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Some See a Two Year Ramp Up for Mobile Payment Adoption

There has been a lot of talk about mobile payments and how the “mobile wallet” will be rapidly adopted by both enterprise and consumers. However, widespread adoption of mobile payments via near field communication is still at least two years away, according to a global survey by Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase Inc.

Forty percent of respondents cited that the main inhibitor of widespread mobile payment adoption is a lack of coordination between key stakeholders, including mobile operators, merchants, payment processors, banks and developers. While NFC will help to further enable mobile payments, successful and established mobile technologies, including SMS and USSD, are already leading the development of the ecosystem today, per Sybase. 

“The main finding is that the mobile industry recognizes that for mobile payments to take off, a concerted effort is needed from all the players—carriers, banks, handset manufacturers and merchants,” said Diarmuid Mallon, London-based senior product marketing manager at Sybase 365. “The big surprise was the gap between the industry’s expectation of when NFC will happen, when compared to a lot of the press coverage over the last few months.”

“Most people interviewed saw NFC being at least two years out,” he said. “Even the most enthusiastic region, the Americas, only 49 percent thought NFC mobile payments [would achieve scale] within a year.”

With device manufacturers such as Motorola, HTC, and Apple including NFC chips in their high-end smartphones this year, perhaps this is just laying the initial foundation for mobile payments. The mobile payment infrastructure still needs to be set, along with compliance standards in order to achieve the mass adoption that enterprises desire. As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions is excited to see this new technology widely adopted.

For more information check out:

New Carrier-Imposed Bandwidth Restrictions and the Impact on the Modern Mobile Enterprise

Five Tips That Help Form the Foundation of a Solid Enterprise Mobility Strategy

Mobile Marketing Taking a Step Forward

With U.S. Smartphone sales up 73% in 2010, the number of consumers caring these devices is roughly 162,000,000 . Companies are rapidly implementing mobile marketing strategies, in order to grow their revenues. The fact still remains that 1 in 4 U.S. consumers do not even recognize a mobile advertisement when one is presented on their device. “Why is this the case?”, you may ask. Well, first mobile marketing is still in its infancy, with roots dating back about five years. In comparison web based advertisements have been around for roughly 20 years. Also, companies are not tailoring ad campaigns to their customers based upon analytical data, such as purchasing behavior on a regular basis. Companies also need to take into account the “on the go” mobile consumer’s location in order to bring this intimate marketing channel full circle, with complete personalization. Here are some findings of a recent report on mobile marketing:

Location-based ads are driving mobile shopping, with 17 percent of the on-the-go audience making purchases via mobile, according to JiWire’s fourth-quarter 2010 Mobile Audience Insights Report. This report also found that 20 percent of survey respondents visited physical store locations after seeing a relevant ad. Additionally, the greater the discount offered, the further the mobile audience is willing to travel to redeem a promotion.

In the near-term, companies will continue to experiment with mobile marketing, while measuring campaign success. However, forward thinking companies will implement point-of-sale personalized marketing to increase average order value. The use of location based triggers inside a retail environment will allow for further interaction between the company and customer. QR codes will soon be everywhere and as leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions is ready to provide barcode scanning solutions inside mobile applications.

 For more information check out:

Augmented Reality is Here: Think of the Possibilities Inside a Mobile Commerce Application

Barcode Scanning is Quickly Becoming Second Nature For Deal Hungry Shoppers

The Battle for the Mobile Wallet is On!

Augmented Reality Is Here: Think of the Possibilities Inside Mobile Commerce Applications

For several years, augmented reality has been prevalent in mobile applications in Europe and Asia, but only recently have companies such as WAZEincorporated this technology into real-time driver generated traffic reports and mapping overlays.  Waze compiles user generated driving reports to alert groups in the Waze community about traffic speeds, accidents, and police locations via a mobile application.  Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics.

Recently, a company called SnapShop has incorporated augmented reality into a mobile commerce application.  The firm has done a wonderful job, launching SnapShop that highlights both IKEA and Pier One Imports’ products. The user can browse furniture by category and then select a piece that the customer finds interesting. An image of the selected furniture is then displayed in perfect proportion inside the camera view of the mobile device. The user can change color swatches of the furniture in real time, while positioning the furniture around the actual room the user desires. The social networking tie-in allows the user to take a picture of the augmented reality scenario of the furniture inside the user’s location and share that image to get feedback from friends.  The selected furniture looks very realistic, and would be a great trick to play on a spouse or roommate.

