Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Perspective on Enterprise Mobility and 2014 Requirements, Part 1

Many of us have spent years (some of us decades) working on enterprise mobility designs, development and implementations.  These projects, for the most part, started as tactical implementations for specific LOBs (lines of business).  They involved usually one app, connected to a specific back end system and database.  Over the years these projects evolved to include multiple data sources and business processes.  Today, CIOs and IT departments are being tasked with mobilizing the entire enterprise IT environment.  This task, I propose, requires a new way of looking at enterprise mobility.

Earlier this month (December 2013) I spoke on a panel with Forrester Research's John McCarthy in London.  We were discussing the current and future state of enterprise mobility.  McCarthy stated that 2014 would be the year of "complex mobility" and would cause "Y2K-like" events in many enterprises.  He added that ERP like investments may be required in many enterprises in order to prepare them for a mobile first world.  Herein lies the challenge.

Complex and mission critical IT systems often include legacy systems.  In many cases these legacy systems were not developed to be real-time, or designed to support the speed or operational tempo of emerging business models and mobile environments.  These are where both the complexities and the Y2K-like events will be found.  Legacy systems will either need to be updated to support real-time and mobile environments or replaced. Given these challenges, business analysts will need to understand what parts of their IT systems and infrastructures are problematic.

In order to better understand their IT system capabilities, it seems there is a need for tools and dashboards designed to help the IT department understand which systems are mobilized, which are not.  I can envision a tool/app that provides:
  • a strategic view of enterprise mobility in a dashboard format that provides visibility into which systems are mobilized and which are not within the IT environment
  • a view that shows mobile app security levels, security configurations and data access rights
  • a view that demonstrates the speed in which data can be collected, analyzed and reported for all business processes (i.e. will this process takes 3 weeks, 3 days, 3 minutes or 3 seconds, etc.)
  • a view that shows the time required for all queries and reports to be produced and distributed
  • a view into which systems are capable of supporting a real-time environment and which are not
  • a view that shows all IT systems connected to sensors in the IoT (Internet of Things)
  • a view that shows the budget, plan and priority level for upgrading or replacing each problem IT system that is preventing real-time and mobile support
If market forces and the digital transformation of your industry are driving you to a more online and real-time operational tempo, then what IT systems are or will prevent that migration?  The systems that are preventing that migration must be flagged for an upgrade and/or replacement.

While you are engaged in this process, why not identify blind spots that are forcing you to manage with "conjecture" rather than based upon real and accurate data?  Often mobile apps and sensors connected to the IoT (Internet of Things) can help fill in the blind spots.  These blind spots can be caused because the data is not collected, or not used, or is analyzed so slowly that the usable shelf-life has passed by the time you get it.

Don't worry...we won't run out of things to do in 2014.

Read Part 2 of this article series here - http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-new-perspective-on-enterprise.html.


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Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Operational Tempo, Faster than Real-Time, Enterprise Mobility and the Next Y2K Event

I often discuss the concept of operational tempo in my digital transformation and mobile strategies sessions.  I define operational tempo as the speed or pace of operations.  The advent of broadband Internet, mobile devices and mobile applications have dramatically changed our expectations for the operational tempo of businesses.  None of us are willing to wait 8 minutes for a response on a product availability query from our smartphone.  None of us want our turn-by-turn navigation app on our iPhones to update only once every three minutes.  We seek real-time operational tempos, or perhaps even faster than real-time.

How can a mobile application be even faster than real-time?  It can know what you need before you even ask!  Mobile apps that are context aware can predict what you will need without you even asking for it. Let's imagine a service technician driving to his/her next job site.  The apps (and connected back-office systems) review traffic flows, guides the service technician to the optimal route, checks the client records for all relevant SLAs, warranties, financial issues, equipment location and past maintenance and repair records and service notes and provides them without being asked.  As the service technician nears the customer site, a text is automatically sent to the customer announcing his/her's imminent arrival.  In addition, the mobile application has checked the service vehicle's inventory of parts and creates a list of available on-board parts that are likely needed for the job.

The scenario we have just considered is real and can be done today with software from companies like SAP (SAP Workforce Scheduling and Optimization by ClickSoftware solution).  This system includes an artificial intelligence agent known as ClickButler that is tuned into the needs of mobile workers.

In order for artificial and context aware systems to provide their promised value, they must be connected to real-time data.  In addition, this data must be analyzed by a system fast-enough to support the operation tempo required by the users.  It is this challenge that Forrester's John McCarthy states will cause another Y2K event in many enterprises.  In other words, it will force companies to replace systems that are incapable of supporting real-time processes that are required to support mobile users.

In 2014, all companies should be reviewing their back-office systems to identify and replace the systems that simply cannot function in a "real-time" environment where the operational tempo requires instant everything.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Digital Transformation, 3D Laser Scanning of Assets, Mobile Devices and Field Services

It this short video I share more on the merging of the physical world with the digital and how that is impacting industries, markets and businesses in many different areas.  Learn about 3D Laser Scanning to create digital representations of physical objects to improve field services and asset management.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFKfsE28Lms&feature=share&list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw




*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Digital Transformation, Mobile Technologies and Customer Engagement Models - Transilio

Imagine this scenario if you would - you pick-up a prescription at the pharmacy.  At the POS (point-of-sale) the pharmacist asks permission to send informational video clips related to the medicine you are taking and the health issue you have.  These are sent to your mobile device, tablet and/or laptop.  You agree.  At 6 PM you receive a text or email with a link to a short video that opens with a greeting from your local pharmacist and then continues educating you about the medicine and the correct way to take it.  The following day, at 6 PM, you receive another education video from your local pharmacist with information about exercise and other dietary advice related to your medicine and illness.  This continues for 5 days on a schedule.

