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Thread: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Griffin View Post
    So in My opinion (for what it is worth) open your mind to some NEW possibilities and NEW revenue streams. Maybe, just maybe it might work for you.
    Please enlighten us, because we are in the dark here.
    Frankly I do not see any if my current clients wanting to use smart phones, tablets or the like, to do their daily work. They are already mobile, they can access their application anytime from anywhere with a laptop. I will not try to sell dress shoes to Eskimos; trying to convince then that it's good for them
    1) is an insult to their intelligence
    2) They will, and rightfully so, think that I am taking them for idiots.
    and that, no matter how much I distort my mind.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Gaby... your new clients might want to. It's possible that your current clients are in a business where mobile phone and tablet touch apps are not needed... and why spend money on something that won't further their business.

    But... I remember people saying the same things in a discussion of the first mouse and the first GUI interface.

    Just because you can't use it today doesn't mean that a change in your client's business won't require it tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Griffin View Post
    So in My opinion (for what it is worth) open your mind to some NEW possibilities and NEW revenue streams. Maybe, just maybe it might work for you.
    I agree, This discussion reminds me of when people said that "this new fang-dangled Windows with the mouse thingy is pointless, inefficient and it will never catch on....."
    Hmm
    It will be horses for courses. Mobile will evolve and get better and in the Accounting departments and the likes the desktop will live on... as has various DOS and Green screen apps.

    B

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidk View Post
    Gaby... your new clients might want to. It's possible that your current clients are in a business where mobile phone and tablet touch apps are not needed... and why spend money on something that won't further their business.

    But... I remember people saying the same things in a discussion of the first mouse and the first GUI interface.

    Just because you can't use it today doesn't mean that a change in your client's business won't require it tomorrow.
    Heh heh, just posted the same sentiment (about the mouse) :)
    Last edited by kiwibruce; 07-15-2013 at 12:42 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    David
    Some of my users need 2 screens to do their work. 1 for the Alpha App with multiple grids and tabs open, the other to open 4 to 5 windows to check prices, availability, etc... before making a sale and creating an invoice in A5. Others need 2 phones to do their work, others print a lot of reports, do heavy data entry and editing, and record searching. All of this has to be done from a desk either at the office or at the users/agent's home while his prospective buyer is on the phone. It cannot be done from any mobile device standing at a street corner.
    Forcing them to use any mobile device is like forcing them to move to a new offices that 1/3 the size just because the view is nice. It's dumb.
    Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by gaby_h View Post
    David
    Some of my users need 2 screens to do their work. 1 for the Alpha App with multiple grids and tabs open, the other to open 4 to 5 windows to check prices, availability, etc... before making a sale and creating an invoice in A5. Others need 2 phones to do their work, others print a lot of reports, do heavy data entry and editing, and record searching. All of this has to be done from a desk either at the office or at the users/agent's home while his prospective buyer is on the phone. It cannot be done from any mobile device standing at a street corner.
    Forcing them to use any mobile device is like forcing them to move to a new offices that 1/3 the size just because the view is nice. It's dumb.
    Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow.
    Gaby, I think you are really looking at this as a black and white issue and a one OR the other I see it as Desktop AND Web AND Mobile .

    I don't think anyone is telling you you have to force people into mobile... But Mobile will become more impotent and with people on the road and with BYOD on the rise, we as developers need to be able to meet the changing world. I see that Alpha is offering us the tools to be ready... not forcing anyone to change.

    Like you, I have clients that have desktop apps that would not translate into a phone interface, I certainly have no intention of suggesting that they change. BUT... I do have other clients that say they would like a mobile app that will complement our desktop app. Or want a Web/Mobile customer portal etc. to part of their information... that is where I Alpha being able to address this new requirement.. 40% of enquirers I have had in the last 12 months have been people wanting web and 20% wanting tablet based solution to solve a particular (Building inspections, Factory Floor QC, Sales Reps, In-class assessments) So if you think about it in the last 12 months only 40% of enquirers have been for desktop, we will see what the percentage is in the next 12 months.

