Archive | Mobile

Context drives app relevancy

What features make sense to make available to mobile users? The answer is often found in context. The more contextual information you can use in the interaction with the user, the better. Consider how the following apps leverage context to draw from sources and then add value.

Vivino – honestly, how much can you tell about a wine by looking at its label? Not so much. With Vivino Wine Scanner you just shoot a photo of the label and it will tell you all there is to know about it, what other think of it and what the average price is. No more guessing.

Word Lens – realtime translation of text you can point the camera at.

Meal Snap – snap a photo of the food on the plate in front of you and it will tell the amount of calories with very good accuracy.

FlightRadar24 – point your camera into the sky and see the plane and the app will tell you where it’s flying to, from where, its speed… and you can follow along using Google Maps in 3D seeing what the pilots are seeing in realtime.

Shazam – hear a great song… just tap and it will tell you what artist performs and then everything about that artist and album etc.

The apps use location, camera, microphone and then pull data from a large number of sources to ultimately drive value to the user. Context is at the heart of that value, turning that which is ordinary into magical. Finally, few would argue that the above examples would work well in a site on a web browser. The app is a great proactive tool and the web is a great reactive browsing environment. From a mobile point of view, both are important.

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Android is the new mayor in Tablet Town

Gartner just published its Worldwide Tablet Sales report and it tells an interesting story. The key points in the story include:

  • The market is in a healthy growth state, sales grew by 68% compared with 2012
  • Android is propelling into a strong lead capturing 62% of the market. iOS grabbed 36% and lost its lead from 2012, despite selling more iPads (i.e. market growth is faster than Apple’s).
  • Apple continues to be the single largest tablet maker (since Android tablets are made by several companies)
  • Microsoft continues to struggle and managed to capture only 2%

Gartner analyst Ms Cozza says: “To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC”, and to that I fully agree.

However, the main message from 2013 sales is clearly that iPad is no longer the standard tablet. Android is the new mayor of Tablet Town.

 

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Launching “Digital Business Watch”

I’ve been meaning to start “Youtube”-ing for quite some time but never got around to start. The reasons have mostly been a fear to make mistakes and not being perfect from the first moment. Well, today I decided to just jump and not worrying about making mistakes. Below is my first video. I’ll be calling this my “Digital Business Watch”. I get to meet companies in many countries and in all sectors, and will use my Youtube-channel to reflect and share. You’ll see that things won’t be perfect immediately (a couple of “sound spikes”) and my English is quite Swedish, but bear with me. I’ll work on it. Also, I’ll be trying out a few different formats and lengths.

The background of this first video is a call I got this morning from a colleague in Sogeti Netherlands. He had been in touch with a client wondering about how to deal with the risk of cross-channel cannibalizing, meaning how to deal with losing revenue in one channel (for example the web) if the customer decides to transact in another channel (for example mobile web/app). The question also had some web vs app-aspects to it, and essentially I am saying that responsive web design is critical and context-driven apps can add significant value to existing customers. So, I’ll be sharing my responses with all of you now and in the future…!

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: Apps, Mobile, Omnichannel, RWD

Mobile, wearables and cross-channel solutions

You have probably already read most CES summaries and agree with the conclusion that a key trend is connected things. From mobile apps to embedded sensors, wearable technology (glasses, wristbands, watches, etc), and smart TVs, we’re heading into a reality where things become enchanted.

This means that companies that want to establish or maintain a competitive digital edge in their market need to reposition their solutions and ask quite different questions than they did in 2013. In fact, I believe that if you even consider asking the following questions, you are behind the curve:

  • Should we develop a mobile web site or an app?
  • Native apps or HTML5?
  • Android and/or iOS, and should we consider Windows Phone?

In my meetings last year with clients in Sweden, France and the Netherlands, these questions almost always came up. While these questions will probably still be on the agenda for some time, if you get stuck on these minor details, you’ll get run over. Asking only those questions in 2014 is like paying attention only to the wallpaper color when architecting an entire building.

We are moving away from a situation where you only have two channels in which you interact with your users and customers, the desktop web and smartphone targeted solutions. In 2014, we are heading into situation where customers start to expect true cross-channel experiences which include desktop, mobile, wristbands, glasses, cars, TVs, homes, places, clothes, umbrellas, instruments, kitchenware, sport equipments… yes, any object you can think of.

In technical terms, a true cross-channel experience connects information and functionality across all these channels in a consistent and logical way, adhering to the strengths and rationale to each unique channel. This is different from the old silo’ed multi-channel solutions  which force the user to stay in one channel through out a usage experience. Instead, the aim is to making sure the user can move from one channel to another while maintaining session state, profile characteristics, keeping core features and information updated in all channels while adding only channel unique aspects to the experience.

I recommend focusing on and acting in the following three areas early in 2014:

  • Establish or strengthen your Digital Center of Excellence – take control of solution roadmap and innovation management with a full strength team consisting of representatives from the board, business owners, sales and marketing, and IT. Digital transformation is about both increasing leverage of digital solutions and improving business transformation management enabled by innovation, on an ongoing and continous basis. A Digital Center of Excellence is the core team driving this digital transformation.
  • Solution characteristics – Define and make sure your solutions consistently adhere to a common set of solution characters across all channels. Use and model personas and usage maps to understand where and how your new solutions can drive value for your customers.
  • Solution architecture – Define channels (types of objects used to reach your products and services) , touch points (instances of functional solutions), services platform (the digital gateway used to coordinate experiences across channels), and integration with legacy systems, in a structured and organized manner and make sure all projects consume functionality and information through well-defined technical interfaces.

It’s clear that the mobile revolution, smartphones and apps, was just a stepping stone. It opened our eyes to the value of being connected from anywhere. The value of connectivity and access to products and services will rapidly increase with the increasing number of new interaction channels. Mobile solutions delivered through smartphones will continue to be a critical channel that cannot be overlooked or neglected, and you need to have a clear strategy on how to address mobile solutions, but this strategy must be a part of something bigger: an ongoing digital transformation of your business and true value-adding cross-channel solutions.

Continue Reading · 0 · Categories: InternetOfThings, Mobile, Sogeti