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Mobile/Wireless Articles

How to Manage Your Mobile Workforce

In today's always-on, uber-connected society, businesses can't afford to close. And, why would you? With the advent of technology, you can hire a team of mobile-remote personnel who can work around the clock for you, whether it be customer service, sales or IT. However, there can be some issues around management. Since the staff is not in-house, how do you monitor their performance without having to micro-manage? The good news is there are multiple options and tools for you to use.
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Getting the Most Out of Mobile CRM

Taking CRM out in the field can be a walk in the park with these best practices.
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Mobile CRM Tools Your Sales Team Will Love

What you need and who provides it in the rapidly evolving mobile-CRM market.
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20 Top Salesforce AppExchange Apps

Track Google ads, synch with Quickbooks or plug into Jigsaw with AppExchange's most useful add-ins.
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CRM's Mobile Momentum

Is CRM on the move good or bad for your business?
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Case Study: T-Mobile's massive data center transformation journey wins award using HP ALM tools

Here are some excerpts:

We were able to deliver application availability, ensure a timeframe for the migration and leverage the ability to use automation tools.

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Kapow Mobile Katalyst debuts as means to rapidly convert web applications to mobile apps sans API

Kapow has entered the mobile migration opportunity with a platform and tools that wrap underlying logic and transaction services from existing applications into a series of REST and SOAP services. Such functions as shopping baskets and transaction integrations and business logic can be re-purposed to mobile devices as native apps in a few months versus much longer, said Andreasen.

Kapow Katalyst accesses and integrates the data and business logic of nearly any existing packaged or proprietary business applications without requiring APIs, he said. Adding a service-level interface to a legacy application is a complex development project requiring an extensive rewrite — years of planning, coding, and testing as well as spending, disrupting, and, too often abandoning, he said.

Visual tools and mappings

Using visually built flow-charts and data mappings to control the application's business logic through its existing web interface, users can then deploy the "mobilized" application with one click into a production environment without re-writing any existing code, according to Kapow.

Furthermore, Kapow Mobile Katalyst allows for repurposing of existing applications as mobile applications, but leaving the underlying systems untouched.

Kapow is partnering with companies that specialize in mobile front-end development such as Antenna Software. "A mobile website is only as good as the data that supports it," said Jim Somers, chief marketing & strategy officer at Antenna Software. "Together with Kapow Mobile Katalyst, we are able to accelerate the delivery of our mobile web solutions to help drive significant business value for our customers, quickly. We've proven our joint success with several leading global brands and look forward to building on this relationship."

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Rise of enterprise app stores points to need for better applications marketplace services

To learn more about how the enterprise app store market will shape up, BriefingsDirect assembled a panel to delve into the market and opportunity for enterprise app stores, and to find out how they could be created quickly and efficiently. [Disclosure: Partnerpedia is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The experts included Michele Pelino, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research; Mark Sochan, the CEO of Partnerpedia, and Sam Liu, Vice President of Marketing at Partnerpedia. The panel was moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

The IT group is getting pushed by the end users and organizations that have become very comfortable with how they can search, browse, try, download, and purchase applications.

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Survey says: Open-source software making broad strides across the IT landscape

Among the other findings:

More than half -- 56 percent -- of respondents believe that more than half of software purchases made in the next five years will be open source.

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Mobile Enablement Presents Challenges, Opportunities as Enterprises Retool Apps for the Future Now

The ubiquity of smartphones and more than 300,000 mobile apps available on Apple's App Store, coupled with the ease and convenience of mobile computing is putting pressure on IT to mobile enable B2C and B2E applications to facilitate organizational efficiency and keep up with consumer and employee demand for mobile access to applications and content.

When it comes to enabling mobile access to mission-critical enterprise apps, companies have made far less progress.

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Some Thoughts on the Microsoft and Nokia Tag Team on Mobile or Bust News

Now. In the above two paragraphs replace the words "Microsoft" and "Nokia." Still works. Both had huge wind in their sails (sales?) to steer into the mobile category for keeps, neigh to define and deliver the mobile category to a hungry world and wireless provider landscape ... on their, the platform-providers', terms!

