Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Many Mobility Platforms are Enough?


Kevin Benedict and Australian Post's
John Moy (on the right).
I spoke to John Moy from the Australian Post about his many mobility projects this week.  They have all kinds of interesting mobility applications that are customer facing apps.  I recorded a video interview with John that I will publish here as soon as I get a good high speed Internet connection.  The mobile applications he mentioned were the following:
  • Postage calculator
  • Package tracking
  • Locations of post offices
During our discussions John asked a very good question.  He asked, "Does SAP/Sybase have a mobility platform for customer facing applications?"  I thought about this and said, "Good question!"  There are certainly ways to connect customer facing mobile applications with SAP data and processes, but is there a true platform for customer facing applications?  How would you have answered that question?

I would tell you if I knew.

Customer facing mobile applications need to be compelling in order to compete, and for customers to be motivated to use them.  They need to have incredible UIs (user interfaces) and great value.  John and I would have asked this question of the Sybase folks had they attended, but instead we were left to form our own conclusions.  That is a risky venture.

Another good question John asked was, "Will one mobile platform be able to support all of our needs?"  I believe large enterprises may need more than one.  Especially if they have mobile consumer apps.  In the retail and CPG space, there are marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, mobile money, coupons, rebates, specials, catalogs, location based services and social networking components to all of the above.  I have not seen anything in this area from SAP or Sybase yet.  This may be an area where companies may need to work with a specialty mobile platform.

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Networked Field Services
Mobile, The Next Big Thing for Business

Webinars of Note

Implementing SAP Enterprise Mobility - 10 Lessons Learned
Barcode Scanning in Mobile Apps
Five Ways to Optimize the ROI of your Mobile Solution
SAP Mobilization - What You Need to Know

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Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.