Monday, January 22, 2007

Mobile Software Platforms for Handheld PDAs and Smartphones for Enterprise Mobile Software Solutions

I was reading an article from Gartner last week that mentioned by 2009 companies would be seeking mobile software platform solutions for use with smartphones and handheld PDAs, rather than single purpose mobile software applications. I agree and have been evangelizing this strategy for some time now. Let's discuss why I believe this statement to be accurate.

A single purpose mobile software application is designed for only one business process -for example, an electrical substation inspection. It has no value beyond that one inspection process. A mobile software platform in contrast, would enable an infinite number of different mobile software applications and inspection software programs to be designed, developed and deployed on the same platform.

Last year I was working with a large electrical utility company. They had 7 different enterprise applications that all had their own mobile handheld PDA applications. The IT department had no interest in learning and supporting 7 different mobile client applications, design environments, security architectures, help desk organizations, vendors, etc. They wanted one mobile software platform that could provide mobile handheld clients for all of their enterprise applications. This would reduce costs, headaches and enable their IT team to learn one environment that could support all of their mobile client needs. MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform is designed specifically for this purpose.

A mobile software platform should provide the following components:
  • Mobile application development environment (easy to learn visual development)
  • Mobile synchronization middleware
  • Mobile application, device and user manager
  • Mobile databases and database server(s)
  • Integration and adaptor tools

A mobile software platform enables a business to mobilize all of their field operational processes, not just a single process.