Enterprise Applications Blog, #3
In previous blog I covered applications for small business. In this one, I will express thoughts on the evolution of applications for larger enterprises. There are already several great applications and more applications continue to come, as developers are seeing the great opportunity in mobile space. If there is a general rule to how these applications are marketed, they are generally presented “cross-functionally” – that is to try to address as broad a market as possible.
If you look at customers, they often purchase with more of a vertical viewpoint though and in particular often have very specific needs for their users. Most ISVs have responded to that to an extent—they often focus on a few verticals, with marketing materials and information focused on those segments.
In addition, over the past few years I have seen ISVs do an effective job of providing better customization capabilities for their customers and providing more vertical specific features for segment, like templates specifically designed for the vertical. However, as the market gets more crowded with solutions, I think it will be important for ISVs to create applications even more tailored for their customers in their particular vertical segment. I think ISVs have kind of been ahead of customer needs as customers have moved beyond voice and mobile email to begin deploying applications. However, now that application usage is increasing and customers have clearly ideas on the features and functionality important to them, it is vital ISVs have open communication channel from them and work hard to respond to their requirements.
What specific actions should ISVs consider to get the voice of the customer? First, I like the fact that I see more mobile ISVs sponsor events and road shows. Not only is that great for marketing and sales, but I have found customers are often very free with their feedback when they get the chance. Additionally, if ISV does not have any kind of a customer board or some method for formal interactions with their customers to keep them satisfied, they are missing out. To get more bulk feedback, it is really easy to do surveys now through on-line tools and email blasts (ideally, separating by vertical and customer size, with attention on what features are most important. As the enterprise application market matures, it is more important than ever that ISVs get closer to their customers.
As I mentioned in first blog, if the rest of my blog is not interesting or controversial enough to spur comments, I wanted to include some general information also. I am a TV junkie. For this one, below are the TV shows I am enjoying the most this fall:
• Chuck: This remains entertaining, with a good combination of action and comedy
• Dancing with the Stars: I am reality show junkie in general, but not sure why I like this. I love Cloris Leachman this year, a riot.
• Heroes: Not as great as the first season, but better than last season
• Biggest Loser: See reality comment above, this show always has compelling contestants
• My Name is Earl: Very funny show, not sure why it is not more popular
• 30 Rock: Only one episode so far, but off to funny start
• Dexter: Well done, compelling show, remains creepy
• Amazing Race: Always a well produced reality show with great locations like Cambodia and fascinating challenges
• The Shield: Final season has been great.
• Life on Mars: The Sci-Fi elements here are not well-handled, but the 70’s stories are great and acting is top notch.
• Sons of Anarchy: I did not think I would like this show, but it is really fun to watch.
• Rock of Love, Charm School: I would not be honest if I did not mention one of the trashy reality shows I watch. There is no justification for this, but I watch every ridiculous variation on these VH1 shows.