5 Tips for Developing a Mobile Enterprise Solution

5 Tips for Developing a Mobile Enterprise Solution

In business, ideas are the impetus for great things, things that are so great and all encompassing that they change the world. Over the past few years, this idea has been mobile, which is indeed changing the world. It is changing the way people communicate, the way they consume media, the way they shop, work and live.

It is also changing the way enterprises do business. Developing a cohesive 360 degree mobile solution is something that much of the time eludes enterprises both large and small. In the age of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it is paramount that you hop on the mobile train or get left behind.

Estimates by analysts predict that mobile devices will be utilizing business applications at a rate of over 50%. Many enterprises are seizing the opportunity to implement business-based programs that maximize use of mobile. A large part of the reason is that enterprises today identify mobile as a technology that gives them an opportunity to mold their business in new ways and create practices that will ultimately maximize their offering to their customer base.

Below are 5 actionable tips to guide you in your quest for developing a mobile enterprise solution:

• Identify the mobile habits of key industry leaders and see how they are utilizing mobile to solidify relationships among partners, customers and suppliers.

• Make sure you implement the appropriate safeguards for security as well as support to enable you to manage mobile more effectively and in a way that is scalable as your enterprise grows.

• Constantly request feedback from end users. What are they happy with? What not so? What challenges are they facing? This will allow you to extend the mobile footprint within your enterprise.

• Give both light and heavy users of any ERP systems you might be using the ability to access information, wherever they are, whenever. This will give them the power to act upon any information in real time from any location. Get their feedback and refine as needed.

• Gain in depth understanding of your business’s essential needs. Learn what your staff needs to access remotely. Give users the ability to extend all communication beyond the desktop to increase their effectiveness in getting tasks done. This should be implemented no matter where they are or what device they are using.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a solid enterprise mobile solution.


Creating Event BUZZ with your Mobile App

Creating Event BUZZ with your Mobile App

With Mobile World Congress (MWC) coming up fast in Barcelona, Spain, and apps being the flavor for that week, we thought we’d write a post about how to use your app to create event buzz.

Out of thousands of vendors from all over the globe, being pulled, directed and even sometimes pushed ever so lightly to different product booths, seminars and presentations, here are some ways that you can create buzz about your event using your app.

  • Implement photo and video sharing capabilities within your app so all your attendees can share photos with other attendees and add their own that would become instantly available to all.
  •  Provide your app users with all the information they need such as hotel accommodations, interactive city maps, currency exchange info, restaurant and nightlife information. Provide commenting, reviewing capabilities Make sure all this information is sharable.
  • Any additions, updates or changes to your event such as speaker schedules should automatically be made available to your event attendees with push notification functionality.
  • Provide keynote speaker info and and an interactive maps of the event grounds.
  • Constantly provide status updates so that your followers can keep abreast of what is happening. Include catchy photos. Keep them updated as it happen . When it happens.
  • Use the power of contests by announcing it on your app. Everyone will be updated automatically through their notification settings. This builds interest and anticipation.
  • Include maps of all physical event booths and associated info. Encourage sharing and the ability to review businesses.
  • Provide real live updates from conference central. Perhaps, you can even utilize a web cam to show traffic as people enter the conference
  • Use your app to create short videos of people talking about why they came to the conference, from where they are from, what they do, their favorite booths, speakers, etc….Provide commenting and instant sharing capabilities.
  • Give your attendees the ability to view all sessions according to time, location, speaker topic and give them the capability to sync their calendars and invite others.
  • Include screens to your individual social media feeds with mentioning and sharing capabilities

There are lots of ways to build buzz about your event using your app. You want to encourage all your attendees to use your app as their central information depot for anything and everything event related.

