long term, there will be the potential for operators to start selling simple solutions to SMEs."
Keith Yaxley, sales and marketing director at mobile device integrator Data2Hand, said: "The operators aren't set up for this.
"For example, we had a fault with some devices we sold, but no one seemed prepared to accept the responsibility for the warranty. At the moment, operators are set up to sell airtime and handsets, not solutions.
"Having said that, if someone walked up to you and tried to sell you SMS when it first appeared, you might have been sceptical. There is a learning curve."
Datamonitor added that SMEs would account for most of the spending in the business mobile device market, which will be worth an estimated $1.3bn by 2006.
Brian Jackson, managing director of Now Distribution, said: "SMEs are a good market sector, but enterprise and government are where the serious money is.
"You have to sell solutions. I think operators will not have a problem selling to firms with five or less employees. But anything between enterprise and small business will be reseller territory."
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