Ten Mobile Apps for Employees On the Go

As the global business landscape moves toward increasingly mobile communications, enterprises are faced with a constant, ever-evolving barrage of desktop and mobile applications designed to facilitate interaction among their employees. Employees also must communicate with everyone from freelance content developers and designers to worldwide clients, often through conferencing systems or applications designed for collaboration on cloud-stored content files.

In addition to strong functionality, intuitive interfaces, and compatibility with back-end systems, companies are concerned about the adoption rate and functionality of new apps – especially as more and more workers access them on mobile devices. Perhaps most urgent in the contact of the current mobile landscape, enterprises want applications with seamless integration between desktops and homebound infrastructure and mobile devices as an unprecedented number employees, contractors, and clients work on the go from coffee shops, airports, trains, and even automobiles as they conduct their business world-wide.

To add to the complications, now that enterprises and employees are sharing more data and content between company and personal devices, security is a key issue when it comes to the mobile workforce. According to Blake Brannon, a senior solutions engineer AirWatch by VMware, which produces enterprise mobility management software, “The cloud leakage problem is one of the greatest threats to enterprise content security. While many cloud solutions secure enterprise content within the cloud infrastructure, they often lack the controls necessary to keep mobile users from downloading and walking away with critical information on personal, unsecured devices.” Read the article.

In this ever-changing technological and mobile professional landscape, we’ve found ten current applications that have answered the call in an effort to securely and efficiently empower your mobile workforce.

buffer1

  • Buffer (bufferapp.com) is one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to social media posting, but it’s a handy one. Like a number of other social media platforms, the app enables users to compose numerous posts at one time, schedule them in advance (or Buffer will automatically schedule them for you) and choose which social profiles to send them to. Buffer automatically shortens links without the bother of an extra click and provides some useful analytics. Buffer for Business plans range from $50 to $250 per month, depending on the number of connected accounts, how many team members can be added, and how many RSS feeds companies want imported into their “buffer.”

box

  • Box (box.com) is a cloud platform that enables employees to securely store, share, and manage company files. Box helps companies do more with their content by offering secure file sharing and invitation-only online collaboration, file synchronization that syncs files between the desktop and online Box folders, the ability to view, share and edit any kind of file in any location, online or off, and more. A free 14-day trial is available at the company’s website, and PC Magazine awarded the company’s iPhone app 4 out of 5 stars, noting on their site that “The Box iPhone app gives you access to all those files you host in your Box account from practically anywhere….”

evernote

  • Evernote (www.evernote.com) is an organizational app that enables users to clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, and snap photos to keep the physical and digital details of projects available at all times. The app boasts powerful search and discovery features to make collected files easy to call up, and even makes the development of presentations easy with a feature that, with one click, transforms notes into an attractive screen-friendly visual layout. The free version provides a workspace for daily projects that syncs across devices, for $5 per month search features are expanded and offline access to notes on mobile is activated, and for $10 per month per user, centralized administration and co-worker collaboration is added to the mix.

mobileday logo

 

  • MobileDay (www.mobileday.com) helps companies regain control of mobile calling costs by using a nifty system called Dynamic Dialing. MobileDay auto-detects a caller’s location and maps that information to available dial-ins, selecting the most cost-effective option for each call.  No more remembering long dial-in numbers or conferencing instructions; one tap of a green button on a sleek, intuitive interface makes calling into virtually any enterprise conferencing system a breeze. The app is ‘Platform Agnostic,’ meaning users can join a Lync call or meeting with a colleague one minute, and then immediately switch to a client conference on any other conferencing service  – WebEx, GoToMeeting, Join.me, Google Hangouts, etc. – even in instances where data is not available. Writing for Inc. Magazine, Ilya Pozin named MobileDay one of the “10 Must Have Mobile Apps for Entrepreneurs.” Read the story.