This same technology platform can be used to send short form video clips of information, on a schedule, related to any complex product or issue - think human resources, financial services, technology, equipment, etc.  This technology platform represents a digital transformation in customer and employee engagement models.  In this video, I interview Transilio's CEO Michael Boerner (michaelb@gotransilio.com) on how this kind of technology will revolutionize many different kinds of engagement models.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwHZ21N22NE&feature=share



*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merging the Physical with the Digital for Optimized Productivity

I write and speak a great deal about digital transformation, however I don't think I have yet clearly defined it and its relevance to businesses.  Let me step back and start by saying my working definition of digital transformation is the application of digital technologies in a manner that enables new types of innovation, businesses models, behaviors, products and services.  Often digital transformations disrupt the status quo, traditional business paradigms and accepted best practices as a result of the merging of the physical world with the digital.  The process of merging, changes many things and we will consider a few of them here.
Figure 1

In a study conducted in October 2013 by Cognizant, 247 executives were surveyed and shared that 73% of core business processes will need to be modernized to meet cost, agility and new market pressures over the next 24 to 36 months.  I believe these "new market" pressures are a direct result of digital transformations happening all around us.

In figure 1, we see an example of the 3D laser scanning of a physical object (the bridge).  The 3D laser scans a physical object, and then creates a digital representation of it.  This digital representation is precise. Once the digital representation is in your computer, you can import it into asset management, maintenance, service and other kinds of software systems.  Here you can add notes, tags, location data, maintenance schedules, inspection reports and regulatory and compliance documents.  All of these data points allow the organizations responsible for maintenance and services to have a very clear understanding of the asset and the services required.  Maintenance and services performed can be tagged to exact locations and documented precisely.  For example, you can mark an iron beam, a bolt, a weld and document maintenance done to each.
Figure 2

The digital representation of the bridge can then be added to a map.  Now you have an exact location and an exact digital representation of the physical object on the map.  These precise digital representations enable the organization that owns the digital content to have a significant competitive advantage over companies that don't.  They can use this data to optimize planning and SLAs. The digital content has an economic value.  It provides a competitive advantage.  You have precise data that your competition does not.

Stored digital content about a person or object is often referred to as a "code halo."  The code (digital content) surrounding something can be used to develop all kinds of new and innovative services, products and businesses.  In figure 2, we have a digital representation of a plant.  Plants need to be maintained and location data, maintenance schedules, maintenance history, parts, materials, SLAs, warranties, service providers, manufacturers, production schedules, costs etc., can all be tracked for every part, machine, pipe, belt and component of the plant.  Sensors with wireless embedded chips connected to machines, equipment and other key components of the plant can monitor the operational status of the plant and can provide additional digital representations of the health of the plant.  Problem areas can quickly be identified, isolated and visualized.  Maintenance and repairs can then be conducted on an optimized plan and schedule that minimizes downtime.

A plant that is digitally transformed is likely to be far more productive and profitable than one that is not.  We have been considering digital transformation in the context of bridges and plants here, but these same types of transformations are impacting retail banks, insurance, healthcare, education etc., as well.

Over the next 5 years we will witness the rapid digital transformation of just about every industry and market around the globe.  The winners in the global marketplace will be those companies that best understand how these digital transformations can be used to lower costs, increase situational awareness, improve productivity, customer service and sales.

Software companies like ClickSoftware, the leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Field Services three years in a row,  are investing heavily into digital transformations, utilizing real-time enterprise mobility, geospatial data and artificial intelligence to optimize workforce and service scheduling.

In the book industry, physical books were transformed into eBooks. Physical bookstores were transformed into online digital marketplaces.  Book warehouses were transformed into databases. Physical transportation and logistics services were transformed into digital downloads.  In music and entertainment, physical records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc., were transformed into digital downloads.  Physical music and movie rental locations have also been replaced by digital markets.  In retail banking, mobile apps are quickly replacing physical bank branches.  The transformations are endless.

It is each of our roles to monitor our own industries, markets and businesses and to embrace the digital transformations taking place and to position ourselves to be in the the winners column.  We must continually ask ourselves, "Are we acting strategically enough to matter, and at the pace of innovation required to succeed?"

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility


***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thinking about Enterprise Mobility, Digital Transformation and Doctrine

Last week I was in Europe speaking and teaching enterprise mobility and digital transformation strategies.  I worked with several large multinational companies where I heard the same questions asked, "How do we convince our executives that we must change, and invest in change?  How do we establish a culture of innovation, capable of winning in a world of digital transformation?"  The change they were referring to had to do with the convergence of the physical world with the digital and its impact on markets.  These changes are introducing new ways of selling, marketing, manufacturing and moving products in a digital world that is rapidly being transformed as a result of innovations in social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies.  We are seeing entire industries and marketplaces turned upside down as a result of these innovations.  How can companies deal with all these changes at the pace required to remain competitive?

I have been pondering those questions since.  How do you change the traditional culture of a large multinational organization with institutionalized ways of planning, operating and decision-making that were developed and codified in a different era?   An era that was operating at a far slower operational tempo.

The people attending my sessions last week understood their marketplaces were changing.  They also understood that their companies were not aligned with those changes, or the pace of those changes.  They expressed sincere and deep concern about these changes.  You could see they were challenged with how to move forward.

We have some examples of change and transformative experiences.  We have seen these levels of change happen in modern militaries over the past couple of decades where they recognized an urgent need to re-invent themselves.  They realized a need to change and implement new organizational structures, prioritize budgets differently, develop new strategies and technologies in order to remain relevant.  There was and is a big difference between the needs of the cold war era, where armies were lined up across from each other along the Iron Curtain, and the requirements of modern, geographically dispersed battlefields of today.

