Posted on September 30, 2016
John McKindland, Nimans’ Head of Solutions Sales, looks at the growing influence of workplace apps.
What is the major use for apps in business?
The use of apps in business continues to grow. Collaboration is a key driver and with ever more diversity these trends will only accelerate. Clearly the mobile phone is king but different people use apps in the workplace in different ways. I use it for social media, instant messaging and will make calls through our new office phone system - once it’s been installed. Other people use LinkedIn etc. Right now from a distributor point of view we are seeing voice applications through an app on a mobile as the most popular service.
I think the lines between the consumer and business world are blurring and that line will eventually disappear. With BYOD we are seeing consumer apps being brought into the workplace in increasing numbers.
Is there an opportunity for resellers to develop apps?
At this stage I think software developers hold the advantage in creating apps. For us we are not seeing large numbers of resellers joining the party. It can be a laborious, time consuming and expensive exercise that may not generate a big return on investment. There are lots of hoops to jump through and factors to consider.
Is the consumer app space having an impact?
Consumer and business apps are coming together which has an impact in lots of different ways. Let’s say a reseller has installed a new phone system and a customer then wants some headsets. Very often the customer will use an app to source and identify the cheapest price. So there’s definitely an impact on resellers.
Another area to be aware of is the general role of social media. Business reputations can be enhanced and damaged very quickly by customer feedback. Resellers need to be aware that their image is always at risk.
Where are the major opportunities?
There are a number of ways that resellers can white label apps and this is where a lot of traction is currently being generated. Apps create a lot of potential but careful consideration is needed.
The market is dominated by big players which makes it harder for a reseller to steal their thunder. Resellers need to also be aware that their own skills sets may be limited which can curb activities.
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