Concur

  • Concur for Mobile (www.concur.com) enables employees to manage anything related to expense and/or travel in virtually any location. From booking and managing itineraries to capturing receipts and submitting expense reports (simply take a picture of each receipt, hit “export,” and ExpenseIt Pro automatically creates, itemizes and categorizes the expense entries) Concur can do it all through a smartphone app. One user reviewing the app at g2crowd.com notes: “The fact I can use my iphone to photograph receipts right there at the restaurant and not worry where I kept the little pieces of paper that fade before I can read them is simply a gift to wary [sic] traveler!”

jive

  • Jive Social Business Platform (https://www.jivesoftware.com/products-solutions/) Jive is a single communications and social collaboration hub that claims to keep a workforce informed, productive, and tightly aligned with company strategy. Named a Leader in the 2014 Magic Quadrant for Social in the Workplace, the company provides solutions for employee collaboration, customer and partner communities, and team task management. A case study for how the company’s product helped T-Mobile is available online at: https://www.jivesoftware.com/discover-jive/case-studies/t-mobile/.

yammer

  •  Yammer on the Go (https://about.yammer.com/product/mobile/ios/), is a mobile app designed for Yammer, Microsoft’s cloud-based enterprise social networking platform, to enable employees to access work conversations on their mobile devices. Users can create profiles, develop and work in groups, and initiate or participate in real-time conversations. Document collaboration functions are also provided. Push notifications let employees know about important activities as they occur.

Hootsuite

  •  Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com) is consistently ranked among the top applications designed for the management of numerous social media platforms through one central dashboard. Employees can view streams from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and more in one place, and can post, respond, or cross post directly from the app.

g2p-logo

  •  GoToMyPC (http://www.gotomypc.com/remote-access/) is the mobile version of Citrix’s remote access software, which lets employees control their desktop applications from remote locations. The free app works in conjunction with the desktop version of the same name along with a wireless connection. Reviewer Jeffrey Wilson notes: “The app works as advertised—I was able to control my work PC from a distance—but it could benefit from a more responsive interaction with the host computer.”

Tripit

Do Phone Apps Misuse Your Data?

phones-stealing-data

Have you ever downloaded an app and been shocked by the level of access that it requests on your phone? For some apps, it’s wise to hesitate before clicking “Accept.” For example, you probably remember the once-prolific game Angry Birds. It was one of the most popular mobile games ever developed, but people didn’t realize that the app was actually collecting location data and selling it to advertisers (according to this NYT article). Even more surprising was that the popular “Brightest Flashlight” app did the same (according to this 60 Minutes article).

Make Sure your Apps are Super Secure

MobileDay is an example of how app companies can access data while keeping it totally secure and private to the user. When a user installs MobileDay or updates the phone’s operating system, we request access to the device’s location services. We take extraordinary precautions to ensure security of this information. The information is kept private and local on the device, never exposed to our servers or the cloud, and certainly never shared. The MobileDay Privacy Policy states, “The Mobile App does use Location Services on your device; however, this information is not exported from your device.”

Apple recently took a stand on this issue when they presented HealthKit for iOS 8. HealthKit aggregates the user’s health data into one location in order to better understand their health and level of activity. In addition, other app developers can access this information for use in their own app. You can probably see the potential problem here – an app developer could access this information and sell it, even if Apple wasn’t selling it directly. Thankfully, Apple has very explicitly stated that app developers can not pass on this information to any third parties (according to this VentureBeat article).

A story surfaced recently that reiterates this point. Snapchat is a popular app that allows users to send photos to friends that will disappear in a few seconds, and are subsequently irretrievable. However, third party apps have been developed that allow the recipients of these photos to save the pictures. Snapchat itself does not permanently store user data (data is collected temporarily but is automatically deleted from servers after both users have seen the photo, according to the Snapchat privacy policy), but some of the third party apps store photos on their own servers, opening up a vulnerability. Recently, a number of these servers were hacked, exposing up to 90,000 photos online. Users may not have checked the privacy policies of these third party apps, and probably didn’t realize that the photos were being stored without their knowledge.

Data privacy is a key issue in the industry right now, and it’s only going to get more important and complex. Developers of HealthKit and MobileDay are among those that truly embody the idea that simplicity, usability, and security must go hand-in-hand in order to maximize adoption. After all, if a secure app isn’t adopted or if it’s misused, it’s not very secure, is it? We encourage you to read closely whenever an app requires data from your phone that seems unnecessary. Take a look at the privacy policy and make sure they’re not mishandling your data.

To learn more about how MobileDay approaches and handles your data, check out our publicly posted privacy policy here.

 

How To Solve Challenges With Lync Mobile Adoption

MobileDay and Lync

As enterprise mobility becomes more prevalent, mobile adoption of Microsoft Lync remains poor due to fundamental issues with the platform’s mobile app. MobileDay provides companies with a versatile tool to enhance the mobile experience and help bolster adoption rates.

