Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New and Unique Mobile Applications and Business Processes

It seems like everybody can now build a mobile client. I remember when that was a very big deal. Now it is quickly becoming a commodity feature. The value of mobile applications is quickly shifting from the mobile client to the business process that is being mobilized.

Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Chuck Sacco of Movitas. These guys focus on some very interesting and unique business processes in the hospitality markets. They want to help their hotel clients offer time sensitive "distressed inventory" to their guests via mobile devices.

Chuck educated me on the meaning of distressed inventory. Distressed inventory describes open time slots for services. For example, a spa may have open time slots on their schedule. These open time slots are not making any money for the property.

Motivas' solution is designed to be able to notify guests of available services, and even perhaps discounts on services on the property. The purpose is to improve the revenue generating potential of distressed inventory. An unused time slot generates zero money. If you can send out a SMS message to guests that there is a 50% discount on spa treatments between 4:15 PM and 4:45 PM, then you can generate money where there wasn't any. I guess this assumes that guests that were booked at 100% of fees don't reschedule to the 4:15 PM time.... That would be an important configuration feature wouldn't it? Notify only the guests not previously scheduled :-)

The key points are the following:
  1. Saving money or making money for the enterprise customer is the key
  2. Enabling a business process to work no matter the technology
  3. It is not the gadget that is important, but the business results
  4. Deep vertical industry expertise is critical to providing real value
  5. Make it easy on the user ~ push timely information out, don't depend on users to discover
  6. Identify areas of latency, inefficiencies and poor service and fix it in a scalable model

I invite your thoughts and comments.

Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobility Consultant, Wireless Industry Analyst and Marketing Consultant
twitter: @krbenedict