Posted by:Ranjani Rao March 13th, 2014

Mobile integration implementation means different things for different types of organizations. Let us analyze the broad categories of organizations and the different mobile integration approaches that would work out for them.

 

B2C

These are companies or divisions inside companies that are totally end user facing. Every smartphone user expects a mobile app from such companies. Mobile integration is very important for them to serve their customers better. Additionally, opportunities like the Holiday season, Super Bowl or Winter Olympics can help realize the ROI of building and maintaining the app quickly.

For example, Facebook. Facebook was quick to launch a hybrid app to register their mobile presence with smartphone users. The app was a huge hit initially. But as the smartphone market evolved with new platforms and devices, the users accessing Facebook viasmartphonesalso increased significantly. Facebook released native versions for iOS and Android after pulling down their mobile web app. Now as we look back, quickly releasing a hybrid mobile app bought them the head room that they needed to build a well thought out native app.

This way they neither missed the opportunity to go mobile on time nor got hit by performance issues as the smartphone user base increased.

Recommended mobile strategy for B2C companies – provide just-in-time mobile apps to customers in response to any upcoming opportunities. If the mobile app gets a lot of traction,develop native versions to avoid concerns with performance, scalability and user experience. Since iOS and Android are the leaders in the native realm, these should be suffice to begin with. Take up Windows Phone and Blackberry versions only if the ROI is fairly discernible.

B2B

These are companies that provide services to other corporations. Competition or leveraging an upcoming opportunity may not be a key driver for building a mobile app for such companies.

B2B companies should be more judicious about what they really want to provide to their partners, clients and employees. Not everything has to be put in a single mobile app or framework or API. So usually B2Bcompanies have a gamut of mobile apps and each mobile app will have a carefully hand-picked set of functionalities serving a definite set of stakeholders.

Recommended mobile strategy for B2B companies –go for a mobile framework or API and throw in a reference app thatdoubles up as

  • a proof of API for big partners to integrate with backend systems in their own ways
  • a mobile app for smaller customers without inhouse IT teams or external vendors for mobile app development

ISV

These are technology and product companies that are focused on one or more industry verticals. They are more concerned about leveraging the mobile opportunity and providing value to existing customers.

The easy way for software product companies to get started is by providing APIs to existing customers and letting them write their own mobile apps as providing a handful of cookie cutter apps to your customers may limit their white labeling and branding opportunities.SAP, Salesforce, Microstrategy are some companies that are taking this route for all the good reasons. Check out Gartner’s take on them here.

Recommended mobile strategy for B2B companies –provide a framework and APIs to your customers. Building apps can be made part of your professional services group.

Mobile Integration Matrix

Property B2C B2B IS
Security and Privacy
Device independent services
UI Design
Scalability
Social Networking
Offline behavior
Device Management and Monitoring for own workforce
Brokering and Routing
Backend Integration
Do you agree with the recommendations above? What integration strategies have you adpoted in your organization? Respond in the comment box below.

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