    If you look at the enquirers about mobile (Building inspections, Factory Floor QC, Sales Reps, In-class assessments) they are in the most part where now the technology is now possible they want to convert paper data collection to tablet data collection. so...I don't see it is not a case of forcing a desktop user into a mobile interface at all.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Our company's web app is extensive in data, searchability, metrics, application settings, etc. Our case managers absolutely cannot do their job on a smartphone. However, it took me less than a week in v11 (and presumably v12 is easier/better) to build a simple mobile-friendly version based on web app grids that I stripped down to the basics and dialog components already used by those web app grids. I gave basic access to only the things they'd want to access quickly, and added some things that didn't make sense on the full web app to start with (e.g. contact list with active phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses with urls to Google maps for directions on their smartphones; and a summary view of a single selected client for use on contact visits with that single client). And they have to take extensive notes on their contacts, so some are using built-in smartphone voice-to-text apps to speak their notes in rather than have to type them.

    Our company had purchased aircards for their laptops but chose not purchase smartphones, so the mobile version is only available to those employees who have personal smartphones (a simple search for smartphone usage statistics and for "bring your own device" will prove this is a growing trend as well). Even though our case managers had long had mobile access to the full web app via laptops and aircards, when our mobile version had a bug a couple of months ago, I heard a lot of people expressing how much they'd come to rely on it when they were out of the office making contacts.

    To add clarification, I have no intentions of purchasing v12 because I'm only building this one app at the moment and it doesn't require a native feel etc. because it's an internal-facing application and further spiffy-ness won't garner any new clients. I'm not arguing for v12. Furthermore, I'm also not trying to suggest that a mobile app makes sense for every company. It doesn't. I'm arguing that you can't make some of the blanket statements about mobile apps being made in this thread.

    My experience counters:
    - suggestions that a mobile device can't replace a web app (no one's arguing that in the first place)
    - suggestions that the time and cost to the client will be huge (a mobile app, whether private-facing or public-facing, is by definition going to be far simpler than a full web app, so even in v11 it took me less than a week for our mobile version)
    - suggestions that it's crazy because companies don't want to pay for smartphones (smartphones are growing in popularity and bring your own device to work is a growing business practice)
    - suggestions that mobile access on a laptop is just as convenient as a mobile device (simply, it's not when you're in your car just needing directions or to place a call to a key contact)
    - suggestions that web apps can already do everything you'd want a mobile app to do (things like voice-to-text and driving directions from a user's current location to a data-based address just aren't readily available on PCs)

    So for goodness sakes, stop spending so much time and effort trying to bring down the mobile app. If you don't want to build one, just don't build one. Laugh quietly at the rest of us wasting our time and effort.

    I've said my peace and counted to three.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by christappan View Post
    So for goodness sakes, stop spending so much time and effort trying to bring down the mobile app. If you don't want to build one, just don't build one. Laugh quietly at the rest of us wasting our time and effort.

    I've said my peace and counted to three.
    Oh boy! I second that!

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by gaby_h View Post
    Please enlighten us, because we are in the dark here.
    Frankly I do not see any if my current clients wanting to use smart phones, tablets or the like, to do their daily work. They are already mobile, they can access their application anytime from anywhere with a laptop. I will not try to sell dress shoes to Eskimos; trying to convince then that it's good for them
    1) is an insult to their intelligence
    2) They will, and rightfully so, think that I am taking them for idiots.
    and that, no matter how much I distort my mind.
    Perhaps you missed the point of what I was saying. If your customer does not know that you can deliver them things via Smartphone or tablet, they may not ask for them. I am not asking you or anyone to sell your customer what they don't need. You know your customer best. Are you telling me it would not be more convenient to deliver an outside sales force customer info via a smartphone instead of a laptop? Or doing inventory cycle counts in a warehouse via a tablet? or picking when picking orders in a warehouse? I guess thousands of companies doing these things have fallen for the "hype". If you and your customers have everything they need, that is great. It has been my experience that once you open up the possibilities the customer will bring the ideas to you. But if they don't know it can be done, that will never happen.

    Going back to your "I would not try to sell dress shoes to Eskimos" comment. If one day the eskimo's daughter was getting married and him and 100 of his closest friends needed dress shoes, they would go somewhere else to buy them because they did not know that you could supply them.

    In my experience, most developers are not salesman (some are but most are not, certainly not me) My customers have always driven my business. I just let them know what the possibilities are.

