Where have we been?
Since the advent of the modern Mobile phone, enterprise software vendors have had a love/hate relationship with them.
We've seen both vendors and consumers of software go through something akin to the five stages of grief at the disruption that first iPhone bought:
It’ll never catch on! People working off a phone! Hah! Even BlackBerry cannot make that work!
These upstarts in consumer electronics! Imagining that they an displace Nokia! The Arrogance!
Well, maybe iPhones will be OK for email, but they’ll never get this whole ‘ecosystem’ and app store-thing off the ground! That’s the preserve of people like us!
Well, they are doing OK right now, with these fancy iPhones and now Android things, but it’s a grave misstep: Wait till Windows Mobile comes along with it’s enterprise-level tools, that’s when we’ll be back on top.
Look, if mobile ecosystems are now a thing, then I suppose I’ll have to give my customers what they want. Even if they are wrong about this whole mobile malarky.
Where are we now with mobile?
We are (obviously) now deep into that Acceptance phase, but it’d be hard to argue that everyone has gotten their heads entirely around what Mobility means in the context of their products: we’ve all seen scenarios where vendors are so desperate to tick the ‘Mobility’ box that they start considering launching (just as an example) CAD solutions for an iPhone.
This ignoring of context/use-case is something that we’ve been careful to avoid doing at Shipnet. This doesn’t mean that we don’t want Mobile- quite the opposite. What we want is Mobility, but done right.
As evidence of this, we present our first native mobile app- Launched in August this year. It is an accompaniment to our DryDocking Cloud solution. That product runs neatly on any mobile device already (it’s a PWA, or Progressive Web App), but what it doesn’t do was work offline, nor does it leverage most effectively the media and video functionality of mobile devices. So we built a Native app so engineers could use it in areas where mobile functionality was not available (like inside a ship in DryDock). See? The mix of technology and use case improves the offer, not distracts from the proposition.
Forthcoming mobile apps also play in that same butter zone- Inspections will follow later this year, and that will give anyone with a mobile phone the ability to do xx and yy whilst onboard a vessel (an environment where connectivity is never a given). Analytics- allowing anyone the opportunity to view and interact with the Dashboards in Shipnet One- is also coming too, allowing users to review all aspects of their business’ performance even when onboard a plane or in similar ‘off net’ situations.
So that’s our commitment on Mobile
We do it, because people want it, but they only need it when it’s done right. More to come in 2022 on this.