Mobile Worker, it’s time for Tablet Rasa and on the road you go!

You are a mobile worker and you have just got yourself the brand new iPad2 and it’s killing you… you just feel like not bringing your laptop on your next business trip or client meeting.  Now, is this a good idea?

Only 4-5 years back; I would have answered this: tell me about your IT systems and I’ll tell you how things will turn out because at the time, most mobile workers were greatly depending on the « back-end office » to do business; and then came the BlackBerry which enabled real-time business and conversation with the Clientele and afterwards, new Smartphone devices with stock and calculus and synchronization and display capabilities have made us all almost fully autonomous in terms of Mobility, but let’s be honest, it’s still not a laptop!

 

So what’s new with Tablets, really?  Well, many things but maybe first and foremost they are the best mid-term between working / display surface and easiness of transportation!!!  I don’t want to provide free advertising but the new iPad 2 is only 8,8 mm thick for a weight of 601 g, it can hold into your hands but with a display screen far more superior than that of a Smartphone.

 

And with a touch-screen tablet, iOS and Android that is (and a few others…), everything becomes so instinctive: launching an application, surfing the Web, consulting your emails, watching a movie or reading a book; it’s almost child play. Having doubts, take a look at this picture!!!

 

 

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The true nature of tailor-made software development

When Analystik starts a new mandate with a client; the main goal is almost always to automate a business process and the methodology is, all things considered, quite simple:

  • Analysis of the process
  • Analysis of possible enhancements to the process itself
  • Creation of the software solution automating the process
  • Integration to existing related technologies and processes
  • Implementation

One spontaneously sees that a tailor-made software solution will fit more like a « glove » for the enterprise compared to a commercial software which is more of a « mitt ».

Shall we point it out over and over; although it calls upon a superior initial investment compared to a commercial software which answers roughly from 50% to 75% of requirements; a tailor-made software solution will always respond to 100% of requirements.  And let’s not forget, while adaptation to existing technologies and processes is always included with tailor-made software solution; it is always necessary as well with commercial software solution but never included !!!  We’re talking extras here; sounds like a story you’ve heard recently?

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IT dilemma, of course! Tailor-made mobile Application?

Last week, we were discussing The Eternal IT Dilemma; tailor-made software development or commercial software solution?  How about this dilemma from a Mobility perspective; how does it go about Smartphones and Tablets? Does enterprises go for a Tailor-made mobile Application?

The vast majority of enterprises that put into play a Sales Force are thinking about integrating Mobility to their IT development or among the needed IT solutions.  The laptop seems to be getting slower and slower to get started and not always easily « networked »; which can be accounted for the fact that more and more representatives leave them at the office and fall back to their Smartphones, even to get strategic information much needed for outdoors client activities.

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The eternal IT dilemma: commercial software product or not?

It’s the burden of all enterprises at one point or another; we often meet with business prospects which have very precise business needs and requirements, and that are confronted with multiple options as much in terms of technology as finance, and this story unfolds itself on a landscape of functionalities and satisfaction.  Let’s put things out just the way they are: contrary tocommercial software product, custom-made development frightens a lot of people, because commercial software product is concrete to start with which is both more appealing and securing for a decision-maker.  But when you take a closer look at it, you’ll see that reality is not that simple.

We will try in this post, and as much as we can, to identify the pros and cons of both IT options: custom-made software development or commercial software product.

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Does Cloud CRM systematically answer all your questions / needs?

Many clients from medium and large enterprises that we meet have migrated their CRM in the Cloud or are seriously thinking about it. On the other, and as surprising as it may look, we have also met others who have set a Cloud CRM and are on the verge… of coming down from their cloud!!!  In fact, just recently, while attending the CFO Summit in the USA, we were quite surprised to find out that many enterprises were not that satisfied with a well-known Cloud CRM solution and are seriously looking to a tailor-made CRM solution!

This is the story for this post; why should you migrate to a Cloud CRM and why should you look into a more traditional, some would say a more, personalized solution?

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Web or Windows? No, Web & Windows! (Part 1)

The debate has been raging for over a decade and the heights the confrontation and rivalries at the turn of the Millennium. So, what is it, Web or Windows? At the time, these two diametrically opposed visions each had hard core advocates who had sworn allegiance to the death. Much water has passed under the bridge since then and today we understand that reality is not quite so simple; not everything is black or white.

The vast majority of businesses have purchased numerous office software programme licenses from Microsoft (Windows, Office, SharePoint, etc). Since the arrival of Windows and a great many of these have invested in the development of applications custom built in Microsoft’s .Net framework. And today, almost all IT managers are turning to the Web where they are seriously considering or at the very least evaluating their options there.

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Sales and Productivity – the case of CRM Solution

Companies today have many means to use to increase sales and achieve corporate objectives! Moreover, several of these means (strategies, tools, tactics, etc.) are the heart of the managers and executives annual Strategic Plans.

Marketing for example can play within the entire range of tactics and tools, whether traditional marketing with advertising, media placement, direct marketing, promotions, etc., or Marketing 2.0 with a wide assortment of technologies for collaboration and profiles in Social Media… this, of course, if you’re an aficionado of Web 2.0 and already have an Enterprise 2.0 footprint – a digital footprint.

Human Resources may, for its part, contribute to the achievement of objectives by providing additional or better qualified resources, resource allocation, training, or help with developing and deploying a Knowledge Management strategy, etc.

And then there’s IT….

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Obsolete IT applications – issues for entrepreneurs

So let’s jump merrily into the depths of the nightmare of every entrepreneur: IT investment. I say nightmare because it’s a field of expertise for which the vast majority of entrepreneurs have absolutely no basis for appreciation or evaluation.  There is little or no reassurance for a decision-maker faced with a 100, 200, or even $500,000 decision, which choice will likely have a major impact on productivity, thus profitability and the future of the business.

So… to help the entrepreneur in this situation, and I believe there will be more and more who need help in the years to come, because the stakes are the same and are just as important as ever: Business Process Automation, increasing productivity, mobile workforce, accessible information, increased quality of Business Intelligence, improved decision-making processes, integrity and security of company data, etc., all of course with the ultimate goal; increase Profitability and improve Customer Satisfaction.

The Problem

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The Database – always at the heart of a company’s business reality

Amazingly, 25 years ago, the only people who spoke of Databases (DB) were the IT folks. They were perceived within large enterprises, not just as geeks but as business gurus. They held the secret formulas, some sort of modern day sorcerers.

Over time, the variety of databases available has diversified. Databases infiltrated the universe of many different departments of businesses; be it the Sales Force with its CRM, Human Resources (HR) with a homemade Access application, the Finance department with their multitude of Excel sheets (even if strictly speaking, they’re not really databases, it must be pointed out that Excel still manages the largest amount of data stored globally), Production and Purchasing with their ERP, etc. And that’s without counting the best years of Visual FoxPro,  which has been replaced by SQL, Oracle and many others…

Since that time, we have bandied about the term across levels of business, for example: “I think we have that into our Database”

Good evening, tonight on Discovery: The Adventures of Databases…

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Mobility: custom or off-the-shelf business applications?

Two articles on enterprise applications coming from the same publisher, businessmobile.fr, caught our attention recently. They’re interesting because they appeared less than a week apart and were in fact contradictory:

Mobility for business: complex business applications are slow to gain acceptance

In the first article based on a Forrester study, it says “the use of specific business applications is still limited and trails far behind the adoption of email or calendaring functions.”…

Hum…

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