Friday, August 29, 2014

Mobile Expert Interview: Oracle's Suhas Uliyar

Oracle took their time jumping into the enterprise mobility market, but in 2014 they have come on strong with an enterprise centric approach focused on scalability, security and enterprise-class performance. In this interview, Oracle's Suhas Uliyar, VP of Mobile Strategy and Product Development shares their views on strategy, trends and developments.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/sUIMkM0Uu9c?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


Watch additional Mobile Expert Interviews here - http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/p/mobile-expert-videos.html.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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, August 26, 2014

Smartphones, SMAC, Political Chaos and Hope

Capturing the physical world and
digitizing it.
Wael Ghonim, a former manager for Google in Egypt, and others used Facebook and Twitter to organize demonstrations throughout Cairo that ultimately forced a regime change.

While Twitter, Facebook and YouTube received most of the publicity for their roles in disseminating information during the Arab Spring, it was the smartphone connected to the Internet and SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) solutions that made it all possible. Smartphones enabled information to be collected, packaged and transmitted for mass distribution in near real-time.

Matt J. Duffy, a teacher of journalism and new media at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate writes, "During the January 25 protests in Egypt, for instance, protesters would carry their smartphones with them into the streets.  They could offer first-hand reports using their smartphones connected to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Often their information was verified with short video clips or photographs taken from their phones and effortlessly weaved into Facebook or Twitter updates."  Rick Sanchez, a former CNN correspondent, added his views that, "The smartphone is and was “The best piece of news equipment ever invented.”

Mobile technologies connected to the Internet have demonstrated their ability to influence and organize change, and to help people become free from autocrats, but has it actually made things better?  Change, as we know, does not always equal better.

Author Thomas L. Friedman wrote a series of articles in the New York Times this month titled Order vs. Disorder.  In this week's article he quoted his teacher and author Dov Seidman, “Protecting and enabling freedoms,” says Seidman, “requires the kind of laws, rules, norms, mutual trust and institutions that can only be built upon shared values and by people who believe they are on a journey of progress and prosperity together.”

Many people, at no fault of their own, are born in lands with limited opportunities and freedoms.  The components identified above, that are necessary for long-term freedoms simply don't exist.  What chance have these people to realize their dreams of freedom? Where is hope to be found?  In many regions leadership change is frequent, but the results seem to remain the same.  So the ability to influence change does not equal making things better.

It is necessary when thinking about complex and important issues to first define terms.  Friedman writes there are different ways of defining freedom.  He explains that over the past few years many peoples in search of freedoms have overthrown or replaced autocrats, systems and governments, and in doing so have become "free-from" them, but often they failed to achieve the notion of "free-to."  They have failed to become "free-to" vote in a democratic government, have a reasonable level of personal security, practice their religion in a safe environment, express themselves in art, express one's opinions in public without fear, establish the rule of law, gain an education for both sexes, create a trusted and stable economic system where one can engage in commerce and wealth generation, etc.  The concept of "free-to" rather than "free-from" is powerful.  How can mobile technologies promote and support an environment that is "free-to?"

Friedman goes on to write, "Values-based legal systems and institutions are just what so many societies have failed to build after overthrowing their autocrats." That’s why the world today can be divided into three kinds of spaces:
  1. Countries with “sustainable order,” or order based on shared values, stable institutions and consensual politics
  2. Countries with "imposed order," or order based on an iron-fisted, top-down leadership, or propped-up by oil money, or combinations of both, but no real shared values or institutions
  3. Regions of "disorder," where there is neither an iron fist from above nor shared values from below to hold states together.
Can mobile technologies not just support and influence "free-from" efforts, but also "free-to" efforts?" I believe the answer is yes.
  • I think of mobile payments supported by stable, trusted multinational organizations that adhere to internationally accepted norms and laws.  Multinational organizations beyond the control of regional "imposed order" or "disorder."  They provide trusted mobile apps and mobile payment systems with cross-border and multi-currency support.  They provide transparency and accountability.  They enable direct payments to mobile phone accounts that are beyond the reach of corrupt hands.
  • I think of mobile commerce.  The ability to buy and sell via online markets beyond the control of local thugs  
  • I think of online education available to anyone with Internet connectivity and a smartphone.
  • I think of the ability to share ideas, organize and to collaborate using mobile phones.
  • I think of idea exchanges and connections that enhance innovations
  • I think of micro-loans that enable start-ups and small businesses to grow 
  • I think of data collection and news reporting in near real-time via mobile devices
Can shared values, stable institutions and consensual politics, the building blocks of a "free-to" environment, also be developed and supported via mobile devices connected to the Internet?  If peoples suffering under "imposed order" or "disorder" cannot realize the "free-to" environment within their country's borders, can they find it beyond in a mobile and digital world?

