7 posts • joined 8 Sep 2006
If a jumbo jet crashed and killed 300 people every month...
...there would be mass hysteria.
So why is it acceptable for us to be killing the same number of people on the roads every year?
Wake up you lemmings. Stick to the speed limit and leave a stopping distance. Is your life so meaningless you're willing to throw it away speeding?
Well maybe it is. How sad.
My Windows Mobile device works on any network. I just swap the SIM.
...by some of the luddites posting here! I mean...are people really still debating whether to have mobile email or not? Reminds me of similar conversations about mobile phones in the early 90s...
The technology has been around for long enough now to be....well...not really that exciting any more. Time saver...of course! As a director for a small software company in the UK we don't have the luxury of having dozens of people who can fill in when one of us is on annual leave. And being located in GMT means have to be flexible when dealing with customers from other time-zones.
A couple of years ago I swapped emails with a company interested in buying our software using my trusty old Windows Mobile device whilst on holiday in Spain, using a roaming network and whilst sat waiting for a take-away pizza. By the time my wife and I had finished off the pizza along with a bottle of Rioja the customer had stated how impressed they were by our responsiveness and had purchased the software.
Ok, well this webcast was pretty much as I expected with, to be honest, very few surprises. Don't get me wrong, still interesting background listening just...well...missing something.
There was much chat (in the first 3 chapters) of the last few years seeing organisations move from deploying mobile email pilots to mobile email becoming the norm. In the following webcast chapters there was then a discussion of the next couple of years bringing us the move to full blown mobile applications such as mobile CRM. How exciting. Big, expensive projects with lots of consultancy.
Mmm...am I missing something or isn't this the same topic we've been talking about for the last few years? i.e. Full blown mobile projects with lots of consultancy. And I don't see a whole raft of under-budget success stories yet.
Yes, mobile email has now become a standard offering - but moving straight from mobile email to a full blown consultative CRM solution seems a rather large leap to me.
In my experience, organisations seeing a sucessful return in their mobile investment are taking it one step at a time. Sure they start with mobile email. That goes down OK so then they look a little further into mobile PIM (Calendar, Contacts and access to their corporate Global Address List). Then they look at access to their Intranet - tweak a few web pages here and there to optimise access for mobile devices.
It's about now that the organisation starts wanting to do a little more with mobile and it would be easy to charge straight into a fat, juicy mobile CRM project. But I'd suggest shopping around on the Internet to see what productised mobile solutions are out there. There are loads and they're cheap as chips! Grab a couple, plug them in and test them out. You never know, you might find your mobile solution already coded up and ready to buy - much cheaper and quicker than designing it yourself.
And even if the mobile product you've found doesn't do 100% of what you want, have a chat with the software house that coded it and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to make a few changes to suit you. Still cheaper and quicker than doing it yourself.
In my opinion, you should consider a bespoke mobile solution only if you have exhausted all other possibilities. The market is moving on and productised is the way to go!
Oh and one final note: interesting that instant messaging wasn't mentioned in this webcast though texting was... Well if you're interested in an emerging mobile technology that could dominate the mobile scene then watch the IM space. I predict we'll see an even greater leap here than the one to mobile email.
Something for the weekend!
I use my i-mate JASJAR Monday to Friday then I swap my SIM to a QTek 8500 for the weekend when I need something a little more portable. And I've just had my old handsfree in the car replaced with a JASJAR friendly cradle and it all works like a dream; email, phone and GPS all in one.
Hey, nice plug. Subtle.
I have a JASJAR connected to my corporate Exchange server using Vodafone as the carrier. Based near Manchester I regularly travel down to the south-coast and south-west of England, as far north as Fife and well into Wales (north as far as Caernarvon and Anglesey, and south to Cardiff). I also happen to spend a fair amount of time on the M4 (but then doesn't everyone who travels on the M4...). And my GPS makes sure I experience all sorts of interesting geography.
Anyway. I can honestly say the only trouble I've had with coverage is in the following situations:
1. On holiday in a rather remote cottage in Rowen in North Wales. Actually, I think Rowen was fine, it was probably the cottage walls because the coverage was just about OK by the kitchen window. Guess I shouldn't have been checking my mails on holiday...
2. At about 5pm most Friday afternoons in my home village I tend to have trouble sync'ing until about 7pm. Everyone txt'ing and calling home to apologise for being home late for tea. However...saying that, this seems to have improved lately and I notice our local mobile mast has been getting fatter.
3. On the London Underground. Anywhere. Well, below ground.
Ok, so the point I'm trying to make is that coverage is much, much better than it used to be. I had an i-mate Pocket PC for a few years before my JASJAR and I've seen coverage improve over the whole country for the last 5 years. But even then, it's never been that bad and even if one or two syncs missed, the next one would generally pick it up.
Anyone who thinks they're having trouble with coverage really needs to consider getting another device because it just isn't that bad. I feel badly off nowadays if my 3G drops back to GPRS.
I can't speak for Blackberry as I'm an avid Windows Mobile user, but...and let me think on this...no, other than Rowen I can't think of the last time I had trouble with coverage at all. Maybe my device missed a sync or two. But I just never noticed.
PDAs were pretty boring and fairly redundant before they had phones built in. Converged devices (if that's what we're calling them this month) is what mobile is all about.
PS. I don't have an iPod either and I like to listen on the move, but that's another story.
Take a little bit of mobile at a time...
Use the FAX machine...er yeah right, welcome to the 21st century. And how much is that costing a year? And don't talk about reliability, a piece of paper sat in an in-tray is not securely or reliably delivered. And then there's cost: toner, maintenance contracts, paper, phone line rental. Most organisations haven't a clue how much they're spending on fax and when they do calculate it (as I've done on many an occasion) they are shocked at the amount of money they're wasting.
So, mobile email - no, of course it isn't essential. Just like a company website isn't essential, or e-commerce, or business cards, or headed stationery or marketing campaigns... Of course eventually there'll be no business left. Mobile email and mobile working is simply another part of the puzzle. A business can use mobile email to gain (a little) competitive advantage. I use it to make me more efficient, not much, but a little. And every little helps.
And once you have a population of mobile devices with email, you can look to leverage that investment by tacking on other little bits of mobile software that help. Mobile timesheets perhaps? Or mobile access to the company intranet.
Don't go mad. Don't over invest. Bite off a little piece of mobile technology at a time and see how it goes.
The results will speak for themselves.
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