On a fairly regular basis, we are asked if we sell a mobile application that can do one thing or another for a business. Frequently this request is coming from a business looking to automate an existing process or looking to do something completely new in the hopes of giving their business some sort of efficiency or competitive advantage. Our answer is not always a straightforward “yes” or “no” and there is good reason for it. Mobile apps are not necessarily a “one size fits all” sort of thing and therefore we need to understand more about what the customer is looking for.
When inquiring about what the customer is looking for, there are a few different continuums that must be considered.
We need to understand not only what the customer wants the mobile app to do, but also where they stand with respect to complexity, integration, aesthetics, and of course, cost.
The complexity of a mobile app can range from something similar to a spreadsheet, all the way to a something that walks the user through a given process with logic built into it. If the goal is to make the application fool-proof, then it should be expected that there will be more effort required to account for all possible use cases.
Integration is certainly a broad subject when it comes to mobile apps, but essentially we need to know if and what systems the application will need to integrate with.
- Are the existing systems 20 years old with little documentation or brand-new with a robust API?
- Are the systems open to integration or will it be a battle?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to integration, so it should be expected that we will ask a lot about integration expectations and environment.
Generally speaking, nobody is looking to make their business’s mobile application a piece of art but at the same time aesthetics cannot be ignored. Knowing what the expectations are for aesthetics are important because it can drive the recommended OS as well as software selection.
There are some pretty powerful business mobile applications out there that quite honestly look like something from 1999. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so they say, and knowing what the beholder thinks with respect to their mobile app matters.
Finally there is the subject of price. If someone is interested in a mobile application and we ask them what their budget is, it is not that we are trying to figure out how much we can charge. It’s more a matter of trying to determine what is possible.
If a customer only has enough budget for an economy car, I’m not even going to mention a high end sports car.
If the customer needs functionality that they don’t have budget for, we will tell them and suggest alternatives that they can afford.
At the end of the day, it does nobody any good if we are suggesting solutions that are not possible for a customer due to budgetary limitations.
We are positioned very well to help businesses with specific problems using mobile applications. We have experience with a wide variety of rapid application development platforms and can provide solutions across the continuums mentioned above.
It is important to know that L-Tron specializes in data collection and workflow applications (Watch a [Video] to learn more). We are not going to create the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush, but we can help you with business facing mobile applications.
Trevor is a Solutions Sales Engineer at L-Tron Corporation and uses his broad experience in engineering and operations to help customers find solutions that meet their needs. In his spare time, Trevor likes to feed fish while pretending to be an accomplished angler. Trevor can be reached at info@L-Tron.com or(800) 830-9523.