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Showing posts from December, 2009

The Downside of Mobile Applications

I had the fortunate opportunity to meet a classmate for coffee this week. I had not seen him for over a decade. He serves as a traffic cop and uses a TDS Recon mobile handheld computer in the course of his work writing tickets. During our conversation we discussed the rugged laptop he had mounted in his unmarked police cruiser. He said it had many of their police forms and documents on it, but that the mobile software was not able to keep up with the required edits and changes needed on the forms. As a result, they had stopped using it for much of their documentation. This discussion highlighted the need for a mobile workflow application that is a separate layer from the data layer. The field data collection requirements should be very simple to edit and not impact the field user. If the mobile application requires a complete update to edit data fields, then it risks early obsolescence or as in my earlier example it will simply not be used. - Kevin Benedict, Mobile Strategies Co

Mobility Visions of Christmas Present

I visited the same bookstore twice this Christmas season, and both times I was confronted by mobility and the transformation that mobility is bringing to the world. On the first visit a sales person greeted me at the front door and handed me an electronic book reader. The sales person said this mobile device, with free Internet connectivity through AT&T, would enable me to receive all of my books and many newspapers remotely, so there was no need to come into the store. Interesting sales presentation that does not bode well for the future job of the sales person that was standing before me. I wondered if the sales person had thought that far ahead? On my second visit I was in the bookstore with my wife and daughter. As was our habit we selected some of the most interesting books from the shelf and ordered hot drinks. When our drinks were emptied and we had selected our favorite books, I directed us to the checkout line to purchase them. My wife looked up from her iPhone and said

New Analyst Report by Mobile Market Development

Mobile Market Development and Wireless Profits has just published a report, that I authored, called Enterprise Mobile Data Solutions which is now available here . The following is the synopsis. Enterprise customers potentially offer MNOs (mobile network operators) high profitability, low churn rates and strong demand for mobile data services - but they bring challenging application requirements as well. Additionally, neither of the purchasing models of large enterprises or SMEs make it a given that MNOs will achieve the value-added primary relationship with regard to mobile data solutions that would assure future margins in this sector of the market. Large enterprises will be likely to partner with vendors and systems integrators with specialist skills and knowledge of the business area, potentially making MNO selection a tactical issue based on coverage and price and allowing for multiple, competing MNOs to be selected. Smaller enterprises ( SMEs ) are more likely to buy off-the

Postage Stamps, Units of Time and the Mobile Internet

Yesterday my wife sent me to the post office to purchase stamps. I grumbled that the line would be long due to people shipping gifts. Haven't they heard of Amazon.com's direct shipping? After completing my assignment my wife asked me how long I waited in line. My answer, "About 5 online articles." That is the power of Internet enabled smartphones. They can change the very units of measure we use for time! According to investment firm Morgan Stanley, the mobile web is experiencing faster growth than its desktop predecessor ever did. They go on to forecasts that more consumers will access the Internet by mobile devices than PCs within five years. For any person blessed or cursed with time on their hands, waiting in lines or on mass transportation, time will increasingly be measured by what they accomplished on the mobile web. *********************************************** Author Kevin Benedict Independent Mobility Consultant, Wireless Industry Analyst and Marketin

Google and Mobile Phones - Analysis

"It is understandable that Google wants to be a serious player in mobile communications," writes Martin Peers in an article on December 15th, 2009 in the Wall Street Journal. However, he follows by saying, "It is unclear why it (Google) needs to sell mobile phones to dominate mobile search." Lets discuss: Google Goggle allows you to take a picture of a landmark or building and then automatically combine the photo with the integrated GPS coordinates to conduct an automatic query that displays information about it. This convergence of technology, GPS radio, digital camera and wireless radio to connect to the Internet are all hardware components in the phone. The GPS and digital camera components are mobile data collectors. The information collected is used to perform automated searches. These searches can bring up the details of the objects in the photos as well as other choices for food, hotels, shopping etc, near that location. The LBS (location based services) wh

Geospatially Aware Mobile Inspection Applications for Military and Commercial Use

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I have spent many years working with mobile application development tools. Each of the vendors I have known speak about the simplicity and speed of using their tools to develop and implement mobile applications. It is, for the most part, marketing speak. Developing a mobile application is as simple as the database schema of the business application in which it will be integrated. If it is a simple data collection form that can be integrated with a simple spreadsheet or database, then it is fairly easy and will usually take days or a few weeks to develop. However, if the user wants a mobile version of their ERP , then I hope they have a few months and a significant budget. The point is, most mobile applications that synchronize with back-office enterprise database applications are not easy and simple and this is a problem for companies that need to inspect a wide variety of things. I have witnessed over and over the challenges an inspection company has with mobile applications that run

Analysis - SAP's Emerging Mobility Strategy - Fasten Your Seat Belts!

