Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mobile App Development: 30 Days to App

Just when you thought the hype cycle for mobile apps had peaked, James Johnson reports that the super cool ecommerce platform “Fab managed to pull 56 percent of its Christmas day US revenue from mobile apps, a new single-day record for the e-commerce platform with a focus on designer items. The company also announced that its mobile apps accounted for 40 percent of European revenue on Christmas day, another Fab record.

Nevertheless, building mobile apps successfully requires an attention to a broad spectrum of needs within your business and not simply a single function. While it is true that mobile apps need to be narrowly focused, the portfolio of mobile apps in your company needs to address a broad range of requirements.

Dan Woods reports in Forbes that building mobile apps requires endurance and stick-to-it-iveness.  “Mobility is really a continuing program for addressing many needs over multiple years, typically with multiple apps.”

And despite the fact that experts are touting gamification, independent university research has determined that usable information and functionality trump entertainment and gaming value.
Indiana University reports that: “The study confirms that using branded mobile phone apps  increases a consumer's general interest in product categories and improves the attitude they may have toward the sponsoring brand. The researchers also found that mobile apps which are informational in nature or utilitarian were more likely to engage users than those where the app focused on entertainment or gaming.” This research finding may surprise people. But if you understand baseball, then you can understand this statistic. If the average hitter swings for the fences in every at bat, they are going to fail. It's easy to strike out when you are trying to force a home run. Informational and utilitarian apps are less exciting, but just like a single in baseball, they are fundamental to success. 

So if you are an IT department with a need to support a broad portfolio of mobile apps that provide usable functionality to business users, partners and customers, what can you do? That broad functionality already exists in your ERP, CRM and other enterprise software systems. How can you expose that business functionality reliably and securely in mobile apps that are flexible enough to grow with your business and your customers changing needs?

The Magic xpa Application Platform and Magic xpi Integration Platform work in tandem to provide a solution for enterprise mobility by allowing you to quickly generate mobile apps that integrate to enterprise software systems, ecommerce platforms and cloud apps by managing everything from API triggers and orchestration to cross-platform native mobile client interfaces. We offer our customers the laundry list of mobile apps below with a templated approach that allows us to promise 30 days to app from the time we have your spec, usually much faster. Not a generic app, but one that is customized and integrated. 

What is needed in every organization is a series of mobile apps that address common business issues and deliver the information and functionality demanded by your users. Magic Software’s application and business integration platforms provide enterprise IT departments the toolsets they need to address enterprise mobility requirements. Many IT departments prefer not to get involved in developing and integrating their own mobile apps, however. For these IT departments, the Magic Professional Services team can offer flexible and comprehensive professional services for mobile apps development.

As we talk to enterprise IT departments about the apps needed, a series of these mobile apps come to mind:

·         Mobile Commerceapps
·         Mobile StoreLocator apps
·         Mobile ordertracking apps
·         Mobile order tracking and shipment tracking apps
·         Mobile credit status and payments inquiry apps
·         Mobile field service management apps, including:
o   Mobile dispatch apps
o   Mobile routing apps
o   Mobile field service apps
o   Mobile customer service, repair, and technical support knowledge base apps
o   Mobile parts order and sales apps
o   Mobile asset tracking, inventory and management apps
o   Mobile field-based project management apps
·         Mobile inventory management apps
·         Mobile pick and pack apps
·         Mobile shipping apps
·         Mobile Time and Attendance workforce management apps
·         Mobile expense report management apps
·         Mobile workforce, HR and employee benefits apps
·         Mobile executive dashboard apps
·         Mobile approval processes apps
·         Mobile document management apps
·         Mobile purchase requisition and purchase order apps
·         Mobile Service and technical support center management apps

Here in Magic Software Americas, Eyal Karny, vice president of Professional Services explains that: “From the time we have identified the business requirements of a discrete mobile business application, we can build the mobile app, integrate it to back end systems, test it and present it for final user acceptance testing (UAT) quite easily within 30 days and usually much sooner. Mobile app development is ideal for agile and SCRUM development approaches because the apps are relatively narrow in focus. Having a common architecture for back-end integration and cross-platform deployment is amazing.” For additional information download “How to Realize the Vision of Enterprise Mobility.”