Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Notes and Videos from the Mobile World Congress 2013, Part 2

Day Two of the Mobile World Congress 2013, and also Wrinkle Tuesday.  My hotel does not have irons or ironing boards and it was on the MWC 2013 recommended list...ugh.

Here are some notes from my observations and discussions on Day 2:

  1. SAP Mobile Documents - this is an internally developed solution that acts like a secure Dropbox, but able to be central managed by IT.  Very useful!
  2. SAP is discussing M2M and/or The Internet of Things in at least two different locations here.  They have a demo in the Connected City, and a demo of a smart vending machine in their booth.
  3. Dropbox is also showing off an enterprise version.  You can now switch between a personal Dropbox and your enterprise version (secured and managed by your IT).
  4. SAP has developed several very interesting mobile B2C apps with deep social engagement models built in.  I love it.  One for sports teams and the other involving fashions and clothing.
  5. Firefox showing off their new mobile phones.
  6. SAP announced an M2M partnership with Ericsson.
I attended the Mobile Premier Apps awards session last night.  Several dozen start-ups were judged by different expert panels for viability and awards. There are many very clever developers out there. My favorite was BlindSquare.  A location based solution with audio information for the blind.  


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the insightful whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
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.

Notes and Videos from the Mobile World Congress 2013, Part 1

Yesterday was the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.  It is reported there are 70,000 people here.  I counted 69,901.  I explored miles of aisles filled with mobile and wireless software vendors, equipment, accessories and devices manufacturers over 8 massive halls.

I have been tracking down mobility experts to interview.  I tried to upload some of the interviews yesterday, but my hotel wireless appeared just enough to tease me before disappearing again.

Today I will be speaking at the Power of Enterprise Mobility session in Hall 8.  There are seats for 250, but over 2,000 registered for it.  Yikes!

Here is the first of many interviews I recorded with experts in mobility and M2M.  This interview is with M2M / Internet of Things guru and Fred Yentz, CEO of ILS Technology.


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the insightful whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
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, February 24, 2013

17 Questions to Ask When Developing Mobile Apps

In this short video I review the 17 questions to ask when preparing to develop a mobile app.  These are basic questions, and I cover them fast!  Enjoy!
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
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, February 22, 2013

Thomas Jefferson on Mobile and Collaboration

I want an iPad mini!
I came across this quote from Thomas Jefferson recently that I found interesting, "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessoning mine; as he who lights his candle at mine, receives light without darkening me. Ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition...this [capability] seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them."

Thomas Jefferson was ruminating about collaboration - mobile and global collaboration.  He was sharing his belief that good ideas should be shared widely for the benefit of all.  Allowing your best and brightest minds, no matter their geographical location, to contribute their good ideas using mobile and collaboration technologies is a system, as Jefferson worded it, "benevolently designed by nature."

If you are the software designer of the collaboration platform, you may desire more credit than Jefferson bestowed, but you are in fact, part of nature:-)

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the insightful whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
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, February 21, 2013

2013 Mobility Trends

In this short video I review the findings and predictions from Gartner and comScore for 2013 mobility and other digital trends.  Enjoy!  Video Link: http://youtu.be/YYmKYkQwWnw

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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.

What Questions Should We Ask Mobile Experts in Barcelona at MWC 2013?

Next week I will be speaking at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona and also interviewing all the mobility experts I can track down. I recognize that many of you reading this post may not have the opportunity to attend, but have questions you would like me to ask some of the mobility experts. If so, please post your questions in the comment field below and I will do my best to track down the answers on your behalf.

Wow!  Eight halls full of mobile experts!!!  See image below.

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mobility and Collaboration Platforms, Part 2

OK, I am almost ready to get off of my soap box about how enterprise mobility and collaboration platforms, working together as part of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud), are creating a huge sea change in how businesses are run.  In this short video I share some additional areas that will be impacted by these changes.  Enjoy!
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kevin Benedict on Enterprise Mobility and Collaboration

Last week while speaking with CIOs and IT strategists in Europe the topic of enterprise collaboration came up often.  Of course, I was usually the one to raise it, but it is a natural extension of enterprise mobility so I am justified!  You can now have real-time communications with all of your brightest minds via mobile devices.  Why not use it!  Why not provide real-time collaboration apps that enable you to have full situational awareness within your company?  You can keep updated and contribute to all the important discussions and debates no matter your geographical location.

