Digital Business Initiatives Transform Mobile UsageBy Mike Vizard | Print
Mobile services include more than connectivity, with mobile app development enabling solution providers to offer customized, high-value systems to customers.
Multiple Downstream Effects
That shift in customer mindset also is having multiple downstream effects on issues ranging from vendor alliances to the quality of the application experience customers now demand.
Samsung Electronics America, for example, just expanded its technology alliance program to provide partners with access to third-party applications that would allow them to craft higher-margin solutions, said Jim Heesacker, vice president of strategic alliances for the business unit of Samsung. "We're trying to court technical partners, systems integrators and ISVs," he added.
But as solution providers start crafting more complex mobile computing solutions, many of them are discovering that creating and delivering these solutions are much more complex undertakings than they initially thought, said Paul Kopacki, chief marketing officer for Realm, a provider of an application development platform designed to create interactive mobile applications.
Users, he pointed out, have come to expect mobile applications to provide a level of experience on par with Uber. However, Uber has the benefit of thousands of developers, as well as access to a lot of capital. Solution providers that want to build similar types of applications need access to tools designed from the ground up to support highly interactive mobile applications.
"Realm includes all the middleware needed to build those types of applications," said Kopacki.
The adoption of mobile computing applications and devices is even helping to accelerate the shift to cloud-based communications systems, which are replacing traditional PBX systems. Dialpad, for example, is starting to build out a channel for its cloud-based communications system that integrates with Microsoft Office 365.
"We see an opportunity to expand into the Microsoft channel," said Dialpad CEO Craig Walker. "People now want to be able to do everything from their mobile phone.”
Mobile computing has become so foundational that some vendors no longer distinguish between mobile applications and other types of apps. SAP, for example, now includes mobile application development tools as part of its base offerings, said Senthil Krishnapillai, global vice president and head of development for Digital Experience Services at SAP.
"Mobile is the platform for digital business; it's not just a catchphrase," said Krishnapillai. "In most new application deployments, it's not mobile-first; it's mobile-only."
Solution providers now face the challenge of figuring out the best way to go about segmenting all those mobile computing opportunities at a time when mobile computing and digital business initiatives now and forever go hand in hand.