Blog

March 21, 2011
Trying to Stay Sane at Mobile Madness!

The Xconomists are one
of the most talented and connected bunch around. The second annual Mobile
Madness event did not disappoint the over 300 attendees who showed up. I was on
the panel with Mort Rosenthal, CEO of Enterprise Mobile, Ken Signer, CEO of
Ondeego, and Santiago Becarra, CEO of MeLLmo (RoamBI) and the conversation was
intense - both partner and competitors strapped in for a great talk - heated at
times but all good/open discussion as to the future of enterprise mobile Apps
and the future of the Enterprise App Store. Three major points were made that I
want to recap:

1. Business to Employee Apps MUST be
killer
. Your Apps need to be as good if not better then the Apps people are
getting off the consumer App store. A warning to Enterprise who are considering
building mobile Apps - THIS IS A ONE AND DONE TYPE SCENARIO - DONT BUILD CRAPPY
APPS FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES. For instance leveraging location Metadata is KEY
and should be used to make Apps smarter for your employees.  The killer
sales App automatically knows when you drive into a customer parking lot,
queries your SAP/Oracle/Salesforce.com CRM data and displays the last 5 orders
from that customer, builds a custom presentation that you present off your
iPad, offers up the latest tidbits of info coming off the social nets regarding
the product, and maybe even provides some just-in-time training with "life
lines a la who wants to be a millionaire"(phone a PM - connects you
to the product manager in your company that is responsible for the stuff that
your are selling!), links to PDF that automatically highlights new feature
sets, etc.

2. Crowd sourcing for Killer B2E App
ideas -
 remember your employees can be the absolute best resource for
killer App ideas. Genentech, Kraft, GE and other innovators have put out the
formal "Call for Innovation in Mobile" and gotten back really
transformation ideas that will no doubt improve the lives of their employees
through Apps. The key to crowd sourcing is WIIFM - Whats In It For Me - besides
the company building killer Apps for employees - they also need to be
compensated for these ideas - so give-aways like iPads, iPhones, etc make great
perks for great ideas. I have even seen companies give away dozens of
MacbookPros for employees who wanted to build their own Apps and contribute
them to the company in the name of productivity! There are several great
resources for this and my favorite is called Appswell - www.appswell.com. Call Dan Sullivan at
Appswell and he will help you understand how to leverage the collective
intelligence of your workforce through this type of B2E crowdsourcing.

3. Enterprise App Stores - 4
years ago Apple proved that the "App Store" was the de-facto standard
for deploying and managing mobile Apps. I remember back to the TREO days trying
to download Apps off the internet and pulling my hair out (insert picture here
- I have none left!) trying to remember where all these URLS were for all the
Apps I downloaded. Each App had to be updated separately and that required
going back to the website and sometimes even entering in all my contact info
again - nasty stuff. Your company must leverage the EASE(* pun intended) of use
you get by setting up a great B2E App store that is a total WIN WIN for both
your IT staff. IT gets a fully secure/enterprise integrated environment to
create, deploy and manage in-house Apps and employees getting that "no
instructions required" way to get internal Apps over the air anytime they
need to within the Enterprise App Store Paradigm. 

The industry is clearly
moving from B2C Apps to B2E Apps in a big way. I have been banging the
"ubiquitous enterprise mobility gong" since I was Director of
Enterprise at Apple and now, spurred mostly by iPad, Enterprises are taking
mobile strategies build over the past 3 years, and really diving into B2E App
development in a big way. I am thrilled to have gotten Apperian into such a
great position to help companies accelerate this effort by building both killer
Apps for employees using our enterprise SDKfor IOS and Android and then deploy
and manage them using EASE. 

Thanks again to Wade
Roush and they fantastic team over at Xconomy for inviting me to this event.
Here is to staying sane until the next Mobile Madness!

Chuck Goldman is the Chief Strategy Officer and a co-founder of Apperian.  You can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckyG) by clicking here.