 

Lync, Microsoft’s Unified Communications platform, has become a favorite among enterprises worldwide. The software suite allows for global, corporate-wide communication via voice, video, chat, presence, mobile, and conferencing. Despite a reported 90% of Fortune 100 companies using some flavor of Lync1, there are still some criticisms of the technology that seem to be universally emerging.

Single Platform Limitations

Is Unified Communications truly unified if it’s restricted to intercompany communication through a single platform? We didn’t think so. That’s why we made MobileDay ‘Platform Agnostic.’ This way, users can join a Lync call with a colleague and immediately afterwards join a client conference on any service of their choosing – be it WebEx, GoToMeeting, Join.me, Google Hangouts etc. – even in instances where data is not available.

Mobile Adoption

As seen in Lync’s app store reviews2, the mobile experience leaves much to be desired. The app is known for having poor UX/UI and in a recent survey, 48% of users reported the quality of service as being a barrier to Lync Mobile Adoption3. MobileDay acts as a workaround and it will actually bolster employee mobile adoption. By providing MobileDay’s sleek, user-friendly interface, employees can effortlessly scroll through their day’s schedule and join any Lync meeting with the touch of a button.

MobileDay is often mistaken for a full-fledged conferencing service –  this is not the case. It is a productivity tool that provides simple one-touch access into any conference call or meeting from your mobile device. As many Fortune 500 companies have found, MobileDay provides a complementary solution to the downfalls of Lync’s mobile user experience. As businesses continue to escalate mobile infrastructure, Unified Communications shouldn’t be restricted to the desktop just because of an incompetent mobile app.

With our enterprise solution, MobileDay Advantage, companies can give their employees a timesaving productivity tool that they’ll love and with enhanced security and cost-saving ‘Dynamic Dialing’ functionality, companies will love it too.

Download the free version of MobileDay for your iOS or Android device and see how easy mobile conferencing can be.

 

1.)http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/cloud/ms_numbers.pdf

2.)https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lync-2013-for-iphone/id605841731?mt=8

3.)http://software.dell.com/documents/lync-adoption-and-challenges-a-survey-of-microsoft-lync-users-whitepaper-27100.pdf

MobileDay Raises $6M+ Series A

An interview with MobileDay CEO Howard Diamond

HappyHoward

MobileDay, the company that provides one-tap mobile dialing into any conference bridge, international call, or online meeting, has raised over $6 million in a Series A round of funding.

The round was led by the Foundry Group with participation from Innoventure Partners and Drummond Road Capital, joining existing investors SoftBank, Google Ventures, Bullet Time Ventures, and SoftTech.

Enterprise mobility and BYOD are growing explosively, as companies are undergoing a massive migration from fixed line to mobile business communications. MobileDay offers a solution that works with company’s existing infrastructure and service providers  to control telecommunication and mobile expenses with MobileDay Advantage, automatically routing employee calls via the least expensive dial-in based on location.

Brad Feld, Managing Director of the Foundry Group says, “MobileDay uses one-touch dialing on smartphones to change the dynamic of making calls on the go, both from a convenience and cost standpoint. Gone are the days of dialing 32 digits to join a conference call. While end-users will love this, companies will love MobileDay’s ability to route calls over the lowest cost network, dramatically lowering costs especially for international calling.”

Howard Diamond, CEO of MobileDay, sat down with me to talk about his background, the financing, the future of MobileDay, and what it takes to raise capital.

What is your background in the startup world.

I’ve been involved with startups since 1991. I was part of the team at Course Technology where we grew the company to $75M in revenue and sold it to a big conglomerate. I’ve done a blend of big companies and small companies. I went from Course Technology to a company where we grew the revenue to $1.2B organically and then $2.7B after we went through a merger. I enjoy startups because I have a passion for turning business ideas into real businesses. There are tons of brilliant ideas out there, but there actually aren’t that many great companies. The idea of turning a great technology idea into a great technology business is my passion.

What are some of the key ingredients for turning a great idea into a great company?

Having a great product with the technology to back it up is, of course, one of the most important factors. However, there are a lot of companies that have a great product but don’t excel at sales, marketing, distribution and pricing models. To be successful you have to develop marketing and pricing models that are as elegant, distinctive and differentiated as your technology and your product. Not a lot of people get that.

What have you brought to MobileDay to make it a great company?

