Tom Hogan: I was with our clients last week and have had multiple conversations like this in the last two months where they’re waking up and saying, “I better go figure this out. Forget about how to do it. First, we’ve got to figure out what we need to deliver and enable before we figure out how we do it.” We’re convening 50 of our top leaders tomorrow for two days. We’re just going to brainstorm and ideate on what we can and should do with mobile to transform our businesses because we don’t know.
Sramana Mitra: I think there are two categories of applications though. There are some that are actually re-engineering existing business processes to go mobile. Then there is this new category of applications that are possible because of the geo-location services available on the mobile. What kinds of capabilities does that offer as it pertains to a particular business? That requires original thinking and fresh approaches.
Tom Hogan: I think that’s right. In the former case, which is less difficult to get your head around, there’s still some subtle differences. I’ll give you the simplest example. I’ve got a CRM system or a general ledger HR system and I want to be able to render it on a mobile device. That’s fine but you can’t just do a screen shot and take the same look and feel and just cram it into a Galaxy or an iPhone. Even in that scenario when you’re re-inventing things, you still have to think through the user experience.
Sramana Mitra: The user experience has to be thought through, but the work flow and the business logic is still the same. Whereas the logic of the application changes when you’re going into this territory of geo-location capabilities.
Tom Hogan: We’re going to jump around and give you one quick example. United Technologies has thousands of people who service elevators and escalators around the world. The standard process might be to use a dispatching service and building contact information. What if when somebody shows up at a service call in a particular facility, the system automatically downloads blueprints and mechanical information about the escalators and elevators in that building so that the service person has immediate real-time access to information. That’s taking an old work flow process and thinking about ways to reinvent.
Sramana Mitra: The 30,000 foot view on that is that the discipline of technical service that fuse technical service in particular does have a direct geo-location element to it. That is a work flow process that demands you rethink it with that capability in mind as you are redesigning the user experience.
Tom Hogan: Right.