Everyone has a few favorite mobile apps. I’m not talking about games (thought I have few of those too), but the mobile apps that really make a difference in your personal and professional life. Apps that make your day just a little bit easier. For example, I love TripIt for its ability to automatically gather all the details about my travel plans. I’ll never miss a flight or go to the wrong hotel again. I also love my bank’s mobile app (built on Sybase 365 mBanking solution). The ability to pay a bill from my phone is an incredible convenience.
Personal apps aside, there are also some work apps that, though incredibly simple, make a big difference. I’ll share a few…
I was at the SAP office in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago and had the great opportunity to sit down with our Global IT team responsible for building internal apps for SAP. The IT apps team has a mission to “serve employees by listening and understanding, and by improving processes, methods and tools.” During the discussion of new mobile apps the team has rolled out, it struck me that the small, simple apps that can be very significant.
There are two very basic things that I have struggled with in the past year – one is dialing in to a conference call and needing to memorize ten digits to enter in my iphone, and the second is interpreting the complex acronyms we like to use on a daily basis.
It is sad, but I simply do not have the capacity to memorize a ten digit passcode required to get into a conference call. I can easily remember my 16 digit credit card, my childhood best friend’s phone number, and every phone number I have ever had – but when it comes to retaining numbers for roughly 30 seconds, seven is my limit. I even downloaded the book ‘Walking with Einstein’ to try to learn how to improve my memory for just this purpose. While the book was great, I found an even better way to solve my problem. Easy Connect.
This is a very simple mobile app that makes a big difference to me. It is integrated into my calendar and automatically dials the conference call number and enters the code for me. Certainly not rocket science, but takes something that has always caused me grief (especially while driving) and does that little bit to make my life easier. It eliminates the need for me to pull off the road into some stranger’s parking lot just to dial a phone number. Thank you IT.
The next little app that makes a big difference is our internal ‘acronym decoder’. Anyone who works at (or with) SAP knows that we love acronyms. For example, our MEAP and MDM/EMM solutions can be leveraged by the MIC and the MDC to build apps leveraging BYOD and COPE for IT. Seriously. Painful. Our IT team has built an app that allows you to simply enter those three little letters and enjoy “a-ha” moments that help you actually follow conversations.
I have enjoyed reading great articles recently about ‘crapplications’ and ‘lacklications’ from some of my industry peers. These great articles talk about apps that either try to do too much or don’t do enough – and consquently don’t do anything very well. The thing that I value about my favourite apps built by IT are that they are what ‘Mobility for All’ is all about. A mobile strategy doesn’t have to mean building only complicated, data rich, in-depth, ROI generating apps. It is about making people more productive in every way possible.
I encourage you to explore quick wins that get people excited about mobile, and include them in your product development plans.