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6 Enterprise App Development Procedures To Consider

How to extend the shelf life of your Enterprise Apps.

Lindsay Britz

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Enterprise mobile apps adds efficiency by providing employees at all the customer touch points with the data they need. However, developing lots of mobile apps is not always the best way to improve productivity.

Mobile developers need to analyse and streamline business processes before providing mobile access to enterprise business applications. System integration and process orchestration can eliminate busywork and put the precise information needed in front of the user for added efficiency gains.

Here are six things to keep in mind to make the most of enterprise app development.

1. Avoid “I have an app for that”

It’s important to prioritise apps based on the value that they bring rather than churn out one app after the other. Avoid cluttering desktops and screens with a multitude of apps with too limited scopes Too many apps, especially when some of them have limited value, can result in a disconnected set of solutions that is difficult and costly to maintain, create a fragmented and confusing user experience and can have a negative impact on productivity.

Related: The Secret Sauce to Apple’s Start-Up Successes

2. Be Holistic

When transforming a business process, it is important to take a cross-functional approach that breaks down “stovepiped” divisions and focuses on enabling end-to-end processes within an organisation. The process for taking and fulfilling an order, for example, may flow across sales, production, shipping, and accounting departments.

Make sure apps integrate needed data and processes across all business processes, both internal and external, on-premise or cloud-based.

Mobilise the specific functionalities that make sense, even incorporating different functionalities for different users.

3. Delight Your Users

Google-Maps-integration

Be aware of the users device, context and reason for using the app. Include extra functionality and productivity tools that makes users’ lives easier, like Google Maps integration that lets employees in the field find the shortest route to their destinations or see what other clients are in their vicinity.

Carefully consider the differences between smartphone and tablet uses. Where possible and relevant, managers should be able to see graphical dashboard views of important KPIs. Whenever possible, the context should be used to intelligently present wizard-like options and next steps rather than forcing the user to navigate from screen to screen as in traditional desktop applications.

4. Look Under the Rug

Most of the important features of the enterprise app lie below the surface, including security, data accuracy, the ability to update, transform and synchronise data across multiple systems, along with the ability to automatically trigger processes according to specific changes, thresholds or actions.

Your integration platform must be able to connect the systems you want, the way you want, reliably and in real-time. And your mobile app and server must be able to work in disconnected mode and then synchronise when back online.

Related: 4 Steps To Launching Your App

5. Monitor App Value

Nothing provides validation for an app like facts and figures.  Whenever possible, make decisions based on usage data and user experience research. Avoid making assumptions about what you think works best. Talk to your users. Gather hard data based on usage patterns and behaviour.

Prove the business case by calculating man-hours saved and improved productivity and innovation through new capabilities provided, reduced errors and improved speed of processes. Update the app based on all feedback and allow the app to reface itself based on context and behaviour.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Abandon an App

Act like a nimble start-up company, and don’t have reservations about pivoting your strategy. Choosing a low coding platform provides the freedom to scrap a project and start again.  If you observe several months of low/no usage or results, don’t be afraid to abandon an app, merge apps or break them apart. Embrace agility.  If you need a sudden strategic change, take it and breathe new life into your apps.

As enterprise mobility evolves under the greater digital transformation umbrella, there is a natural need to revamp apps and retire those that are no longer useful or relevant. Remember to look at the big picture:  mobile enterprise apps can no longer be isolated functions – they must be facilitators of larger end-to-end processes. With this vision in mind, it is easier to choose the right tools and solutions to support your enterprise app needs for speed, agility, and reliability.

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Staying Relevant In The Facebook Age Of Meaningful Social Interactions

With Facebook announcing that it is pushing brand and publisher content out of news feeds, how can businesses, especially small and medium enterprises in South Africa, remain relevant?

Madex

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It was deemed a “rude awakening” early in January 2018 when Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that the social networking platform had changed its algorithm, basically meaning it had changed what users see on their news feeds.

This follows a pretty harsh year for Facebook, where it was criticised for not having the right countermeasure to stop the spread of fake news and propaganda. So now its set of rules has changed; bumping up users’ friends and family members’ status updates and photos, and underplaying public news articles and content published by brands.

But where does that leave the small or medium businesses reliant on communicating their brand messages through Facebook? How do they now reach Facebook users (estimated to be approximately two billion)?

There is still a way

jodene-shaer“’Meaningful interaction’ is not something new to Zuckerberg’s focus on how brands engage with their Facebook audience,” explains Jodene Shaer, international business owner and head strategist of social media engagement specialist, Chat Factory.

Related: 5 Marketing Missteps That Make Cash Flow And Business Growth Stumble

“There is a place for paid media, but if a brand is trying to be seen organically, then it must feel like it is part of the flowing content people want to see from friends and family. It is pushing for the reason that Facebook was created in the first place – to be social.”

Authenticity key

Truly embracing the power of live videos and video content on Facebook – and then creating reasons for the public to engage with those posts – is an excellent move for any business that is budget conscious, Shaer adds.

“The ranking for visibility of organic content is highest when live. Live videos are absolutely the route to go, as followers receive a notification that you are live and there is greater chance of visibility. A big advantage is that you can save that content to the page and it becomes shareable, and can be uploaded to YouTube, where there is still a strong call for business content.

“And it doesn’t have to be high budget either, but it must be authentic, informative, engaging and encouraging. Of all things, ensure that all comments are responded to and shares and reviews are acknowledged.”