Militaries recognized a new level of importance around information collection, processing, analyzing, reporting, sharing and collaboration.  They labeled information logistics the 5th dimension of warfare.
They recognized the value and implemented "network centric operational" approaches that place a premium on information sharing, speed, innovation, swarming and agility.

When military organizations recognize that battlefield requirements have changed significantly and that new ways of thinking will be required to be successful, they begin a transformational process that starts with developing a high level doctrine that communicates a new way of thinking across the organization.  I believe this is also what is needed in commercial enterprises today.  Management must identify the "new-way-of-thinking" that is required to compete successfully in a transforming marketplace.

What do I mean by enterprise doctrine?  I define enterprise doctrine as a way of thinking, a common frame of reference across an organization. It provides an authoritative body of statements on how the business should operate and provides a common lexicon for use.  It is a formal expression of best practices which covers the nature of competition, research and development and go-to-market strategies for winning in the marketplace.  It does not provide a checklist of procedures or tactics, but is rather a guide, describing how the enterprise thinks about business and marketplace competition.

From the top down, management must define how the organization should think about things like innovation, mobility, digital transformation, big data and competition.  This enterprise doctrine should be obvious in every program, project, campaign, product and service within the company.

An enterprise doctrine may include clear statements like:
  • Mobility is where we find, market, sell, transact, collaborate with, and service our customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
  • The digital transformation of our marketplace is real and will drastically alter the competitive landscape and create new winners and losers.  We will embrace these changes by rapidly transforming our strategies and processes to meet these changes and to be a winner.
  • Competition will be intense and winners will be those better able to collect, transmit, process, analyze, report and collaborate around real-time data.  Our information logistics systems will be superior to our competition, and we will invest appropriately to achieve and maintain this superiority.
  • We recognize a need to rapidly respond to market and consumer behavior changes at a pace never before seen.  As a result, we will organize ourselves for agility, speed and real-time decision-making.  We will develop and optimize our infrastructures, organizations, manufacturing, supply chains and logistical systems for maximum agility and speed to market.
  • We will develop a culture that encourages collaboration, innovation, creativity and promotes good ideas rapidly through a well-defined innovation process that supports Cognizant's motto of, "Think big, start small, fail fast, scale quickly."



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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mobile Commerce News Weekly - Week of December 8, 2013

The Mobile Commerce News Weekly is an online newsletter made up of the most interesting news, articles and links related to mobile commerce and marketing, mobile payments, mobile money, e-wallets, mobile banking, mobile ads and mobile security that I run across each week.  I am specifically targeting market size and market trend information.

Also read Enterprise Mobility Asia News Weekly
Also read Field Mobility News Weekly
Also read Mobile Cyber Security News Weekly
Also read Mobile Health News Weekly
Also read Mobility News Weekly

Looking for an enterprise mobility solution?  Read the Mobile Solution Directory Here!

Digital security firm Oberthur Technologies has partnered with mobile services specialists mBank in a project aimed at bringing together the m:Wallet solution from OT’s MoreMagic subsidiary and mBank’s experience in branchless banking, to provide mobile branchless banking including merchant payment, money transfer, loans, credit and insurance.  Read Original Content

Mobile app developer Bruce Arnold announced the availability of mCartXP, a multi-device HTML5 mobile web app developed jointly by his firm WebFL.US and their white label web development counterpart WLWeb.US.  The app can be used to buy and sell products and services using virtually any mobile browser - including Dolphin, Firefox, Mobile Safari and Opera - and any smartphone or tablet.  Read Original Content

Ovum has released a report concerning the caution that many consumers are exhibiting concerning mobile commerce. The report shows that some 68 percent of consumers said they would stick to traditional e-commerce due to the risks that exist in the mobile sector.  Read Original Content

Verivo is a leading provider of enterprise mobility software. Verivo helps companies accelerate their business results. Its unique technology empowers teams to build, deploy, manage and update their mobile apps -- rapidly and securely. Verivo’s mobility platform is used by hundreds of companies in numerous industries, worldwide. This newsletter is sponsored in part by Verivo.

Etisalat Group, the leading telecoms operator in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, announced the expansion of its award winning mobile phone-based commerce service "Flous" through its subsidiary Etisalat Moov in Benin.  Read Original Content

Early numbers from several retailers indicate a surge in mobile commerce for the first few banner sales days from Thanksgiving weekend through Cyber Monday. Forget double-digit growth. According to Internet Retailer Mobile 500, many retailers are posting triple-digit increases in several mobile metrics over the same holiday shopping days last year.  Read Original Content
From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, both eBay and PayPal saw the highest holiday mobile commerce activity that they have ever had. The volume of purchases and payments made over smartphones and tablets was higher than any other equivalent five day period in previous years at 96 percent greater, year over year.  Read Original Content

Mobile commerce sales accounted for nearly 21 percent of total Black Friday digital sales in the United States, $314 million out of $1.512 billion, and nearly 17 percent of Cyber Monday sales, $350 million out of $2.085 billion, Internet research firm comScore Inc. reports.  Read Original Content

The latest study by mobile entertainment body MEF reveals only around 65 percent of mobile media users globally have used their device to purchase goods or services.  The research reveals a decline in the volume of purchases for the first time — from 54 percent of mobile media users in 2012 to 42 percent in 2013. Read Original Content

According to the report from IBM, online shoppers in the U.S. spent more than $2 billion on Cyber Monday.  Read Original Content

