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Nokia to Partner with Microsoft, Choosing Windows Phone 7 Over Android

Well first off, this is a big deal. Nokia, the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer, needed to make a major move in order to stay relevant in the mobile space. Additionally, Microsoft needed to get some traction in the mobile operating system space. iPhone and Androidhave built out very strong eco-systems,  taking market share from both Nokia and the Symbian operating systems, in a major fashion over this last year. Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop made this partnership decision, in part, to help facilitate the building of a new mobile eco-system.  What makes up a mobile echo system, you may ask. A mobile eco-system includes: 

  • Developers
  • Apps
  • Functionality (e.g., Office Mobile)
  • Games integration
  • Tools (e.g., search, maps)
  • Hardware manufacturers
  • Peripheral providers
  • Mobile OS
  • Tablet interaction (like the Lenovo laptop with pop-out Android screen)
  • Available cloud-based services
  • Enterprise mobility solutions
  • Application distribution channels


Nokia Corp. will get billions of dollars from Microsoft Corp. for ditching its current smart-phone software in favor of Windows Phone 7, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said Sunday, in defense of the deal. Nokia deliberately chose WP7, both to avoid the commoditization of Android and to create a more competitive market, where at least three major modern Smartphone platforms exist rather than to risk an Apple and Google duopoly. A MeeGo device would exist this year, but its role was no longer a central one after Symbian is ultimately being phased out of the high end device market.

When looking at this partnership, one can see how it makes sense for both parties. Microsoft gets a massive global footprint, spending a small piece of the capital that the company has acquired over the years. Nokia gets a high-end mobile operating system that has received solid industry reviews. Together, these two companies can attempt to grow market share against the big two, Android and Apple. But what does this mean for BlackBerry maker RIMM? To be frank the news is not good. As stated in this article, there are many parts to a thriving mobile eco-system. It is difficult for a company to “go it alone” without either a strong partnership or a truly innovative and compelling product. Time will tell, but I expect RIMM to be acquired later this year. As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions’ goal is to keep organizations informed to the rapidly evolving mobility market.

For more information check out:

Trends in the Smartphone Industry and the Effect on Enterprise Mobility

Leaders in Enterprise Mobility: Typography and Why it is Important in Mobile Application Design

Leaders in Enterprise Mobility: The Current State of Enterprise Mobility

Smartsoft Mobile’s Top Four Enterprise Mobility Predictions for 2011.

Enterprise Mobility will continue its stunning growth in 2011, with firms pursuing new enterprise mobilization projects. Though these projects will vary greatly in scope, there is a consistent message we at Smartsoft Mobile Solutions hear from our customers; “Make applications that increase productivity, not that get in the way of daily work tasks.” Smartsoft Mobile Solutions sees four major trends driving enterprise mobility in 2011.

1. Tablets Usher a Fatal Blow To Laptops:

2011 will be the year that the laptop dies. Tablet computing devices such as the iPad and RIM’s PlayBook will begin replacing laptops, particularly for executives who are travelling. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure(VDI) will make it easier to do many tasks that are traditionally done via laptops. According to Gartner, tablet sales will reach 54.8 million in 2011 and grow to more than 208 million in 2014. The range and diversity of mobile computing devices — from Smartphones and tablets to barcode scanners and card readers — will escalate in 2011.

2. iPads Will Trump iPhones in the Enterprise

After consumers raced out in droves to purchase iPhones, they quickly brought those devices to work and requested access to network resources like mail, calendar, and contacts: 2010 was the year of the employee-liable device in the enterprise. Next year the trend will shift toward enterprises purchasing and deploying iPads for their employees. Now that enterprises have, for the most part, mobilized their workforce they are looking for ways to mobilize their business. With that process comes the need to manage revenue-generating mobile applications as they traverse between customers, partners, and the enterprise. With its larger screen size and greater computing power, the iPad will be the device of choice for enterprises looking to deploy mobile business applications, more so than its iPhone counterpart.