Anyone that has heard me speak before has likely heard me say, “I’m a hammer and I see the world as a nail.” I’m able to intensely focus on determining and solving critical problems with crisp execution.

When I came to the company 11 months ago, we were able to swiftly developed a long-term vision for where we want to take MobileDay. We developed the business model around that vision, and we’re carrying out that model with precision. We all continuously work to ensure that we have top talent on our team to carry out the plan efficiently.

What has changed in the eleven months you’ve been with MobileDay?

Well, we’re continuously developing our product, but there have really been three major changes to the technology in the last eleven months.

The first important change was to make the product global. Twelve months ago, we were in three countries. Now we’re in sixteen countries supported on both iOS and Android, and we plan to expand our footprint even further.

A second big technology change is the app’s ability to detect the least cost international calling route, a feature available to MobileDay Advantage customers [Read more about MobileDay Advantage]. The app is able to determine the user’s location, and based on that data in conjunction with their company’s dialing rules, MobileDay dynamically determines the call route that will be the most cost effective, thereby saving companies a lot of money. We call this feature Dynamic Dialing.

The third major change is the integration with the phone’s contact list. Advantage users can now make any call from inside the MobileDay app. This expands the Dynamic Dialing capability of MobileDay Advantage to be applied to any direct call. Whether the call is made from a calendar or the contact list, the call rules put in place by the company are used automatically.

Contact List interface

Full integration with contact list and dial pad

Another big change, though not specifically a technology change, came about due to our focus on the enterprise — the addition of the administrative console. This gives us the ability to provide the companies that are working with MobileDay a way to manage their users and call rules to see what impact MobileDay has.

Admin Console interface

The Admin Console interface

All of these are major changes that have occurred in the last 11 months.

You said the administrative console includes the ability to see the impact of MobileDay. Will you explain that?

MobileDay’s enterprise version is called MobileDay Advantage. The Advantage offering provides three key benefits: Dynamic Dialing, Enhanced Data Privacy and a 24/7 Dedicated Success Team. Dynamic Dialing detects the caller’s location and routes their calls using the lowest cost dialing path. Enhanced Data Privacy ensures that no calendar, contact, or location data ever leave the user’s device, so it’s completely secure. The 24/7 Dedicated Success Team is available day or night to address any questions or issues that users may encounter.

Advantage customers are able to control their account with an administrative console. They’ll be able to see the number of calls managed and the number of calls routed using Dynamic Dialing. Depending on how much information our customers share about the cost differences between routing methods, we can calculate a close approximation of the savings they’ll see reflected in their telecom bills. The admin console will be able to show any assumptions made in the calculation, and of course the result — both recent and historical savings.  Our goal is always that as more and more users adopt MobileDay within an organization, the higher the ROI our customers will see.

ROI Calculator

Our ROI Calculator

Tell us about the financing.

MobileDay just closed our Series A round of funding. We don’t release exact numbers, but it was over $6M which is extremely exciting for us. The round was led by the Foundry Group in Boulder and we had a number of other participants. SoftBank Ventures, who I’ve been working with for a long time invested a significant amount. SoftTech and Bullet Time Ventures reinvested so we’re proud of that. We also had some new outside investors participate including Innoventure Partners and Drummond Road Capital. Our goal with this funding round is to expand our operations. We’re at a point in the company where we have a fantastic product in place that fits a distinct market need, and we’re ramping up our sales and marketing efforts to make the MobileDay a staple app for the enterprise.

When you were talking to potential investors, what were they most excited about?

When talking with potential investors, they immediately got excited about how simply MobileDay solves a huge problem. Our technology takes away the pain of dialing into conference calls for the user, and it dramatically reduces the cost of going mobile for the company. It’s easy for companies to implement, and it spreads virally throughout organizations so they don’t have to work hard to get employees to adopt the app. Also, very few companies have cracked a business that is mobile, enterprise focused, and a SaaS model. This makes MobileDay very alluring to the enterprise and exciting for investors.

Our investors invested in us because of the business model on the one hand, and because they believe in the management team. We have a small group of people but it’s an exceptional group of people. We have a really great engineering team. As I said, they’ve evolved the product in wondrous ways over the last 11 months, and the goal now is to build out the areas we haven’t focused on: sales, marketing, and distribution.

What are some lessons you’ve learned going through this round?

People want to invest in companies that have technology that excites them, where they believe the people at the company can actually deliver on the promise that the technology offers, and where the combination of the market potential and the anticipated ability to execute is exciting enough for them to make a commitment to write a check. I’m always amazed and delighted when anybody is willing to support us in that very concrete way.