Spindle, Inc. announced its MeNetwork360SM application is now available to merchants and consumers. Combining location-based mobile marketing and payment processing on a single platform, the MeNetwork360 app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.  Read Original Content

“Together, e-commerce and m-commerce only comprise seven percent of U.S. retail spending—the rest is offline in physical stores, especially for products that shoppers want to see before they buy,” says Michael Boland, VP of content and senior analyst at BIA/Kelsey.  Read Original Content

Email marketing was a big winner on Black Friday. And much of the credit belongs to mobile.  According to new industry data presented by Marketingland, email marketing was both plentiful and effective on Black Friday – even more than it was on Cyber Monday.  The data cited points to 38 percent more email opens occurring on Black Friday than Cyber Monday.  Read Original Content

A Global Online Shopper report from WorldPay revealed nearly 40 percent of mobile shoppers are concerned about the security of their payments.  Read Original Content

Payelp Global, an international payment and business development platform representing thousands of merchants and hundreds of payment gateways, announced a partnership with Onebip by Neomobile, a global mobile payment service. Onebip enables merchants to monetize digital goods and services to their users on a global scale using carrier-billing technology. Read Original Content

Visiongain has determined global mobile payments networks will carry over $251 billion in transactions during 2013.  Read Original Content

Recent Articles by Kevin Benedict

Reducing Conjecture with Enterprise Mobility and M2M
The Master Plan for Enterprise Mobility and the Role of Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence
The Mobile Strategy and Management Challenge
Where the Physical Meets the Digital - GIS and Enterprise Mobility
Enterprise Mobility is a Component of Digital Transformation
The Race for Sensors to Supply Big Data and Enterprise Mobility

Videos of Note

ROI Calculation for Optimizing the Mobile Workforce

Webinars of Note (Recorded)

Build an app in two minutes
Building Effective Mobile Business Screens
Mobile Apps For JD Edwards

Whitepapers of Note

4 Tips for Effective Mobile Screens
10 Tips To Design Effective Mobile Screens For Business
Don't Get SMACked - How Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud are Reshaping the Enterprise
Making BYOD Work for Your Organization

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Mobile is Causing a Y2K Event in the Enterprise - Forrester Research

I had the privilege last week to present alongside Forrester Research's enterprise mobility expert John McCarthy in London.  I was able to write a full page of notes from his presentation that I share here with you.
  • The Age of Cheap and Cheerful Mobile is Over!  It's now going to be complex and innovative which equals expensive.
  • "Enterprise Mobility will be as transformative as the introduction of ERPs,” ~ John McCarthy.  Seems CIOs will use enterprise mobility as a driver for change to transform old systems that cannot support the real-time and speed requirements of a mobile era.
  • Smart products (i.e. Internet of Things/M2M) are much cheaper today because of the evolution of mobile platforms and security.
  • Mobile apps guide people in their physical world.  Merging physical context with virtual intelligence to take the next most likely action (context aware).
  • IT Systems will become much more proactive, because they will be context aware and know your patterns and habits.  This will change business processes.
  • New mobile apps and businesses like My Taxi, Hailo, Uber offer benefits to both customers and service providers (Taxi drivers), not just to the consumer.
  • In markets where products and services are very similar and hard to differentiate, companies like Deutsche Bank, have developed mobile apps for iPads and other tablets to help with financial planning in ways their competition has not.
  • Delta Airlines has developed "proactive" capabilities  in their mobile apps.  The apps will automatically show you alternative flights and options when a flight gets canceled, instead of making you do it all manually by standing in line and searching for options with a customer service person.
  • In the near future - apps will change features and functions based upon context.
  • Video cameras can now watch store shelves and alert for stocking issues.
  • ERPs are about cost cutting.  The new Mobility and Internet of Things are about revenue generation.
  • The dark side of mobility - we are automating huge numbers of people-intensive processes which are eliminating middle-class jobs.
  • Lowering high IT costs is no longer the top priority of CIOs, rather meeting customer’s increasing expectations.
  • Mobile apps drive 3x to 10x more traffic than the same app on a web/desktop apps.
  • People expect the same treatment and functionality regardless of choice of device or platform.
  • Companies are still budgeting for mobile apps out of silos, when the projects are really about enterprise-wide transformation.  This must change and be recognized as strategic.
  • Old IT model, simple front-end, complex backend.  New model, complex front-end, simple backend so the business can be fast and agile.  This is a requirement of the future.
  • The mobile app is the company brand.  Companies need to invest appropriately.  Mobile apps are how we interact many brands.
  • Mobile is causing a Y2K event with backend systems.  Many backend systems cannot support the new mobile world and the clock is ticking.
  • If the bank branch is in your pocket, why does it also need to be on the corner?
  • The average smart TV has 25 software applications in them.
  • People are fatter than ever, but they are not joining weight loss programs like Weight Watchers in the same numbers.  Instead, they are downloading mobile apps.
  • Systems of records must give-up their maintenance budgets to systems of engagements.
We live in very interesting times!

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Reducing Conjecture with Enterprise Mobility and M2M

Mission critical enterprise mobility is all about removing blind spots from people and processes. ~Kevin Benedict

The competitive battlefield of 2014 will increasingly involve data.  It will be about collecting, transmitting, analyzing and reporting its meaning faster and more efficiently than competitors.  If you can digitally represent locations, events, activities, resources, job skills, assets, schedules, materials, job statuses, etc., in remote and mobile locations accurately, then you have the ability to introduce incredibly powerful algorithms and AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities that will greatly enhance your ability to optimize processes automatically within your software systems.  WOW!  That was a mouth full!  If you have hundreds of locations, projects and job sites and thousands of assets and remote workers, your future viability as a business is likely to depend on your ability to rapidly and efficiently introduce AI into this environment.

