Deploying Simple Enterprise Apps

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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

 

10 Tips for Hosting a Productive Conference Call

conference_call_We’ve all had dreadful conference calls. You know the kind – the ones that drag on forever without accomplishing much at all, the ones where you get static, echoes and the sound of someone eating their lunch, the ones that get dominated by one speaker. Now that joining conference calls and online meetings from your mobile phone is easier than ever before, here are 10 tips on making them more productive.

1. Share the agenda with all participants

Would you call a meeting if you didn’t have an agenda? No! Why waste the time? Send the agenda early on so the participants will have time to prepare before the call. You will get more done when everyone is prepared. Agendas will also keep participants focused and allow for easy transitions.

2. Start on time

Waiting for everyone irritates those who were on time and rewards the laggards. Instead, reward those who were on time by starting the call when it was scheduled.

3. Have everyone introduce themselves

As a way of easing into the discussion, have everyone say their name, role and location. Participants will feel more comfortable when they know whom they’re addressing.

4. Gently remind everyone to mute their phone when not speaking

Odds are someone will be dialing in via their mobile phone, on speakerphone, or both! Eliminate the sounds of static, echoes and background noise by having everyone mute their lines. Remind landline callers not to place the call on hold and remind everyone to unmute themselves before speaking. Become familiar with how to mute with your conference call setup.

5. Address everyone by their name and role or location

If participants are unfamiliar with each other, refer to everyone by their name and location, i.e. “How do you see this, Nancy in New York?” This way everyone knows who’s talking and gives perspective to their comments.

6. If the call is scheduled for over an hour plan for breaks

Participants will need time to freshen up – get some water or coffee, use the restroom. Scheduling these breaks avoids a disruption during an important discussion.

7. Keep notes on who is and isn’t contributing

Encourage everyone to contribute. Quiet participants may need some persuading.

8. Summarize and review actions

At the end of the meeting, summarize the findings and ask each participant to go over their action items. This will bring everyone to the same page and let everyone know what to expect from each other.

9. Share meeting notes with all participants

Make sure everyone receives a summary of the meeting including the list of attendees, what was discussed, a brief summary and action steps. This will help everyone reference the meeting and keep track of their action items.

10. Dial into your conference with MobileDay

Don’t get worked up before the meeting digging around your email looking for the dial-in info and then trying to dial all those codes! Let MobileDay dial you in with just one touch and make it simple to set up conference calls! MobileDay is a free conference calling app for iPhone and Android.  http://mobileday.com for more info.

Thanks for reading. Have you got more great conference call tips?  Please leave a comment and add to the discussion.

Setup: Get One-Touch dialing into your existing conference call account

Hey there MobileDay users.  Having just recently made our first version of the app available, we appreciate all of your feedback and love your ideas.  Please keep them coming!

And please don’t forget to enter your current audio conferencing account information to be used in your new MobileDay application for iPhone or Android.  By entering this information one time into MobileDay, you can:

a.) Have free One-Touch entry into any of your calls while using your existing conferencing account.  Yeah!

b.) Schedule new conference calls without ever having to type your account information again. It’s already there when you create a new event. How liberating!

Here’s how to add your existing conference call account information.

iPhone: From the main menu screen:

  1. Click ‘Settings”
  2. Click “Conference Setup”
  3. Click “New”
  4. Enter your conference account details from any conference service by completing the fields that pertain to your account
    • Tip: you can add a name for your account to identify it in case of multiple conferencing accounts. For example “Sales Meetings Bridge” or “Internal Conference” or Kim’s Account”
  5. Click “Save”

Now test your entry by clicking on the newly created account and click the “Test Call” button. Assuming you are successful with the test, no more entry will be required. If you find you are having trouble, no worries.  Simply click “Send Feedback”  on the same screen and we will work swiftly to help get your account up and running.  Just provide us the dial in # in your message to us and we will get right on it!  When we have verified that things work as expected we will let you know.

Android: From the main menu screen:
  1. Click ‘Settings”
  2. Click ” Add New”
  3. Enter your conference account details from any conference service by completing the fields that pertain to your account
    • Tip: you can add a name for your account to identify it in case of multiple conferencing accounts. For example “Sales Meetings Bridge” or “Internal Conference” or Kim’s Account”
  4. Click “Save”
Now test your entry by clicking on the newly created account and click the “Test dial” button.  Assuming you are successful with the test, no more entry will be required. If you find you are having trouble, no worries.  From the main menu simply click “Help”  and then “Tell Us” and we will work swiftly to help get your account up and running.  Just provide us the dial in # in your message to us and we will get right on it!  When we have verified that things work as expected we will let you know.

Thanks again for choosing MobileDay and be sure to make it a good one!