What are some of the biggest challenges you foresee for the future?

It’s an execution play now. The technology platform is solid and there is clearly an interest in the market for what we’re bringing to the table. Now the question is, can we execute the way we need to in order to deliver on that promise. That’s always the exciting thing and the challenging thing – bringing in the right people to execute on sales and marketing in order to deliver on the promise of the technology. That’s the phase we’re at now with MobileDay.

What protects MobileDay from competition?

I don’t think anything ever really protects any company from competition and most companies have a lot of competition. Right now there isn’t a lot of competition out there in terms of people doing specifically what we do, but I don’t anticipate that that’s going to continue to be the case. We do all the kinds of things to protect ourselves, in fact we were just awarded our first patent. You do a lot of things from an intellectual property perspective, but in reality the only thing that ever protects any company from competition is executing better than they do and that’s what we plan to do.

Data privacy is one of our features that sets us apart from potential competitors, and that we’ve executed on elegantly. Some competitors take an approach to dialing where they pull a lot of data off of the phone. We’ve taken the opposite approach – we have worked extremely hard to ensure that we can provide our app without removing contact information, calendar information or location data from the device – it stays local and totally private. This sets us apart from competitors.

Another key differentiator is that MobileDay works with any conference call on any conference service right out of the box, unlike our competitors. Whether our customers are using GoToMeeting, WebEx, Microsoft Lync, or any other provider, we can join them to their call, no additional setup required. Our approach to the market is differentiated because of the ease of implementation of MobileDay Advantage  at an enterprise level. We are most often up and running and saving companies money within 24 hours. This is a pretty extraordinary implementation time relative to other enterprise software.

Do you have any tips or tricks for CEOs embarking on their fundraising journey?

No, there aren’t any tips or tricks. Fundraising is hard work. It’s like managing people, you’re always surprised by some of the challenges that come about as part of the process. There are no shortcuts.

As you approach your anniversary with the company, what are you most proud of?

I’m incredibly proud that we’ve taken MobileDay from a clean conference calling app to a game changer in the world of enterprise mobility. I’m proud that it retains the utmost simplicity, but solves this problem of exploding international calling costs that companies are staggering under the weight of. We’re taking this funding round to detonate into the market, and we’re going to do so quickly, so stay tuned!

Learn more about MobileDay or check out the ROI Calculator to find out how much you can save with MobileDay Advantage.

Interview with MobileDay Customer Support Specialist

Interview with MobileDay Customer Support Specialist

mug-zach-cool

“Customer Support Specialist” is an extremely important role in a business. Believe it or not, things don’t always go according to plan working at a tech startup, and we need to have a plan in place to fix them if they don’t. In order to maintain our business, it is critical to retain customers. In a competitive marketplace, a strong customer support team, and a great Customer Support Specialist could be the deciding factor to signing a deal. But gaining and retaining clients isn’t the only reason why customer support teams are important. Better customer support means an overall better user experience, and that’s what we’re all about here. We want your experience with MobileDay to be as simple and enjoyable as possible. We sat down with our Customer Support Specialist, Zach, and asked him a couple questions about how MobileDay’s support team handles unexpected issues:

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I really enjoy discovering the underlying product issues received from customer feedback and using the knowledge we gain to drive business decisions and feed our product pipeline. Even better is when I successfully help a customer and they later turn into one of our paid Advantage Customers.

What has changed since MobileDay started offering service is 14 additional countries?

Handling support has become more challenging because dialing in international countries can be more complex than in the US. Our call logic is pretty amazing, but when a country can have anywhere from 4-14 digits for a dial-in number there’s a lot of room for error. Keeping track of which countries have rules can certainly be tough! Of course being a 24/7 operation means we’re on call a lot more often.

What is your average customer ticket response time?

Right now our average customer ticket response time is 6 hours. This average takes into account normal work hours when our response time ranges from 1 minute to an hour, but also takes into account nights and weekends when response times are slower. We use a support help desk tool called ‘FreshDesk‘ that allows us to prioritize and manage support tickets in a very efficient and simple manner, and implementing this tool has dramatically increased response times and has improved the organization of our help desk.

How do you make sure you know about issues?

