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Mobile Applications and Their Real Value

by Kevin Benedict

November 2, 2010

Where is the true value in mobile applications?  This is a big question right now for mobility vendors, especially in the SAP ecosystem.  SAP acquired Sybase and their SUP (Sybase Unwired Platform), so the platform question is now answered.  So where is the real value now for mobility vendors?  What are they going to bring to the market that is of great value and provides them with a defensible market position?

  1. Is it the ability to collect data? 
  2. Is it the ability to query data from a backend databases? 
  3. Is it the ability to synchronize? 
  4. Is it the ability to store data on a mobile database in an offline mode?
  5. Is it a mobile apps or forms builder?
  6. Is it the integration with ERPs?
  7. Is it mobile web tools?

All of the functionality listed above is useful, but it is really just the minimum requirement for mission critical mobile solutions.  The real value, in my opinion, is in the accumulated business logic, business rules, database schemas, industry processes support and workflows that are in the mobile application.

I interviewed Dr. Moshe BenBassat, founder of ClickSoftware today about the value of mobile applications.  He said that much of the "intelligence" and value found in ClickSoftwa re's mobile applications today are the accumulated results of 25 years of workforce scheduling and optimization.  Their work with and support for their service sector customers has taught them much, which is now codified in their server-side and mobile solutions.  This bank of industry knowledge, now found in their software is what makes these applications intelligent and valuable according to Dr. BenBassat.

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