3. Business Applications Reign Supreme

Applications will reign supreme in 2011. Need proof? The wireless industry’s biggest tradeshow this fall was rebranded from CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment to CTIA Enterprise and Applications, signaling a shift from entertainment-focused content to revenue-building line-of-business applications. In the year ahead, you will also see the rapid adoption of a new kind of mobile application, the “micro app,” which will enable employees to use their mobile devices for transactions commonly conducted via a company intranet, such as inventory inquiries, expense approvals, vacation requests, etc.

4. Mobile Middleware Will Be Increasingly Flexible for the Enterprise

As each business requirement and work-flow is different, enterprises will seek mobile vendors that provide a flexible middleware solution that can quickly be tailored to individual business needs. Mobile Enterprise solution providers must adapt quickly to customer needs and be responsive to the desired flexibility of clients. Allowing clients to quickly develop micro apps based upon specific businesses needs, with the desired user experience, on the enterprise’s desired platform, and quickly configure mobile middleware, will be the new standard business practice.

The New Year will ring in with exciting new opportunities for business to reduce costs and improve performance through enterprise mobilization.  A key to mobile project implementation success will be to select the right mobile partner to fit your business needs. As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions will continue to help our clients successfully achieve their enterprise mobility objectives in the coming year.

For More Information Check Out:

Leadership in Enterprise Mobility: Five tips to Improve Your Business Efficiency in The New Year

Tablets: Taking the Business World by Storm

Blackberry Playbook Review
Blog Directory

Data Usage Among Android Users is Much Greater Than That of iPhone Users

When mobilizing  an enterprise, it is important for managers to look at individual device usage. With the end of all-you-can-eat data plans, mobile implementation managers and business owners will need to pay greater attention to worker data usage in 2011.

Google Android Smartphone users consume more data than users of Apple’s iPhone3Gand iPhone 4, according to network management specialist Arieso. Using the iPhone 3G as a benchmark, the company foundthat Android handset owners notched higher data call volumes, time connected to the network, and data volume uploaded and downloaded than users of iPhones, RIM’s BlackBerry or any other platform.

In Arieso’s example, Samsung Galaxy users uploaded 126 percent more data than iPhone 3G users, while HTC Desire users downloaded 41 percent more data than iPhone 3G users.

Android has risen to capture 23.5 percent of U.S. Smartphone market share, coming within one market share point of the iPhone, according to comScore’s latest data.  

Arieso also found that iPhone 4 users “are more hungry for data than their iPhone 3G counterparts.” iPhone 4 users make 44 percent more data calls, download 41 percent more data to their devices and spend 67 percent more time connected to the network for data than do iPhone 3G users.

When developing applications for the enterprise, it is very important to optimize mobile enterprise applications for minimal data consumption. Making the actual Smartphone applications “smart”, will allow only needed enterprise data to be pulled from the back-office. The result will be cost savings to the enterprise, and more effective and efficient mobile enterprise applications. As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions has already developed these “smart” applications for the enterprise understanding that data optimization is a key solution differentiator.

For More Information Check Out:

