Take a minute and talk mobile strategy with Marci Maddox, Director Global Product Marketing at OpenText.

Mobile is Important, But Not Always First

Most of the time when you talk to vendors about mobile, you talk mobile first. But while mobile is certainly a key channel to focus on -- especially when it comes to the online customer experience -- it's not always the primary channel. It really depends on your business and what you are using mobile for.

For OpenText, Maddox says there are three flavors of mobile being addressed:

  1. Mobile Enabling OpenText Products: OpenText has been diligently working on mobile access within its own product portfolio. This is a combination of providing better access to information and freeing the organization from the desk/office. Note much of this has been made possible with the weComm acquisition last year.
  2. Mobile Detection for Websites: Sometimes all an organization needs is "just good enough". It's not about fancy, it's about making sure your website is mobile accessible when someone drops by to get some information or complete a task. Now maybe you don't like to hear that, but there are instances where mobile isn't going to be a primary channel and as a result, doesn't need to have all those bells and whistles.
  3. Mobile Apps: You need a good reason to build a mobile app. What process are you trying to enable? Some process are enhanced via mobile access.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Web

Maddox clearly points out that you need a use case for building a mobile app. It isn't always the right way to go -- in most cases it's the wrong way to go. And we talk about HTML5 and how it's the answer to all our mobile app challenges, but there's a lot of work to do before it's really a mainstream standard. (You can also check out Siteworx's Tim McLaughlin on this subject.)

For instances where mobile apps make sense, OpenText is looking at specialized apps for industries to use and customize. And there are also horizontal apps that have similar workflow (e.g. Insurance Management). The key is to look at industry specific needs and ideas, considering the processes and what you can do with a mobile app that would make that process easier to do.

When OpenText had its last conference the mobile sessions were packed. Some of the biggest challenges discussed related to tracking on both the mobile app and the mobile web. But another key focus for mobile is the user interface. We all are comfortable with the windows desktop standard -- we expect our desktop apps to behave very similar. Likewise on mobile devices we have become accustomed to the Apple standard and we expect our mobile experience (especially on mobile apps) to offer the same experience.

Enter the Omni-Channel

Maddox told me that we are moving past this idea of speaking of mobile and even social as separate ideas to discuss and build plans around. What we now have is the "omni-channel" where it's everything everywhere personalized to the user. How you do that will depend on your customers and their needs/wants. 

It's not hard to understand this point of view. If we continue to discuss mobile like it's something separate, special, we do run the risk of having organizations treat it like another silo of information access, similar to how many chose to implement social capabilities in the beginning. Mobile is important, we can't deny that, it just needs to be looked at in the greater picture of an organizations online customer experience or employee experience strategy.

Also check out CXM Perspectives: How OpenText Approaches Customer Experience.