Salesforce App Cloud Mobile Shifts Enterprise Attention to App Performance

MobileCaddyIntroducing App Cloud Mobile

Last month, Salesforce introduced a new strategic mobile technology offering for businesses, in the shape of the Salesforce App Cloud Mobile, having recently been named a leader in Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Development Platforms.

Salesforce revealed that its motivation behind this announcement stemmed from enterprise IT teams needing a platform that’s agile yet powerful enough to meet the expectations of modern professionals for a social, mobile, and intelligent app experience.

With Gartner predicting that 75% of application purchases supporting digital business ‘will be build rather than buy’ by 2020, it’s no surprise Salesforce has devoted such efforts to make developing enterprise mobile apps easier, faster, and more accessible for both technical and non-technical users.

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What are the 15 Steps to Success with Salesforce Mobile Apps?

Salesforce-Mobile-App-SuccessMobile apps are currently one of the most powerful ways in which a business can differentiate itself from competitors, increase revenue, and achieve transformational gains in areas such as productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction.

With today’s current mobile technology, organisations are able to build apps customised to their employees’ most specific requirements, and take the ability to work quickly and accurately far beyond the restrictions of a traditional office.

But if an enterprise mobile app is so effective, then why aren’t more businesses investing in these solutions? Well, there are significant challenges, potential pitfalls, and certain risks which are still holding them back. As a result, we’ve put together 15 useful tips to help businesses leverage the Salesforce platform to build successful mobile applications.

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Mobile Apps in Retail Offer Organisations a Cutting Edge

The Mobile Mentality in Retail

Most people would be quickly forgiven for immediately turning to the consumer market when thinking of using mobile apps in retail. After all, mobile commerce is a fast-growing trend which is gaining significant momentum, starting to overtake more conventional methods of shopping.

And while there are tremendous opportunities for retailers to capitalise on that by optimising, and innovating, their business models to suit mobile-first customers, it seems there’s just as much value to be gained by introducing such mobile technologies internally.

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Using Ionic, MobileCaddy and Salesforce.com for Offline Mobile Apps

Here at MobileCaddy, we were recently fortunate enough to have one of our own present to the second-largest meeting of Salesforce developers globally, at February’s London-based Developer User Group event.

As proud video sponsors of the London Salesforce DUG, we were given the opportunity to demonstrate the business value of rapidly building mobile apps which are fully robust, offline-first, and highly cost-effective.

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Mobile Apps Can Make the Difference for Modern Healthcare Workers

The ‘Mobile Promise’ 

Mobile apps, to put it lightly, are everywhere. Whichever way you look at it, mobile apps have become one of the most common ways for people to communicate with friends, receive live news about their interests, keep themselves fit, and even do their jobs.

Taking a closer look at that last point, people using mobile apps in (or outside of) the workplace is perhaps where the most significant impact is being made nowadays, due to the simple fact that mobile technology is designed almost exclusively around speed and convenience.

Mobile Apps in Healthcare 

In the healthcare sector, for example, the time taken to complete and record a patient’s diagnosis can be drastically reduced by using a mobile app to log the data into an online system. Naturally, this then allows the medical professional in question to see more patients in a given day than they would’ve previously been able to manage.

This is just one very basic example of how mobile apps are enabling healthcare workers to be more efficient, but the improvements the technology is making on the industry as a whole are monumental.

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MobileCaddy – An Architectural Overview

Because it provides an end-to-end lifecycle solution for mobilising mission critical mobile apps, MobileCaddy has a number of areas of functionality. To help understand where MobileCaddy fits in with your current Salesforce.com setup, and how apps are configured, developed, and deployed to our users, below is a short video giving a high level architectural overview.

 

You’ll see that MobileCaddy is a fully native package that is installed from the AppExchange. Once this is installed it is a matter of point and click to begin to create your first application. This is all in the native Salesforce UI and then lets us select and mobilise our current standard or custom sObjects and fields.

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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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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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