In this short video, I discuss the impact mobility and collaboration platforms are having and will continue to have on many different aspects of your business.  Enjoy!

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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, February 15, 2013

Terra Cotta Army, Mobility and Social Engagement Platforms

This week I had the pleasure of teaching a SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) strategies workshop in Brussels for a very large insurance and banking company.  Following the workshop, my colleague in the mobility practice, Hugo Taborda, took me to see a visiting display of the Terra Cotta Army from China.

For those not familiar with the Terra Cotta Army, it is a collection of over 7,000 terra cotta statutes found by a Chinese farmer in 1974.  Seven thousand soldiers and horses in long lines, standing silently, ready to escort their king into the afterlife.

Yesterday on my return flight to Boise, Idaho I had ample time to meditate on terra cotta statues.  They were buried around 210 BC.  They have stood silent, ready for duty, for over 2,000 years.  Whether their king journeyed into an afterlife or not, they remained buried in Lintong district, Xi'an, Shaanix province, China.  They were immobile.  They have withstood the ravages of time (most of them), but cannot share their experiences or witness to the events of history.  I know, as I tried to interview one.

How does a Terra Cotta army relate to social engagement platforms and enterprise mobility?  Well here it goes!  Many companies are blessed with large numbers of brilliant employees that bring with them in-depth industry experience, vast amounts of knowledge, skills, innovative ideas, and problem solving capabilities, but they are never effectively utilized.  They are a modern day Terra Cotta Army, ready and willing, but immobile and silent, there is no effective engagement platform in place.

We have done a good job of automating business processes with ERPs and other systems, but when there are exceptions, problems, disagreements and opportunities, we almost completely fail at providing effective platforms of engagement.  ERPs and other tools that capture, standardize and automate the routine, usually operate in silence and with minimal social interaction, however, the real-world operates in a noisy, chaotic, and non-standard place called reality.  It is here, where innovation, negotiation, new products, new businesses, brain-storming and problem solving happens.  It is here where profits are made or lost.

It is time for companies to research and learn about social engagement platforms.  How can you better utilize and benefit from the brilliance lying dormant, silent and waiting to be discovered.  I recently read an article where the author predicted the next big productivity wave will come from effectively utilizing existing resources through social engagement and enterprise collaboration platforms.  I agree!

As in our personal lives, social engagement is enabled by social networking platforms and tools.  Likewise, in our companies, social engagement platforms, purpose built to support effective business engagement and collaboration can provide huge benefits. These platforms will have a mobile first approach.  Mobile apps will be the primary means by which participants engage.  Apps that enable your best and brightest minds, no matter their physical location, to be able to contribute.

The world already has seven-thousand terra cotta soldiers.  We don't need more.  Today, we need an army of bright minds, engaged and contributing.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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, February 13, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Cognizant's Ved Sen

This week I was in four different countries in four days teaching mobile and social strategies for the enterprise.  While in London, I was able to corner mobility expert and my friend, Ved Sen, and film a quick interview.  In this segment, I ask him about the latest trends he is seeing and hearing about in Europe in 2013.  If you would like to contact Ved Sen and ask his advice on anything enterprise mobility related click here.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mobility is the Conduit of Business Transformation

This week I am teaching mobile and social strategies and will be visiting four countries in four days.  This type of schedule is a blur of airports, meeting new people and learning more about how mobile and social solutions are being used in the real world.  While on these trips I have a lot of time to ponder on flights.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the the word conduit - a means by which something is received and/or transmitted, as a useful way of describing mobile devices.  Mobile devices are a conduit for voice communications.  Mobile devices are a conduit for social networks.  Mobile devices are a conduit for email, news, data collection, photos/videos, and now as e-wallets and mobile payments.  So much of our lives are now run through this conduit.