Let me introduce another term to our discussion - machine learning.  It is a branch of artificial intelligence relating to the development of systems that can learn from data and the results of past decisions and actions.  An example is a turn-by-turn navigation system that can re-route the driver based upon traffic conditions.  The system can re-route, analyze the efficiency of the new route, and then store the results for future re-routing considerations.  Another example would be a workforce scheduling system that can dynamically analyze thousands of service technicians schedules based upon SLAs, location, job status, skill levels, available equipment, materials and parts and can automatically adjust everyone's schedules throughout the day to optimize productivity and profits.

In order for AI and machine learning to work, there must be accurate data that digitally represents the situation and environment.  If this data is not available, you have a blind spot.  Blind spots lead management to make decisions based upon conjecture.  Conjecture is defined as a proposition that is unproven.  Conjecture is the enemy of AI and machine learning.  Conjecture means decisions are being made that are unsupported by data.  Often the cause of conjecture in a business is the lack of data due to a blind spot in a process.

If you don't know where an asset is located, you can't schedule its arrival at a job site.  If you don't know what skills or experience a service technician has, then it is hard to predict how long a job will take.  These two simple examples demonstrate a blind spot that is likely to lead to management conjecture.  How do you fix a blind spot?

Blind spots are the lack of visibility, so the answer is to provide visibility.  Technology answers can be in the form of mobile devices, mobile applications, GPS tracking, automated data collection, barcode scanners, wireless M2M sensors, video monitoring, etc.  All of these technology solutions can enhance visibility and situational awareness by providing accurate and timely data which eliminates conjecture from decision-making and supports the introduction of AI and machine learning.

Gartner has ranked ClickSoftware as the leader in the top right quadrant for field service management for the last three years.  This is in large part because of the automation, context aware capabilities and artificial intelligence they continue to enhance and expand in their systems.  You can read more about their AI features here - http://www.clicksoftware.com/982c4fab-524c-4d99-82f6-a033aa347ede/news-press-releases-detail.htm.

What is it going to take to eliminate blind spots and conjecture from your business?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Master Plan for Enterprise Mobility and the Role of Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence

Enterprise mobility and digital transformations are ultimately about enabling AI (artificial intelligence) and human collaboration to provide better and faster data driven decision making. ~ Kevin Benedict

If you agree with the statement above (it's not mandatory), then what does it take to actually deliver on it?  I believe this is where digital transformation and artificial intelligence comes into play.  First, let's discuss digital transformation.  Wikipedia's (one of my most favorite sites) definition is, "Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology (i.e. going paperless) in all aspects of human society."

Geography and locations can be digitized through digital maps, satellite images, overlays, GPS tracking and on-the-ground sensors (with embedded wireless chips)  that report on all kinds of measurements and activities to a central server.  The status of machines can even be monitored through wireless sensors.  Think of a train, truck or ship automatically and wirelessly reporting its location, speed and operational status every few seconds to a central server. Mobile workers can report on the status of their work and projects, their physical environment and other activities and events from remote location.  This data paints a picture or digital representation of an environment.  My colleagues at the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant call this data, "Code Halos."

Having all kinds of real-time data from a location or business process effectively digitizes it.  It provides a digital representation of events and activities that enhances your situational awareness.  It removes the "blind spots" in your area of operation.  Removing these blind spots from business processes are where competitive advantages and ROIs will be found in 2014.

Enterprise mobility enables every mobile user to effectively be a remote sensor.  Each additional sensor increases the situational awareness and intelligence of the organization, and better intelligence wins. ~Kevin Benedict

Once you have an accurate digital representation of your operational area (i.e. activities, resources, assets, events, locations, schedules, times, statuses, etc.) algorithms can be developed to better manage and execute your business based upon the digital inputs.  Algorithms or digital rules can be developed and implemented so rapid and automatic adjustments can be made to schedules, assignments, business processes and workflows using artificial intelligence.  I define artificial intelligence in this context as, "the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks, take actions and make decisions based upon data inputs and developed digital rules.  The key is having the data to input.  Mobile and wireless technologies, sensors and the Internet of Things provides the platforms for remote data collection in support of these solutions.

You can see a real world implementation of artificial intelligence integrated with mobile solutions in action in ClickSoftware's solutions ClickButler here - http://blogs.clicksoftware.com/clickipedia-blog/bid/91748/Artificial-Intelligence-Goes-Mobile-with-ClickButler

On a related subject, here is a great new video on the concept of "Code Halos" from my colleagues at the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Mobile Strategy and Management Challenge

Believe it or not, a fair number of people like my workshops on mobile strategy.  The problem though is a fair number don't.  Why?  Sometimes developers come into my sessions, stay for 15 minutes and then leave.  They were expecting to learn how to develop mobile apps, or how to secure and integrate them with back-office systems.  They had no interest in learning about enterprise wide mobile strategies.

Enterprise wide mobile strategies are increasingly a business and IT leadership issue.  They involve brand, product and service strategies.  They involve plant operations, logistics and transportation.  They involve asset management, field operations and sales.  Enterprise wide mobile strategies touch every corner of the business.  Enterprise mobility is no longer an IT issue, or just a technical discussion.  Enterprise mobility is a C level discussion today.  Because of this mobile solution vendors must change their marketing strategies to address the needs of both business and IT decision makers rather than developers.
I had two people from different large oil companies come to a session I was leading in Orlando this month at the Enterprise Mobility 2013 conference.  They both had just suffered cyber-attacks that had caused major damage.  They only wanted to know about mobile security, not enterprise wide mobile strategies.  I understand.  That was the disaster on their plate that day.  They had no time to discuss strategy.  The challenge though is that without a strategy, it is hard to deliver mobile solutions that are strategic enough to matter.

