Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Off the Shelf Mobile Applications vs Customized for Handheld PDAs

Often my sales team gets asked the following question, "Should I buy an "Off-the-Shelf" mobile software application, or customize a mobile software application to fit my specific business?" The answer depends on if your business is set-up as an "off-the-shelf" business. Do you conduct your business in the exact same manner as many others in your market? Do you use the same business processes and the same accounting package as the others? Is your product or service business managed in the same manner as others in your market. If the answers are yes, then buying an off-the shelf mobile application is a reasonable option. However, if you conduct your business in a unique manner that offers you a competitive advantage over others in your market, then you may want to customize your mobile software applications and automate the business processes that provide you with these advantages. Let me give some examples:
In this recent blog article I write about companies that want to add asset and inventory tracking functionality to the common service request process. Others may want to add time tracking, mileage, GPS, bar code, digital images and other features to their mobile software application. Some companies like to have a mobile job estimation application on their handheld computer. Once the estimate is accepted, it can be dispatched to the service technicians to begin work.
Our customers tend to have a wide variety of business software applications in their offices. These software applications and accounting packages use a wide variety of databases. Our customers like to select their own mobile handheld computers and software applications. Our customers are often implementing changes to their business processes to provide higher levels of customer service that provide greater competitive advantages. These kinds of dynamic business environments demand and require the ability to rapidly edit and customize mobile business applications to support the growing and changing business.
What company wants to restrict their ability to grow their business, implement "best practices" and business process improvements because of the limitation of an off-the-shelf business application? Not MobileDataforce customers!
MobileDataforce provides a rapid application development environment for mobile software solutions. Our mobile software solutions for handheld PDAs enable you to cost effectively customize your mobile applications to support your ever-changing business needs.