Even in this era of all-consuming transformation, the explosive growth in mobile connected devices deserves special mention. Welcome to the ‘wild west’ of mobile device-land; the fastest-changing environment the world has ever known.
To put this phenomenon in context, every single day, up to 60 new mobile devices are added to this teeming global ecosystem, taking their place alongside smartphones, tablets, game consoles, connected TVs, wearables, billboards, cars, and almost countless other devices.
For consumers, this is exhilarating. As technology continues to sink into the woodwork, pretty soon a mere tap on the forehead, or blink of an eye, may be all we need to connect to the digital space.
The business headache of device proliferation
For companies, however, especially those that need to monitor and understand their mobile traffic, the relentless proliferation of connected devices is, frankly, a headache.
After all, in order to analyse how and why mobile devices are accessing your websites, apps and networks, you must first be able to recognise what those devices are. Where do you start? How do you keep up?
These are the questions that bring companies to DeviceAtlas, one of the world’s foremost pioneers and providers of mobile device data. It’s quite likely you’ve never heard of this Irish company. But then again, it’s equally likely that you use their product every day of the week.
DeviceAtlas maintains a global network of websites and apps that monitor mobile connected traffic to provide detailed information about the nature and capabilities of connected devices. This is supplemented by a range of industry partnerships to ensure completeness of coverage.
Challenges of a fragmented device landscape
The firm also specialises in identifying devices that have not been seen before, adding each one to a vast repository – currently covering more than 50,000 devices – to give clients deep insights into their mobile traffic and usage patterns.
“The device landscape is incredibly fragmented and that is terrifying to a lot of companies,” says DeviceAtlas’ Director of Product Strategy, John Leonard. “All those devices have different capabilities and different characteristics, so it’s a huge job to keep track of them all. We enable our clients to harness that diversity and turn it to their advantage.
“Typically, a company will come to us and say ‘We need to understand what’s going on’, so the first step tends to be towards analytics,” says Leonard. “Then, when they can see what is happening with their traffic patterns, where they are weak and where they’re strong, it allows them to set policy.
“The next phase is putting that intelligence to work,” he continues. “To give a rough example, the analytics might highlight that a company has a high conversion rate from devices with a 5-inch screen, but a lower conversion rate from 7-inch devices. DeviceAtlas can not only help pinpoint this sort of anomaly but provide the tools to fix it.”
Having started small, the company enlisted the help of Enterprise Ireland – the national export agency – to break into new markets, and is now firmly ensconced in the big time.
DeviceAtlas clients include more than twenty of the Fortune 100
The company counts more than twenty of the Fortune 100 among its client roster, as well as a range of well-known brands such as IBM, Adobe, Amazon, and Nielsen – and estimates that its data is used by most of the Fortune 1000 via OEM platforms leveraging DeviceAtlas in support of their services. Advertising is also a sweet spot, with a staggering 1 in 3 of all digital ads underpinned by DeviceAtlas.
The operation is driven by continuous R&D – “the core of our business” according to John Leonard – which is reflected in the patents DeviceAtlas has been granted: four so far with several more in train.
With key export markets including the US, India and China, DeviceAtlas has its sights set on further growth. “Our ambition has always been international because the problem we solve is international,” says Martin Clancy, the company’s Head of Marketing. “We’ve always been an outward looking company.”
DeviceAtlas has acquired a reputation not only for cutting-edge innovation but for flexibility and diversity (the 50-strong team boasts 18 different nationalities); a company that’s easy to get along with. It’s a winning combination.
The company now has customers in 56 countries, with an emphasis on developing long-term partnerships. “Using our product is a journey that delivers increasing value over time as customers find new ways of leveraging the information we provide,” says John Leonard. “Our clients never have to worry about device fragmentation again.”
As the device landscape continues to snowball, that is an attractive pitch. “We find that successful companies choose us,” says Leonard. “Companies that have a greater awareness of the criticality of data for business and a readier willingness to invest in tools that improve their competitiveness and hence the bottom line.
“Those companies are happy to offload their mobile intelligence because it’s just so much to handle,” he adds. “The industry is evolving faster and faster so it’s going to get even harder to keep up, but we will – it’s what we do.”