The blog about the Industrialization of Mobile by Brad Feld last week triggered an interesting debate about the future of mobile. With the launch of Sitrion ONE we have opened the door for you to mobilize your entire enterprise. Let me share the story of Sitrion ONE and why we believe this is an amazing opportunity.
Hand-Made like Ferrari
A most-recently auctioned rare, classic Ferrari F250 Spider - found in a barn - reached $16.2 million. The car is a legend and was one of only 37 ever built and belonged to French actor Alain Delon. The entire car was hand-made and in fact all Ferraris are still hand-made in Maranello today.
The mobile market is a lot like that today: most apps are hand-made. Research shows that 56% of companies spend 7-12 months building a single app, many spending $500,000 and more. Don’t get me wrong, hand-made apps make sense if your entire business depends on a single app, like in the consumer market when your app is essentially your business. But, as with all hand-made products, it comes with a price!
Ferrari or Volkswagen
If you ask 20 year olds about the best car, you can be sure the name Ferrari is among them. Beautifully-designed, hand-made in Maranello and the ultimate dream of many. If you asked a German engineer the same question, you can be sure Volkswagen is among the names. Maybe not for their individual cars but for the platform. Forty models, from the tiny VW UP! to the 400 horsepower Audi TT, share the same core elements - beautiful engineering and the dream of many (shareholders).
This concept is not new and the debate among car enthusiasts is not unlike the one we have among the mobile development community today. It comes down to the question, can we create beautiful individual products if the core is actually the same? There is no right or wrong answer, it simply depends. Volkswagen sold about 10 million cars in 2014, Ferrari somewhere around 7,000. Both numbers represent success. The simple truth is: you can’t build a Ferrari on the Volkswagen platform and you can’t build 10 million hand-made cars.
Enterprises Don't Drive Ferrari
Our customers produce wonderful things like airplanes, cars, candy bars, energy, or take care of our retirement funds. Those companies have two things in common, they most likely don’t drive Ferraris and they rarely need custom apps. Our customers need to mobilize thousands of people, doing millions of little things every day - things like approvals, finding a meeting room, communicating to their team, following the daily forecast, meeting customers, and leaving quick notes after those meetings. All of those things need to be mobile.
We analyzed about 200 use cases and found that most of them are based on a group of core activities: see or look-up information, connect to a back-end system, be notified, and take action, (e.g., approvals or check-in somewhere). Why do we know this? Well, we have 5.3 million people using our technology to get their jobs done and we have worked with the heavy hitters in enterprise productivity for more than 10 years. And that’s what Sitrion ONE does! It is a platform that allows you to deliver hundreds of mobile use cases for a fraction of the time and the expense.
Economies of Scale - Personal, Not Custom
Try to build a mobile app with a SAP, Salesforce, SharePoint, and Office 365 integration, add a solid security concept, and make it work natively on three different platforms. How much do you think that will cost? You should read Brian’s blog; he noted that so many companies spend 7-12 months building a single app with a price tag north of $500,000. A SINGLE app! With Sitrion ONE we simply share the benefits from millions of people using our technology. Anytime somebody builds a new use case we expand the platform. Time management in SAP CATS? Already done. Check-in to Salesforce? Yup, already waiting for you.
That right balance of personalization without building each use case from scratch makes it possible to become extremely efficient in delivering new capabilities. But when you standardize you might lose the ability to provide a personal touch. And while most of us will never own a Ferrari, we like our cars to be personal. The same holds true for mobile applications. Every employee is different but they all need the same core elements. Just like you can get your Audi in many colors, with different seat options, Sitrion ONE is a very personal experience. It starts with simple things like branding with your company colors and goes all the way to mobile capabilities being delivered to you based on your role, your context, or even your behavior.