In considering current immigration debates, it is apparent the country you are born into means a lot. At birth you are either a winner or loser of life's lottery based on which side of a border you find yourself. On one side there is an abundance of "free-tos" and opportunities, while on the other there is not. Is it possible that we can change this model? Can mobile technologies and the Internet help create a more flexible boundary - perhaps even a mobile boundary beyond the control of local despots.  A boundary that can be reshaped and expanded as a result of mobile and digital technologies?  Can the digital world with mobile boundaries provide many of the "free-tos" that man-made borders on a map often deny today?  Can there be a digital universe in parallel to the physical where "free-tos" exist in abundance and are but a smartphone connection to the Internet away?

In the long-term, will the digital world be able to influence and shape the physical world to make it a better place?  I think the answer lies in how we move forward into the digital future.  Will we be able to move beyond our digital minutia, selfies and cat videos into nobler pursuits?  For the good of all, will we create shared values, stable and trusted institutions and consensual politics in the digital realm where we have failed in the physical?  Can we become a digital community of people who not only believe they are on a journey of progress and prosperity together, beyond the reach of despots, or will the tribalism and violence of the physical world invade and corrupt the digital as well?

Thoughts?
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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, August 12, 2014

Mobile Expert Interview: Motorola Solution's Mark Kirsten

Enterprise mobility is evolving at an incredible rate and it is hard to keep up with all the changes.  Let me try to get us all up to speed on Motorola Solutions.  Motorola Solutions bought Symbol Technologies (the rugged handheld and barcode device manufacturer) in 2007.   Motorola Solutions purchased RhoMobile (enterprise mobile platform developer) in 2011.  Zebra Technologies is now acquiring Motorola Solutions (the non-government side of the business).  Zebra is also making a play at being a player in the Internet of Things space. Did you get all that?

In this Mobile Expert Interview segment, I have the pleasure of interviewing Motorola Solutions' Mark Kirsten about their evolving enterprise mobility platform strategies and developments.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/JfAVgm5HXz0?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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, August 11, 2014

Mobile and Digital Transformation on the Mercy Ships

Most of the interviews and articles I publish here are on the relatively sterile topic of technologies, industry trends and business strategies. That is not to say they are uninteresting, just absent of a human interest perspective.  This article and interview is not one of those.  I had the privilege of hosting and interviewing Susan Parker, Executive Special Projects with the Mercy Ships (www.MercyShips.org) in Boise this weekend.  She has lived and worked on the Mercy Ship for over 27 years and has volumes of incredible stories to share.  The Mercy ship is a hospital ship with over 400 staff providing special surgical care, at NO cost to the patient, along the Western coast of Africa.

What follows are two videos.  The first is a brief overview of the work that the Mercy Ships accomplishes and the second is an interview with Susan that I recorded this week on the digital transformations she has witnessed in her 27 years on the ship, and how mobile technologies and digital transformation have changed the way they operate the ship, raise funds and care for more patients. Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/qu73D_VCB1w



Video Link: http://youtu.be/LBF5SVkpJ5o?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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.

Mobile Expert Interview: Cognizant's Bibhakar Pandey

In the world of mobile security solutions there are cloud-based, on-premise, off-the-shelf apps and bespoke (custom for North Americans) solutions that can be tailored to an enterprise's unique requirements.  In this segment of our Mobile Expert Interview series I interview mobility expert Bibhakar Pandey on how his TruMobi venture at Cognizant approaches mobility.  Bibhakar proposes that mobility should be approached holistically and with the enterprise's mobile strategy in mind rather than by analyst created categories. Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/8mBdEKTKbhw?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw



Watch more Mobile Expert Interviews here -  http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/p/mobile-expert-videos.html.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Mobile App Design Is Irrelevant - Latest Research

Your mobile app design is irrelevant if your back-end systems can't support the real-time requirements of the user. 

A recent report* by CIO Strategic Marketing Services states that most customer and employee mobility applications are integrated with back-end systems.  Although that is not necessarily a surprise, it is useful to see the average number of apps that are connected to different back-end systems.  Here are the numbers from the survey.

Question: How many of your company's mobile apps for both customers and employees integrate with the following back-end systems? (average number of apps)
  • 4.8 apps per survey participant connect to a CRM systems (including sales, customer service and marketing)
  • 4.8 apps per survey participant connect to an Ecommerce system
  • 4.6 apps per survey participant connect to an ERP (including project management system)
  • 4.4 apps per survey participant connect to a supply chain, logistics or operations system
  • 4.0 apps per survey participant connect to a document management system
  • 3.7 apps per survey participant connect to an accounting and/or financial system
  • 3.6 apps per survey participant connect to an HR (human resource) system
In my recent survey, Real-Time Mobile Infrastructure, eighty participants identified that back-end systems were causing real headaches for mobile app developers.  Here are a few of the questions and their results from the survey:

Question 1: Do you (or your clients') have IT systems that are too slow or incapable of supporting real-time mobile app requirements?  83.9% answered YES.

