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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Bill Seibel, Founder and CEO of Mobiquity (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Mar 2nd 2012

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. Let’s talk about another example.

Bill Seibel: For the New York Post, we built the Android version and the Kindle Fire version of the publication, which is mostly around the device, but we also architected and built the subscription management on the back end. We do all the management of subscriptions and tie into their tracking systems so that if someone subscribes to the hard copy and is accessing the mobile version, that represents a different set of economics than if someone who is not a subscriber accesses the mobile version. We manage and tie back in to their back ends, and we manage the mobile version of the subscription system for all of their mobile products.

SM: What are design philosophies for that particular application? Are the mobile users [those] who are not subscribers? I assume the people who are subscribers can just log in, supply their credentials and then access their subscriptions from the mobile device, right?

BS: Correct.

SM: With people who are not subscribers, what are the design principles or policies for those?

BS: The key is that they are going to change over time. What we had to do was not build in a set of rules but rather build in a subscription management capability so that it manages a set of rules that can change over time.

SM: Is there any kind of micro-content payment? Let’s say, someone accesses 10 free articles a month? Is there any of that kind of thing going on on the mobile device in a non-subscriber’s case?

BS: I believe it’s set up so that if you’re a subscriber to the hard copy, you have the mobile free. If you try to access the mobile without being a subscriber to the hard copy, [the program] requires you to sign up with a credit card to be a subscriber to the mobile copy. But with the subscription management system, there’s a set of rules that can change over time to support ideas that you have or ideas that they may have over time. They need the flexibility to be able to continue to drive the economics with that.

SM: I think we’ve done a nice overview of different types of enterprise-class applications, as you called them, across different industries. Let me ask you some general trend questions. You said you have 70 enterprise customers. Are there industries where you see greater adoption of these kinds of mobile applications more than in others?

BS: Yes. Financial services is … we have seven or eight clients in financial services. I think it’s because financial services tend to leverage the capabilities of new technologies faster than some other industries do. We’re seeing a lot in health care. In health care, it [centers on] pharmacies like CVS, hospital groups that want to improve the way their patients get service and interact with hospitals, and medical device companies. The general area that’s health care is a big area. We haven’t seen as much in retail as I thought we’d see. That could just be us. Apparently, a lot is going on in retail. But retail’s been approaching it more often as part of a rebranding effort rather than an effort to transform a business process. We tend to sell to people who are trying to bring new functionality to the business, not just provide marketing or branding solutions.

In manufacturing, that’s another one that surprises me. There’s a tremendous amount that’s popped up there both in the B2B world and also B2C. [They can] replace samples of color of a product with an application that brings it to you in an iPad.  [They can] tie into production data and actually affect production via a mobile device, make decisions, and have those decisions trigger actions in production. [They can] monitor manufacturing.

In summary, financial services and health care didn’t surprise me. I think there’s a lot going on in retail that’s more marketing driven than transformation driven. And there’s a lot more going on in manufacturing that’s B2B and B2C than I would have thought going into this a year ago.

SM: It sounds like the sales application or the Salesforce mobile-enabled scenario is universal.

BS: It is. If you look at the data I see, it surprised me. It said that 60% of apps are B2E and 40% are B2C. We’re seeing just the flip of that. I would say it’s about 60% being the company interfacing with customers rather than employees and doing things internally.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Bill Seibel, Founder and CEO of Mobiquity
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