As this application acts as a product aggregator for several home furnishing companies, there is no direct tie in to the company’s website on a line item basis for purchase. Instead there is a redirection to the furniture company’s mobile website, where the user must find the exact product used in SnapShop again. The mobile commerce functionality obviously has room for improvement, but the use of this tool opens up the mind to the near-future in mobile commerce application design and development.  Think of the value of being able to use this augmented reality feature in industries such as:

  • Fine Art Sales
  • Electronic Sales
  • Home Repair / Home Supplies
  • Car Accessories
  • Clothing
  • Jewelery

The ability to view a product in its natural environment instead of on a showroom floor is a powerful sales tool, one that greatly impacts customer affinity and the connection felt by not only selecting a specific product, but taking the time to see how that product would look in its intended environment.  As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions is always looking for new implementations of mobile application technology.

For More Information Check Out:

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

Leaders in Enterprise Mobility on Mashups: How Valuable Can They Be?

Smartsoft Mobile Solutions: Predictions in Enterprise Mobility Part 2

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
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In 2011, Micropayments Will Be Driving Mobile Application Revenue

Mobile payments will be king in 2011, with devices rapidly adopting Near Field Communications, technology that will give mobile users the ability to swipe their Smartphone and pay for an item on-site just like it is a credit card. Application developers are also working to develop in-application payment functionality.

According to Bango, the platform battle next year will focus on developers as much as users. Developers will need to determine which of the application platforms to prioritize for development and distribution.  Those that deliver the most revenue will capture the greatest mind-share. Bango forecasts that for 2011, in-application charging will grow more than 600%, to account for close to 30% of all mobile application payments.

The forecast is based on end-of-year trends from leading developers in the games, music and broadcasting segments. Near-term, the developers and publishers who monetize regular use of the application—streamed video and audio, games, news and alerts—will most readily capitalize on in-application payment features. Bangois also working with music and print publishers that are looking to develop revenue models beyond simple subscription-based paywalls.

Touchnote Inc. uses Bango’s in-app billing solution for its digital greeting card service. The company lets customers download the application for free and then charges users for generating and sending post cards. Touchnote, available for download for iPhone, Nokia, Windows 7 and Android devices, has proven to be very popular with consumers in these application stores.

Tablets like RIM’s PlayBook, supporting a front-facing camera, could at last unlock video-calling opportunities. Applications will look for the best available broadband connection, wireless or carrier, and bill from within the application based upon usage. Boosted by the Smartphone wars and tablet devices from Research In Motion, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Sharp and others, the number of mobile application downloads is predicted to rise to almost 50 billion by 2012, according to Chetan Sharma’s “Sizing Up the Mobile App Market”

With the proliferation of devices, both Smartphones and tablets, and the continued rise of application downloads, the 2011 mobile applications development landscape promises to generate some powerful mobile innovations.   As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions will be in the forefront of mobile application innovation in 2011.

For More Information Check Out:

Black Friday is Here and the Leaders in Enterprise Mobility are Ready

The Battle for the Mobile Wallet is On!

Tablet Usage in a Retail Environment

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

Leaders in Enterprise Mobility: The Current State of Enterprise Mobility

2010 has been the year of mobility, with 48% of enterprises implementing some sort of mobile project. It is forecasted that 1 in 5 workers will be considered “mobile” workers by 2011. Organizations that have implemented mobile enterprise projects have seen worker productivity greatly increased, customer service greatly improved, and day-to- day business processes streamlined.