So now here we have two respective global giants who had a lead, one may even say a monopoly or monopoly-adjacency, in mobile and platforms and tools for mobile. And now it is together and somehow federated -- rather than separately or in traditional OEM partnership -- that they will rear up and gallop toward the front of the mobile device pack -- the iOS, Android, RIM and HP-Palm pack.

How exactly is their respective inability, Microsoft and Nokia, to execute separately amid huge market position advantages enhanced now by trying to execute in cahoots ... loosely, based mostly on a common set of foes? I'll point you to the history of such business alliances, often based on fear, and its not any better than the history of big technology mergers and acquisitions. It stinks. It stinks for end-users, investors, partners and employees.

But why not reward the leadership of these laggards with some more perks and bonuses? Works in banking.

A developer paradise

And talk about an ace in the hole. Not long ago, hordes of developers and ISVs -- an entire global ecosystem -- were begging Microsoft to show them the mobile way, how to use their Visual Studio skills to skin the new cat of mobile apps. They were sheep waiting to be lead (and not to slaughter). The shepherd, it turned out, was out to lunch. Wily Coyote, super genius.

And execution is not the only big reason these companies have found themselves scrambling as the world around them shifts mightily away. Each Microsoft and Nokia clearly had the innovators dilemma issues in droves. But these were no secret. (See reason one above on execution again ... endless loop).

Microsoft had the fat PC business to protect, which as usual divided the company on how to proceed on any other course, Titantic-like. Nokia had the mobile voice business and mobile telecom provider channel to protect. So many masters, so many varieties of handsets and localizations to cough up. Motorola had a tough time with that one too. Yes, it was quite a distraction.

But again, how do these pressures to remain inert inside of older models change by the two giants teaming up? Unless they spin off the right corporate bits and re-assemble them together under a shared brand, and go after the market anew, the financial pressures not to change fast remain steadfast. (See reason one above on execution again ... endless loop).

What's more there's no time to pull off such a corporate shell game. The developers are leaving (or left), the app store model is solidifying elsewhere, the carriers are being pulled by the end-users expectations (and soon enterprises). And so this Microsoft-Nokia mashup is an eighth-inning change in the line-up and there's no time to go back to Spring training and create a new team.

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Android Gaining as Enterprises Ramp Up Mobile App Development Across Platforms and Business Models

The report also shows that for enterprises the days of mobile app exploration are drawing to a close and companies are moving, or have moved, into an acceleration phase, with an eye toward greater innovation. This year, developers and businesses expect to triple their app development efforts, and the average developer is now building for four different devices.

In addition, there is a dramatic increase in the integration of geo-location, social, and cloud connectivity services, along with increased plans to integrate advertising and in-app purchase business models.

With the growth in the market, Appcelerator and IDC have developed a "Mobile Maturity Model" to describe the three phases of mobility adoption -- exploration, acceleration, and innovation.

Last year, many respondents (44 percent) said they were in the exploration phase of their mobile strategy. A simple app or two -- typically on iPhone -- and a focus on free brand-affinity apps was standard practice. This year, 55 percent of respondents said they are now shifting into the ‘acceleration' phase.

Summary of findings

Other findings from the report:

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How Not to Fumble Your Super Bowl Mobile Marketing Opportunity

Step No. 1 in any effective mobile marketing campaign is building up a mobile database. What better time than the Super Bowl to do this? You have a highly engaged and interactive audience that is willing to interact with your brand on one of the most personal devices - a mobile phone.

For brands to successfully engage mobile audiences, the key to success is the call to action. It needs to be clear, concise, and repeated in the ad. Following are the three best practices for mobile calls to action - and what to watch for during Super Bowl commercials:

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The Five Essentials for Stronger SMS Opt-In

The critical elements of SMS opt-in messaging

The following tips and best practices can help you develop in-store signage and other marketing visuals to help your brand achieve higher opt-in rates for retail-store SMS campaigns. They also help increase overall user satisfaction.