The Age of the Mobile Workforce

The Age of the Mobile WorkforceThe Age of the Mobile Workforce

The mobile business revolution is officially here. Some 200 million people currently use their mobile devices for work and that figure is expected to reach 350 million by next year. What’s more, the numbers are expected to double every two years. According to a recent survey, workers are using mobile devices to work longer hours and increase productivity. Employees use their mobile phones and tablets for work not just at the office, but also at home, in coffee shops, hotels, and airports as well as on public transportation. Quite simply, the age of the mobile workforce has arrived. Continue reading “The Age of the Mobile Workforce”

Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?

Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?

With the iOS 7 release just around the corner (and a beta already out to developers) technophile’s nationwide are buzzing about the features that are rumored to come with it. You’re not alone; we can’t shut up about it in our office! That being the case, we decided to highlight some of the features that are reported to be a part of Apple’s latest release.
Continue reading “Will iOS 7 change the iPhone as we know it?”

iPhone vs Android: The Ultimate Smack Down

iPhone vs Android: The Ultimate Smack Down

iPhone VS AndroidYou want your business to go mobile. You want to create an app that will be found on smartphones across the planet (or at least in the pockets of all your clients). To keep up with the speed of business these days, it’s not really a question of if you should release a mobile app but rather when. So now that you’re ready to take the plunge you need to decide: iPhone or Android. And so without further ado, here is the WWE Smack Down of Smart Phones!

Why go Android?

Did you know that Android actually has a bigger market share than iPhones? True story. And when it comes to hardware, the iPhone just can’t compete. Apple is the only company producing iOS. Android, alternatively, is being manufactured by major firms such as Samsung, LG, and Motorola. That basically means that software and hardware choices and upgrades are a dime a dozen with Android devices.  Apple only has the iPhone and, let’s be honest, it’s usually jail-broken anyways!

Another big plus for the Android is the screen. It’s not limited to the iPhone’s 4-inch screen. And let’s not forget Google’s plethora of built-in apps that we’ve all come to know and love (Google Maps, Google Earth, Gmail, etc.).

The Android battery probably won’t score a TKO but neither will the iPhone’s so it’s hardly a key factor in your decision.

Why choose the iPhone?

While the Android market hosts about 800,000 apps, Apple have already passed the 1 million mark in their app store! And as Apple is pretty strict with their app guidelines, you can also expect higher quality and standards from iOS apps.

And I know that I said Android comes with the advantage of multiple manufacturers but this also works in the iPhone’s favor. Once iOS has been updated, you will be prompted for further releases and be guaranteed the most up-to-date operating system. Android developers alternatively are not always in a rush to stay updated with Google’s latest operating system.

When it comes to games, iPhone takes the cake (and eats it too). It really is the “Ultimate Gaming Device”!

Who Wins the Smack Down?

That really depends on you. There are major pluses with both Android and iPhone. If you’re app is entertainment oriented, the iPhone may be the best choice. If you’re looking to create something that enables productivity, perhaps Android is the way to go. Do you have tons of money and/or resources? Make both!

5 Ways to Generate Revenue from your Mobile App

5 Ways to Generate Revenue from your Mobile App

generate revenueWhen I first entered the world of mobile applications, my biggest question was how these companies can make money from a free app. Where does the revenue come from? I’ve learned a lot since then and decided to help others who were like me at the beginning and couldn’t answer this question. So without further ado, here are 5 Ways to Generate Revenue from your Mobile App.

Offer a Freemium

Often, companies will offer two versions of the same app, free (lite) and premium. The lite version of the app will have just enough to hook the user but will leave out some key features. Essentially, you draw in the user with a free app and then prompt him/her to purchase the premium version in order to take advantage of key functionalities.

In-App Upgrades

This concept is most often embraced by game apps. You can download the game for free but have the option to purchase features within to enhance the gaming experience. Zynga’s popular game Words with Friends has embraced this concept by charging to remove ads or to use features to count the remaining tiles.