    And if Eskimos want dress shoes, I can supply them because I let them know that was a possibility :)
    Last edited by Bill Griffin; 07-15-2013 at 07:59 AM.
    Bill Griffin
    Parkell, Inc

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    I understand the argument that both sides are making. On one hand, Gaby_h asks to be enlightened and the response is for him to tell his customers that he can now write mobile apps for them. So, Gaby_h contacts customer A and says, "Hey, I can write a mobile sales app for you for you so when your sales staff calls on your customers, they can send the order in right from the field." The response gaby_h gets is, "well sir, you are a day late and a dollar short. We've been using hand held computers for the last 10 years or so. We don't need a mobile phone for that." Not being one to give up, gaby_h says, "well I can write a web application for you so you customers can place an order." "Sorry", company A says, we don't need a web site for that. If our customer needs something that is not ordered when our sales rep calls upon them, they simply pick up the phone, dial a toll free number and place the order."

    The fact is simply this. Yes, it's great that Alpha can offer this feature but the costs are prohibitive. Alpha is not entering a new market but rather an existing market and there are long established programers writing and selling long established apps. Now, is what I've said being critical of Alpha? No, it's not! Some of you are rolling in the dough and all gaby_h asked was for some enlightenment of your success. Instead, he got an unintended sales pitch for Alpha. Sorry guys, I've sat in those types of meetings numerous time. Ya go away all pumped up and when my feet hit the bricks, reality sets in. A day late, a dollar short and 2 more bills to pay. Did I mention a $999 investment? Maybe you folks who are so successful at this new venture might want to tell us what types of mobile apps you've sold, its purpose etc. I think gaby_h would like some words of enlightenment. I could use a few as well.
    TYVM :) kenn

    Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Ken,

    I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. My approach changed years ago when I "assumed" that something that I had to sell was to expensive for my customer. This assumption was based on the fact that the customer was very cost conscious and would squeeze a nickel till the buffalo s***. The customer had a old text based system that they sunk hundreds of thou into over many many years (multi user unix system, dumb terminals). Well the owner one day was talking to his friend and his friend told him his system was ancient and he should upgrade to a windows based system (I found this all out too late) So unbeknownst to me they started looking for a replacement system and after 6 months time decided to go with a windows based package that had to heavily customized to get what they use to have on there old Unix system. They ended up paying over a half a million dollars in HW and software and it took them 2 years to get going. BUT by the time I was told, it was too late for me. They had NO idea that I could convert their custom system to a windows based system for a fraction of what they had spent. Lesson learned. From that point forward I have held monthly meetings with my customers and let them know of the possibilities of what is available from me. I am not a salesman and did not try to shove anything down anyone's throat. My business has always been providing custom software solutions to people, not selling apps or packaged software. I have been fortunate to be involved with some very successful companies and have been paid well for what I do. The cost of any development tools that I have ever used was always passed onto the customer. I am in a different situation now, but I approach things the same way. I work full time for a manufacturing company (one of my ex customers) and have regular meetings with each department and let them know the possibilities that we have.

    Alpha now plays a small part (comparatively speaking) to the software solutions I have in place where I work. It is just another tool in my belt that I use. Sometimes it is easier, and more cost efficient other times not.

    Everyone has different types of clients, and different costs. Alpha may not be the right solution for you to make a buck. If not, it would be foolish to tell you it was, I don't know your circumstances, so I am not trying to preach to you or anyone else. I just know what has worked for me and I also know that letting your customers know the possibilities of what you can do can never be a bad thing. But if they don't know, you may be left behind.

    PS not an argument, a discussion :)
    Last edited by Bill Griffin; 07-15-2013 at 10:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Hi Bill,

    Your explanation is good to know. It helps me understand where you are coming from and why you say the things you say in the manner of which they are said. I can also see how you thought that I thought you were trying to sell Alpha. My mistake for putting it that way.

