In a previous blog, I mentioned that companies would use context to deliver Right-time Experiences (RTEs). In the next several posts, I’d like to spend more time talking about how the future of mobile (B2C and B2E) is about delivering more RTEs.
Today, leading companies are using mobile devices to improve operations, such as making order processing more efficient and improving data entry accuracy. However, mobilizing existing processes is not enough to create a sustainable competitive advantage. The rise of mobile, social, and cloud has changed customer and employee expectations. Customers expect companies to respond to issues and opportunities in real time. Employees expect the business to provide access to meaningful information while they are on the go and at the time of decision. Transforming business processes requires delivering valuable insights from data in near real time. Businesses must combine mobile data with big data processing and analytics to store, analyze, and convert numerous data sources into context that is related to the customer, the market, or a situation.
Companies will transform business processes by using contextual data from various sources, including internal corporate apps, Web-accessible data, and connected device data to build Right-time Experiences. As I’ve said before, RTEs are enhanced business processes or services that deliver an employee or customer the proper information at the moment of need. RTEs can be delivered in a person-to-person, person-to-machine, and machine-to-machine (M2M) context. For example, if the temperature in a data center rises above a certain level, the cooling system software could access the data in order to determine if there is a problem and directly send a repair request to the maintenance company. Right-time Experiences differ from what we have today because they are:
Today’s applications and services were built for mass consumption and designed to work on a specific device. RTEs will adapt as a person moves between devices such as a laptop to a smartphone to a tablet. While RTEs benefit from real-time data, they do not have to be a real-time experience but merely an experience that happens at the point of need. RTEs will analyze a person’s transaction history, analyze data from their current condition, and respond with data that is relevant to the individual user or to a specific occurrence.
Connected across internal and external data sources
Most applications operate in information silos while RTEs are integrated across internal corporate data sources. RTEs also connect to data that resides outside of the company. RTEs will link applications to application programming interface (API) accessible data and services, such as reviews, product comparisons, transaction clearinghouses, authentication services, and click-to-call services. However, it’s not just consumer-oriented data that is being made available. Businesses are also providing API-accessible data to their partners and IT will use this data to create RTEs that optimize work flow. For example, a beverage manufacturer could make its inventory data accessible to its bottle distributor’s dispatch systems with APIs.
Semantic and predictive
An RTE learns and adjusts to a user’s behaviors over time. If the user’s context changes, the RTE should self-adapt. The best RTEs will make the technology seemingly disappear, leaving people free to do their job or perform a task without “learning how to use the app.” A predictive RTE prevents issues and/or presents opportunities to the user.
One challenge that businesses must overcome to build RTEs is to think about how mobile will change your existing applications or business processes. For example, a mobile app could collect data from several existing legacy applications and present this data in one usable interface.
What is your greatest mobile application challenge today? How can you overcome that challenge to create a Right-time Experience?
Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.