In the last couple of weeks I have spent time with over a dozen companies keenly interested in the impact of mobility and social trends on their business.  In each case, the impact will be different, but significant.  In many cases the impact of these trends will be monumental.

Let's talk about retail financial services for a moment.  In the book Bank 3.0 by Brett King, he states, "Retail financial service brands today are a collection of experiences, increasingly defined by multichannel interactions and customer discussions and debates in the social media space."  The term multichannel interactions means communicating with a bank or other retail financial services company through a variety of different means including online, call centers, mobile, ATM (machines), physical offices, etc.  Increasingly, however, these interactions are via mobile devices.

King uses the phrase a "collection of experiences" to describe a financial services company's interactions with customers and prospects.  These experiences, often via online and mobile, are now the discussion of the blogosphere and social networks.  As a result, it is critically important that companies invest time and money to ensuring these experiences are the best they can be.

Social networks are accelerators for good or bad.  If something good happens, the world can know about it in seconds.  Likewise, if something bad happens the world can know about it in seconds.  The rules of the PR game have changed.  Increasingly people go to their networks for recommendations rather than to the manufacturer of the product or the provider of a service.  They trust their networks more than the companies providing the product.

Companies need to operate their businesses and invest in their businesses to meet their customers via the channels their customers are using.  If customers are moving away from visiting physical buildings and preferring to interact with a company via a mobile app, then companies need that mobile app to be the very best possible.  Companies that resist supporting the interaction channels preferred by their markets are in trouble.  If you work for one of these companies - right the ship.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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, February 07, 2013

Is Social and Mobile Collaboration a Thing for the Enterprise?

This week I have been working with companies in the Benelux on social and mobile strategies.  Today, I met with one CIO who says they have done POCs (proof of concepts) with three different social collaboration platforms, and each time the projects failed to catch on and be used by employees.

I also recently read a ZDNet article that included an interview with Jive's CEO Tony Zingale.  In this article, "Zingale acknowledged that the failure rate on social software that's merely flipped on and expected to work wonders is 'pretty high.'  He adds, 'You have to learn how to be social and collaborate.'"

How does a company learn to be social and collaborate? Is this a technology issue or a change management issue?  We as individuals have jumped into the social and collaboration scene pretty easily.  We use Facebook for ourselves and our soccer clubs.  We tweet and use Dropbox to share all kinds of files, we use email distribution lists to organize school events, and we follow our friends and business contacts on LinkedIn.  The big question, however, is where does a business receive value from incorporating "social collaboration" internally?

My analysis is that business "collaboration" is an absolute requirement.  Mobile communications, smartphones and tablets have brought real-time data and real-time interactions to us all.  We receive real-time news, updates and business intelligence that enables us to make real-time data driven decisions no matter our location.  However,  we don't work in isolation or in a vacuum.  We still often need other people's input, recommendations and feedback.  It is a logical next step to have the capability to collaborate in real-time - to form a real-time and mobile collaboration group that can discuss and debate an issue, make a plan and act via mobile devices.  This capability is just as important when working with family, soccer clubs, friends, employees, customers or partners.  

Today, we all collaborate, it is just done badly.  We schedule 10 individual's entire day around a conference call that is often irrelevant or dominated by only a couple of opinionated people.  A great deal of time is wasted and little collaboration happens.  A better use of time and talent would be to create a collaboration session, and schedule a time period (e.g. 1-3 hours) to collaborate on a topic.  Invitations are sent, and people can share their thoughts and opinions back and forth during the designated collaboration period.  They can collaborate when it is convenient for them.  They can collaborate while listening in on endless conference calls.  They can conduct research and return with a thoughtful opinion.  They can fit their collaboration around customer calls and meetings.

Collaboration is a requirement for business.  The question is simply how to best collaborate, and what platforms and mobile technologies are best suited to help us.  


Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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, February 06, 2013

Social and Mobile Rocking Organizational Charts and Processes

Yesterday in my research on enterprise mobility and social businesses, I came across two statements that I want to share with you.  They are from the book Social Business By Design.
  1. The impact of new social models and enabling tools, combined with the means to employ them effectively (think mobile), are remaking the landscape of business, society, culture and government.
  2. Social business is one of the biggest shifts in structure and process of organizations in business history.  It taps into entirely new sources of creative output (everyone on the network...mostly mobile), relinquishes structure that reduces productive outputs, and inverts methods of traditional control and decision making in work processes (as anyone on the network can contribute).
I don't think most businesses are yet aware of how transformational the SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) wave really is.  In my SMAC strategy workshops I compare this wave to a tsunami.  It does not care if social collaboration and enterprise mobility are budgeted in your three year plan, it is happening today, budget or not.

The Arab Spring, sprung without warning.  It was inspired by a shared situational awareness and organized by social networks and collaboration platforms.  We see similar flash responses to Bank of America raising service fees, and Netflix and Instagram changing their policies.  The world is a different place in 2013.  Companies must recognize the impact of real-time news and information flowing 24 hours a day around the world on mobile devices.  They must adapt their methods, operations and communication strategies to meet these new realities.

Companies can no longer control their brand or communications.  The crowds on social networks now control your brand and communications.  If you wish to influence the crowd, you must listen, engage, have a plan and a philosophy on how to participate.

This new reality significantly impacts how companies must address the needs of their employees, customers, prospects and partners.  People no longer look to the manufacturer or to the corporate office for answers, they ask the crowd on the social networks.  The sentiment of the crowd is where truth lies today, whether it is true or not.

Companies that seek to control all information and communications lose credibility in today's world.  Today businesses must be active members of the online community and be willing to participate in conversations about their business, products and services.  They must apologize when they make mistakes, thank the community for constructive feedback and share both good and bad on the networks.  Companies that embrace this social business concept will develop a community of loyal followers.

I am a long time enterprise mobility guy.  I default to thinking about moving data out to mobile apps and collecting data to sync back into an enterprise system.  The efficiencies are important in these scenarios, but today's SMAC developments are far more impactful and transformational.  They aren't just about efficiencies, they are about a revolution in business.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Speed, Change and Mobile Banking

I am reading an interesting book titled Bank 3.0 by Brett King.  In this book King discusses the revolution and upcoming demolition of traditional banks in light of mobility.  Here are some interesting numbers from the book:
  • In 1980 - credit cards took 14 days to approve, personal loans 7-14 days, home mortgages 30+ days.
  • In 2008 - credit card were instantly approved, personal loans pre-approved/24 hours, home mortgages 24 hours.
The increase in speed between 1980 and 2008 was primarily the result of the internet evolution and e-commerce.  Now jump forward to 2013, and mobility is the cause of the next increase in tempo.  People with mobile devices want instant access to their personal account information.  They want their business relationships and shopping experiences to be wonderful, convenient, digitized and instant.  

My wife is my guide in this area.  She wants a great mobile app from any company we work with.  She directly associates the brand quality with the mobile app quality.

We are quickly coming up on a time when banks need to completely rethink their purpose and retool.  Many of us receive our paychecks electronically.  We receive and pay our bills electronically.  We use debit and credit cards for most transactions, and checks are nearly obsolete.  This is the digitization of banking.  The less cash we use, the less need for ATMs, and the less need for bank buildings. 

Our mobile banking apps become our bank, and banking is a service that is offered by our mobile apps.  Research shows we access our banking information many times more in a year via a mobile app than through our bank branch.  The unstoppable trend is already here.  

King points out in his book, that once banking becomes "unhinged" from a physical building, banking becomes a "thing" that can be offered by many different kinds of companies.  Suddenly banks find themselves competing with a new and massive number of different companies offering a variety of traditionally bank only services.

Traditional banks need to immediately understand the mobile app is the new bank, and services will include mobile banking, mobile payments, e-wallets, financial services, advice, social interactions, guidance, gamification of our financial plans, Big Data comparisons with others in our demographic etc. Competition will come from companies far outside of traditional banking circles.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
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.