Enterprise Applications Blog #4
First off, my apologies that I have not blogged in a little while. I meant to do this at least twice monthly, but I will try to do better in the future. One common question I get when I go to conferences or meet with developers is how to work with carriers like AT&T. I know a lot of developers attend events just to hear from a carrier, not only about information on how to work with them but about guidance on future technologies and direction. As a carrier, this is difficult–we know about these needs, and sometimes as we communicate our thoughts, there can be confusion. I know many developers (and myself) read many blogs and you may come across something from the Symbian Partner event. Let me clarify anything you may read in blogs that AT&T has no plans to standardize on one platform for our smart devices. Unfortunately, it is easy to misspeak at events, for comments to be misunderstood, and then for these comments to get out of control when they hit the blog world. Please keep developing your applications for J2ME and all our platforms, and AT&T will work to try to improve fragmentation, particularly the difficulties we all know Java developers face (which is what comments were meant to convey).
I think besides getting information from carriers needed for development like device specifications, information on accessing gateways, security, etc., the bulk of interest seems to be about how I get a carrier interested in their application. That will be focus on this blog, then I will probably cover other areas in other blogs. First, to meet carriers, try to attend industry events and look for us. Others on the devCentral team and me attended around 20 events in 2008 and will probably be at more in 2009, and those are a good opportunity to attend one of the Fast Pitch events we do or grab us informally. I love seeing new applications and learning about them (particularly novel ones)–it is a big reason I am in my job. Next, when you meet with us, have a rehearsed elevator pitch ready. Many developers start going into great detail how they developed the application or before showing it, build it up to be the greatest application in the history of mankind that will change my life forever. Explain what the application does and how it is differentiated (it is OK and actually nice if you compare to existing application) and if you have two people their, have one demonstrate while the other talks about value proposition. Even if it is a 10 minute Fast Pitch or something, try to keep this first one to just a couple minutes, then leave time for questions and be ready to focus more on what sets your application apart. Finally, have an idea of what you are looking for. For many, it is distribution. Other times, there are ideas for new enabling technologies that I may like and wish were on a phone, but which we cannot do much with. Final, temper any applications. It can be a good first step, but it almost never works out that we meet and then the application is preloaded across the AT&T portfolio in a week. Then, if you are asked to certify the application or take next steps, please do so. On enterprise side, that is a first step so that we can match sure it performs well outside of the demo and so that we can get into our catalog so that our sales force and customers can learn about it and hopefully test it out. All our application partners start that way and then get promoted (which can be a topic for a future blog).
I want to get some comments to my blog, so if you read this far, you have an opportunity to get some devices (and for me to clean out my office some). I have three I will look to give away, from various time periods–an HTC Fuze, a Samsung BlackJack (I), and then a 2125 that was also from HTC (that is an old Windows candy bar device). The first person who comments that says they want them I will give to them (how many other blogs let you win devices).
Now, for personal item for the week, I will share with you my top 3 Christmas gifts ever, and my worse. Number 1 is from my wife, who gave me an autographed Soprano’s poster (probably my all time favorite show. Number 2 I think was a GI Joe Mobile unit I think I received around 7 or 8–I played with that toy like crazy. Number 3 is probably a couple of years ago from my mother-in-law, some Ugh slippers. I think I have worn those more than any piece of clothing or shoes in my life, and still going strong. Anyone is welcome to send me gifts and perhaps you can break into top 3 and be mentioned in future blog (but no promises). How about the worse gift? This is probably back when I was a freshman in college, broke and in need of just about anything. My Dad gave me a tin of popcorn. Now I love popcorn and I eat buckets of it and I think it was supposed to be some kind of message that I was not a kid anymore, but please. If people have received even worse gifts (and this is not just from a friend, but ideally someone show should have given you something decent), feel free to share in comments and perhaps I will feel pity for you and send you a device as well.