Our dedicated support email system gives us real-time feedback from customers as they interact with MobileDay’s features. Additionally, we proactively seek out feedback from customers based on device, usage pattern, or longevity with their MobileDay account. Sometimes this feedback comes to us in the form of short surveys, while other times it is a more personal interaction based on issue(s) they’ve had in the past. FreshDesk allows us to track and specify a variety of metrics that we use to quantify how often we see any issue and how impactful an issue may be. Based on those defined metrics, we can use our results to drive smart business decisions for MobileDay. Having a deep understanding of the application itself, speaking to our customers regularly, and working closely with our software development team are the tools we use to close the loop on our development process.

We also actively monitor our social media accounts so that we don’t miss a single mention – people reach out with issues on Twitter frequently! We also monitor reviews and comments that are made on Google Play store as well as the Apple App Store.

What do you do if you can’t solve their problem right away, it’s very technical and a weekend?

MobileDay is a highly trusted business app and we understand that business is a 24/7 job.  We respond based on strict prioritization; our Advantage Customers get their questions answered first. During off hours (like the weekend) when critical issues come through our help desk, we use a tool called ‘Victor Ops‘ in unison with FreshDesk. A support agent is alerted right away when these critical issues arise. If the issue is something that is very technical and can’t be immediately resolved, we team up with a member of our development or IT team; once engaged, they stick with us until the issue is resolved.

What is the most challenging aspect of customer support?

When a customer reports an issue or requests a feature that can’t be solved immediately. Often it is in our development roadmap, but I have to tell the customer that we do not have an immediate solution.

Contact us or click here to learn more about MobileDay Advantage

Startup Summer with Howard Diamond

Startup Summer

Startup summer

Popularity surrounding startup companies and culture is at an all-time high.  There’s a hit HBO TV show called Silicon Valley, and a clothing line at Banana Republic called “The Startup Guy .” And now, there’s Startup Summer!

Startup Summer is an internship program for college students looking to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. In addition to top-notch financial, technical, and managerial expertise from some of the entrepreneurs in the startup community, the program offers immediate exposure to startup culture. The everyday interactions with these CEO’s who know what it takes to make it are what make this experience so unique. They provide students with the necessary tools and advisement in order to build their own startup.

In addition to the one-on-one interactions students get with the head honcho’s, they also attend a series of startup seminars. As a sponsor of Startup Summer, MobileDay hosted an event Monday evening where students came to listen and learn from our CEO Howard Diamond. We were impressed by the questions the attendees asked, and the active participation.

Check out the blog written by the Startup Summer participants.

How to Make a Reliable App

reliable app

 Making a Reliable App

What’s one of the most important qualifications for a reliable app? Stability. Nobody wants to deal with a buggy app that causes a frustration overload. A mobile application with poor stability quickly leads to abandonment. According to research from TechCrunch, mobile application crashes and freezes are the leading types of problems encountered by users who experienced a problem with their mobile app.

Plan for all Possible Outcomes

In reality, there are so many factors that go into developing a mobile app, that it is hard to plan for all possible outcomes. Our friends at Pronq by HP outline a few popular approaches to avoid development crashes, such as surrounding your code with a Try/Catch Block, and implementing an exception handling strategy. Both methods possess potential temporary solutions but fail to eliminate the exception on a long-term basis. Bottom line: neither approach can ensure 100% coverage, so the work does not stop there.

There are several digital libraries for reporting application crashes. Application Crash Report for Android (ACRA) is a popular crash report library among Android users.  It allows the application to catch and report an error and its details moments before the application crashes, even if a user doesn’t proactively report the error. While ACRA is an effective tool, it contains potential drawbacks and considerations.

HP AppPulse Mobile is another tool that provides application crash tracking. AppPulse Mobile reports a crash and directly correlate the crash to the root cause user action.

At MobileDay we use Crittercism for app performance monitoring. The tool performs root cause analysis of problems, and prioritizes business critical issues. It is absolutely essential for our app to perform reliably, and without this tool we wouldn’t get a real-time view of app diagnostics and crashes. We’re able to act quickly and prevent issues from arising rather than reacting quickly when they do arise!

Other Reliable App Strategies

We know that practice makes perfect. We’re constantly improving, undergoing application-testing every day to make sure our users’ work lives run smoother. MobileDay offers consistent application functionality, optimal security protection, and lightning fast customer response times so we can make our user experience as ideal as possible.