I was reading an article from Forrester Research over the weekend.  Forrester Research is predicting the prices of mobile solutions will rise in 2014.  Why?  They will become more strategic.  They will offer significant competitive advantages.  They will support innovative products, services and business models.  They will make a difference.  The time for POCs (proof of concepts) is over.  It is time to execute with a strategy.

*I am in London speaking on mobile strategies and mobile led transformation with Forrester Research and Cognizant on Friday, December 6th.  Let me know if you would like to join us!  Email me here.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Kevin Benedict Speaking with Forrester Research in London on December 6th

Greetings All,

I am speaking along with Forrester Research's John McCarthy on mobile led transformation in London on Friday, December 6th from 4 PM-7 PM.  If you are interested in attending the details follow:



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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Where the Physical Meets the Digital - GIS and Enterprise Mobility

One of the mega-trends I write often about is the merging of the physical with the digital and the resulting impact on businesses.  A key element of this trend is the association of geospatial or location data with events, tasks, projects, processes, assets and resources.  I asked my civil engineering friend and hero of all ducks, J.D. Axford, to teach us a bit about graphical information systems (GIS).  Here it is for your reading pleasure.

Three broad categories of information are combined in GIS.  As a point of reference, let's consider how a utility company would use these three:
  1. Landbase information typically comes from outside sources and depicts the natural (earth) and built (man-made) environment in which the utility operates – roads, rivers, and so on. 
  2. Grid information, defining the physical system (power lines, transformers, substations, power generation sites) the utility owns and operates, this information comes from their engineering, surveying, and maintenance crews. 
  3. Customer information is generated in-house and includes names, addresses, services provided, and maintenance schedules and requests, in addition to billing information. 
Combining these three data categories into a GIS enables a utility to support:
  • outage management systems
  • workflow scheduling
  • damage prevention
  • routine operations and maintenance 
  • asset management
  • workforce optimization
A GIS serves several purposes.  It is a geospatial database, plus a collaboration and communications tool for sharing geospatial data accurately, quickly, and broadly amongst enterprise teams.  This of course requires enterprise mobility solutions.  It ensures the field crews, engineering design and customer service departments are working together to efficiently meet goals. As always, effective communication require the data shared be accurate and available to those who need it, when they need it, and where they need it.  This is where the utility of mobile devices and especially tablets comes in.

In order to effectively use GIS, mapping software (like LatLonGo) must be developed that works across a number of different mobile hardware platforms to maximize its utilization.  It must also be able to integrate with ERPs, asset management apps and other business solutions.  Specialized software platforms are needed that support GIS integration with mobile devices.

Compressing data is another requirement so mobile devices have the space available to store GIS data, and so it remains accessible even when connectivity is lost. Collecting data through text and voice notes, photographs, and redlined maps and drawings are also essential and must be synchronized back to the main GIS server for collaboration and review.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Enterprise Mobility is a Component of Digital Transformation

Companies don't want enterprise mobility.  They want increased sales, lower expenses, better products, improved customer service and more profits.  They want to be survivors during this period of massive digital transformations.  What do I mean by digital transformation?  I mean the fact that entire industries are being changed before our eyes because the physical world is merging with the digital.  I mean big data analytics, mobile applications and broadband connectivity to the internet through mobile devices that introduce completely new business models, processes, products and markets.   In order to be a survivor in this competitive climate, companies must have a clear understanding and vision of what digital transformation is, and how it is impacting their industry, market, products and company.

I met with a large national paper manufacturer today.  They have yet to start any mobile application projects internally.  I wonder if they have ever read about the impact of digital transformation on Kodak film sales?  I don't revel in writing about this. I cringe.  The challenge is not IT. It is in the business that chooses not to commit a budget to preparing for digital transformation.  That sounds to me like waving the white flag in the face of change.

When I talk to companies about mobile strategies, I am not really talking about mobile strategies.  I am talking about digital transformation and how mobile applications support this transformation.  If you buy into the fact that entire industries and marketplaces are being digitally transformed (think film, newspapers, media, retail, banking, travel, education, healthcare etc.), then you recognize mobile applications are about real-time prospect, customer and employee engagement, commerce, interaction and collaboration on any device, any place and at any time!  The mobile app is the interface between the outside world and the company.  However, the mobile app will provide very little value if the internal IT systems are not capable of supporting the demands of evolving marketplaces.

Let me emphasize the concept of "real-time."  Mobile devices and mobile applications feed our desire for instant results accompanied by instant satisfaction.  This desire generates intense pressures for companies to upgrade and transform themselves, their business processes and IT systems to be able to respond in real-time.

In addition to our desire for real-time information capabilities, we must be able to creatively innovate our way into the new landscape where the competition is around "information logistics" systems.  Where our success is dependent upon our ability to collect data (from mobile devices, websites, social media, apps, sensors and other database) faster than our competition, and then integrate, analyze, report and put it to use in new business processes and services faster than our competitors.  It is the ability to look at all of these capabilities and to envision new business models, products and services never before possible without real-time capabilities that will determine the market winners.

It is our "information logistics" systems that enable us to digitally transform and be competitive.  It enables us to market to customers with precision.  It enables us to provide better SLAs (service level agreements) because of better visibility into remote operations and delivery capabilities.  It enables us to manage our cash better, because we can manufacturer in a "just-in-time" paradigm based upon real-time visibility into demand and orders.

