Give your mobile apps the APPS treatment

July 21, 2010 at 9:40 am 3 comments

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by Tony

I love the forum that Carrying On provides. Previously, when I disagreed with something I read in the trades, I was forced to rant and rave to the poor schmo who was sitting next to me on the flight. Now, I have a platform to share my thoughts, and more importantly, get feedback from other industry professionals. Last week I had an excellent opportunity to engage with Jay Campbell regarding one of his stories discussing mobile travel apps.  Below is an excerpt from my latest comment from our discussion, which I’d urge all the travel managers out there to read.

In a recent webinar we conducted, we found that only half of the travel managers surveyed either have a mobile program or plan to implement mobile in the next six months. Here are my thoughts as to why you best get with the program!

“If, for some reason, a company chooses not to offer a mobile app to its end users, or chooses to offer an inferior solution to them, those employees will seek out solutions on their own. This is a bad thing for the following reasons – just remember my acronym APPS and you’ll be good to go:

  • Accountability | With 250,000+ apps out there, many are going to be dogs. Who is accountable if the one-off app breaks or provides your employee with bad information that results in them being stranded?
  • Productivity | Back to the large selection. Do you really want your employees spending their valuable time searching 7-10 random apps when a single integrated solution can do the trick?
  • Pricing | Many consumer apps, particularly the travel ones, are quite expensive. You can be certain that the company ends up paying for many of these when they hit expense reports.
  • Security | There is no chance that your IT department has the resources or desire to validate the security of every consumer app that your employees may end up downloading.

I’ll close with an analogy because I like using analogies (maybe in a future posting I will tell you why life is like bowling).

I absolutely think the “rubber meets the road” with the end user, particularly with something like mobile. However, to even get on the road and operate a vehicle, you must have a license to drive, your car needs to be inspected and approved, and you need insurance in case something goes wrong. Our corporate customers sometimes serve as a sort of Department of Motor Vehicles. Sure, as a company we could drive without a license in a car with bad brakes or insurance, but we don’t mind adhering to the DMV rules because we recognize we have two masters: the company and their end users.”

Entry filed under: Business Travel, Mobile, Tony's thoughts, User Experience. Tags: , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Colin Brain  |  July 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Whist we do not yet have as much technology at our fingertips here in the UK as you and your colleagues in the US Tony we are making progress.

    The key factor worrying me is the Apps Platforms.

    Obviously Apple have got an enormous lead over their competitors but I can not see that remaining the case in the long run.

    My nephew (for whom technology is like breathing) recently got a triple First in Computer development and studies at Middlesex University is very excited by the Android platform and has told me to watch out for Windows 7 phone – which apparently is due out later this summer.

    Should we wait until the next “VHS/Betamax” battle has been fought?

    This subject is the main theme for our next Corporate Travel and Management Forum in London on the 14th September which we are organising in conjunction with ACTE-Global.

    I’d like to hear further from anyone on this question. Thanks for starting this page Tony, was good to see you in London last month.

    Reply
  • 2. Daniele Beccari  |  July 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Colin – Alcatel-Lucent is trying to address that precise problem, and I am doing some work for them to specifically address the travel vertical.
    Glad to have a chat – get me on twitter @danbec and I’ll DM you back. I’m in LON frequently.
    (Tony & MIke this is valid also for you guys of course).

    Reply
  • 3. Caroline Allen  |  July 23, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Daniele,

    Could you contact us to discuss a forum that Colin Brain of MSUK and ACTE are jointly staging in London on 14 Sep on this subject? callen@acte.org

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply

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