2015, Microsoft NERD, peter gorman, philip redman, transportation

Recapping MassTLC’s Mobile Summit: Mobile Experts

By Peter Gorman, Principal,
Black Rocket Consulting, @Petergorman 

the last 10-15 years, the ways in which we conduct our lives has changed
significantly. From making purchases on our phones though Amazon and streaming the latest movies and shows on NetFlix or Hulu, to the
ways we now leverage apps on our phones to find parking spaces and exercise
with Fitbit, mobile technology has changed our lives and has made
things more convenient to do and use. The days of thinking that “people will
never want to do this on their phones” is gone, especially as newer generations
of phones have almost the same capacity as our laptops. At the same time, the
emergence of mobile technologies has created an industry like no other that is
currently exceeding $14.4 billion and is continuing to grow.
Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) held a forum on November 17th at
Microsoft’s N.E.R.D. Center in Cambridge, Mass., to discuss the many ways in
which mobile technology is affecting and improving our lives, as well as how we
anticipate mobility changing our lives in the years to come.
Providing the keynote address at this forum was Philip
, who has been involved in the
research and development of mobile technologies from its infancy, starting back
in 1999 at Yankee Group, where he focused his research on wireless
communications and with companies that were making the transition from analog
to digital. Today, as Senior Manager of Mobility Strategy at Accenture Digital,
Redman provided some interesting facts about how we have all quickly embraced
mobile technology and how it has now become such an integral part of our lives.
example, while the “old school” crowds still continue to wait in long lines to
get into stores at midnight on Thanksgiving, currently between 25-30% of all
Black Friday sales in the United States are now conducted through our mobile
devices. And this is nothing compared to China’s Singles’ Day, where on November
11, 2015, over 70% of sales in one day was done through mobile phones on the
massive Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba,
totaling $14.32 billion.
to Redman, four out of the top five global brands are all digital now. Given
that analysts anticipate to see over 50 billion connected devices by 2020, the
wave towards digital is clearly here, especially as enterprise businesses begin
to see returns in their investments in the Cloud.
some of the biggest and well-known brands are now being disrupted by new market
entrants because of their foray into the market with mobile technologies.
Examples here can be seen between BestBuy being disrupted by Amazon; Vodafone
being disrupted by Skype, and American Express and Bank of America being
disrupted by Square and Lending Club.
order to survive in today’s market, Redman underscored the importance of
businesses having a digital strategy that leverages Big Data, location
capabilities and analytics to enhance the customer experience.
capped his discussion by outlining “seven no regret digital characteristics
required to win within the next few years.” These include being able to:
Sense and
interpret disruption
Develop and
launch new ideas faster
Reorganize for
Design a
delightful user experience
Understand and
leverage data
Partner and build
Build a high
digital quotient team
The Reality Panel of Mobile Experts
Philip Redman having set the stage for MassTLC’s mobility forum, the discussion
turned to a panel of mobility experts to discuss how mobility is going to
change our lives and our businesses; how marketers are going to reach us in new
ways; and finally, how mobile is going to change how we shop. Moderated by Nitzan
of High Start Group, panelists
for this part of the discussion included Geoffrey Bock of Bock &
Company; Michael Davies
of Endeavor Partners/MIT; and Christian Galvin of Fiksu,
each of whom gave an overview of their businesses and how each integrated with
the mobile sector.
kicked off the session with a simple question: If each of you were given a
million dollars and had to invest it in mobile technology, what would you
invest it in?
Davies responded that his big investment would be in an interesting mobile app
called Espresso, which based on your location can tell you how far you would
need to drive to obtain everything from brown water that tastes something like
coffee to the best coffee you’ve ever had. While I attempted to find this app
online, I could not find it easily, so we’ll have to take Davies word for it
that it exists. Christian Galvan of Fiksu, which
sells mobile marketing and advertising solutions, said he’d invest in a mobile
mileage app called MileIQ,
which automatically tracks the miles you travel for business so that you can
easily integrate this data into expense reports.
Bock strayed from investing all of his virtual million dollars in one
particular area but instead chose to split his investment into two areas. Half
would be in a mobile mapping app similar to Waze, in that it could tell him the
best travel route and where accidents and police are located, but also indicate
the precise time to leave based on whether patterns during travel. Bock
explained that his son lives in Rochester, New York, and an app like this would
help him avoid all the snow storms. The other half of the investment Bock would
be into a mobile app that captured the user experience and transitioned the
experience based on the context of what the user is doing (similar in nature to
responsive design). “Don’t just give me the screen experience…give me the whole
experience,” said Bock.
asked what they expected from Mobility over the next few years, Davies saw more
integration between mobile apps in a way that they would string together
seamlessly to perform a task. For example, one could go from Yelp to OpenTable to
Uber when planning a night out. In the future, one would
see seamless integration between these apps to achieve a task. Galvin wants to
see data being leveraged more to provide a utility. For example, people use Waze to get from point A to B, but this app now also tells
drivers where the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts is located on the map. “We’ll see more
identifiers integrated within apps to improve targeted advertising on
smartphones,” said Galvin. Bock believes we’ll see more semantically-aware
APIs, adding that Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the semantic
is now starting to evolve in
tools such as Google. He envisions a proliferation of very powerful,
semantically-driven end-user apps to handle tasks within the workplace.
rounded out this discussion by stating that he thought that there would be a
shift in how companies promote themselves and that less emphasis would be
placed on advertising and outward promotion. Instead, more focus would be
placed on the user experience and how users rate a company and its products,
such as in Yelp. For obvious reasons, Galvan politely disagreed with this
assessment but agreed on the increasing importance of “word of mouth”
marketing for increasing customer acquisition.

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