Enterprise Mobility – The Lowest Common Denominator

Posted by Ross Coundon on August 30, 2012

In these days of seemingly ubiquitous smartphones and mobile devices the main focus is on whether to deploy native apps, HTML5 apps, hybrid apps or mobile optimised websites. With the right use cases, these can all be powerful methods of bringing mobility to an enterprise and there are some terrific tools available in the marketplace in order to create these applications.

The decision to create an HTML5 app versus a native application is driven out of the existence of a multi-device, multi-OS environment that is showing no signs of convergence.

Whilst there is substantial value to taking this approach, it can add complexity and cost and for smaller or cost-conscious enterprises it may create a barrier to entry into the world of mobile.

What if I told you there was a mature, low cost, well understood technology that is truly cross platform? A technology that can allow users within an enterprise to participate in business workflow regardless of device type. A technology that can allow a business to communicate with its customers and partners without concern for their mobile operating system of preference.

Of course, that technology is SMS.

Users are hooked on SMS, I read a recent statistic that 8 trillion text messages are sent every year and that number is rising. In its raw form, SMS is a useful broadcast mechanism for one-way communication or very simple two-way communication.

However, add the ability to thread SMS messages into a conversation and you suddenly have a powerful, multi-device, multi-operating system tool for mobilising workflow.

For example, a supermarket could auction overtime shifts when the sun comes out and suddenly everyone wants to buy portable barbecues and beer. Or consider a plumbing company, handing out jobs to a collection of sub-contractors and then receiving real-time updates to the job status. When the job is complete a simple customer satisfaction survey can be sent to the customer and the responses stored and acted upon.

All this can be achieved with the humble text message and the possibilities are endless.

The clever part is the ability to maintain the thread of each text message conversation regardless of the number of messages sent meaning that powerful workflows can be created at very low cost. This threading functionality is a proprietary, patent pending technology.

Leadent Solutions are experts in this area so if you’re interested in a low cost approach to mobilisation and think SMS might be an enabler for your business, please get in touch we’d be happy to help.

Ross Coundon

Ross has many years experience in providing mobile workforce management advice and solutions to a wide range of industries, and as a result, he is ideally placed to support field service organisations in their transformation initiatives. Having worked with the likes of Vodafone, Scottish Water and the Environment Agency, Ross has particular expertise in the use of mobile technologies to improve field service operations.