Enable eCommerce

Give users a platform to purchase things they want. That’s not to say you have to open up a whole store for this purpose. Take a page from apps like Amazon or Ebay. These are free apps that enable transactions to drive revenue. There is currently a trend for free apps that offer a core utility of driving revenue through eCommerce.

Build a Base

This option takes more time and effort but certainly pays off. Some companies nurture a growing base of loyal app users with free apps with the long term goal of monetizing that base with other paid apps, content, or commerce down the line. This route only works, however, if you have a consistent brand and happy users.

Ad Revenue

This is the most obvious method of generating revenue. You can define revenues based on the click-through rate (CTR) or number of impressions (Cost per Million – CPM). Ad companies such as AdWhirl even claim that you can make between $400 and $5000 per day. Just make sure that the ads are not so obnoxious that they harm the user experience and scare off your users.

Mobile App QA – Should you automate?

Mobile App QA – Should you automate?

Mobile apps have completely changed the way we live our lives. With the touch of a button, I can find a restaurant, get hotel reviews, get directions, or order a cab. Long gone are the days when I printed out my MapQuest directions and studied them whenever I needed to go somewhere new. While I enjoy how easily information is available to me now through my smartphone, I know it would not be possible if businesses didn’t keep up. Thankfully they are!

Businesses are realizing more and more that mobile apps are the best way to reach the highest number of customers. As more apps make their way into the market, the need for QA and testing also increases. With multiple platforms and ever progressing features, this isn’t such an easy task. That’s why we recommend QA automation! I don’t expect you to take my word for it without any facts to back it up so let’s dive in.

Why automate QA and testing?

Mobile app testing is often very repetitive, tedious, and time-consuming. With automation, you can simplify your process by defining a test once that can be executed multiple times. This reduces your time investment, cost, and error margin while increasing your productivity and test coverage. It also enables you to create a more stable application by making it easier to run tests after every minor change to the code. Essentially, automation will increase your productivity, ensure an agile development team, and reduce overall costs.

This is all very nice but the world is unfortunately not so black and white. While the need for mobile app QA is significant, there are many common problems that QA teams encounter that can disrupt and limit the efficient testing of enterprise apps. Some of the problems that enterprise testers come across are:

  1. Mobile app testing is not thorough – or not done at all
  2. Lags in development can lead to shorter testing time
  3. Lack of requirements can inhibit QA capabilities

To read more about the problems QA folk come across, check out this article: Three Common Problems in the Mobile APP QA Process

How to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

How to Successfully Outsource Mobile App Development

Outsourcing mobile app developmentIn my previous blog, I talked about the pros and cons of in-house app development vs outsourcing. So, say you’ve opted to outsource. You like that it’s cheaper and doesn’t require you to give up your best developers for the job. Now, the only question is how to outsource the development successfully so that you get what you want at a price that fits.

So without further ado, here are the 3 tips I can offer to guarantee successful outsourcing of your mobile app.

  • Selecting the right mobile app developer

Likely, your decision to outsource development stemmed from a need to reduce costs. Just remember, you get what you pay for! That’s not to say you have to go with the most expensive bid, but you should also be wary of the cheapest bid. To help figure out how much you should be budgeting for this task, try this simple equation.

(Selling price  X  Expected number of downloads)  +  download revenues  =  break even dev cost

Choose a developer that can do a quality job at the right price.

  • Provide clear specifications

You lose some control by outsourcing so it’s crucial to be as precise as possible. The developer will do exactly what is asked so make sure you fully understand the scope of the project you’re outsourcing. Simply put, make sure the developer can answer the following questions:

  1. What is your app supposed to do?
  2. What is your app supposed to look like?
  3. Who are the target audience?

The clearer your specifications, the less likely you’ll be to spend extra money on reiterations.

  • Don’t forget the NDA

Sign a non-disclosure agreement with your developer to ensure your app remains confidential and secure. All developers working on your project should sign on the dotted line.

Have you outsourced mobile app development? What has your experience been? Let us know in the comment section below!