Best Practices: Leaders in Enterprise Mobility – Device Knowledge

Tablets: Taking The Business World by Storm

Best Practices: Mobile Project Implementation Part 1

Best Practice: Leaders in Enterprise Mobility – Part 2 Devices Knowledge

To have a solid partner in mobility, an enterprise must trust that the partner is keeping up with industry trends not only current trends but forecasting those trends into future projections, to keep you not only informed but also alert you when necessary to the rapidly evolving mobile landscape. The growth on tablets as a category of mobile devices is a certainty, but when building mobile enterprise applications, one has to consider operating system adoption trends. The main reason for focusing on these trends is the fact that, not only are your customers included in these numbers, but your employees are as well. There are many reasons for the growth of the Android platform, the major one being the operating system is used by multiple manufactures so the market is saturated with the Android operating system. The mobile analysts at Smartsoft Mobile Solutions anticipate this trend to continue, as Apple’s iPhone penetration will be limited due to the tight manufacturing control of the device. The iPhone will be a major player due to the application portal Apple has created, but global market penetration is expected to range in the 15-19% range. This leaves roughly 80% of the global operating system pie up for grabs. Microsoft’s new offering, Windows Phone 7 is an interesting addition to the mix. Windows Phone 7claims to increase user productivity 20%. Whether the market will adopt this new operating system remains to be seen. What is certain is a report just released by Gartner for Q3 2010 operating system sales. Android, which has seen 628% growth over Q3 2009, and is now the No. 2 Smartphone OS worldwide. There were some 20 million units sold to end users (that’s you and me) in the third quarter, compared to 1.4 million in the third quarter of 2009. Once can gain the insight that basic “feature phones” are going to be a thing of the past soon.  Here is theGartner breakdown of Q3 sales by operating system:

 How does this impact your enterprise? Your customers and employees will use these devises. Your firm needs to be aware of these trends, and plan for the mobile evolution displayed in these figures. This means planning the mobilization of your workforce using these consumer grade devices, and mash-up back office systems to get the information needed by specialized employees at the point of performance. Your customers will view your company’s offerings through multiple operating systems. Customer centric companies will thrive in this rapidly evolving mobile environment. The key is focusing on which operating system will fit your target market and then building mobile applications that not only add value to your customers, but increase the reach and stickiness of your brand.  The product group at Smartsoft Mobile Solutions is prepared for the paradigm shift in mobile operating systems, and as a result the mobility needs of your firm will be as well. Dan Homrich, CEO of Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, views this paradigm shift this way, “The growth in open source operating systems tells us that the software and specifically applications will dictate functionality, instead of the current situation of hardware dictating function”.

For more information check out:

Best Practices: Leaders in Enterprise Mobility Part 1

Best Practices: Defining Mobile ROI in Retail

Mobile Marketing – Trends

Tablets: Taking the Business World by Storm

Since the release of theiPad tablet eight months ago Apple has sold over eight million units, including three million in the first 80 days. Obviously the market was ready for tablets, as this device had much more success than Apple’s first venture into the tablet space, with the Newton Message Pad 100, released in 1993 with little traction. If you look around offices recently chances are you see employees using the iPad tablet, for taking notes, sending emails, and surfing the web. The 9.7in touch screen display, allows for a very vivid and smooth user experience.  The three axis accelerometer allows for smooth integration between portrait and landscape views, which users of other Smartphones such as the iPhone and HTC Incrediblehave become accustomed to.  Connectivity of the device is achieved by both Wi-Fi and 3G. With carriers such as AT&T and Verizon both anticipated to sell the iPad, sales growth of the device will continue to accelerate.  However, there are going to be many new players in the tablet space, and the odds Apple will continue dominance in the tablet market is slim. Ten Android based tablets will be released by the end of the year, some with a price point as low as $149.99. Blackberry’s Playbook will enter the market in late November running a QNX operating system, and syncing with Blackberry’s Enterprise Server. Cisco and Dell are also rapidly developing tablets, mostly using the forthcoming Gingerbread and Honeycomb android operating systems. These new tablet have one major competitive advantage over the iPad, that is the incorporation of Adobe Flash. This will allow the users of these new tablets to view much more rich content and video from websites.

With all of the new tablets hitting the market, many companies ask how can they use these new platforms to grow their business? To answer this, first let’s look at the usage.


