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  • 5-13-13 Readying your organization for mobile CRMAs CRM spending continues to increase among business organizations, mobile CRM apps continue to gain popularity among companies that need to equip field or remote employees with a high level of mobility. Gartner Research reports that mobile CRM apps will grow a whopping 500 percent by 2014. The report goes on to say that there are 200 mobile CRM apps currently in app stores, but by 2014, there will be 1,200. The rise in demand may be explained in part by Gartner’s findings that, “worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, an 11.2. percent decline from the first quarter of 2012. Global PC shipments went below 80 million units for the first time since the second quarter of 2009.”

    By being able to access customer data from anywhere on just about any mobile device, employees can do everything they would typically do from their desktops or laptops. When done right, mobile CRM solutions can benefit organizations through increased productivity and effectiveness throughout an entire sales process including productivity, lead generation, follow-up and conversions. Mobile CRM should effectively streamline the entire process for field employees and improve the entire experience for the customer.

    Choosing the right solution

    It’s important to note that mobile CRM apps should not be a simple carbon copy of a desktop program. It should be optimized to fit the specific mobile device being used and a custom user experience should be generated that takes full advantage of that device’s functionality.

    Choosing the right mobile CRM solution also involves making sure it fits your organization’s specific needs. How many users will need the application and what functionality is required to do the job well are both important questions that will help determine what solution is best for you. Also, knowing what security measures should be in place and how manageable it will be for your organization is key. You don’t want a solution that requires a great deal of IT support and that ultimately adds more work for your team.

    Obtaining buy-in from employees who will be using the app is essential. Find out from them how they need the CRM solution to function in order for it to improve the way they work. You’ll also want to know before selecting a solution how quickly and easily it can be up and running within your organization. A smooth, efficient deployment process will help the solution get off to a good start within your company.

    As with any good app, mobile CRM apps should be intuitive and seamless in its integration with other applications your organization uses to get work done. If the app is clunky or complicated then it’s very likely that no one will use it. Make sure you find a vendor that is willing to conduct thorough training to get all your users up to speed.

    With the right mobile CRM solution, you can revolutionize the way your employees meet your customer needs. Starting with a strong planning, vetting and implementation program will ensure that you get off to a strong start with your new mobile CRM solution.

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    Mobile CRM Apps to grow 500%

    Mobile CRM projected to boom by 2014

  • 5-6-13 How to protect against security dangers in mobile bankingAlong with other significant advances in banking technology, mobile banking has completely transformed the way the consumer conducts financial transactions. From the “select-and-click” ease by which you can transfer funds or pay bills, to capturing an image of a check for deposit, there’s never been a time where banking has been easier. According to New York Research Firm Frost & Sullivan, 12 million people used mobile banking services in 2009. They say that number is expected to climb to 45 million by the year 2014. However, the convenience of mobile banking has raised a number of security concerns about identity theft. But by adherence to basic protective precautions, you can significantly reduce your chances of theft. For secure banking, at the very least, you should:

    • Download an anti-virus app. Invest in anti-virus protection or use one of the many free versions available to smartphone users. You can also check with your bank about any security or identity theft protection features that you can enable.
    • Enable remote wipe-out services. Most smartphones also offer wipe-out features like those provided by MobileMe for the iPhone, that automatically erase the information on your phone if you claim it as lost or stolen.
    • Immediately log out.  Make sure to go through the app’s formal log off process to ensure your account access information is secure of any bank apps or sites where your financial information is stored as soon as you’ve finished your transaction. Merely exiting a mobile banking application does not mean you’ve safely logged off.
    • Mitigate risk with identity theft protection. Identity theft protection or insurance packages can usually be purchased from your financial institution. Some of these packages may already be included in bank fees you already pay. Check with your bank to find out if you have that protection.
    • Download only authorized apps. Only downloading authorized smartphone apps, like those found in the Apple App Store or Android App Store, can reduce the possibility of downloading malware. This approach doesn’t guarantee virus protection or completely eliminate mobile banking risks, but it will limit the potential of security breaches.
    • Don’t store log-in information: There is no reason to store log-in information of any kind, not even a user ID. Saving user IDs gives hackers less work to do when trying to steal your account information.
    • Contact your service provider. If your phone is stolen contact your service provider as soon as you possibly can. You can ask them to freeze your service to prevent unauthorized transactions and monitor any activities on your account for a certain amount of time to be on the lookout for any suspicious transactions.

