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6/11/2014
10:45 AM
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Mobile Business Without The Apps

SAP technology helps Brazilian job site contact workers where they are -- on cellphones, but without apps.

Jacob Rosenbloom approached Brazil's labor market as an investor. He saw, he said last week in a media conference at SAP's SapphireNow conference, a labor market of 102 million people, of whom only about 15 million have any education beyond high school. How could a company build a labor market to serve a laborer who doesn't know what a resumé is and has never used a personal computer? According to Rosenbloom, CEO and co-founder of Emprego Ligado, the largest blue-collar employment site in Brazil, his firm did it by building a company that was mobile from the ground up.

SAP, which announced general availability of the SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 on May 22, provides the backend application that allows Emprego Ligado to take information from cellphones and turn it into records that potential employers can use. The process is complicated by the fact that the workers in Emprego Ligado's target labor pool tend not to have smartphones, so an app isn't a good option. The company turns, instead, to standard SMS messaging to build a profile of each worker and communicate with them concerning job opportunities.

The lack of an app doesn't mean that Emprego Ligado has the luxury of ignoring user interface design. "Customers are so used to being spoiled by beautiful UX that we need to understand the wants and needs of everyone who's going to touch our app. The way the customer interacts with our system is through SMS -- they think they're talking to their mother or a friend. We had to look carefully at the language we use to maintain the relationship," said Rosenbloom.

[Learn more about SAP. See SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner: Exclusive Q&A.]

Careful use of the SMS interface coupled with backend analytics allows Emprego Ligado to match job seekers to jobs based on one of the most important indicators of a successful match: physical proximity to work. "We found that the defining factor in someone's success in interviewing was how close they are to where they'll be working," Rosenbloom said. He explained that this is an issue for both the workers and the companies that are Emprego Ligado's customers. "When turnover is too high, it's a problem for everyone."

Rick Costanzo, executive VP and general manager of global mobility solutions at SAP, pointed out at the media conference that mobile is the most prevalent technology in emerging markets. Rosenbloom agreed, saying, "We looked at the tools available to consumers in the emerging markets: They don't pay to have a professional network profile created, and they don't use mobile professional tools, but they do have mobile devices in their hands."

Rosenbloom's observations are in line with the results of the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project survey on mobile device use. According to the survey, 80% of Brazilians own a cellphone, with only 15% of those qualifying as smartphones. The cellphone ownership numbers compare with 49% of Brazilians who say that they either own a smartphone or occasionally use the Internet in another way. Since smartphone ownership and Internet use are each highly correlated with education, it's obvious that simple cellphone text messaging is the dominant technology for reaching blue-collar workers -- and is likely to remain so for some time to come.

Costanzo says that, while he has no question about the power and impact of the SAP Mobile Platform, there is one aspect of the product line that has a less rosy future: the product description. "Mobility is an archaic term because everything is mobile now," he said.

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Curtis Franklin Jr. has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He contributes to a number of technology-industry publications including Information Week , ChannelWeb , Network ... View Full Bio
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batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/3/2014 | 12:19:24 AM
Re: Everything is mobile now
could not agree more interesting point/observation.... as everyone want latest and greatest... with out end in sight... but at this economy everyone tend to spend less or find way of spending less...
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 11:59:50 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
in some places in third world countries people could not afford the simple food, but they do have top of the line cellphone.... go figure:)
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 11:56:42 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
I think it affecting everyone one way or other as cost vs data on cellphone... also generation gap the way we use technology...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 3:09:53 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
Broadway,

Trust me its changing.

All the latest Spending Data in America clearly says that the Under 40 Generation is Starting to Save More and Spend Less via Credit Cards.

All the Debt that they do rack up today is tied mainly to Student Loans,Auto Loans and Finally Housing Loans.

The Boomers on the other hand are a totally different story.

 
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 10:33:00 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
@Ashu, two things. Living within your means is a learned skill. If you warch your parents live off debt, you will think that's the way to go, and you simply won't know how to budget. Two, the whole US economy --- really, any "developed" economy except maybe Germany --- is predicated on consumers overspending. I thought things would change after 2007-8, when this proved to be folly, but there must be no other way to drive GDP in this country because nothing's changed ...
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 11:59:00 AM
Re: Everything is mobile now
Broadway,

Precisely!!!

I could'nt say it any better if I wanted to.

You spoke my mind here entirely.

Consumers have to learn to save More and Spend Less.

Living within their Means is not such an old fashioned notion after all.Is it?

Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 11:57:21 AM
Re: Everything is mobile now
SusanN,

The US has its own Unique set of Problems today(it really does'nt help that most Americans are in way-way too much Debt today).

Latest Data puts 77 million Americans are being Chased by Debt Collectors practically everyday!!!

[As a Percentage of the Population;that is a very-very High Number].

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/29/a-third-of-consumers-had-debts-in-collections-last-year/

It seems Financial Inclusion has'nt quite worked out as well as planned for most Americans today.Has it?

Clearly,tells you so many Americans are just struggling to make ends meet.

This also tells you that maybe all this Consumerism and Materialism is'nt quite awesome as its cut out to be(Thanks to MSM);maybe its time to cutback and Start Saving more and Paying off existing Debts?

I hope this is'nt really a quaint notion for most Ordinary Rank and File Americans today.

Regards

Ashish.

P.S A Dollar Saved is equivalent to about 2 Dollars Earned is most Financial  Planning Gurus say usually.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 6:21:25 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
@Susan, you make a spot-on point about the greater picture of poverty in this country. But surely if we could get past the social cache of having an unnecessarily "bling" phone, the less advantaged in the US as elsewhere would benefit from a cheap SMS device that can be used entrepreneurially.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 2:56:40 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
@Ashish: Ow! that water example from Detroit really stings, and it's emblematic of the truly horrendous state of affairs in that city. I was, of course, thinking of more positive uses, such as information on where to get food, clothing, financial guidance, or other public services. But if the city has no money to provide water I suppose it's a moot point.

The basic structure of the telecom market is indeed very very different here in the U.S., although even with carrier subsidies the cost of an iPhone is probably well beyond what most people living below poverty level can afford even here. Typically, the phone is offered for $200-$300 with the carrier subsidies, and you need a good credit rating here in order to get a contract with a wireless carrier. They lock you into a 2-year contract with costly data plans. 

I'm not going all #firstworldproblems on you, I truly get that the situation for those living in poverty around the world can be truly dire and in no way do I seek to minimize that.

Rather, my fears are additive: We all too often overlook those who are going hungry in our own backyards here in the U.S. -- as your link to the Detroit water news so aptly points out. And the divide between rich and poor is growing wider and wider here as well.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 1:08:11 PM
Re: Everything is mobile now
@Curt: It's true there are generational forces at play here too (though I often like to point to my 80something Aunt Mary -- who is more tech-savvy than some 22-year-olds I know -- as the exception to that rule). My concern in the socioeconomic sphere is not limited to the phones themselves, but also the cost of data plans and montly access fees.

 
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