If the current iPad usage trends hold for the new tablets coming to market, we can assess the following:

  • Applications will be king (91% of owners downloaded an app)
  • Gaming is very big on these devices (due do the larger screen controls)
  • Shopping is very important (tablets blur the line of a laptop)
  • Banking and personal finance usage  will continue to grow
  • The large screen allows for the ingestion of more readable content (books, magazines etc…)
  • Productivity due to rapid enterprise adoption will drive development efforts

With the rapid adoption of tablets, it is important to make these new platforms a key focus of a mobile strategy. New devices, and also new operating systems developed specifically for tablets, will abound. For example, many tablet manufacturers are holding off the launch of Android tablets until the release of Android 3.X, known affectionately as Honeycomb Innovative application developers such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions are developing enterprise applications that enhance business productivity, using the features that are exclusive to these tablet platforms.  The future of the tablet market will be rapidly changing, and having a reliable mobile partner that stays current on evolving industry trends is crucial to having a successful mobile strategy. 

For more information check out:

Blackberry Playbook Review

Best Practices: Defining Mobile ROI in Retail

Best Practices: How a Retailer Should Select a Strategic Mobile Partner

Blackberry PlayBook Review

The tablet rumors are true, with the announcement of the Blackberry Playbook at Devcon on Sept 27, 2010. We’ve heard rumors about the QNX OS and BlackBerry tablet for months now, yet somehow I wasn’t convinced we’d actually get to see the tablet unveiled at BlackBerry DevCon this year.  It looks pretty sweet. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the OS and the type of product many have been waiting to see from Research In Motion for a long time now.


It will be released on both 3G and 4G networks in the future .For now it will be Wi-Fi enabled, with 1080p HD video recording and a front facing camera, both  great features. The Blackberry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server. When connected over Bluetooth, the Smartphone content is viewable on the tablet, but the content actually remains stored on the BlackBerry Smartphone and is only temporarily cached on the tablet (and subject to IT policy controls). With this approach to information security, IT departments can distribute the BlackBerry PlayBook to employees out-of-the-box without worrying about all the security and manageability issues that arise when corporate data is stored on yet another device.

Key features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook include:

  • 7″ LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
    • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
    • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.

Mobile Marketing – Trends

Mobile Marketing has seen growth of over 600% in the past year.  The Kelsey groups forecasts 2000% growth by 2013. This is due to several factors, one being the growth of connected devices (mobile devices connected to the internet). These devices can be Smartphone’s, such is the Blackberry Bold, Droid Incredible or iPhone, Pads such as the iPad, or even e-readers such as Amazon Kindle and Nook.  The goal of Marketing is to generate awareness and induce the purchase of a product or service, so the use of this new and rapidly growing medium to expand a company’s messaging is a natural step.  The average web user typically buys in seven days, while the typical mobile user purchases a product or service in one day. While this increased conversion rate is staggering, there are several factors that can impact this number:

  • Age of the user
  • Device that is being used
  • Social economic status
  • Quality of the mobile marketing campaign
  • Brand affinity of the of the mobile user

Based on a recent Nielson Study, here are some interesting demographics for iPad users:

How are mobile marketers engaging these mobile users? There are a variety of ways. From SMS (Text Message) coupons and promotions, to advance promotional campaigns based on customer shopping affinity and location based services.  According to a Millennial report, here are some trends that mobile marketers will continue to advance in the next year:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Growth of the Mobile Web (100m new users a year)
  • Fix of the GPS battery drain problem
  • Custom mobile site and applications for campaigns
  • Linking CRM databases into mobile marketing
  • New entrants into mobile
  • Coupons to incorporate time and context
  • Mobile Ad networks will continue to grow in popularity
  • Growth in Mobile Search
  • Growth in M-Commerce
  • Competition for the Mobile Wallet

While innovative application developers such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions continue to incorporate the latest technology into their applications and follow industry trends to provide the firm’s customers with best-of breed mobile applications, the mobile marketing landscape continues to evolve dynamically.

