Download our Apps    Login

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Trends in the Smartphone Industry and the Effect on Enterprise Mobility

Emerging developments in the Smartphone industry are expected to bring about new trends for enterprise mobility management, with formerly popular business Smartphone options being replaced by new products from Google and Apple. RIMM’s Blackberry offering has been the only mobile offering taken seriously for sometime by corporate IT. However, the “bring your own device” philosophy  continues to be adopted by the enterprise due to major cost savings, the consumerization of corporate IT, and mobile business applications. Mobile enterprise applications will need to evolve based on these factors, while provide a rich native user experience to drive employee adoption of enterprise mobility.

A recent report from institutional securities firm Piper Jaffray predicts Android Smartphones to occupy nearly half of the market share during the next five years, with an additional 20 to 30 percent market share taken up by Apple’s iPhone. The firm made its prediction based upon the recent surge in growth for Android Smartphones, as the study shows Google’s current 14.9 percent of market share in 2010 will grow to 23.2 percent by 2012. The prediction for Google overshadows the iPhone’s expected progress, which the report forecasts will increase from 15.9 percent to 17.6 percent during the same time period.

Naturally, the research leaves little room for the long-time dominant Research In Motion and Nokia to continue to provide a significant amount of enterprise s Smartphones. As a result, the report speculates that either company could eventually adopt the Android system in order to stay relevant, and may even move to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

“Over time, we do not see the benefit of RIM and Nokia continuing to push proprietary software that can’t compete with the market and eventually expect one or both to capitulate and move to utilizing third-party software,” the report explains.

For mobile application development, the trends toward user familiarity of mobile devices will bring pre-packaged mobile applications to the forefront. Organizations will need to adapt to the needs of their end-users, in this case their employees. The rapid deployment of cloud based pre-packaged mobile applications, along with the scalability needed by the enterprise, makes these pre-packaged mobile solutions a preferable alternative to the resource intensive alternative to writing custom mobile applications in-house. As leaders in enterprise mobility, Smartsoft Mobile Solutions is positioned to supply the enterprise with these pre-packaged mobile applications, thus allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies and optimize resources.

For more information check out:

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

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

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

The Impact of Mobility on the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season

With 62% of the retailers polled in a Forester report implementing some kind of mobile strategy in 2010, many analysts and supply chain partners have asked how mobility will impact the 2010 holiday shopping season. The first answer  looks at the interconnectivity of retail channels.  The seamless tie-in between the brick and mortar, the .com and the mobile application improves the customer experience.  Here are some keys to improving this customer experience, thereby increasing conversion rates:

  • Single Branded Customer Experience Across Channel (familiarity)
  • Channel Tie-ins (location based promotions)
  • User Affinity Optimization (all CRM data will be mined and pushed to mobile)
  • Focus on the Mobile User (r customer’s utility is king)
  • Creativity in Mobile (key differentiator this holiday season)

Retailers that build a strategic mobile task force for the holiday season can optimize the investment that the firm has made in a customer facing mobile solution. The key is cross organizational synergy and buy-in when carrying out a mobile campaign during this holiday season. As with any cross functional team, there should be someone with end responsibility for performance metrics and thus “ownership” of the project. Key departments that should be involved in a mobile taskforce include:

  • Marketing
  • Merchandising
  • .Com
  • IT
  • In-Store Strategy
  • Customer Service

The immediate impact of this strategic mobile taskforce on the 2010 holiday season can be enormous. Working with the IT group, the In-store group can build 2D barcodes into products with either margin or quantity. These barcodes when scanned by a mobile device such as an iPhone or Android will then launch a promotional page developed by the .Com side of the house with marketing’s desired messaging.  When using mobile to tieinto all sales channels, the beneficiary is the consumer, as the shopping experience will become both rich and interactive. Leaders in enterprise mobility such as Smartsoft Mobile Solutions, enhancing the shopping experience through rich native functionality. Here are the mobile features and applications that will have the most impact on the 2010 holiday season:

  • Rich Native M-commerce Applications
  • Beneficial tools inside the application (ie. interactive tools)
  • 2D Barcodes (key is creativity in driving adoption)
  • Comparison Shopping using a Barcode Scanner
  • Onsite Location Based Promotions

For more check out:

Mobile Marketing – Trends

MobileGeo-location Tools in Applications and Usage in Retail

Best Practices: Defining Mobile ROI in Retail

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

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 Application Use for On-site Retail

With competition high for retail dollars, savvy retailers are relying on the rapidly growing Smartphone market to increase average order value as well as the conversion rate of shoppers. Companies such as Target, AT&T, and Starbucks have implemented barcode programs within their physical locations. These programs vary in design greatly, but the end goal is the same: to encourage customer interaction with the firm’s product offerings using their consumer grade mobile device.

Target has placed RedLaser, a barcode scanning tool, inside the company’s mobile application. This tool allows shoppers to scan the barcode of an item and immediately have access to that specific product’s information, promotions, and various other tools. Target’s logic behind this is the fact that an informed consumer, is much more likely to make a purchase. However, this program goes far beyond that, according to PEW Research, “Interaction on-site between a customer and product using a mobile device increases conversion 30%”.

Starbucks has taken a different approach to mobile customer interaction, with the implementation of its Starbucks Mobile Card program. The Starbucks Mobile Card application is available for the iPhone 3/4G. This application acts as a pre-paid credit card, allowing  a user to fill (load) the app with real money, to be spent at participating stores. The customer simply orders a coffee,  holds their Smartphone up to the register, and a 2D barcode displayed on the device is scanned. The account is debited, and Presto!: the customer enjoys some morning refreshment. Obviously, this is a much faster and user friendly method of payment, compared to digging through  pockets for loose change.  While still a pilot program on the west coast, Starbucks has seen great acceptance and wants to take the program national in the near future, according to a company spokesperson.

With the increased revenue that comes from having an innovative mobile application, both retail companies and mobile application developers will be striving to incorporate the latest technologies into the palm of their customers’ hands. At the end of the day the beneficiary will be the consumer, who will have more information and purchasing options than ever before, all with a Smartphone they already possess.

For more information check out:

Fourth Quarter 2010 Trends in Mobile Retailing

M-Commerce: A Definition

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

Feedback Form
Feedback Analytics