This quarter’s iPass Mobile Workforce Report uncovered several interesting mobility trends. Highlights include:

  • The mobile device continues to be a tether that creates an on-demand workforce – always at the ready to handle work or personal business. Even while on vacation, a mere 5.9 percent of employees surveyed completely disconnected, 36.3 percent said that they were always connected, and the majority of mobile employees who connected while on vacation did so for work.
  • Mobile devices are used for both work and personal business.In fact, 94.4 percent of mobile employees surveyed use their Smartphone/cell phone for both work and personal business. Even among iPad and tablet PC users, a surprising 90.6 percent planned to use it for work.
  • The line between consumer and business applications has blurred. Across the board, most respondents are using email, calendar, text messaging, browsing and other applications for both work and personal use on their Smartphone’s. The only exception is social media, which is primarily accessed for personal use.
  • Nearly 97 percent of mobile employees carry two or more mobile devices, and almost 50 percent carry three or more. The most popular mobile device is the laptop, followed by the Smartphone and cell phone.
  • The majority of mobile employees (76 percent) have their Smartphone bill paid fully or partially by their companies.And while the majority of Smartphone users are choosing Wi-Fi to connect, the primary reason stated (31.8 percent) was because it is faster than 3G.

It is also worth noting that over 40% of workers surveyed plan on using a tablet during the performance of daily tasks within the following year. While devices will continue to diverge in the coming months, one fact rings clear:  enterprise mobility and its wide adoption across industries will continue, and Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, the leaders in enterprise mobility,  is well positioned to provide innovative mobile solutions to help businesses achieve their objectives.

For More Information Check Out:

Best Practices: Leaders in Enterprise Mobility – Device Knowledge

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

Tablets: Taking the Business World by Storm

User Experience Was King in Black Friday 2010 Mobile Commerce Transactions

With the smoke settling and data still coming in for Black Friday 2010, one thing is clear: the usability of a retail company’s mobile offering played a huge role in consumer purchase decisions.  Firms with outdated WAP technology and no comprehensive mobile roadmap left their customers frustrated. M-commerce from rich native mobile applications greatly increased.

Analyst data suggests that mobile devices will play a role (in some way) in over a quarter of U.S. consumer spending (across all channels) this holiday season. This means not just for making purchases, but for anything that makes the holiday shopping experience faster, easier and more convenient – researching product availability in stores; comparing product prices between retailers; and gaining fast, easy access to coupons and deals through mobile apps, for example.

For the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period thus far, Gomez’s User Experience Index has shown that mobile Web performance continues to lag behind the traditional Web. Same paragraph

Generally, for any type of web experience (traditional PC or mobile), a numerical score of 70 or greater is considered fair; a score between 85 and above 94 is considered good; and a score above 94 is considered excellent

Mobile Web performance throughout the weekend has hovered around 50 – low compared to the traditional web, but consistent with or even a bit higher than the mobile Web performance baseline (based on performance over four non-peak weeks in October). 

We can assume that mobile web users have been pretty satisfied with their online holiday shopping experiences thus far, but just this afternoon (Cyber Monday), performance across the top 15 mobile retail sites has dropped off slightly, indicating a decrease (for the first time since last Wednesday) in the number of satisfied users relative to the baseline, as the online shopping season comes into full swing.

Overall, for the “official” start of the 2010 holiday shopping season, mobile web performance has not kept pace with the PC web, and any major increases in mobile commerce this holiday season are likely to come about through mobile apps.  Mobile Web sites are reminiscent of where the overall web was 10 years ago, performance-wise. 

As leaders in enterprise mobility Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, provides the rich native mobile applications that consumers are demanding.

For More Information Check Out:

The Impact of Mobility on the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season

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

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

Smartsoft Mobile’s Demo of Enterprise Applications on Windows Phone 7

The application design and development teams have been hard at work, with the new Windows Phone 7 platform. Smartsoft Mobile applications are enterprise based applications that tie into your back office systems (SAP, Peoplesoft, ERP), and allow your workforce to have real-time access to back office, while converting that data into actionable information. Smartsoft Mobile offers nine modules that cover the entire business value chain on iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and now on Windows Phone 7!

Please visit the Smartsoft Mobile YouTube channel to see the one of the first mobile enterprise applications on this exciting new platform. Click here to watch the video demo.

The Smartsoft Mobile Solutions team is very excited to develop innovative enterprise applications on the dynamic new platform that is Windows Phone 7, Unlike other developers, Smartsoft Mobile is not taking a wait and see approach, but building applications on this new platform , and giving our customers as many platform choices as the desire.


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