Looking beyond Facebook

Shaer believes that smaller local businesses can make their ad rands stretch further on Facebook by moving onto Ads Manager, instead of simply using the Boost button. “The reach is different, so invest in watching some YouTube videos as tutorials,” she recommends. “Boost to unique target audiences and turn the boosting into a science, by watching your reach. Set up smaller boosts and spread your spend across a few posts instead of one big boost. Track your stats and see which audiences work best.”

“One way that South African SMEs could also make use of InstaStories, as these are gaining organic reach. They could also look at varying hashtags, but using a few to reach a very specific audience.

Related: Marketing Tips For Start-ups

“We’ve seen the opening up of the use of LinkedIn and had people return to using the power of Twitter, so it’s worth investigating how to maximise other platforms while trying to keep your budget low.

“None of this should put a small business off, but should create exciting and challenging opportunities to shift how social media is used and explore the outcomes of each post, to truly develop a social media presence,” she adds.

Shaer will be one of an entire panel of dynamic, expert presenters speaking at the upcoming Madex 2018 show, the ultimate marketing, advertising, design, social media and all that good stuff expo.

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How To Market Your Hotel

An integrated digital marketing strategy that provides multiple channels to communicate on will help you to reach more potential customers.

Entrepreneur

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It’s imperative these days to enable customers and guests to interact directly with your brand in real time – and your ROI will reflect this success. To achieve this, your marketing team should utilise a number of different channels in order to achieve an integrated digital marketing strategy.

Why? When potential customers are only able to use one means of communication or booking platform, such as a hotel’s website or blog, Facebook, Twitter or a third-party booking site, their frustration could cause you to lose their business.

Your digital strategy

how-to-market-your-hotel

By engaging in an integrated digital marketing strategy and addressing multiple channels with a clear, consistent message, you are bound to reach the maximum number of potential customers. Through the creation of a larger online presence, your engagement reach will be far higher, solidifying your company’s brand in the best possible manner.

Related: 5 Marketing Missteps That Make Cash Flow And Business Growth Stumble

Your first step in achieving an integrated campaign is to determine your target market. The second step according to Robert Nienaber, managing director of Suiteres, is to “create a message – tell a story about your product or service and what makes it unique.

For instance, the history of your establishment’s location, the nature/wildlife, your amazing food or historical rooms or perhaps the owner’s unique story. Tailor that story for your target market to captivate them – they will buy into your brand as a result.” Be sure to keep your message consistent across all mediums, be it written, photographic or video.

According to Ivo Kittel, head of Development & Design at Suiteres, different channels can be described as such: ‘These consist of website and online booking systems, third-party channels – such as online travel agents or your global distributions systems – and social media platforms that support the aforementioned and drive traffic to them.

‘Print media, events and other offline techniques can also assist by driving clients to visit your website or to engage with you on social media. All these channels should be strategically linked for best effect.’

Online marketing

An unusual hero in the travel market? Smart phones and tablets, on-the-go devices that allow users to review and recommend hotels on social media profiles, as well as third-party sites. Together with the integrated digital marketing strategy, this increases potential customers’ connections to hotels, airlines, car hire companies or event organisers.

What’s more, a key driver in drawing in new customers and causing previous ones to return, is the offer of regular perks, benefits, freebies and discounts via a newsletter.

Bear in mind though, that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Each company will have differing concerns and requirements, and these are what you should use to build an effective marketing campaign. The following should be noted:

  • Effective communication between marketing team members is essential. There needs to be collaboration across the multiple channels you’re utilising. In doing so, your overall offering will be streamlined and have maximum effect.
  • Choose your key channels, those that will receive the most attention and marketing spend. These need to be the channels that garner the most hits or collect the most bookings – also known as ‘converting’.
  • Determine your target market and get as much information as you can on them, over time. For instance, which platform do they opt for first? Do specials lead them to make a booking, and if so, what are they? This and any other informative data assists you in your decisions and allows you to use your marketing funds in the best manner possible.

According to Vanessa Rogers, head of Communications at Suiteres, ‘The above-mentioned strategy should ideally be supported by a skilfully crafted PR campaign – one designed to complement and support your marketing message.’

Related: 3 Ways To Build Your Brand Identity Using Content Marketing

Taking this into account, you should consider having relevant articles published on third-party websites and print media or arrange for a client to be interviewed on radio or a streaming site. These forms of PR are more cost-effective then an advertising campaign.

The details matter

Importantly, customers need to know they can contact you quickly and easily, whether they are making a booking or requesting additional information. One thing you can be certain of: if a customer is unable to communicate efficiently with you, they are very likely to book elsewhere.

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Online Marketing

10 Online Marketers To Watch In 2018

The more diverse your sources of news and inspiration, the better. These ten people can help get you there.

Jayson Demers

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Online marketing requires experience, creativity and a working knowledge of the latest trends and technologies necessary to stay competitive in the modern landscape. And while there aren’t any shortcuts to gain more experience, there is a convenient way to stay up to date on the latest marketing trends and get inspiration for your creative campaigns.

That way? Following and paying attention to the best, smartest marketers in the industry.

With 2018 just getting started, I wanted to list some of my favourite marketing influencers, some of the most influential experts in the industry and some of the most promising creative minds to pay attention to this year:

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