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Mobile Technology and Grassroots Workforce

Standing in line waiting for one of thousands of walk lists that were printed out in mass, handed out in mass, and sent them to an area that is nowhere near where they live is hardly the most efficient way to mobilize your volunteers. Where's the empowerment? The whole process simply doesn't make sense. It wastes the time of the volunteer and the time of the campaign staff works who have to sit for hours on end printing, distributing, and ultimately entering the data that is collected back into a Voter management system manually. With thousands of pieces of data coming in daily, you have a staff workforce that is twice the size it needs to be.

There are solutions coming, and they are being developed at a pace like never-before. In the last 3 years alone, starting with the Obama Presidential campaign in 2008, mobile technology has aimed to address some of these issues. Here are 5 trends you are seeing more of that will become the norm in the next 5 years:

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Mobile and Retail: Activating Relationships Between Consumers and Marketers

This year's National Retail Federation annual conference - the NRF 100th Annual Convention & Expo - Retail's BIG Show - celebrates 100 years of retail, its leaders and its technology that have shaped the space during the past centennial. M-commerce sales are exploding, more than doubling from $1.4 billion in 2009 to $3.4 billion in 2010 (that's a 143 percent growth). For mobile devices, it's no surprise we're seeing record growth - AT&T recently dropped the price of their iPhone 3GS to $49 and today's announcement of Verizon carrying the iPhone in February will only drive smartphone adoption. And according to projections from The Nielsen Company, there is no stopping the smartphone penetration of the U.S. mobile phone market, which is predicted to surpass feature phone penetration by the end of 2011.

As the mobile and m-commerce outburst continues to explode in 2011, now is the time for retailers to begin integrating mobile. To get started, it's actually fairly simple. Use this simple rule of three:

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Now On Demand - Focus Roundtable: CRM in 2011 - Social, Mobile and in the Cloud

Like all other technologies, customer relationship management products are constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the people who use them. In this Roundtable you'll learn:

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Mobile Access and Social Collaboration Form a Cloud Catalyst for Enterprises

Bitzer Mobile is banking on the urgency that enterprise IT departments are feeling to deliver apps and data to mobile devices -- from Blackberries to iOS, Android, and WebOS. But knowing the enterprise, they also know that adoption of such sweeping change needs to be future-proofed and architected for enterprise requirements. More on EVM later.

Another hastening development in the market is's pending release the first week of February of the Spring '11 release of its flagship CRM SaaS applications. The upgrade includes deeper integrations with Chatter collaboration and analytics services, so that sales, marketing and service employees can be far more powerful and productive in how they innovate, learn and teach in their roles. The trend toward collaborative business process that mobile-delivered mobile web apps like's CRM suite now offer are literally changing the culture of workers overnight.

Advancing cloud services

Last month, at its Dreamforce conference, Salesforce also debuted a database in the cloud service,, that combines attractive heterogeneous features for a virtual data tier for developers of all commercial, technical and open source persuasions. Salesforce also bought Heroku and teamed with BMC Software on its RemedyForce cloud configuration management offering.

Salesforce's developments and offerings provide a prime example of how social collaboration, mobile and cloud reinforce each other, spurring on adoption that fosters serious productivity improvements that then invite yet more use and an accelerating overall adoption effect. This is happening not at what we quaintly referred to as Internet Time, but at far more swiftly viral explosion time.

As I traveled at the end of 2010, to both Europe and the U.S. coasts, I was struck by the pervasive use of Apple iPads by the very people who know a productivity boon when they see it and will do whatever they can to adopt it. Turns out they didn't have to do too much nor spend too much. Bam.

I also recently fielded calls from nearly frantic IT architects asking how they can hope to satisfy the demand to quickly move key apps and data to iPads and the most popular smartphones for their employees. My advice was an is: the mobile web. It's not a seamless segue, but it allows the most mobile extension benefits the soonest, does not burn any deployment bridges, and allows a sane and thoughtful approach to adopting native apps if and when that becomes desired.

