Friday, September 10, 2010

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Smartsoft Mobile Solutions' CEO Dan Homrich, Part 1

I was lucky enough to catch up with Dan Homrich, CEO of Smartsoft Mobile Solutions (SMS) recently for an interview.  I am particularly impressed with one data point about Smartsoft Mobile Solutions - they have over 400,000 mobile clients in the field.  That means something they are doing is being done very right!

Kevin:  Dan, how long have you been involved in the mobility industry?

Dan:  I have been using mobile devices since the 1980s.  I have a story about using a 300 baud audio coupler on a pay phone to submit orders, but I have been in the industry for over 15 years.  Fifteen years ago I was involved in implementing industrial grade handheld computers for use in warehouse management.

Kevin:  What was your first PDA, and what mobile device do you carry today?

Dan:  My first PDA was an iPaq using Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.  I now carry an Apple iPhone 4 and love it!  The multi-tasking is a big improvement.

Kevin:  What is your favorite iPhone application?

Dan:  The Home Depot iPhone application.  It helps you find products, see the products, see the prices, locate the products, etc.

Kevin:  What is your role today and what does that role involve?

Dan:  I am the Chief Executive Officer, and my responsibility is strategic direction and customer satisfaction.

Kevin:  What industries do you see adopting mobility today?

Dan:  We see a big interest in mobile applications from retail companies.  We call this market the B2E (business to everyone) or B2C (business to consumer) market, retailers wanting mobile customer focused applications.  We also see a big interest for any kind of mobile application that can help companies sell more products.

Kevin:  What mobility trends do you see for the rest of 2010 and 2011?

Dan:  There are going to be an increasing number of mobile devices and mobile operating systems.  We do not see a market consolidation yet.  The market continues to grow and diversify.  That means enterprises are going to need a plan to support an increasing number of devices and mobile OSs.  I also believe that if Verizon sells the iPhone, there will be another huge explosion (increase) in interest around the iPhone.

Kevin:  What are you hearing in the market about mobile device management?  Is there an increasing need given your prediction of diversity in mobile devices and mobile operating systems?

Dan:  In the past I have worked on projects where we deployed 5,000 rugged and industrial grade mobile handheld computers.  At that time mobile device management seemed critical.  Today, I hear less interest in mobile device management.  It is a company culture thing.  When devices were specialized for niche markets and specific to a task, companies were concerned about keeping them up and functioning.  With today's smartphones, you can replace the device and be up and running in a few minutes.

This is part 1 of the interview with Smartsoft Mobile Solutions CEO Dan Homrich.  Read part 2 here.

For more Mobile Expert Interviews read here.

For more Mobile Expert Videos watch here.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
twitter @krbenedict
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.