SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Marty Parker
Marty Parker brings over three decades of experience in both computing solutions and communications technology. Marty has been a...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Marty Parker | October 07, 2014 |

 
   

Business Value in the Mobility Craze?

Business Value in the Mobility Craze? Businesses need to look beyond the crazes to find the ultimate value of mobile products. It's there, so how can it be found and then put to beneficial use?

Businesses need to look beyond the crazes to find the ultimate value of mobile products. It's there, so how can it be found and then put to beneficial use?

You would have to say mobility--or at least having the latest shiny mobile device--has become a craze. Craze seems the right word when millions of people pre-order and some large number of folks stand in line before the store opening--all to get a product's sixth release that appears to still need some debugging and that could be delivered to their home or office by UPS a few days later. But that's what marketing is all about--creating crazes--and it seems to be working in this case.

But businesses and governmental organizations need to look beyond the crazes to find the ultimate value of these products. It's there, so how can it be found and then put to beneficial use?

First, organizations have known for decades--since bulky portable radios and since the first cell phones and BlackBerrys--that wireless mobile devices can help them with:

* Sustaining productivity: By enabling a person to stay in touch when mobile, as BlackBerry truly proved with mobile email. Increasingly, mobile laptops, tablets and custom devices are enabling productivity that is almost as good as when in the office. This is a huge gain for those to whom it applies.

* Redesigning workflows: The multi-function mobile device enables enterprises to redefine their workflows. Just look at fleet management software, hospital electronic health record software, field sales and services software for examples of how entire workflows have been simplified and streamlined using mobile devices. In many cases, the need for expensive real-time communications is replaced by more efficient portals and touch- or text-based interfaces.

* Optimizing resource utilization: Mobile devices keep people in touch anywhere, and the software usually knows where each device is located. This allows work to be routed to the best available resource, which can drive major reductions in staffing or major increases in revenue. In many cases, the work can be routed automatically, by software, again reducing the labor costs and delays of traditional calling or messaging technologies.

But all these benefits must be understood in the context of what needs to be done. Mobile, wireless devices are:

* Not for every user. Lots of people come to work every day, do their job, and then go home. They usually don't work after hours, since that would require overtime payments.

* Not for every phone. Some tasks still require a telephone/speakerphone on the desk. Or, in some cases, a specialized on-premises wireless device may be better than a smartphone.

* Not for every location or situation. Some locations or spaces require security or privacy, so organizations will not tolerate the dangers of personal devices with cameras and audio recorders, nor will they let public-network smartphones connect to their private networks.

* Not always better than wired connection. As Michael Finneran has thoroughly documented in his book on Voice over WLANs, voice on Wi-Fi has many issues including call continuity when mobile. If a building or campus is already wired, it's pretty much a duplication to add enough Wi-Fi coverage for every user and every device.

* Always to be seen in the context of a process. This is really important! Users have many, many reasons to have a shiny wireless device (games, music, entertainment, health tracking, etc., etc.) but in an organization, every motion should have a purpose, i.e. will be part of a process. So, the org and the user(s) will need to dialogue and innovate on how to best use that mobile device in the process. Often, this can lead to breakthroughs; sometimes, it will lead to an "app" for that; occasionally, the outcome will be not to use the mobile device. But do the analysis.

* Always to be deployed in context of society and regulations. Here we come to what is necessary for safety, security, privacy, regulatory compliance, etc. Some "Millennials" may not want to use the secure internal business app on the mobile device to transmit customer data such as a health record, but the penalty for a breach is so severe for the organization that these things will become "conditions of employment," as they should be.

How do you best figure this out? Our answer is to define the Usage Profiles for communications in your organization. In our recent series on Information Week about the new IT architectures for communications (including UC&C), you'll find this article on Usage Profiles. On page 2 of that article you will see a list of the seven core Usage Profiles (8 profiles if Executives are separated from Corporate Staff, and 9 profiles if a profile is added for "Employees", i.e. the things every employee needs to do with HR, payroll, training, etc.

Once you are clear on the Usage Profiles, it should be clear as to which of them include processes that would be improved with personal mobile wireless devices, and which would not. It should also be clear as to which of the processes can be improved just by changes in procedure and which will be best improved by adoption (or creation) of a mobile "app for that" or a communications-enabled portal accessible from the users' devices.

So, hype on, you marketing departments of the world, and craze on, you mobile device fans. Grab all those latest and greatest wireless mobile devices. Our business analysts are eager to put all of that enthusiasm and spending to good use as part of Unified Communications, which we have defined for years as "communications integrated to optimize business processes." Thanks for the help!





COMMENTS




October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.