 For more information check out:

Using your Smartphone to Shop: A Game Changer

Mobile Geo-Location Tools and Usage in Retail

Mobile Couponing Uses in Mobile Commerce Applications   

Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, Inc. gathers the information in this newsletter from a variety of sources.  It is our intent to provide unbiased, accurate information.  We do include trend information and “street talk” that we find relevant or worthy of consideration.  We also leverage our worldwide team of employees and partners to provide timely, newsworthy information.  Using less formal channels, combined with our real world experiences allows us to supply with information critical to decision making in our mobile world.

Mobile Couponing: Uses in Mobile Commerce Applications

As using a Smartphone has become second nature to consumers, it should come as no surprise that retailing companies are developing marketing strategies to engage their customers at this new and valuable touch point. The idea of couponing has been has been around for over fifty years, with print being the long running standard. The goal is simple, present value to a customer or potential customer to induce the purchase of a good or service.  With the rise of the internet, companies then adopted this technology to allow for digital couponing, but a printed copy was still, in most, cases required. While the web greatly increased the amount of discounts offered to consumers, as well as the target marketing of products to customers based upon previous purchasing behavior, many companies saw the actual effects of these campaigns come in below expectations.

With the rise in business of customer/consumer mobile applications being deployed on Smartphones such as the iPhone, Droid, and Blackberry, many companies are taking mobile couponing to the next level. With the actual customer’s location available to the retail companies via the geo-location on their phones, savvy companies can target promotions and couponing down to a city block. Companies can look at events happening around the stores such as weather, and send targeted coupons and promotions to all customers in that specific region. As companies further mobilize their back office systems and push relevant information to customers, such as inventory levels by store location through innovative mobile solutions providers such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, the possibilities are endless.

Imagine this scenario, as it is coming in the not so distant future. A retail company’s merchandisers know that a new line of products that is adored by their customers is going to be released by their supplier. With shelf space at a premium, the old product line needs to move off the shelves rapidly in order to make room for the incoming products. The merchandisers have a view into inventory levels of the current product line not only by region or city, but down to the store level. Well, while this technology exists here is the twist… Now the merchandisers can search all customers within a defined location relative to  a physical store, review those customer’s purchasing habits, as well as the product affinity of  an individual mobile application user. The merchandiser can then rapidly develop a geo-targeted couponing campaign based upon real-time mobile analytics. The campaign is pushed to the company’s customers’ mobile devices during the application launch. The promotion can be targeted to individual buyer groups, giving the firm’s customers a targeted and compelling value proposition to encourage purchase. Users who bring in a coupon on their mobile device are 30% more likely to convert or purchase the promoted product or service. The beauty of the rapid advancement in mobile technology is the dual benefit for the business and consumer.  As mobile technology and applications continues to advance, look for some of the following:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Barcode/ Scanable Coupons through Text Messaging
  • Coupons for Virtual Mobile Malls
  • Dynamic Promotional Ranges that Optimize Merchandising/Promotions
  • Mobile Promotional Cooperation allowing for products and complementary products

For More Info Check Out:

Mobile Geo-Location Tools in Applications and Usage in Retail

Mobile Application Usage for On-Site Retailing

Fourth Quarter 2010 Trends in Mobile Retailing

 Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, Inc. gathers the information in this newsletter from a variety of sources.  It is our intent to provide unbiased, accurate information.  We do include trend information and “street talk” that we find relevant or worthy of consideration.  We also leverage our worldwide team of employees and partners to provide timely, newsworthy information.  Using less formal channels, combined with our real world experiences allows us to supply with information critical to decision making in our mobile world.

Mobile Business Strategy Best Practices

Does your business have a mobile strategy? This is a question posed to many executives these days. Given the dynamic and changing landscape in enterprise mobility, many companies are scrambling to define a mobile strategy that enhances their business, and fills the needs of their customers. There are several common mistakes being made in industry on a regular basis.

