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Mobile Apps & The Art Of Mixology
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 1:56:25 PM
Nice analogy!
I especially like the concept of cutting business units off once they've had one too many. There's a reason classic apps (and cocktails) stay around, and trendy ones fade away. The difference is, a trendy drink only costs a few bucks while companies may spend thousands on an app that gets minimal uptake.

Do you have tips on how to gently tell an LOB leader that this app project just isn't happening? Maybe cushion the blow with that Margarita?!
PeteJW
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PeteJW,
User Rank: Strategist
1/3/2014 | 6:11:13 PM
Re: Nice analogy!
Lorna - Margarita's could always work, or maybe just a liberal dash of good old fashioned governance blended with value analysis for all mobility related projects, The problem is of course that anything new, trendy and disruoptive often falls under the radar when it comes to justification and funding. Also, many organizations truly don't understand the full cost of mobile app development; ignoring the 'side effects' of over indulgence - including infrastructure refresh, legacy integration, advanced security considerations, network connectivity....so as the old saying goes -- 'drink responsibly'
artr
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artr,
User Rank: Strategist
1/4/2014 | 4:09:34 PM
Re: Nice analogy!
A key concern for any self-service app, mobile or otherwise, is that an end user may run into a problem using the interface and require assistance. This will be particularly important with flexible multimodal interface options when using smartphones and tablets in different user environments. According;y, I feel that every online app must offer options to the end use.rs to contact and interact with live assistance.

This approach has already been provided to a specialized user audience by Amazon with their "Mayday button option that brings a live agent on a video screen, along with shared control of the user's application. So, no matter how well an online user interface has been designed, the end user's will always need direct and flexible  "click-for-assistance" options embedded within the application (e.g., via WebRTC).
PeteJW
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PeteJW,
User Rank: Strategist
1/5/2014 | 8:38:32 PM
Re: Nice analogy!
Good point -- especially in situations where as you describe, complex scenarios warrant live support. Not sure about every app providing this type of help service, but I can see situations where it is is offered as a 'contextual' service -- for example in retail shopping apps connecting shoppers who are about to make a purchase to a 'product expert'....many other scenarios
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 12:59:58 PM
Re: Nice analogy!
How hard is it to become one of these skilled bartenders? One challenge to doing this is companies having to rely on outside mobile developers, at least until they get their in-house teams trained in mobile development. Anyone have experience in how tough it is getting IT pros who know the business trained to do mobile development?   
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 4:06:21 PM
Re: Nice analogy!
Making a compelling app is very hard; making a functional one (looks bad but presents the necessary data) is fairly easy. You need not just IT skills but strong design skills too.
David R Robinson
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David R Robinson,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2014 | 1:56:14 PM
Multi-channel Feature Parity is also Important
You have to provide feature parity across all the channels you make avialable to the Customer or risk falling short of their expectations. To make it even harder, they fully expect the UX to be "native" to the device/OS that they happen to be using at the time. So that means a lowest-common-denominator HTML5 application won't cut it. They expect all the features of your website (at least Systems of Engagement) to be available on their iPhone, but it better look like, and act like an iPhone app, not some generic HTML5 code that they saw on the website that wasn't designed for touch. When they jump on their Andriod Tablet, it better take advantage of the expanded screen real estate and make the experience native to that device and OS, and so on, and so forth.


These user expectations are continuing to evolve and it increases the challenge for an enterprise intent on providing a great customer expertience. If you use best-of-breed develoment tools for each platform, you must make a huge investment in skills and tools and lose your ability to maintain feature parity due to the complexity of coordinating release schedules. If you outsource some, or all of the platform specific development work you also have a really difficult time maintaining feature parity.

It is going to require a new kind of platform to make it possible to create, deploy, and manage these kinds of multi-channel Systems of Engagement rapidly enough to allow enterprises to take advantage of the opportunities they find in the marketplace and win against their competition.

 
Muthu LeesaJ889
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Muthu LeesaJ889,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/22/2014 | 11:30:21 AM
You have got the recipe right!
Hi Peter,

Loved this article. Probably because I liked the parallel you have drawn. Like a good cocktail, mobile app is all about the experience of the end user. Even enterprises are catching up with the consumer-UX trends. Offering a consumer-UX for an enterprise mobile app doesnt happen that easily. Mainly because of the complex backend integrations. CRMs, ERPs, Social Media, Web portals, Payment Gateways, eCommerce platforms, Enterprise Databases - the list goes on. Integration is probably the most time consuming aspect of enterprise mobile app development. Read more about the complexities here: http://mlabs.boston-technology.com/blog/enterprise-mobile-apps-and-backend-systems
PeteJW
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PeteJW,
User Rank: Strategist
1/22/2014 | 9:00:54 PM
Re: You have got the recipe right!
Thanks Muthu - yep, as your reference artcile points out the complexities of integration can't be underestimated. No doubt for many enterprises this will require revisting legacy architectures and backend systems-of-recpord ill-suited for mobile apps delivery.


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