B2B Manufacturing: Why Does Successful Servitization Require Mobile Apps?

Digital-driven customer trends have forced B2B manufacturers to evolve beyond the traditional business model of solely making products, to embrace servitization. The current market now demands these organisations provide immersive after-sale services and support alongside their products, and we explain here how innovative technologies such as dedicated mobile apps can help them succeed in doing so.

Mobile is Disrupting Manufacturing

We recently took an in-depth look at today’s need for B2B manufacturers to provide mobile customer service and product support directly at their point of use. This is an important step which should be taken if a business hopes to transform from traditional manufacturer to market-leading innovator.

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Why do B2B Manufacturers Need Mobile Customer Service to Survive?

B2B manufacturers have always been judged on the quality, value, and reliability of their physical products. In today’s digital-focused market, though, they’re now also judged on whether or not they can provide cutting edge mobile customer service and support beyond the purchase of those products.

Mobile is not a choice, it’s a necessity

Over the last 10 years, mobile technology has significantly changed the way B2B manufacturing companies provide customer service, support their partners, and compete in the market. Virtually everyone in that market now demands mobile customer service, with consumer-grade usability, to gain anytime access to information and support directly at the point of use of the product.

Unfortunately, manufacturers that are slow to act on this demand are jeopardising their survival. For example, 50% of B2B queries have been made on smartphones in 2018, and this is expected to rise to 70% by 2020. This technological shift is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity.

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London Salesforce DUG, August 2018: APIs and Field Service Lightning

dug-august-2018Our monthly recaps of the London Salesforce Developer User Group events continue with a look back at August’s event, which was hosted and sponsored by Lawrence Harvey.

For any new readers, the London DUG meets regularly to take part in networking, sharing of experience and development practices, discussing new features, and giving each other feedback on developments with Salesforce technologies.

As proud sponsors of the official London Salesforce DUG YouTube channel, we’ll continue to provide these video highlights each month, but we must emphasise the events are well worth attending in person if you’re ever able to make it along.

So, let’s take a look at the sessions presented by our great speakers from August’s London Salesforce Developer User Group:

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How to Keep Your Mobile Apps Running Properly Amid New iPhone X Requirement

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With the release of the iPhone X, which has brought with it a new, larger screen size, Apple has also recently updated its App Store policy. This policy now requires all new submissions to the App Store to support the iPhone X’s display resolution. In this article we’ll detail the new requirements, explain how to comply with them, and also cover what impact this will have on MobileCaddy customers specifically.

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Partitioned Versioning Enables Risk-free Production Upgrades to Salesforce Mobile Apps

Traditional deployments of updates to mobile applications are hard, and harder still in the enterprise world. Mass, uncontrolled updates to users are risky at best. Partitioned Versioning, with MobileCaddy, enables a low impact, highly iterative, approach to application update deployments which minimises the risks.

Mobile applications need to be updated for many reasons. It’s common for an initial release of a new app to contain bugs that weren’t caught in sandbox and developer environments, for example, or for a misunderstanding of workflow to pass through the UAT stage unnoticed.

Beyond this, once an app is live and mature, it will still need to evolve in line with many factors including (but not limited to): new business requirements, regulatory updates, alignment with new OS and hardware capabilities, and of course in our world modifications to support new Salesforce releases.

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How MobileCaddy Aids Bugless Salesforce Releases

We’re all aware of the thrice-yearly Salesforce releases, and how they’re unstoppable forces. We’re all also aware that bugs exist, and that any bug found post-launch is a lot more expensive than one found during testing. Here’s a quick story on one such bug, and how MobileCaddy helped to get it removed from the Winter ‘18 release.

Whenever Salesforce patches make their way into pre-release orgs our daily test runs kick off and identify the change. These tests run on 15+ org setups and report back any issues that might have been observed. One such observation was reported back during the early days of Summer ‘17 patch rollouts into pre-release. The issue manifested itself initially as the inability to complete the authentication flow on iOS devices built with Salesforce Mobile SDK v4.0.2 and lower.

During the investigations into the issue, we raised a notification on our trust site to keep our partners and customers aware of the risk of the behaviour. We also developed some internal work-arounds. If the issue wasn’t fixed prior to Summer ‘17 making it’s way into our partners’ sandboxes, these would let us unblock them from their development and testing processes.

We also discovered that the bug broke the vanilla experience of browsing standard Visualforce pages on iOS Safari; this could be bad if it got through into production.

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