Clearly, the decision now for apps providers is no longer Mac or PC, Java or .NET -- but rather native or web for mobile? The architecture discussion for supporting cloud is also shifting toward lightweight middleware.

I still think that the leveraging of HTML5 and extending current web, portal, and RIA apps sets to the mobile tier (any of the major devices types) is the near-term best enterprise strategy, but Bitzer Mobile and its EVM has gotten me thinking. Their approach is architected to support the major mobile native apps AND the web complements.

IT wants to leverage and exploit all the remote access investments they've made. They want to extend the interception of business processes to anyone anywhere with control and authenticity. And they do not necessarily want to buy, support and maintain an arsenal of new mobile devices -- not when their power users already possess a PC equivalent in their shirt pockets. Not when their CFOs won't support the support costs.

A piece of mobile real estate

So Bitzer Mobile places a container on the user's personal mobile device and allows the IT department to control it. Its a virtual walled garden on the tablet or smartphone that, I'm told, does not degrade performance. The device does need a fair amount of memory, and RIM devices will need a SD card flash supplement (for now).

The Bitzer Mobile model also places a virtualization layer for presentation layer delivery at the app server tier for the apps and data to be delivered to the mobile containers. And there's a control panel (either SaaS or on-premises) that manages the deployments, access and operations of the mobile tier enablement arrangement. Native apps APIs and SKDs can be exploited, ISV apps can be made secure and tightly provisioned, and data can be delivered across the mobile networks and to the containers safely, Bitzer Mobile says.

That was fast. It's this kind of architected solution, I believe, that will ultimately appeal most to IT and service providers ... the best of the thin client, virtualized client, owner-managed client and centrally controlled presentation layer of existing apps and data model. It lets enterprise IT drive, but users get somewhere new fast.

Architecture is destiny in IT, but we're now seeing the shift to IT architecture as opposed to only enterprise architecture. Your going to need both. That's what happens when SaaS providers fulfill their potential, when data and analytics can come from many places, when an individual's iPhone is a safe enterprise end-point.

And so as cloud providers like provide the new models, and the likes of Bitzer Mobile extend the older models, we will see the benefits of cloud, mobile and social happen bigger and faster than any of us would have guessed.

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Tru – Bringing Real Value to Mobility

If you don't know Tru, you're not alone. I'm writing this Brief not to extol the virtues of this company - although that's unavoidable to a point - but to bring your attention to an innovative approach to a significant problem faced by most businesses. Tru, in fact, is the new name for a company that recently re-branded itself around this problem. The previous incarnation was U.K.-based Truphone, and this company typifies the creative disruption that so often occurs from outside the mainstream, which is comfortably controlled by a handful of giants who have healthy margins to protect.

These types of companies often take a while to break through since they're swimming upstream and challenging the status quo. Ultimately, however, they are in business for our benefit - both those who use mobile phones and those who pay the bills. is a great forum for solutions like this, and that's why you're reading about Tru here.

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Mobile Matters More Today Than Yesterday- But Not as Much as Tomorrow Using QR Codes!

Many conventional automotive advertising agencies went kicking and screaming onto the World Wide Web. They feared that they wouldn't be able to control customers travelling at hyper speeds on the Internet Super Highway and technically they were right. After a brief learning curve, automotive advertising agencies accepted their new role to provide relevant information in a transparent manner to accommodate the demands of consumers who were empowered by their new found control of the conversation that is the market.

Just when automotive advertising agencies figured out how to manipulate the algorithms that drive search engine optimization, (S.E.O.), and apply them to website designs and investments in search engine marketing, (S.E.M.), social media put up a few road bumps that automotive advertising agencies struggled with. Eventually they joined the customer driven conversations using technology powered solutions that allowed them to market to social networking communities from the inside out vs. from the outside in using like buttons and similar less obtrusive ways to leverage the viral nature of the Internet.

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