Mobile Computing Assessing Alternatives for

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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).

Recommendation

Clearly the option of doing nothing is not acceptable as Web 2.0 technologies, the catalyst behind social networks, combined with Web Services and streamlined XML messaging, are revolutionizing the use of mobile computing platforms. To do nothing is invite customer churn given how quickly customer preferences are changing for using mobile computing channels to communicate with, learn from and converse with companies of interest (Bernoff, Li, et.al.).

The most reasonable alternative is to complete a pilot mobile computing platform that includes Web Services integrated to CRM legacy systems and applications. This pilot will also be 90 days in scope, be defined a series of AJAX-based Web Services optimized to run as efficiently as possible over XML networks compatible with mobile computing platforms. The processes that will be streamlined include customer service, order status, online ordering, integration to customer pricing and ordering data, and the option of cross-shopping on a mobile device across two or more channels at once. In addition, all customer-specific data will be available and the Web Service will run on the AJAX programming language.

An essential part of this pilot will be to benchmark the time it takes to complete each of the processes mentioned, and also the customers' satisfaction levels with how they complete those processes today. These two sets of data points including time savings from process improvement and aggregate increase in customer satisfaction ratings, will be used to determine if the pilot is successful or not. An additional aspect of the pilot will include competitive analysis and benchmarking, including an assessment of compatibility by the top three competitors;' Web Services applications on mobile platforms. Competitive benchmarking will be completed on a purely XML-based network, one that is purely based on the Internet networking standard TCP/IP and also one purely configured for HTTP protocol. Testing across all three of these protocols will also replicate what customers will experience depending on the mobile platform they are also running on.

In addition to these compatibility tests there will be extensive usability tests completed in conjunction with specific audiences of customers. These usability tests will seek to gain input on customers' attitudes, preferences, unmet needs, questions about navigation and ease of use. All the insights gained from this analysis will also be included in a Web Services introduction plan that will be sued to complete the pilot and prepare for the full launch of the mobile applications.

References

Bernoff, J., and C. Li. "Harnessing the Power of the Oh-So-Social Web. " MIT Sloan Management Review 49.3 (2008): 36-42.

(see attachment for this reference)

Birch, D. "The future - mobile channel and clouds. " Financial World 1 Dec. 2009

The future - mobile channel and clouds

David Birch. Financial World. Canterbury: Dec 2009/Jan 2010. pg. 37

Abstract (Summary)

The last decade saw great change in financial services technology. Online access is now the norm. There is reason to expect more change in the next decade; there are three main technological pressures for this onward march. First, the role of mobile phones as the central channel for distributing financial services is assured. A second pressure comes from "the cloud." Third, the combination of mobile phones as access devices and the cloud as service platform means there has to be a revolution in the technology of identification and authentication.

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Document types:

News

Section:

The dotcom bubble - 10 years on Publication title:

Financial World. Canterbury: Dec 2009/Jan 2010. pg. 37

Source type:

Periodical

Brintrup, A., D. Ranasinghe, and D. McFarlane. "RFID opportunity analysis for leaner manufacturing. " International Journal of Production Research 48.9 (2010): 2745.

RFID opportunity analysis for leaner manufacturing

Alexandra Brintrup, Damith Ranasinghe, Duncan McFarlane. International Journal of Production Research. London: 2010. Vol. 48, Iss. 9; pg. 2745

Abstract (Summary)

Although RFID is seen by many as a revolutionary enabler of automated data capture, confusion still remains as to how manufacturing organisations can identify cost-effective opportunities for its use. Managers view promotional business case estimates as unjustified, simulation based analysis and analytical models as secondary modes of analysis, and case studies are scarce. Further, there is a lack of simple tools to understand how RFID can help to achieve a leaner manufacturing environment, after the use of which practitioners can be routed[continue]

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