At Sitrion we’ve been talking about mobile for a few years. In fact, it was at my first Collective in 2011when we shared our “mobile first” approach to our roadmap. So mobile is not new for us, but I learn every day that mobile is still new for so many companies.
There’s An App For That™
This popular catch phase has been around for years. Back in 2010, Apple even filed for the trademark. But it is so much more than a catch phase – an app can solve any problem is truly engrained in the way we think. In the enterprise, it’s no different. A group of people ask for a use case to be available on their mobile devices; perhaps its inventory look up or time entry. Regardless of the request, the immediate reaction seems to be “we need an app for that.”
My First Google Now Experience
I’m an iPhone user so I only recently got a chance to experience Google Now. I was headed to dinner with my colleague who had a Samsung and he shared with me what this concept is all about. Pretty cool right? He is served up cards that are relevant to him and in context of what he needs to do. Instead of going to the app for weather, Google sees in his calendar he has a trip booked and serves up the weather in that city. Instead of going to a map app for directions, Google knew we were on our way to dinner and gave us the directions we needed.
Now most of you are thinking “no big deal,” right? We are used to our mobile experiences having that level of intelligence. I mean, Siri can order flowers for that guy in the apple commercial because she knows it’s his anniversary so why should the experience I had with my colleague be so interesting?
I Really Did Have an “AHA” Moment
As much as “there is an app for that” is now just a catch phrase, so is “having an ‘aha’ moment” but there really is no better way to describe it. I started to think about all the app discussions I’ve had over the past six months and it occurred to me that in very few cases an app was needed at all.
There were two main themes I heard in varying flavors – access to information (e.g., company news, sales forecast alerts, customer profiles) and simple tasks (approving a PO, adding quick notes after a meeting), and in all these cases, no app is required. If I am on my way to a meeting, why should I have to access my CRM app to look up key information? Most likely all of the details aren’t in there anyway. I should receive the information in a format that is readable and aggregates all of the bits of information I need. Going back to the Google Now example, I need a card that tells me all CRM details and perhaps other customer details like inventory status or outstanding support tickets, all in one place. It should be one view served to me at a relevant time, no navigating to an app required.
What apps are you talking about? Do you really need a complete app or can you achieve the same goal pushing key information to your employee at the time they need it? Not sure? Ping me or any of my colleagues and let’s discuss what you are looking for.