Creating Mobile Solutions in a Flash with the West London Salesforce1 User Group

MeetupLogoThe Salesforce Success Community allows people of every level to engage with others working with, or for, Salesforce. Alongside the online forums and resources there are now over 200 User Groups around the world where Salesforce admins, developers and users not satisfied with the 9 – 5 can meet and discuss the basics, the latest updates and the endless applications of Salesforce.

We’re excited to be presenting at the first meetup of the West London Salesforce1 Users and Developers Group next Wednesday 21st January, which will take place in the Club Workspace at the Barley Mow Centre in Chiswick, London. The theme of this meet is Creating Mobile Solutions in a Flash, and we’re looking forward to hearing the group’s views on Enterprise Mobility, and listening to the hopes and fears Salesforce users have when it comes to ‘going mobile’ and the projects being undertaken by fellow developers, admins and users.

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Platform Uptime vs Mobile App Uptime for Enterprise Apps

24 7 Neon Sign SmallOne of the things that still surprises me is the lack of interest in the ‘Uptime’ of Enterprise mobile apps during the evaluation phase. It seems to be that a mobile app is assumed to naturally inherit the Uptime of the Platform. And of course with Salesforce.com, this means all the transparency that they also provide through trust.salesforce.com.

Platform Uptime

To get us started I think it is worth understanding what I mean by ‘Platform Uptime’

There are lots of ways that Platform Uptime is worded and measured in the ‘as a Service’ world. However for me (as a customer) I think in the following terms; The availability and reliability of the platform to perform customer transactions. For transactions I would include both application data transactions as well as platform configuration requests.

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Enterprise Mobility for Salesforce Non Profits

I had the pleasure of presenting at the December 2014 meetup of the UK Salesforce NFP group in London. The video is included below as well as a link to the slides.

The focus on my talk was a high level overview of the who, why and how of Enterprise Mobility. First we dived into what Enterprise Mobility means.

The way I like to put it is that 15 years ago Marc Benioff started salesforce.com with the promise of making enterprise software as easy to use as Amazon.com. Enterprise Mobility is an extension of this whereby Enterprise Mobile Apps should be as easy to use as Amazon.com mobile apps.

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Mobile is the next step to a fully digital organisation

Make it happen Torn PaperMobile really is an enabler. An enabler to extend an enterprise’s ‘digital’ core. This means to employees, partners, suppliers, customers and pretty much anyone we interact with. And, as we can see now, the ‘anyone’ is now being extended to ‘anything’ (IoT – Internet of Things is going to be massive just because of the sheer number of ‘things’ and it is also going to happen a lot faster than a lot of us appreciate but that is for another post)

In this sense Mobile is crucial. But it is really just the latest stage in a digital journey. I like to think of it in the same sense as the ‘last mile’ issue faced by the fixed line telcos. By that I mean we have enabled the digitization of the organisation, and now we have to push the delivery of the digitization through that last mile to the end user on their mobile devices. The cost, complexities and the required enterprise performance levels for this ‘last mile’ really are hurting adoption but they can be overcome and is fundamentally what MobileCaddy is designed to achieve. But actually connecting our mobile users (our ‘Last Mile’) is not really focusing on the why – it is just the how.

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A Design Concept for all Business Critical Mobile Apps

400 x 400 Phone SketchMany moons ago when we were still building salesforce.com mobile apps on an ad-hoc basis, with ever changing technology, we started to see a pattern in what we were being asked for (in terms of the app and its performance) against what was actually needed.

The general requirements stated everything about the application logic and the user interface. This really boiled down to what the app should do and what it should look like. Fair enough and makes sense when coming from a desktop or browser based application.

But as we are seeing mobile is a very different beast. There is so much more outside of the developer’s and organisation’s control which is often not even considered, due to either being unknown, or just something that had to be accepted so best not discussed.

Where this always falls down is when the app is deployed. For starters the actual pain of deployment. Mobile means just that. These people we want to deploy to are literally all over the place. They are often running different devices from different manufacturers and different mobile operating systems. And if they are not today they maybe tomorrow. That lack of control is creeping in.

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Mobile Transformation is a Journey not an App

placeit (1)Everyone gets Mobile. Individuals are Mobile. Enterprises know they need to ‘go’ mobile. Customers are Mobile. Partners are Mobile. So we’re all going Mobile.

And what is the first thought on how to go about this? We need a Mobile App.

I mean it’s obvious, right?

And of course the answer is yes. And no.

Yes, if we think of an App as a container. A container to deliver our processes, data and functionality to our employees, our customers, our partners etc.

However we need to think about value. And value is a moving and sometimes unknown target. Opportunities, markets, technology, products, services, everything is on the move for better or for worse, and at what a pace. An App, a single purpose non changing app, is not going to cut it here.

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Hello world, indeed.

JustinFive years ago I made a decision that to win (read survive!) the company I was directing had to standardise on a technology platform. The hands down winner was salesforce.com. They were just transitioning from a SaaS provider to a PaaS provider and it was just what I, and the company, had been looking for.

I believe the majority of people still think of salesforce as an SFA company but they are so much more. With the recent Dreamforce 2013 carnival it would seem that they too are proud to finally be seen as such.

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