    Mobility banking was designed to be a convenient, safe and hassle-free way to process financial transactions.  Taking  these precautions can go a long way in giving you the protection you need for secure banking and without fear of theft.

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    The dangers of mobile banking

    Is Mobile Banking Safe? Mobile Banking Risks and Rewards

  • 5-3-13 Creating Apps Your Customers LoveConsider the apps you love most. Think about what makes you love it and use it. Chances are it’s highly-entertaining or informative, or it simplifies your life in a significant way. But good mobile apps don’t just happen. They have to be developed with the end-user’s wants and needs at the center of the design process. And a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work either. Great apps generally fall into one of these four, or a combination of these categories:

    1. It makes life easier

    2. It’s informative

    3. It’s entertaining

    4. It saves time and money

    That’s a pretty simple formula for success, but creating it and tying it all together with a user interface (UI) that impresses your consumer is no easy feat. It takes a great deal of technical skill coupled with a deep understanding of what appeals to your customer to keep them coming back for more. Incorporate these basics into your app design and you’ll have customers in the palms of your hands.

    Consumers love apps that look good and are smart

    The app world is competitive. The way an app looks and feels is crucial and it’s likely that you’ll only have one chance to make a good impression. If a user downloads your app and it doesn’t operate well then chances are you’ve lost that customer for good. If there are really cool elements that could be built into the design, first ask whether or not it adds functionality. If it doesn’t, scrap it.  An app should feel intuitive and smart to its user, not clunky, overdesigned or bogged down.

    Consumers love apps that do all the work

    When designing an app developers must consider how people think things should naturally work and design according to those specifications. Users don’t want to do a ton of work to use an app. Remember they’re drawn to apps that make their lives easier in some way. The best way to determine if consumers will find the app usable is to let them use it. Test it out on potential users. Watch them as they navigate through the app and ask questions. Figuring out design issues early will save time, money and heartache.

    Consumers love apps that make “mobile” sense

    A presentation by mobility expert Nick Watt says a good app “plays to the strengths of mobile” which he says are: communications, spontaneity, geo-sensitivity, short periods of use and focused activity.  Watt uses Shazam, the music discovery application that utilizes a smartphone’s microphone to listen to ambient music and correctly identifies it,  as his example. Shazam typically isn’t a regularly used application, but it serves a purpose. The app keeps a log of each song it tags, allowing the user to quit the app after identifying a song. The options to buy, listen or share a track via Twitter or Facebook increases interaction time and the likelihood of the user coming back to the app to get the name of the track many times after it was first tagged. What’s not to love about an app that helps you remember the name of that song you breakdanced to in 6th grade!

    Testing “lovability”

    Finally, to find out how likely it is that a customer is going to love your app, simply ask yourself:  ” Is the app intuitive and pleasing to the eye?” Would I use it again? Did the experience resonate with me? And lastly, would I recommend it? If the answer is yes, yes, yes and yes. You have a winner.

    At InfoVision, we have the experience and expertise to develop mobile apps that customers love. To learn more about how we can provide the solutions you need, contact us today.

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    Information Sources

    What makes a great mobile app? -slideshare

    How to Succeed with your Mobile App

    What makes a great mobile app? -article

  • mobile device appsFew would dispute that mobile application development is a top concern for enterprises. According to the 2012 Gartner CIO Survey, 61% of respondents plan to enhance their mobility capability during the next three years, and 48% believe they will become leaders in their industries by fully adopting innovative mobility solutions. Gartner expects a quarter of enterprises to operate their own mobile enterprise application stores by 2017.

    But while it’s clear that mobile enterprise application development is crucial, it’s less clear whether the best mobile enterprise application path is to create a mobile app from scratch, use an app that requires customization, or purchase an app from a commercial app store. Read more

  • mobilesecurityIt probably came as no surprise to anyone involved in enterprise mobility security when Network World recently reported that at least 80% of mobile apps have security and privacy issues that put enterprises at risk. But in a world where 70% of enterprises have given up attempts to forbid bring your own device (BYOD) access to the enterprise network, understanding a few enterprise mobility security best practices is critical to developing mobile security solutions that can protect your organization.

    Best practices start, of course, with understanding what kinds of risks smart phones, user-provided laptops or PCs, and tablets post to the enterprise. If asked, many IT managers would say that malware brought into the enterprise from user-owned devices is the biggest threat to enterprise mobility security. Read more