Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mobile Expert Interview Series: Leapfactor's Lionel Carrasco

Leapfactor's Lionel Carrasco
and Luis Cabrera
I had the opportunity to spend some time on the phone with Leapfactor's founder and CEO, Lionel Carrasco, recently.  For readers not familiar with Leapfactor, they are an SAP partner that provides mobile solutions for the enterprise market.  Here are some short descriptions of their solutions:
  • LeapApps, a set of cross-industry micro apps that deliver actionable information to white-collar workers in the field, including everything from approvals, alerts and business indicators to mobile intranets and collaboration tools.
  • LeapShell, a proprietary Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows the platform to be wholly adopted by developers, partners and IT departments.
  • LeapCentral, the cornerstone of Leapfactor’s infrastructure. Leapcentral is the device, user and application-management cloud-based infrastructure that enables Leapfactor to deliver a cost-effective and scalable mobile platform.
  • LeapAgent, the interface with enterprise systems that acts as a Chinese wall separating IT systems from the services and content that Leapcentral accesses.
Lionel updated me on events at Leapfactor since I last saw them in May at Sapphire. Here are my notes from our conversation:

Kevin: Lionel, what is new at Leapfactor since May?
Lionel: We formally opened operations in Brazil this summer.  We hired an experienced SAP veteran to be our country manager.  Although 90 percent of our focus is in the USA, Brazil is an amazing market and has a big economy.  We also set up operations in Mexico.  We hired the former President of SAP Mexico to be our country manager.

Kevin: What have you learned about the enterprise mobility market over the past six months?
Lionel: There is momentum in the enterprise market today, but it is not huge yet.  Consumers are still driving mobility.  Enterprise mobility sales are still lagging.  I think 80 percent of mobility is consumer today, but expect 80 percent of mobility to be enterprise in the near future.  Consumers can buy impulsively, but enterprises are still pondering their strategies.  They are still on a budget leash.

Kevin:  Where are you seeing interest in enterprise mobility?
Lionel: We have noticed that the line-of-business is starting to buy. We are seeing more B2B and less white collar mobile applications inquiries.  However, IT organizations do not seem to be able to buy yet.  We see sales and marketing departments buying.  Often these departments are buying without telling the IT department.  We had a car dealership wanting iPad applications for parts inventories, catalogs, etc.  This project did not go through the IT department.

We have also had network marketing organizations contact us about creating mobile applications.  The ROI was to eliminate order mistakes and have better communications with their top performers.  These network marketing organizations are looking to push video training out to iPads for their key sales people.  Some of these organizations print 20 different catalogs per year in 87 countries.  You can see why mobile and digital media might be interesting to them.

We recently worked with SAP Consulting to provide training applications for iPads.  We have also been contacted by marketing design agencies.  We think this is a goldmine.

Kevin:  What are your key focus areas now?
Lionel:  We are focused on making happy mobile developers first, and happy IT departments later.  We are announcing some very interesting new solutions this month.

Thank you Lionel for sharing your thoughts, experiences and insights!  We look forward to your announcements later this month.

To read more in the Mobile Expert Interview Series click here.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
Follow me on 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.