Question 2: Will your (or your clients') IT environment and back-end systems prevent you from delivering an optimized mobile application experience?  43.2% answered YES.

Question 3: Are your (or your clients') mobile strategies and plans inhibited or limited because of the current IT environment, infrastructure and/or design?  77.7% answered YES.

Question 4: Which components of an end-to-end mobile solution cause the most performance problems (involving mobile apps)?  Here are the top three answers in order of how problematic they are:
  1. Back-end systems 
  2. Internet connectivity
  3. APIs and integration design and performance
Question 5: How important will having optimized mobile applications and user experiences be to the future success of your business? 72% answered "very important" to "critical."

What is the bottom line?  Although it is often more fun and interesting to talk about innovative user experiences and app designs, the foundation for supporting real-time mobile applications must be in place first.  Without back-end system and IT infrastructures that can support a "real-time" environment, you are just putting lipstick on a pig, as we say in Boise, Idaho.

These are the kind of challenges and topics I cover during my Analyst Briefings and Mobile and Digital Strategy workshops.  If your company would benefit from a workshop contact me here to discuss.

*Survey of 414 executives at midsize and large enterprise organizations worldwide
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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, August 04, 2014

Oracle Buys Toa Technologies Enhancing Mobile Solutions for Field Services

So that is why the Toa Technology team canceled my Google+ Hangout interview with them last week.  They were getting purchased!  

Toa Technologies is a very successful cloud based provider of field service management solutions that is heavily involved in mobile technologies.  They had been accumulating a stellar team and was regularly announcing sales deals with companies that had thousands of service technicians working in the field.  That is precisely why I wanted to interview them!

I am impressed with Oracle's aggressive launch into mobility in 2014.  They were late to the game, but are really stepping up.  A few months back I wrote an article (http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/2014/05/oracle-mobility-emerges-prepared-for.html) about Oracles latest moves into enterprise mobility.

Here is the press release on the acquisition: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/2254950

Oracle today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire TOA Technologies (TOA), a leading provider of cloud-based field service solutions that manage and optimize the last mile of customer service for enterprises by coordinating activities between dispatchers, mobile employees and their customers.
TOA’s Field Service SaaS enables modern enterprises to continuously monitor real-time field service requests coming in from contact centers, to schedule the right field service representative to dispatch, and to use sophisticated business analytics to monitor and view current inventories, accurately predict service windows, and optimize field service operations. TOA’s customers have more efficient field service operations, lower costs of delivering field service, and deliver a superior customer experience.
TOA’s solutions manage over 120 million service events annually in more than 20 countries and include global brands across many industries including DISH Network, E.ON, Home Depot, Ricoh, Telefonica, Virgin Media and Vodafone.
Oracle Service Cloud, part of Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, is an industry-leading platform for online customer service, cross-channel contact center, knowledge management, and policy automation. Oracle ERP cloud solutions help accelerate productivity, allocate resources, and provide on-demand information access.
Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle ERP cloud solutions combined with TOA will empower innovative customer service organizations to drive operational efficiencies while bolstering customer satisfaction and exceeding service expectations through personalized service.
More information on this announcement can be found athttp://www.oracle.com/toatechnologies.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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.

Military Revolutions, Code Halos and Enterprise Mobility

Revolution in Commercial Affairs
In the US Army they have a term called "Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)."  It is often associated with the use of modern data collecting technologies, communications technologies, information analysis and the use of these technologies to improve strategies, doctrines and organizational structures.  The Army believes that in future warfare, the size of the opponent and their platforms [weapons], will be less reflective of military power than the quality of sensors [data collection] systems and mobile communication links and their ability to utilize information to their advantage.

I see a "Revolution in Commercial Affairs" happening today.  The same concepts and strategies learned  in the military have relevance for the enterprise.  Companies that can more effectively use "Code Halos" - the information that surrounds people, organizations, processes and products will be the winners.

What does this mean for your company strategy in 2014?  It means your enterprise must digitally transform and focus on improving its capabilities to:
  • Collect information faster
  • Communicate information faster
  • Analyze and filter information faster
  • Report the analysis faster to decision makers
  • Strive for the goals of being a "real-time" and "data-driven" enterprise
Mobile technologies play a critical role in this transformation.  However, it is very important we understand mobility is but an enabler of an overall "Code Halos" strategy.  The success of our enterprises over the next few years will largely be the result of how smart we are with the use of information.

There are at least three components required for digital transformation:
  1. Technological innovation
  2. Operation concepts and Strategies
  3. Organizational adaption
It doesn't help much if one person at the top has a good strategy and buys innovative technologies, but the rest of the organization does not understand the concepts behind it, or the role it plays in being more competitive.  Technological innovation needs to be a part of a strategy.  A strategy that changes the way the business operates in a manner that makes it more competitive in the market place.

Every organization needs to understand the seriousness of the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest. Every employee should be seeking ways to innovate and contribute to making their company as competitive as possible.


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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work 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
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***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.