    Thank you for sharing.
    TYVM :) kenn

    Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    It's all good. We all learn from each other, and one's experiences are certainly a great way to learn. maybe it will help someone, maybe not.
    Bill Griffin
    Parkell, Inc

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Thought I'd reiterate my thoughts weren't a sales pitch on behalf of Alpha either:
    To add clarification, I have no intentions of purchasing v12... I'm not arguing for v12.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by gaby_h View Post
    David
    Some of my users need 2 screens to do their work. 1 for the Alpha App with multiple grids and tabs open, the other to open 4 to 5 windows to check prices, availability, etc... before making a sale and creating an invoice in A5. Others need 2 phones to do their work, others print a lot of reports, do heavy data entry and editing, and record searching. All of this has to be done from a desk either at the office or at the users/agent's home while his prospective buyer is on the phone. It cannot be done from any mobile device standing at a street corner.
    Forcing them to use any mobile device is like forcing them to move to a new offices that 1/3 the size just because the view is nice. It's dumb.
    Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow.
    I guess it would be "dumb" if you tried to force them... cause they can't be forced to do anything. But.. dumb doesn't enter into it... converting their entire system is simply not applicable for them. However... taking a piece of that application and letting sales check an invoice while they're out somewhere, or check the status of a sale, might... "might" be useful to them.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    I thought I was going to move to the mobile world but I do lot of inventory apps. The problems I have already seen with other inventory apps on a mobile device is that unless the screen is at least 14" to 15" the user has to move the screen around for every line item or they cant see everything. This has really annoyed many users I've talked with that tried an iPhone or tablet. People think they can use a web app like an inventory app on a phone are getting a rude awakening. Everyone I've talked with complains about the screen being unreadable and unusable. Web apps can function fine but the end user better have a large enough screen or they will end up dumping the app.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by christappan View Post
    So for goodness sakes, stop spending so much time and effort trying to bring down the mobile app. If you don't want to build one, just don't build one. Laugh quietly at the rest of us wasting our time and effort.
    I think that it is just good that somebody has different opinion. It just makes you think. World is full of yes yes men anyway. Different opinion is a pearl.

    This continues talk about mobile has made me think little more the hole browser applications. Lately I have spent quit a lot of time with responsive layouts but now I am interested moving (totally) to the mobile layouts.

    Today I was talking with my client about how to use web (criticizing google praising duckduckgo). He told that he uses almost just smartphone to access web. World is about to change.

    (But not trying here to sell Alpha. As long as a server deploy license is needed I will certainly not upgrade).

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    I'm all for web development but I'm not sold on mobile. I have tried a few of our apps for inventory on a smart phone. Too small, cant efficiently access the fields with my fat fingers, have to swipe the screen back and forth to enter each count or item just to see the information I need to see. An iPad possible but it took much more effort to use the app on a tablet than a laptop. If you develop simple apps that require little input or the user does not need to see much data at a time then mobile should be the way to go. But for most business apps the phone is just to small. Heck, I have trouble doing banking on a smart phone over the web. Its just to small and I spend a lot of time making each page larger and moving the screen around to see what I need. I know of a few people who used their phone to access a web app to order something. When the order came they found out that they did not see everything on the screen and the order was not right. Each and every one of them now uses a laptop or desktop to place the order where they can see everything and not make mistakes.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by kkfin View Post
    Today I was talking with my client about how to use web (criticizing google praising duckduckgo). He told that he uses almost just smartphone to access web. World is about to change.
    Cool, but what you have is a customer who likes to scroll back and forth, up an down, etc. Your customer is in a VERY SMALL MINORITY. To each his own but to say the smart phone is used to almost exclusively access the web........................

    Fred, AMEN!!!!
    TYVM :) kenn

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    Quote Originally Posted by forskare View Post
    Cool, but what you have is a customer who likes to scroll back and forth, up an down, etc.
    I think the hole idea in mobile browsers is that you can scroll back and forth. Because screen is small why not take advantage of the larger workspace.

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    Default Re: Is the mobile design anywhere near efficient?

    I'm the "new guy", but I can tell you that one of my clients has an extensive application built on ms access FE with a SQL database. The desktop runs everything from accounting to service dispatch, scheduling, on and on. The sales people were using laptops and connecting via RDP. I was able to take the quote module and replicate it using A5v11. Now they can do quotes on the iPad, and they love it. The salespeople can put together a quote, with line items, discounts, special offers etc. Print to PDF on the ipad and have the customer sign it. No need to develop a full-blown system in A5, but little things like a quote module can make your client really happy and willing to part with the money :)

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