Yes enterprise mobility is a crucial element in all of this.  It supports the "information logistics" system required to remain competitive in a world undergoing digital transformation, but let's not become mesmerized by enterprise mobility.  It is not the end goal. It is simply an enabler on the journey through digital transformation.

**Have you read the new Mobile Solution Directory here - http://mobilesolutiondirectory.blogspot.com/?

Read more on the Future of Work here - www.unevenlydistributed.com.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Race for Sensors to Supply Big Data and Enterprise Mobility

Today's competitive marketplace requires companies to collect more data, analyze more data and utilize more data to improve customer interactions and engagements.  Mobile devices are exceptionally designed to assist in this effort.  Apple's iPhone comes with an inventory of sensors:
  • Touch
  • Voice
  • GPS
  • Proximity
  • Ambient Light
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscopic
I listened to an IT expert in the CIA give a presentation on how they could use the sensors on a typical smartphones to uniquely identify the walking style and pace of individuals.  For example, the intelligence agency may suspect a person carrying a phone is a bad guy.  They can remotely switch on the smartphone's sensors and record the walking style and pace of the person carrying the phone and match it with their database records.  SCARY ISN'T IT!?

Those are just a few of the sensors available that integrate the physical world with the digital.  Read this article I wrote to learn more about the incredible capabilities of sensors.

Mobile apps can also be considered the API (application programming interface) between humans and smartphones.  For example, a mobile application for recommending local restaurants may start by asking the user what kind of food they prefer.  The human queries their stomach, and then inputs the results into their mobile app by touching the keypad or using their voice.  Suddenly a server in an Amazon data center knows your stomach's inputs!  That is one powerful sensor and API!  Given the vast array of sensors in the human body incredible things can be done once those sensor inputs are digitized.

Although there are many powerful sensors in the human body the API is still the human's touch, typing or voice.  The emergence of wearable sensors and smart devices are a way to try to automate the process of data collection so humans are not required to take time and effort to input the data.

Sensors are also connected to the non-physical.  Sensors can connect with time.  Once time reaches a specified place, a digital alarm can go off striking your physical ear with sound waves.  That is making the non-physical inputs, physical.

The challenge for businesses today is to envision how all of these sensors and available real-time data can be used to improve customer service, product design, marketplace interactions and engagements so there are more profits at the end of the day.  

In the book Digital Disruptions, James McQuivey writes that for most of history, disruptions (business and marketplace transformations) occurred in a physical world of factories and well-trod distribution networks.  However, the disruptions of tomorrow are likely coming from digital disruptions - sensors, code halos, big data and mobile devices and wearables.

The task and challenge of every IT department is to understand and design a strategy that recognizes that the competitive playing fields of tomorrow are among the digits.

***Have you seen the new Mobile Solution Directory here http://mobilesolutiondirectory.blogspot.com/?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Strategic Enough to Matter, Code Halos and Mobile Apps

Gartner IT Budget Forecast
If a massive herd of elephants were charging at you from 20 meters away, would taking a small step forwards or backwards improve your safety? NO!  In many situations it seems that is how companies are approaching mobile strategies.  They are staring massive marketplace transformation in the face, but responding by just starting a few mobile app POCs (proof of concepts).

In James McQuivey's book titled, Digital Disruption:Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation, he states that competition in business is rapidly moving to a focus on knowledge of and engagement with customers.  Companies are developing an understanding of "code halos" (their customers' digital footprint or history of activities on the web, at a location and in various database systems) and they must now use this data to better engage with customers through their customers' "engagement format of choice" which is increasingly on a mobile device.

Finding, integrating and using a person's "code halo" represents a lot of work for an IT organization.  It takes strategy, budgets, resources and planning. It takes more than a small step as suggested in my earlier anecdote.   This is the kind of thing the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) needs to be taking up with the CEO and CIO.

In the latest technology budget forecasts I have seen from Gartner (see chart above), more of the technology budget is being shifted to the business and/or marketing department, while the IT budget remains relatively flat.  I believe this suggests many companies "get it."  They understand their ability to stay competitive in the face of Amazon, Apple, Google and eBay, etc.,  just to name a few of today's digital disruptors, depends on their ability to effectively collect, analyze and utilize "code halos" and engage with their customers and markets on a mobile device.

When it comes to enterprise mobility and mobile apps - Get strategic and get competitive before it is too late!!!

***Have you seen the NEW mobile solution directory here http://mobilesolutiondirectory.blogspot.com/?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Enterprise Mobility and the Gift of Time

McCall, Idaho - Winter Wonderland
I was standing next to a grizzled old man (definition: anyone older than me that can grow a beard), at the coffee shop today.  He said he had been standing in lines all day.  I said, "Makes you appreciate smartphones, doesn't it?"  He agreed and added they save me so much time!

That comment is a perfect example of "blogger's inspiration!"  I said, "What do you mean by - "It saves you so much time?"  He said his work is closely tied to the weather.  He runs snow removal services in beautiful McCall, Idaho.  As a result, he must carefully monitor the weather including wind direction, precipitation forecasts and the beginnings and endings of storms.  He can now do all of this precisely from his smartphone.  He said he is absolutely more productive.

He went on to say, "I want to start working at the tail-end of a storm to maximize my productivity and customer services."  If he starts work too early his work will be covered by snow and he will have too remove it again, adding expense and delaying his work for other customers.  If he starts too late, he will have dissatisfied customers."  He uses his smartphone constantly in the winter to maximize his productivity.

