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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mobile Enabling Enterprise - 20 step plan - written 12 years back! ~ ME2 Framework



I wrote the below plan 12 years back - year 2001 to be precise-

Still relevant?


Why CXOs Need ME2 Framework?



The promise of Mobile technologies and in turn Mobile Business/Commerce has yet to be realized.  The hype of last 3 years has started filtering down the sieve of reality. Yet Enterprises can ill-afford to let mobile technology go. However, converting rapidly changing mobile technologies into a profitable opportunity is proving to be a walk through quick sand. Many an analysts, technocrats and business gurus have come out with the methods to embrace the mobile channel. As such no perfect solution to all possible situations is possible. We propose the  Mobile Enabling Enterprises (ME2) Framework. This does not promise to solve all the problems of all the enterprises in adopting wireless technologies.
However, it gives the strategists and the CXO’s of large Enterprises to go in a systematic manner in evaluating options, strategies, and relevant Metrics to come out with a comprehensive blueprint of mobile enabling their enterprise. This article describes the salient points of the framework. The 20 point adoption plan described here is based on a comprehensive study of the wireless markets, enterprise strategies and technologies in the global scenarios.


Mobile Technology –Hype and Reality

Internet and wireless communications coming together to provide data services to people who are mobile is opening up a new channel for Enterprises to not only offer their services to the customers, but also to increase the efficiency of their employees. Despite the nascent technology, the impact of this convergence on industry was considered to be tremendous. The events and trends of the last 3 years however have dimmed the hype. There is hope however, if you look at the innovative and focused ways some of the enterprises in Europe have made wireless profitable. This coupled with mass consumer adoption in Japan and other Asian countries provides a ray of light to service providers, mobile technology investors and mobile product vendors.

Mobile Access to Internet is increasing rapidly, in general. Enterprises have been making plans to invest in mobile technologies for mobile enabling their employees and customers for business purposes. Rather than waiting for conceptualizing a Killer Application, it would be better to adapt to wireless within the constraints of the technology. Besides the first mover advantage, this offers an experience with a technology that is continuously happening. It will be improving in future as new evolving networks comes up based on increasingly powerful industry standards of GPRS, EDGE and UMTS. These are leading to next generation of wireless networks called 3G, which can provide up to 2 Mbps bandwidth. Instead of waiting for technologies to stabilize and then giving mobile delight to customers and employees, it makes sense to deploy mobile applications now.

The MEE Framework – 20 Steps

We propose a 20 step framework to lead to a comprehensive framework for Mobile adoption in the Enterprise. This is based on a detailed study of literature, client interactions, software development and consulting experience, and vendor talks.

(1)    Identify the type of Organization –

First step is to identify the type of Enterprise. We consider two distinct types of enterprises.

a.       Enterprises that have No Direct Consumers (N)
b.      Enterprises which are Consumers Facing (C)

First type does not have any direct consumers. In this class come organizations such as Large Power Generation Plants, Chemical plants, Manufacturing units, etc. In second type, we consider large Newspapers/Magazines Publishers, Banks, Retail stores, Hospitals, Hotels, Airports, etc. It can be seen that consumer facing enterprises have one major non-controllable parameter, i.e., the mobile devices that their consumers will use. The first type of enterprises can control the mobile devices to their employees and organize their wireless infrastructure to support the specified devices only. In Consumers facing enterprises the customer devices is an uncertain and sometimes unknown factor.

(2)    Evaluate hi-priority targets for wireless adoption-

Any Large enterprise need to evaluate what are the primary targets for the wireless. Are the employees of the enterprise the main target for mobile adoption or the consumers/customers of the enterprise are the target. In many cases, tendency is to initiate projects for both these type of targets simultaneously. We believe that unless there are significant benefits, it makes sense to start with either consumer or employees as targets. However, in the long run both employees and customers have to be supported. Hence there are three possibilities – only one has to be chosen.
a.       Consumers (C)
b.      Employees (E)
c.       Both (B)

(3)    Choose and Evaluate Strategy

The Enterprise has to choose one of the following or a mix of following strategies depending upon the type of organization and type of wireless embracer targeted. We categorize various strategies as:

a.       Channel Creation (S1)
b.      Revenue Transformation (S2)
c.       Toolkit adoption (S3)
d.      Improving Tele-worker Ratio (S4)
e.       Empowering Mobile Employees (S5)
f.       True Wireless Office – WLAN and Wireless WAN (S6)

Table 1: Probability of choosing a particular Mobile Strategy for the specific organization and type of Wireless Targets



Strategy
Type of Organization and Type of Wireless Target
CC
CE
CB
NC
NE
NB
S1
High
High
High
Low
High
High
S2
High
Low
High
Low
Low
Low
S3
High
High
High
Low
High
Medium
S4
Low
High
High
Medium
High
High
S5
Low
Medium
Medium
Medium
High
High
S6
Low
Medium
Low
Medium
High
High

Legend: CC – Consumer Facing Organization targeting Consumers
                  CE – Consumer Facing Organization targeting Employees
                  CB – Consumer Facing Organization targeting Both
               NC – No Direct Consumers Organization targeting Consumers
                   NE - No Direct Consumers Organization targeting Employees
                   NB – No Direct Consumers Organization targeting Both

(4)    Articulate Strategy

Once the main strategy or a mix of strategies depending upon the requirements is identified, it has to be sufficiently articulated in terms of Mission, Organization of Strategy Implementation Team, Skill sets needed or to be acquired, Metrics of measuring the success or otherwise of the strategy and how the Risks in implementing the strategy will be taken care of.

(5)    Identify Candidate Processes to be mobile enabled

The candidate processes for mobile enabling need to be identified based on the requirements/strategy and likely Returns on Investment metrics

(6)    Identify candidate Mobile Embracers/Teleworkers/Mobile workers
(7)    Choose specific devices/networks/content
(8)    Compute Investment Cost
(9)    Identify hi level Architecture
a.       Transcoding
b.      Divergent
c.       Convergent
d.      Native Solution
(10)          Compute Benefits and Risks of adoption
(11)          Evaluate ROI
(12)          Choose Vendors/Products/System Integrators
(13)      Continuous Look ahead and Tracking team
(14)      Mobile Policy Usage guidelines
(15)      Continuous strategy Update – Realignment of strategy with the changes
(16)      Phased Projects – 6 months roll out projects
(17)      Applications Migration Plans
(18)      Continuous User/Consumer feedback
(19)      Plan to mitigate/manage crisis arising out of Mobile technology usage
(20)      Applications – identifying new and innovative usage

*****







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