|By Loren Corbridge||
|March 2, 2012 05:00 AM EST||
In 2011, the top mobile apps deployed within enterprises were for email, field service, CRM sales and workflow. Will these apps be the most beneficial for your business? Only you and your team know that answer because every mobile journey is unique.
In less than two minutes, most CIOs can describe three or more (different) mobile scenarios that could help their business be more productive, reduce costs, improve customer relationships or be more efficient.
- A bakery with national distribution wants to increase the number of deliveries each truck makes by receiving orders earlier in the day and pre-loading delivery trucks.
- A cleaning company wants to bill clients earlier in the cycle by collecting employees' daily onsite reports rather than monthly aggregated reports.
- A video production company needs to speed its responses to customers by streamlining the approval process for each review cycle, expense report, travel request and purchase order.
- An auto parts distributor needs to share its inventory and ordering across all partner sites to ensure that suppliers and customers have the parts they need.
- A retail company wants to improve its interaction with mobile-toting consumers by designing a mobile-friendly website.
Every company has a business relationship, need or process that can be improved with mobility. The most important question is where can mobility provide the biggest benefits in your business? The answer will depend on your user types and their mobile devices, existing business processes, current systems and platforms and known inefficiencies.
That's a big mix of variables. Six months from now you can shake those variables again and identify new mobilization projects that have sprung up based on the success of the initial deployments.
- At the cleaning company, executive management wants to see business analysis reports on a daily basis.
- The video production company wants the sales team to enter new work orders so that they can see a full view of the project pipeline and forecast potential revenue.
- The retail company is now ready to mobilize its inventory for its suppliers.
The list goes on and on because mobility breeds mobility. Once one group is mobile, others will want to mobilize their business processes and mobile recommendations will be coming into IT fast and furious. That's the amazing thing about mobility: It unleashes creativity and inspires people to think about nontraditional and better ways to do their jobs. A large jewelry company, for example, wanted to safeguard the samples that sales people were using during sales calls. The company realized it could slash its insurance costs by putting images of its inventory on mobile devices rather than traveling with the expensive jewels to different customer sites. That's the power of mobility.
Build Once, Deploy to Many
To meet the requests for mobility that start coming in from across the company, CIOs will need to invest in a flexible, end-to-end mobility solution that adapts to current and future mobility plans.
A word of caution, though - while speed and efficiency are important, you will want to develop a mobile business model that can be replicated easily. Some early mobile adopters were quick to mobilize a small business unit or a specific application, but they could not repeat the process when other groups asked for something similar. Without that ability to build once and deploy across many scenarios, mobility suffers and becomes costly in both capital and operational expenses.
Enterprises that deploy open, extensible platforms can replicate a pilot program for one unit or group out to other departments, across multiple mobile devices and operating systems and business applications. With this model in place, companies can cherry pick apps that will give them quick, early successes. A pilot program of 20 field personnel, sales people or executive management is often a good place to start. These groups are already highly mobile and eager to work on their mobile devices.
They are good test cases for developing UIs across multiple device types and operating systems, as well as initial integration to back-end systems. They can also provide feedback on data syncs between onsite platforms and mobile devices. Another important area to test is app enablement and onboarding. The first experience that users have with the mobile app is the most important. When large sets of users download the apps, the configuration, security, access profiles and all the initial set-up routines should be uniformly easy and user friendly.
Think Big or Go Home
According to a September 2011 Yankee Group report, companies are focusing their investments in mobile solutions on improving responsiveness to customers (48 percent), providing mobile access to existing applications to improve worker productivity (41 percent) and transforming business processes to improve operational efficiencies (30 percent). These companies have started their mobile journeys and are leveraging mobile as a way to combat economic challenges and ride what we all hope will be a return to a more profitable, business-friendly year.
Looking at mobility from a single perspective, as in mobilizing one app or giving mobile devices to a lone group, kills its potential. An end-to-end mobility strategy that addresses the entire life cycle from app development to deployment to support and training is a necessity for being better prepared and more competitive in 2012.
Truths About Mobile Business Apps
- Building mobile business apps is harder than building consumer apps.
- Mobile business apps leverage the features of the enterprise app that are most relevant to the mobile user. Not every feature and capability will be transferred to the mobile app.
- Mobile business apps are updated three to five times more often than traditional enterprise apps.
- Business apps often need offline data storage. More data means data syncs have to happen when there's a strong connection. One or two bars will not be enough.
- Mobile application management support can reduce the app onboarding process from days to minutes.
- Mobile application development platforms that support build once/deploy to many can reduce the development time for Android, BlackBerry and iOS platforms from months to weeks.
- In looking at plans for 2012, every new app deployment should have a mobile component.
- App development and app management must be tightly coupled to ensure success.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 26, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,537
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Jul. 25, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,011
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 25, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,307
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 25, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,501
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 25, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,934
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Jul. 25, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,972
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jul. 25, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,887
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 25, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,794
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
Jul. 25, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,013
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Jul. 25, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 984
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 25, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,755
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jul. 25, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,438
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Jul. 25, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,077
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Jul. 25, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 965
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 25, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,699
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 25, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,976
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Jul. 25, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 875
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Jul. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 982
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.
Jul. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,936
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Jul. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 527