Enterprise mobility solutions can provide all kinds of "gifts of time" to employers and employees.   From simple collaboration with colleagues, prospects and customers using your smartphone for voice, SMS, Skype or Google+ instead of traveling to a face-to-face, navigating quickly and accurately to a destination or to collect data in the field that is integrated with back-office systems.  There are all kinds of ways time can be saved by utilizing mobile technologies.

In recent decades productivity gains in manufacturing have been driven through better processes and process automations, automated data collections, advances in SCM (supply chain management), logistics and ERPs.  Today, there are even more productivity gains to be had in each of these areas by using mobile technologies to improve real-time visibility into events, processes, statuses, locations, resources and snow fall!

Have you reviewed my new Mobile Solution Directory at http://mobilesolutiondirectory.blogspot.com/?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Interviews: Regev Yativ

I had the privilege of interviewing Regev Yativ, the CEO/President in the Americas of Magic Software this week.  Magic Software is over 30 years old, which gives them a unique and interesting perspective on enterprise mobility and what makes a good solution and mobile strategy.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uAWK2RlZPQ&feature=share



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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Satellites, GPS Tracking, Artificial Intelligence and Mobile Technologies

My good friend J.D. Axford, a civil engineer and hero of all ducks for his wetlands work, sent me a very interesting (if you are into GPS tracking, GIS, mobile technology, artificial intelligence, accelerometers, etc.) article he wrote on how the physical is meeting the digital in the world of construction and engineering today.  I am including it here for your pleasure and education.

Compaction, in heavy construction, is the application of energy to soil, crushed rock, or asphalt to increase density by driving out air, which enables the finished, compacted material to support buildings, roadways, and other structures. Compaction is specified as a percentage of the maximum dry density determined in the lab.

During construction, compaction is most often measured using a nuclear densitometer. Other reliable methods include the use of sand cone (ASTM D-1556) and rubber balloon (ASTM D-2167) methodologies; less formal tests used in the field include soil probes (a pointed steel rod pushed into the ground to gage penetration resistance and therefore estimate compaction), proof-rolling with loaded dump trucks while observing deflection, and even boot-heels. These all are necessarily spot-checks; consistency is sought by controlling the compaction process.  This requires the roller operator’s ability to track speed and passes over each section while estimating compaction, leading to both over- and under-compaction. Near-constant inspection is usually needed, and even so, compaction is a frequent source of job site disagreement.


Intelligent compaction (IC) is a system growing in use which combines on-board GPS, computers, and axle-mounted accelerometers to provide continuously-controlled compaction. The accelerometers measure stiffness, and indirect measurement of density, and feed that information to the computer, which uses GPS to produce a color-coded map of the working area; the colors are used to provide an intuitive depiction of areas already meeting specifications, and those needing more compaction. For asphalt work, IC systems (there are approximately eight US equipment vendors developing and selling IC), infrared sensors measure (and the computer maps) the asphalt temperature, a critical data set in ensuring timely compaction as the material cools.

As is normal, a test zone is compacted at the start of the overall compaction effort to determine the number of passes and speed the material requires to meet specifications. That information is entered into the on-board IC system as the baseline against which future work areas are compared and mapped. This eliminates guesswork, eliminates overwork, and improves the homogeneity of the finished product, saving money for the contractor and improving the service life of the compacted product.

Intelligent compaction, requires mobile technologies, GPS tracking and artificial intelligence to calculate all kinds of accelerometer and speed data, location and project requirements.  This is another example of how the physical is meeting the digital and improving processes.  You can learn more about how artificial intelligence is being integrated into field services by ClickSoftware here.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Using Artificial Intelligence in Health Services Requires Real-Time Enterprise Mobility

I am intrigued by the increasing use of artificial intelligence in areas like field services management and home healthcare services.  I read a use case (http://www.clicksoftware.com/Collateral/Documents/English-US/KinCare-Case-Study.pdf) this morning about KinCare and ClickSoftware in Australia.  KinCare provides all kinds of home and healthcare services across a wide geography in Australia.  They are one of the largest providers of in-home care and assistance in Australia and they get paid by providing documented services compliant with government regulations.  There are designated fees for each service and there are little to no margins for errors. It is very easy to screw up and to lose a lot of money in this kind of operation.

Let me provide an example of KinCare's services:
  • Nursing care
  • Personal care
  • Domestic assistance
  • Social support
  • Respite care
  • Transportation
  • Case management
Some of their clients need all of these services.  These services are often provided by different people at different times.  Let's image tens of thousands of clients, care givers and service providers located all across Australia.  All of these participants and their appointments must be scheduled and coordinated.  Does that sound like a big enough challenge for you Mate?

The only way to run this kind of operation efficiently is to make sure the care givers and service providers are connected (via mobile devices) to an intelligent software system (using artificial intelligence and context aware systems) to understand how to most efficiently provide and schedule hundreds of thousands of services.  In addition, must also make sure each care and service provider is qualified, available and in close proximity.  Also it is important to note that these services are critical to a persons health and welfare.

The mobile devices are used as mobile data collection devices, sensors (GPS) and reporting systems in the service delivery process. Mobile devices feed real-time data to the real-time analytics and artificial intelligence systems that schedule all parties across the country.  Since all of these participants are mobile, it takes very careful and fast analytics to ensure all parties can meet in the right places, deliver and receive services efficiently, document services and invoice for those services.

Smartphones and tablets, broadband internet connectivity and ultra-fast artificial intelligence capabilities integrated with human resource, talent management, scheduling, case management, patient and service management, billing and dispatch systems are all required to make this work.  Wow!  Speed and artificial intelligence systems are revolutionizing these kinds of operations today.

When I am out teaching mobile and SMAC strategies to large companies the topics of speed, context aware and artificial intelligence comes up every time.  These are the game changers today.



*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.