Our testing procedures to ensure stability are extensive. Every employee in our company is involved with testing the application – we go through training to learn how to effectively test and how to report problems with our conference calling app. One favorite test is adding an email account to the phone and syncing 4,000 contacts with meetings every few minutes – we use this test to find out how the app acts when the phone is bogged down with tons of information, simulating a busy business professional’s experience. If the app is anything but flawless, it’s reported and addressed right away.

Simple Conferencing

One touch conference calling

Stability is an essential component of an effective app. No matter how awesome the app features are, if it experiences frequent crashes or slows down with too much information, it cannot possibly be relied upon. MobileDay works hard to make sure that our users can steadfastly depend on dialing into their conference calls with one touch, because otherwise they’d have to *shudder* dial all the numbers themselves (now that would just be silly)!

 

Deploying Simple Enterprise Apps

Standing-Desk-01

The terms “Simple” and “Enterprise” are rarely spoken in the same breath, but at MobileDay we’ve learned how to bridge the gaps with our simple enterprise apps and infrastructure. We know first-hand that many enterprise apps can be a headache for users and even worse for IT, so from the beginning we set our sights on building simple enterprise apps that are easy on the end user, trivial for our customers’ IT departments to manage, and cost effective for us to maintain while making changes rapidly.

It’s not always easy being free

At the core of MobileDay’s app strategy is that it’s a free app available for iOS and Android. It syncs with the phone’s existing calendar, and enables the user to start dialing into conference calls within seconds. With no purchase required, no separate enterprise version, no registration process or complex configurations, the simplicity of MobileDay probably seems straightforward, but in reality it has taken us a lot of work to accomplish this. In addition to the free app, we have created MobileDay Advantage, an enhanced version that unlocks Dynamic Dialing seamlessly for everyone in an organization.

To make this possible, it’s necessary to build intelligence into the cloud. We host everything with top-tier vendors like Amazon, MongoLab, and Redis Labs so that our infrastructure “just works” and we can focus on building features and deploying them quickly on a daily or weekly basis. We’re obsessed with data so that we learn quickly and accurately from our mistakes as well as successes, capturing real-time app metrics with Localytics and Crittercism, and monitoring our cloud with New Relic, Pingdom, and JumpCloud. Dialing rules are pushed on the fly so that customers can take advantage of them without requiring an app update.

Being able to iterate quickly also enables quick reactions to customer and user feedback. We have a close-knit agile scrum team operating strict two week sprints with the option of multiple cloud and app deployments limited only by the Apple review cycle on the iOS side (typically around a week), and this means that an idea we get on a Wednesday can be planned that Friday, built the following week, tested, submitted, and released the week after. Doing this for a mobile app is great, but doing it for a widely deployed enterprise app is even better and is a welcome (if sometimes surprising!) relief to our customers who’re used to cumbersome processes and lengthy turnaround times for the features from their typical “enterprise” apps and vendors.

Security & Privacy, our two best friends

Finally, security and privacy are both crucial for an enterprise app that both the user and IT can trust. Plenty of apps start out scraping and syncing every piece of data they can get their hands on and either bury it in legalese or then scale back with tricky configuration options in response to bad press. We took the opposite approach,  taking a hard look at how much work we could accomplish on the device, the bare minimum data we could sync to our cloud to achieve the functionality we need, and then constantly refine and limit it further as our features evolve. We only send very basic dial-in number and aggregate usage metadata to our cloud to enable syncing the proper dialing configuration to a device and all the in-depth parsing of calendar events and contacts, use of location information, and any information about the actual calls made by a user remain securely in memory, in the app, on the device. This usually requires more work  to build, but we know how critical  it is to our customers.

Internal security is another top priority when developing an enterprise-ready app.  We may do many things like a startup, but we put the jokes aside when it comes to privacy and customer data. We use strong two-factor authentication for all systems that touch customer information, perform regular audits and security scans of both our mobile apps and cloud. We run a very closed-loop DevOps program where the same engineers who build and test code also deploy it to production, maintain it, support it, participate in our on-call rotation, and see any issues through to resolution and future process improvement. For us DevOps is total synergy of development and operations under one team with the exact same priorities and ownership of the outcome.

We’ve done something pretty special by making simple apps with enterprise clout that users actually WANT to use and IT departments actually WANT to deploy. We’re constantly learning and if you’re a MobileDay user we’d love to hear what you think!

