Business

What is the value in enterprise app development?

December 8, 2016

The word ‘enterprise’ is commonly used to describe medium and large sized businesses. Enterprise app development refers to the designing, building, and deployment of applications that add value to the business. These are often mobile applications that integrate with a backend web system. The purpose of this post is to share some examples of these apps and how they help the enterprise.

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The first example is from SKF in Sweden. SKF manufactures and supplies bearings and seals to large automakers. SKF uses apps on the manufacturing floor to help improve processes, increase collaboration, and track analytics on performance. To quote the CEO:

At the start of each shift, factory employees log in with secure authentication to the MOST app and are presented with a simple user interface depicting the factory floor. A series of shapes represent each machine, and operators can track every bearing product that makes its way through the production line. The app uses color to identify the status of machines, and sound to alert factory operators when problems arise. Secure chat connects factory employees so they can share knowledge instantly and respond immediately to issues no matter where they are.

The simple user interface allows factory operators to easily make sense of complex data from a variety of machines and backend systems. Data is delivered to the app through custom APIs that present only the most important information to a factory operator. Now with iOS, employees save time by no longer having to crisscross the factory to collect data from various machines and desktop workstations.

Our second example comes from Schindler. Schindler manufactures, installs, and services elevators, escalators and moving walks for almost every type of building worldwide. They move about 1 billion people every year. The company implemented iOS apps last year to help improve safety and service.

Since more than 50 percent of Schindler’s workforce are field technicians who service and install elevators and escalators, custom iOS apps for iPhone and iPad have helped transform their workday, allowing the technicians to use their mobile devices to monitor and service products in real time.

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To quote the CIO:

“Our products have sensors installed that can measure, for example, temperature and speed,” explains, Michael Nilles, CIO at Schindler. “We collect this data over an electronic controller and send it to our back-end platform. From there, the data is analyzed and delivered to technicians in the field. This instant access to information through so-called closed-loop remote monitoring enables service technicians to predict and prevent problems before they occur — something never before possible in the industry.”

The technicians can also use the apps to order parts and view illustrations of part details. This helps the technicians improve service and finish projects faster. Employees are empowered to have information and data right at their fingertips which helps with productivity.

In our final example, it is important to share how apps can help to increase sales and grow revenue. Large and medium sized organizations are finding value in integrating with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Point of Sale Systems (POS).

The purpose of having these systems on mobile devices is to improve the ease of use and portability of data. Companies are able to have real-time customer information with them in meetings without the need to bring a laptop. The systems can also be used to provide sales training and informational videos.

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Overall, apps are proving to be very useful in the enterprise environment. Whether that is to improve manufacturing, service in the field, or to increase sales – apps are becoming a reliable tool. As more and more employees are provided with mobile devices, these improvements may only be the beginning of a larger trend.

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
Co-founder & Managing Partner

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