Mobile Computing

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There is a significant amount of innovation occurring in Web Services today, primarily as a result of the proliferation of programming languages. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is the most pervasive as this programming language only selectively updates specific areas of a Web-based or mobile application that has changed since the last customer request (Geier, et.al.). AJAX programming is also being optimized for XML (Extensible Markup Language) performance over networks with specific focus on ensuring high performance over low-bandwidth mobile computing platforms (Geier, et.al.). The combining of Web Services, data integration for legacy databases and systems throughout organizations, and the performance gains from AJAX and XML are setting a rapid pace of innovation in mobile computing strategies. It is important to note that these technologies are not inherently the reason for the shift to mobile computing platforms. It is the potential these technologies have when combined to drastically reduce the timeframes customers wait for data and for their questions to be resolved. All of these technologies when combined from a process standpoint have the potential to drastically increase the performance of a company's entire value chain. As customer expectations increase for real-time data often companies find that their entire series of field service, supply chain, service and parts systems must also be enhanced for customers' expectations to be met over the long-term (Schierholz, Kolbe, Brenner, 824, 825). Customers' expectations met and exceeded from a process standpoint where technology is the enabling factor, not the primary one, is where companies are gaining significant loyalty and profitability over the long-term (Sinisalo, Salo, Karjaluoto, Lepp?niemi, et.al.). The next section of this analysis presents potential alternatives for creating mobile computing-based strategies to connect with and serve customers better, staying in sync with their changing requirements and needs.

Assessing Alternatives

From doing nothing, which would virtually guarantee customer churn over time as competitors aggressively pursue mobile computing platforms to lure new customers, to a series of potential alternatives, the intent of this section is to define potential strategies for the company to adopt. The second alternative is to pilot a mobile platform strategy that takes into account CRM data and creates Web Services would be the least time-consuming and yields the most insights into how best the company could align with and anticipate customers' needs in this rapidly changing area. A pilot would also be constrained in terms of cost and timeframes, and also concentrate on integration to CRM data only, integrating via Web Services to each customer's profile. The functionality of a pilot could also be measured in terms of customer satisfaction as well, as surveys of the Web Services application could be done immediately following a 30 to 90 day pilot.

The third alternative is to extend the scope of the project beyond CRM data to include supply chain data and included automation of the quote-to-order process as well. Integrating supply chain data would require the use of Radio Frequency identification (RFID) tags to ensure real-time data capture on inventory positions and the status of orders (Brintrup, Ranasinghe, McFarlane, 2713, 2714). RFID could provide real-time order status for each customer order as it passes through manufacturing to logistics and finally shopping. The increase in speed and accuracy of order tracking would be costly (Ustundag,2549) and initially time-consuming to set up (Smart, Bunduchi, Gerst,423) yet over time would have a significant financial impact on the financial performance of the entire company due to greater accuracy being achieved (Osman, Ram, Stanfield, Samanlioglu, Davis, Bhadury, et.al.). This type of program illustrates how the adoption of mobile computing platforms over time directly impacts the value chain of an organization.

The fourth and final alternative is to create an enterprise-wide mobile platform that includes context- and location-aware Web Services which provides customers with a 360 degree view of all their activity and options anywhere, anytime. State of the art Web Services today support technologies for creating context- and location-aware Web Services (Zhang, Adipat, Mowafi, et.al.). The challenge of this approach is the depth of XML integration required in conjunction with AJAX programming to make the entire platform run efficiently enough on mobile computing devices worldwide. It is the most ambitious option yet also the greatest in terms of retaining and gaining customers over time. It would literally include integrating supply chain, pricing, manufacturing, logistics, field service and customer service all together into an enterprise platform. In effect a Service oriented Architecture (SOA) with integration to Cloud Computing services and platforms (Birch, 37) would need to be completed. This would also rely on real-time data from manufacturing and distribution through RFID systems integration which would in effect many the entire company customer-centric and demand-driven (Wang, Chen, Xie, 2512, 2513)[continue]

Cite this research paper

"Mobile Computing" (2010, April 12) Retrieved September 1, 2015, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/mobile-computing-1632

"Mobile Computing" 12 April 2010. Web.1 September. 2015. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/mobile-computing-1632>

"Mobile Computing", 12 April 2010, Accessed.1 September. 2015, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/mobile-computing-1632

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