Three Tools to Decrease Customer Response Times

Customer response time is one of the most underestimated strategies to grow your tech business to the next level.  When customers only have to put forth a minuscule amount of effort to talk to a support team, their loyalty increases and impression of the company improves drastically.  Whether the interaction is one on social media or an inquiry that takes some concentration to deal with, it is important to maintain a response that will meet or, preferably, exceed expectations of the customer.

Adam Toporek, author of Customers That Stick, found that 96% of customers who reported a high effort customer service experience were disloyal to the company in the future, and that 2/3 said they will not spend money with companies that require a high amount of effort to reach.  Accoring to the article “Consumers rarely get the two-way dialog with brands they want on social media” in TechJournal, studies from the Lithium Network Conference found that Leading-edge technology and a mature, strategic approach to measurement can help companies realize the full potential of responding and interacting with customers. 

There are a variety of tools businesses can use to organize and execute their specific response time goals. MobileDay’s use of VictorOps, FreshDesk, and Pivotal Tracker enable us to be as efficient as possible.

 

Freshdesk

FreshDesk helps organize and prioritize email inquiries from customers and creates the ability to forward certain emails to certain employees, as well as canned responses to respond quickly to common questions.

 

victorops

VictorOps has given MobileDay the ability to page specific employees based on the knowledge and expertise needed to answer a customer.  With certain tools and an emphasis on getting back to customers, MobileDay has achieved an average response time of 3.5 hours and that increases with paying customers, executives, and social media responses.

 

PivotalTracker provides a way for MobileDay to implement agile methods to craft the roadmap of the product.  We have several touch points with the customer including: Facebook, independent blogs, Twitter, Google Play Store reviews, Apple App store reviews, and customer support tickets. Different people handle these touch points, and Pivotal Tracker is the centralized location for us to submit requests internally. These requests are then received by the engineering team, and the priorities are laid out. This creates an organized system of internal communication that ensures delivery of the most desired features for our customers.

 

The use of these tools is critical to MobileDay’s short response time. We work hard to make sure all of our team members are fluent in the tools, and that they use them consistently.  Prioritizing inquiries, the right person being notified of a problem, and seamless internal communication are our keys to success.

MobileDay Advantage ensures that our clients have a Dedicated Success Team that is available 24/7. This requires us to have systems and procedures in place to make sure that if something comes up, not only will somebody be there to react, but it will be a person who has the skills to address the issue immediately.

Download MobileDay for iPhone or Android, or contact sales for more information on MobileDay Advantage

 

Google I/O Boulder

google i:o

Google held it’s annual developers conference, Google I/O, this week in San Francisco. There was a lot of great information and features announced and uncovered over the course of the two days of sessions. I was not lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend the conference so no I am not typing this while wearing Google Cardboard to alter my reality. I did however get to attend the Google I/O Extended at the local Boulder, CO offices. Many thanks to those individuals for the invite and putting on a great event.

The overall takeaway that I had from the event is that the future as Google sees it is your information displayed on the most convenient device for the moment. Whether that is the way we all use our phones every day, quick notifications on a wearable device like a watch, a more holistic TV experience or in our cars while we are in transit, having access to our data is supremely important to the Android platform going forward.

I am really excited to start playing with the SDK for Android Wear. If you’re not familiar with the MobileDay application, our primary goal is to get you in your meetings as quickly as possible. Our idea is that we’ll be able to alert you to an upcoming meeting. You’ll easily launch your call or online meeting without taking your phone out of your pocket. This is the next step in making conference calls easier, and I know that our customers are going to love it.

As far as the impact on development goes, it’s going to be minimal. We already use notifications to keep you abreast of upcoming appointments, now it’s just a matter of making sure those standard notifications will still look good on your watch. There will be the potential challenges of having to design for both a square and a circle form factor, but in the end it should be very easy for us to present our users their events in time for them to join their calls. From there we can grow our integration into giving the users the ability to scroll forward to future events as well as to take advantage of our Quick Call functionality – host immediate conferences between multiple people, organized by text and in only a few quick clicks. Plus, for those of us who will be late to our own funerals, the ability to tap one button on our watch to let everyone know we’ll be a few minutes late to our daily standup will be a great timesaver.

Believe me when I tell you that MobileDay is not going to stop at Android Wear. Android Auto and possibly even Android TV will hold new features and functionality for us to grow our app in the future. But in the short term I can’t wait to get a watch to play with.

Download MobileDay from the Google Play Store.