Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yakov Fain, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Wearables

Agile Computing: Article

Not Games But Game Changing

Why some mobile business app developers stand out from the crowd

Mobile apps aren't just for consumers anymore. Businesses large and small are recognizing that mobile apps can heighten employee efficiency and productivity. Mobile apps can give many companies a competitive edge through more agile customer service, sales tools, and supply chain management. In a Q213 Appcelerator survey of mobile app developers, 42.7% plan to build apps that are B2B and B2E (business to employee), and more than 51% expect to build apps for enterprise app stores.

Businesses face a number of challenges as they deploy mobile apps across the enterprise. With proliferation of mobile devices, mobile technology fragmentation, and the trend toward "BYOD," operability on multiple platforms is essential to ensure broad adoption. Intuitive user interface is important as well, since employees have expectations based on their experience with consumer apps. To avoid data leaks and other security breaches, businesses need to address authentication and access privileges across the enterprise. Integration with existing IT infrastructure, both on premise and in the cloud, must also be considered, as well as data retention and regulatory compliance.

On November 13, The Silicon Valley Business App (SVBA) Awards sponsored by Regalix, recognized six outstanding mobile business apps for their innovation and development practices. In this article, we describe two of these award-winning apps and how they effectively address the specific needs of businesses.

DocuSign Ink: SVBA Award Winner for Productivity
The global standard for eSignature®, DocuSign Ink makes it possible for employees to use their mobile devices to safely and securely provide information, sign or initial any document, and then return the completed document via email - anytime, anywhere.

DocuSign understood that for the mobile app to be adopted across the enterprise, the signing experience had to be intuitive and easy to use for any user - whether a customer, prospect, partner, supplier, or employee. Download and setup needed to be straightforward, and the process of opening a document from email, importing it into DocuSign Ink, and applying a signature had to be completely seamless with the highest levels of security and availability, since businesses would rely on the technology for mission critical operations. As a result, they designed the app so that users can easily complete form fields, drag and drop their signatures and initials into documents, and complete the DocuSigning of a document received through email in three taps or less. The DocuSign Ink app integrates with the native email client on each mobile device so that users can sign documents from within the email client.

In addition, they recognized that since many employees would be downloading the app on their personal smartphones and tablets, the interface needed to be comfortable and familiar for users on a variety of mobile devices and software platforms. DocuSign developed native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, optimizing each for the interesting features of the individual operating system. Since native apps deliver faster and more reliable performance than Web-based apps, DocuSign was able to deliver a high-quality user experience, which encouraged rapid adoption among consumers and businesses alike.

By developing native apps, DocuSign was able to give users a rich signature creation experience and tools to enhance productivity. The app is tuned for pressure and speed sensitivity while offering a variety for pen types and colors for users to personalize their signatures. An optional push notification feature was seamlessly integrated into the app, which alerts users when they have documents to sign, when transactions have been completed, and the status of documents as they're being signed, all without the user having to open DocuSign Ink. These features make employees more productive to accelerate the speed of business and reduce costs-all without complicating the user experience.

Voxer Business: SVBA Award Winner for Social Business and Winner for Best Overall Mobile Business App
Voxer Business is a live messaging application that blends the richness of voice with the etiquette of texting. Unlike traditional push-to-talk phones or radios, Voxer Business offers both live streamed and recorded messages at scale, including voice, text, or images. Voxer Business can send live audio between mobile and desktop clients, enabling workers to collaborate regardless of location or device.

Designed to be an enterprise-grade communications tool, Voxer Business was built to mesh with companies' existing business processes and IT infrastructure. For example, the app supports LDAP, Active Directory, and other back end directory systems to streamline identity management and allow integration with existing enterprise system credentials, enabling a true single sign-on experience. Additionally, Voxer aligns its storage policies with its customers' existing data retention and regulatory compliance policies and utilizes military grade encryption to guard against data leaks.

Voxer recognized that employees would be using the app on their personal mobile devices as well as their desktops. Since low latency and high-quality audio are so crucial to the user experience (and adoption), Voxer developed native apps for each mobile device and a Web-based application for desktop that supports multiple conversations. While the look and feel of the app is consistent across devices, each native app is optimized for high-quality audio on the specific platform. Voxer believed that seamless integration of a desktop application was important from a business process perspective, as it gives users complete flexibility whether they are in the office or on the road. An additional benefit is elimination of information silos that can develop when desktop and mobile applications are not unified.

DocuSign and Voxer built their mobile business apps on different foundations. DocuSign was well established as a leader in eSignature and eSignature transaction management for the enterprise. Recognizing the growing trend of mobility among consumers and the mobile sales and service workforce, DocuSign added mobile apps to its product portfolio to deliver even greater value to customers. Voxer applied its mobile app technology, which first gained massive consumer adoption, to the rigorous requirements of the enterprise as it developed its professional-grade solution. Voxer Business is arguably the poster child of the consumerization of IT. Both companies have employed best practices to develop native mobile apps that deliver cross platform functionality, an intuitive user experience, and IT infrastructure integration. Much more than mobile versions of business apps, DocuSign Ink and Voxer Business are good examples of mobile apps designed from the ground up to work for businesses-and to make them more nimble and productive.

More Stories By Vikas Sharan

Vikas Sharan is CEO of Regalix and provides leadership and strategy to the company. He actively works with Regalix’s customers to define growth strategies for several Fortune 500 as well as venture backed companies. Vikas is a serial entrepreneur and has spent 15+ years in digital marketing and human factors. Before starting Regalix, he had founded Lozoic, which sold telecommunication products and services to Tier 1 telecom carriers in US and Europe. Before starting Lozoic, he was a key member in creating the first online bank, WingspanBank (acquired by Bank One, now Chase). Prior to this he led Emerging Technologies practice at Enherent (NASDAQ: ENHT). At Enherent he was responsible for creating Internet and Wireless strategies for companies such as Philip Morris, JP Morgan, and Prudential. Vikas is an author and frequent presenter at conferences. Vikas has a Masters Degree in Industrial Design from IIT Mumbai.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
SYS-CON Events announced today TMCnet has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) is the world's leading business-to-business and integrated marketing media company, servicing niche markets within the com...
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...