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SAP has announced this week that one of their strategic focuses for the next 5 years is mobile computing and mobile software applications according to SAP chief technology officer Vishal Sikka said. The pervasiveness of mobile computing and social networking also have SAP developing applications and extensions, which will allow wireless users to collaborate and utilize SAP and non-SAP related data for on the fly computing. I write wireless industry analyst reports and provide consulting on mobile strategies so have been keeping a careful eye on this market. It is moving at warp speed now! After many years of mostly small software companies in the mobile enterprise software applications market, the big kahunas are jumping in with both feet and this will change the industry. Read a few of these article titles: Verizon Takes the Complexity Out of Managing Mobility in the Enterprise AT&T Extends Mobile Enterprise Application Platform to Consumer Goods and Hospitality Markets The Cli

Mobile Applications for Fighting Crime, Reporting Potholes and Birdwatching

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Several years ago I consulted with a company in The Netherlands on a city government project to enable all city workers to instantly become the eyes and ears of the police during emergencies. It worked like this - an alert would be sent to all city workers that had government issued phones and were located in a certain geographic area. This alert would ask them to look for a specific car, person or suspicious activity. This project was clever, efficient but also a little creepy. If the police are chasing a bad guy through the city, then asking for all city workers within a certain area to keep their eyes and ears open is efficient, since it is in all of our best interests to stop bad guys, but in the wrong hands creepy. From a resource utilization, a great idea. This project was an early example of location based services (LBS). If your phone is in this particular zone, keep your eyes open for this bad guy. This summer Microsoft acquired EveryBlock , a company that feeds local crime

Barcode Scanners on Every Smartphone

This is an interesting develop for smartphones. Sophisticated barcode scanning software built into the digital cameras so a quick photo of a barcode takes you immediately to a mobile website rich in content, coupons, rebates and other product information related to the scanned product. Read below: Today NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. (OTC BB: NEOM), the global leader in mobile barcode scanning solutions, announced that Sony Ericsson has selected NeoMedia as its strategic 2D barcode partner. Sony Ericsson will begin shipping phones pre-loaded with NeoMedia's NeoReader barcode scanning application globally in the 1st half of 2010. The NeoReader will be pre-installed across all Sony Ericsson platforms. "Sony Ericsson is very happy to work with NeoMedia as our global provider of barcode scanning solutions. We see great potential in the 2D barcode market and support NeoMedia's strategy to promote and drive the open 2D barcode standards. We are looking forward to working with NeoMe

ClickSoftware Enters the MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform) Market

I have wondered for some time how companies like ClickSoftware deal with all the requests for customization from their clients. Inspections, asset management, custom database applications all require custom mobile applictions. This announcement last week from ClickSoftware seems to have answered that question. ClickSoftware now has back-office and mobile field services software, an SAP partnership and a MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform). They are doing things right. BURLINGTON, Massachusetts , November 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqGS: CKSW), the leading provider of workforce management and service optimization solutions, is today launching the ClickSoftware Mobility Suite that will allow companies to seamlessly extend the power of enterprise systems to employees via their mobile devices, whilst also sharing with back-end systems the critical information on activities that they complete in the field. The mobility suite is available as

Microsoft's Ray Ozzie on Mobile Applications and the iPhone

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect recently commented in an interview with CNET, "Yes, iPhone has a lot of momentum, unquestionably. But I think the phenomenon we're in right now is the app phone. And if you look at the depth of apps that are on these phones, they're not very deep. It's not like Office or AutoCAD, where there are just thousands of man years that have gone into developing these apps. They're relatively thin apps that are companions to some service." Ozzie may be right in that the novelty of cute mobile applications may wear off as powerful mobile clients that work with SaaS (software as a service) back-office and ERP applications catch up. Rather than have all these thin client applications that are OS (operating system) specific, simple mobile applications may retreat to the mobile web browser so they can more easily port from one OS to another, and thick clients will run on powerful and full functional operating systems tha

Smartphone Market Trends and Analysis

Lenovo , a PC maker for the Chinese market, is buying back their mobile handset unit, for twice the price that they sold it for in 2008. Why? Lenovo said the acquisition "signals that Lenovo is gearing up its efforts in the burgeoning mobile Internet market." Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing said they view the mobile I nternet as a key growth area..." Wall Street Journal reported in Monday's Edition (November 30, 2009) that Dell, Acer , Asustek Computer and HP have all launched handsets to diversify their product offerings. What is my analysis? Lenovo sold their handset unit in 2008. Less than 2 years later they buy it back as they believe it represents a key growth area, and they buy it back just as the other large PC makers are launching their own new mobile handsets ( smartphones ) products to attack the growing mobile Internet market. This signals that PC manufacturers see smartphones as both a competitor to PCs and the future of mobile computing.