Enterprise Applications Blog
Hello and I would like to welcome everyone to the first Enterprise Applications’ Blog. devCentral is adding blogs to our site to put more of a face on program and to have more regular communication with our community. We really hope people add comments to blogs or ask questions. I am with the enterprise and small business side of devCentral and this blog will cover issues that I hope are of interest to corporate developers and those developer applications to sell into the enterprise. I will also add make comments on other items of general interest
For this first blog, I thought I would address applications focused on the small business segment. For those that do not know, AT&T has made this segment a focus in the past couple of years. Anyone familiar with this space knows this is a challenging segment to sell into or support. Most of these businesses have limited IT support which makes it difficult to deploy and manage complex applications. However, as we have found through research and focus groups in this space, they also have sophisticated needs and are interested in using wireless services to increase their productivity.
Obviously, mobile applications can help these small businesses increase productivity in several ways. For those with field workers like HVAC, mobile applications can provide work orders or provide location assistance to find their next job. For small companies focused on home health care, mobile applications can provide some background on person being helped and provide checklist of work they need to do. The problem is not that these customers are satisfied with existing solutions, but rather a combination of how to educate them about improving their processes through mobile applications and then making these applications simple enough for them to use.
If we look at existing portfolio of certified solutions, there are several excellent applications across all verticals. However, due to the efforts for ISVs to add as much functionality and extensibility to applications to reach as many customers as possible, they are often very complex. Often times a small business may try to deploy one then give up in first 15-30 days. Additionally, as a business strategy for ISVs, it is easier to sell 200 licenses to one company rather than 10 licenses to 20 smaller businesses, so having more complex applications and marketing strategy to larger firms makes sense.
However, the opportunity for ISVs to sell into the small business space is huge and AT&T is going to try to help. We recently sent out an RFI looking for co-marketing partners and sent out another email to ISVs with desktop apps selling to small business and looking to mobilize. We are also talking to other ISV partners about simplifying their applications to have a small business version. We are often asked what applications we think will succeed. For the foreseeable future, my advice to companies would be to study the small business segment and develop an application that is powerful but also easy for less technical users to deploy and manage.
For the general interest part of blog, I will probably cover issues around my big interest in TV and sports. For this one, you will see my choices for the NFL. I have the advantage of seeing a couple of weeks of NFL action, but it is still early. My predictions: NFC East: Dallas; NFC North: Green Bay; NFC West: Seattle; NFC South: Carolina; NFC Wildcard #1: NY Giants; NFC Wildcard #2: Chicago; NFC conference champion: Dallas; AFC East: Buffalo; AFC North: Pittsburgh; AFC West: Denver; AFC South: Indianapolis; AFC Wildcard #1: New England; NFC Wildcard #2: San Diego; AFC Conference champion: Indianapolis; Super Bowl Champion: Dallas