Why Companies Should Look to Their Carrier for Guidance on Applications

As a Mobility Applications Consultant, my responsibility is to help companies leverage the investment in their mobile devices to accomplish more.  More? That’s rather vague isn’t it?  I suppose it can be seen that way, but I’ve never found a way to narrow it down into a nice little sound byte for what I do for my clients.  The fact of the matter is, what the ‘more’ is, depends on what impacts the client the most.

When I sit down with business owners, I like to learn what they do from day to day and uncover if there are ways to do ’that thing’, better or easier or quicker.  My medium for accomplishing this is the buzzword of the moment; “apps”, (applications).

For years, business has relied on the same classic principles modified by a few adjustments from technology along the way.  Before the automobile, people traveled on foot or horse to deliver messages to recipients.  When the phone was invented, those same messages could be spoken over wires and savings both in time and fuel were magnificent.

As recently as a dozen years ago, mobile email changed business again thanks to the Blackberry.  Now we have apps.  The challenge is, how do you know what apps should be used to help your business?  Apple has over 425,000 apps and Google claims 250,000+.  And let’s not forget Microsoft’s or RIM’s Blackberry catalogs with even more apps from which to select.  Trying to weed through them all would take years.  The companies that I come in contact with are not in business to sort through applications.  They have a service to offer or a widget to sell. They have a business to run.  This is where I come in.

I represent an organization divided into horizontal and vertical business units all focused on the same task.  We provide the enterprise and small and medium business owners our years of experience in mobile solutions. One such example of this is an application for attorneys to collect their billable moments that often go unrecorded.  The revenue reclaimed by automating the time recording process pays for the solution many times over.  Here is a short video to show how it works.

The ecosystem of application developers at our disposal is comprised of the best software and service providers.  Often, we offer certified solutions and consolidated billing.  Specialized teams have analyzed the return on investment for nearly all areas where mobile solutions and applications are used.  Where appropriate, we help customers by supplying references to help these customers experience what others have gone through before them.

Many times I sit down with businesses that feel their needs are so specific the only answer is to build a custom application.  Although this is a nice in theory, it has been my experience this can become a very expensive proposition.  Beyond initial code creation, there is upkeep, future feature additions, and support cost that must be considered.  While we are in the midst of a mobile platform war wouldn’t you feel safer leaving the changing OS landscape problem to someone else?

Finally, I want to share with you a dirty little secret.  It’s called Churn. “Churn”, is the term used to account for subscribers of one service disconnecting and moving to another service provider.  Typically, it’s associated with phone numbers, but now it applies to services and applications.  It costs the provider extra and these providers want to avoid the hassle of churn.  This is a good thing for the business owner.  It means that you won’t be sold a bill of goods.  If you decide the solution you chose is not for you and you cancel it, the commission is pulled back from the salesperson.  It does no one any good to sell a solution that does not stick.  Applications Consultants work hard to ensure that the product being recommended will provide real value.

In sum, the apps you see on mobile devices are changing the way business is done.  With the thousands of apps already on the market, there is a great probability that what you need already exists and you don’t have to create something from scratch which can be costly. Work with your trusted vendor who can help guide you through what currently exists and help find the best solution for your business.

What mobile apps are you using that you have found most helpful?  We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
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