~Six factors point to opportunity ~
According Intuwave, the mobile software specialist (www.intuwave.com), investment in a combination of Smartphones and new and extended mobile business process management (mBPM) systems will be essential to ensure that enterprises increase customer service, raise productivity and reduce costs by capitalising on mobility in their employees.
Increasingly, employees are not working in fixed locations, `tied` to their PCs. Yet, without the ability for mobile workers to combine access to corporate data with the facility to discuss, agree decisions and seek authorisation for colleagues, business processes are breaking down - resulting in delays, bottlenecks and errors.
Most mobile employees rely on mobile phones in an attempt to ensure that they stay in touch. Some supplement mobile phones with laptop computers and /or PDAs. Both of these are compromised for mobile applications by size and/or battery life, making them unable to be truly portable or operate in `always on` mode.
“Enterprises have spent the last 15 years building up complex business process management infrastructures and have invested heavily in applications such as customer resource management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA). These are designed for the wired environment and now that corporations are pushing employees out to be closer to customers when the wire is cut they become `semi-detached`. Corporate performance depends on full interaction with business processes, systems and colleagues,” emphasises Andrew Wyatt, Intuwave's vice president of strategic marketing.
The solution, Intuwave believes, is to re-connect increasingly mobile employees back into the core business process of the enterprise using more appropriate single mobile devices – the new generation of Smartphones. The key advantage of Smartphones is their ability not just to handle voice and data but to integrate voice at the centre of discussion and decision making, often involving senior management who have been traditionally connected less to desktop systems. They are also particularly suited to handle interruptive traffic and the request for time sensitive yes/no decisions. Smartphones can enhance this process by receiving alerts then automatically setting up discussion groups and conference calls using data held locally on the devices.
mBPM will be central to the ability of enterprises to manage this new communications paradigm. Much of the new generation of business messaging accompanying voice will be short and `bursty` in nature - typically, with use being influenced more by use of the mobile phone than by that of laptops or PDAs. Discussion databases where mobile threaded discussions have to be managed continuously will be the norm and a high proportion of traffic will be multi-media format.
Nick Greenway, senior analyst at Datamonitor adds, “Business process management systems will need developing to encompass specifically the growing mobile element of business. Although still a nascent niche, existing enterprise management vendors, as well as newer, mobile business-focused entrants are beginning to address a space, which will grow fast with the adoption of web-service based enterprise architectures. With the proliferation of mobile use in business and the variety of messaging channels (voice, xMS, email, desktop / OTA synchronisation, mobile use of web-service architectures etc), managing across wired and wireless elements of the enterprise will present significant opportunities.”
Recognising the opportunity for mobile business process management (mBPM)
Intuwave believes enterprises can readily recognise whether they have the profile to be able to benefit from the application of Smartphones and mBPM. This is where they:
• Have an inherently mobile workforce or are distributing their workforce to capitalise on cost reduction or efficiency increase
• Have disparate communities that need to work together communicating and/or sharing information in order to serve customers or develop products or services
• Have a requirement for near to real-time information to be structured and shared for reporting and decision-making
• Have a need for critical yet soft process paths where individual judgement within a framework informs each separate decision and where communication, agreement and the action have to be completed rapidly (e.g. accounts informs sales manager that client A hasn't paid a bill the sales manager replies and authorises or declines further service to client A)
• Have already effective and secure business process management capabilities in their wired infrastructure and where business process fragmentation will have a disproportionately high impact on operations
• Have committed to conform to the 2002 Employment Act that enshrines the employees right to flexible working and affects directly 3.7 million UK workers.
About Intuwave – Making Smartphones Make Sense
Intuwave is a software specialist with a single vision – to help both organisations and individuals realise the potential of Smartphones.
We provide customers - handset manufacturers, mobile network operators, enterprises, system integrators, enterprise application developers and independent software vendors – with a series of innovative products that fully leverage the mobile data value chain.
Our products and services, built on the m-Network platform, are specifically designed for the wireless smartphone environment. They deliver rapid return on investment through enabling increased market share, margin and operational savings.
Datamonitor's report, "The Emerging Market for Mobile Web Services: a proposition in many guises," report investigates understandings for enterprise mobility, the mobile operator, mobile solution vendors, enterprise management solution vendors and the potential role for 3rd party service providers. Datamonitor plc (DTM.L) is a premium business information company specializing in industry analysis. We help our clients, 5000 of the world's leading companies, to address complex strategic issues. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and in-depth forecasts for six industry sectors: Automotive, Consumer Markets, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology. Datamonitor maintains its headquarters in London and has regional offices in New York, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.
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