October 2015 – VSR Magazine – Mobile is the “it” technology of the moment. Businesses want it, and solution providers want their business. So selling mobile solutions is seen by many ISVs and solution providers as essential to their futures. VSR has tracked the rising trajectory of mobile and its impact on their businesses via an annual survey for the past three years.
But the appealing ease and simplicity of mobile that has drawn the ardor of SMB buyers is not always easy to attain. Integrating a mobile solution into a business is often more challenging than it first appears, both in getting old and new platforms to play nicely together, and in overcoming the considerable business process change that a mobile implementation can demand.
Mobile can make some business processes a whole lot better. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and is not always appropriate for the application. Fortunately, that’s where solution providers shine, educating customers on what’s possible, matching solution to need and taking away the complexity so mobile truly solves their business problems.
A closer look at what’s behind the dampening of mobile enthusiasm in retail and hospitality reveals a suspect: Mobile POS, which has been the star of the show in those verticals. This year 51% of respondents overall see high levels of interest in mobile POS, down from 68% last year and dropping mobile POS to number three in hottest mobile applications. Its sidekick, mobile payment, has also fallen, as have mobile printers.
Bar code scanning, on the other hand, has surged a bit. New West Technologies and Xtranet Solutions can confirm the widespread enthusiasm for employee-facing devices. “We believe that the employee tablets are taking the place of computers or other computer type devices,” says Todd Russell, project manager for Xtranet (www.xtranetsol.com). “We are now implementing more consumer-facing tablets for interactive information sharing.”
George Muchae, VP, business development for New West Technologies (www.newestech.com), says, “Clients get better traction from employee-facing tablets primarily because they empower the educated user and can drive immediate results. Picture a consultative retail environment where a salesperson interacts with a customer and displays comparative information between options, their inherent benefits, cost etc. They have an immediate opportunity to capture and convert the immediate sell and, more importantly, upsell the customer on related products,” as well as drive loyalty subscriptions, capture customer data and view rich profile data that allows the sales person to tailor the experience. “All these are immediate gains of the right mobile solution in the right user’s hands.”