First, businesses are thinking short-term and rushing to keep up with an industry (mobile) that they do not fully understand. This is not based on ignorance, just the simple fact that mobility is not a part of their core business. This short-term thinking of filling the enterprises mobility needs, such as work order management, business intelligence, inventory management, just to name a few, causes firms to work with products that are inflexible and do not fully meet the needs of their business. The end result of this quick action, a company having to either replace mobile enterprise software, or even worse being locked into a solution that is not achieving the intended business goal. This problem can be  solved before it starts by partnering with mobile application development firms that bring through leadership and a strategic partnership at the beginning of a enterprise mobility project. This allows for the following benefits:

  • Platform and Device Knowledge
  • Business Requirements Gathering
  • Back-end ERP Blueprinting
  • Knowledge share of where technology is going (short-term and long-term)
  • Custom Solution Proposals  (get you what you need, not what a firm has to sell you)

The benefits of taking the proper first steps when developing a mobile enterprise strategy are staggering. Lets take inventory management for example. Each business has different inventory management needs, just in time production creates the need to monitor and move inventory and parts rapidly through a warehouse. Workers on the floor, can keep track of movement of goods, via RFID technologies and track that movement throughout the production process all on a rugedized mobile device currently used. Inventory stock-outs can be eliminated by alerts sent to workers mobile devices. Once received the worker can locate the needed stock in the warehouse, request the stock, get the right product in the right place at the right time. Reducing not only stockouts, but inventory caring costs, and meeting production goals.  The impact is a major return on your mobile investment in the short-term.

Looking out to the long-term, you can port a mobile application to multiple devices all consumer grade, and use bolt on technologies to reduce the high costs of rugedized mobile devices. The addition of enhancements such as speech recognition, scanning and signature capabilities the technology becomes viable for your business through software updates is a via a road-mapped software development life cycle.

 A partner in mobile strategy not only saves you money in both the short and long-term, but tailors solutions to provide your firm with a real and quantifiable competitive advantage. Some say this is only for large corporations, but many small and medium size businesses can implement a mobile entrise strategy, getting the same benefits as larger companies. This can be done reasonably by simply using the consumer grade mobile devices their employees already have such as Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, on Windows Mobile phones. While many mobile application developers for the enterprise offer an out of the box solution, the failure to take into account the current situation of an individual business makes this out of the box solution a mess. Working with a strong mobile development partner, will pay for itself over and over. Bottom line is by implementing this approach from the begining your mobile enterprise solution can not only reflect your business needs, but grow and change as your business does.

For more information on mobile strategy check out.

Why is it Important to Have a Mobile Strategy?


Enterprise Mobility Prioritization Best Practices

Divergence or Convergence in Mobility?

To say the current landscape of mobility is rapidly evolving is an understatement. However, forward thinking mobile application developers can use this changing ecosystem to achieve a competitive advantage. First, the platforms: Apple ,Microsoft, Google, and RIM all prosper when they diverge. This divergence differentiates the companies product offering, increasing customer stickiness, and further monetizing applications for their specific platforms. Software OS are also diverging; thus forcing developers expand their skill-sets to develop to specific OS. A good example of this is WinMo vs. Windows Phone 7. To a skilled mobile application developer, these are essentially two separate platforms. If you now throw all the hardware manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, Apple and their respective competitive interests you get a dynamically changing landscape for sure.

Due to the rapid adoption of mobility by consumers, this mobile revolution as well as the monetization of the new mobile universe has corporations and developers drooling. Mobility itself allows for convergence, giving information at the point of performance (right in the consumers palm). Mobility allows for the sharing of information in a safe and secure manner. The key is to build rich native applications whether you are building a business to business applicationwith SAP integration, or a business to consumer app. Focusing on the user experience, and as a result adoption of the application into the daily lives of the user.  The challenge is not to build to the lowest common denominator (web browsers), but to leverage the hardware/OS interaction and set the creative spirit of developers free! This will facilitate the growth of mobility, innovation in application design, and the experience to the end user regardless of the applications purpose…

At Smartsoft Mobile, this forward thinking approach to mobile application development is used daily.

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