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Selecting The Right Mobile App

One of the largest problems enterprises have when starting to develop enterprise mobile apps is trying to find out what to invest in or accomplish first. All of the following factors play a role in picking the right apps: alignment to company mission, alignment to mobility strategy, security, enabling new customer or sales processes, productivity gains, savings, legal requirements, and mobile first applications.

Once you incorporate some or all of those factors, it still can be difficult to select what to develop first. One way to look at it is by grouping business processes into common workflows and then optimizing the workflow that enhances the mobile process. This can work for sales apps, service apps or customer apps. The reason for this is that you may be creating the application that may have the most impact longer term, but it doesn’t take care of every business process in that workflow, thus eliminating the user from really taking advantage of the mobile app. For example, take all the workflows a sales person uses to sell a new pharmaceutical drug. You have the contact workflow, which involves: entering information into a CRM solution, following up on leads, etc. The sales process, which includes: setting up appointments, presenting the drug materials during a sales presentation and taking notes. Lastly, you create the order into the order system and take a payment.

Perhaps, making a payment is a company pain point and making an app to take payments would really benefit the company. So what is the problem in making the payment app? In this case, the pharmaceutical reps territory is so large that even though taking payments could save the company some money through the app, the sales reps still have to complete the order process through a clunky web-based system. In other words, the sales reps don’t normally make separate trips to their clients just to take payments because it takes so long to fill out the order(they try to do it all in one trip).

So even if the payment system is nice, it doesn’t solve the main need – a mobile order process (it has been shown that the company is losing out on sales because the order process does not go smoothly or assist in the sale). The reps will probably not work remotely as much and may lose out on sales opportunities. The company would be better off investing in the larger app project, the mobile order process to improve the business process before solving the company pain point.

This does not mean that the larger project is always the best choice. So take a hard look at how your potential users of your mobile app project would benefit in their workflow before you select your next app project.

Do you have a method of selecting apps for your company? If so, we would love to hear about it!

2 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2013 at 23:17 | Permalink

    Rephopper – iPad software for sales reps
    Salemaker for ipad really works for my business, the sales reps and our clients love to use it, and having all the up to date inventory and customer information on the road with the rep, just makes it so easy, now we receive less phone calls and receive the orders instantly, best of all the orders are readable, not like the old scribble’s that used to come through the fax. I would strongly recommend any wholesale business employing sales people, to give this app a go, it’s free to evaluate and only penny’s to subscribe, we love it!
    Steven Sesselmann
    Bee Jewellery
    http://www.facebook.com/BeeForMe

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  2. Posted August 7, 2013 at 12:02 | Permalink

    What I found most challenging is not only what mobile apps to choose but how to deploy them on a bigger scale. I quickly found out that once day to day operations leaned on mobile devices more and more, my workload would be insane if we didnt have something like an MDM. These suites offer tons of functionality that can make your life a little easier all the way around, we use Amtel MDM but started with a patchwork of a few separate pieces the accomplish some basics (that didnt last long). Something to think about!

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