By Jason Hannula, Midsize Insider
Businesses are recognizing the value of improved mobile communication technologies, regardless of whether their workforce is primarily remote or local. These businesses are not going it alone in harnessing the power of this technology; instead, they are partnering with providers as they seek complete mobile platforms, according to a recent survey.
Mobile Technology Partners
Mobile communication technologies, such as short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), offer communication channels to mobile devices that do not require specialized apps to develop, deploy and maintain because they are native to modern mobile devices.
Traditionally, utilizing mobile communication technology for business purposes was treated as an ad-hoc endeavor. In a recent IDC survey of businesses’ use of mobile communications, 62 percent of respondents reported they utilize solutions provided by multiple vendors, according to OpenMarket.
IDC’s analysis suggests that, ” … in order to achieve desired ROI, enterprises must transition from investments ‘one problem at a time,’ to a flexible mobile messaging platform that supports multiple use cases across business functions […] it will be critical for enterprises to implement a streamlined platform with global reach that can be leveraged for use cases company-wide.”
Nearly 30 percent of the businesses surveyed are looking to partner with specialized mobile providers, and the majority are investigating international services. These mobile platform providers must meet businesses’ demands for domain knowledge and excellent customer service, which includes customized solutions, professional support and experienced support staff, as noted by Robert Parker, Group Vice President, IDC Insights, in the accompanying analysis.
Service Platforms Beyond Products
This trend toward complete mobile platforms falls in line with wider moves toward technology partnerships, as seen with the rise of cloud computing integration among midsize businesses. Specialized service providers are able to deliver technology solutions more efficiently than a resource-constrained midsize IT department. This is especially true when the functionality supports the core business rather than its products.
A primary value of platform providers is the inherent integration between technology solutions that service different divisions of the business. Internal IT is freed of the burden of servicing solutions from multiple vendors that may address the same use cases for different business units. However, even an integrated platform will not adequately meet businesses’ needs if the technology cannot be customized for each business unit or unique business use-case variation.
By assessing platform providers, businesses are considering the future capabilities that could result from the partnership, not just the direct costs to solve specific needs. As experts on their technologies and products, it is up to the service provider to show what can come from a future partnership while also addressing immediate needs. Service providers that clearly communicate their platform’s capabilities, expertise and customer service as a complete package can capture the attention of mature businesses that understand technology enables their daily operations as much as it solves specific needs.