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Mobile Payments Get Currency

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 15:55

The FTC is looking at mobile payments this Thursday, an event that caps several weeks of intense attention to this innovative new technology by policymakers. In March the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee held hearings. And the Internet Caucus held a Congressional briefing, which I chaired.

Several years ago a study by ITIF highlighted mobile paymentís opportunities for efficiencies, growth and innovation. It wondered why it hadnít taken off in the US, the way it had in other jurisdictions such as Japan and Korea. Since then Square, Intuit, Google, ISIS, PayPal have all ramped up their efforts to bring the new service to consumers and retailers in an attractive easy to use package. The majority of Americans will be embracing mobile payments by 2020, a Pew Internet study found last week.

The benefits are enormous. Mobile payment technology means faster checkout, more through put for merchants, the opportunity to send and receive offers and promotions, greater security, and a platform for new innovative services that havenít been created yet.

It is worth pausing on the benefits of increased security. Unlike traditional magnetic stripe payment card transactions, mobile payments use a different security code for each transaction. Even if the transaction data is compromised, it cannot be used to make a counterfeit card that would work at the point of sale. This takes the merchant system out of harmís way and reduces risk to cardholders. Mobile payments implemented on a smartphone can also be protected by a password or PIN number, adding barriers to illicit use of a lost or stolen phone. If asked to choose based on security, shoppers would be smart to use mobile payments over traditional cards.

Some have suggested that mobile payments create increased privacy risks because new information would be available to new players. But these risks are speculative and are being addressed in advance by market players who design their systems to be privacy-protective. They know that the market will only work on the basis of trust, careful handling of personal information, and a compelling user experience.

Mobile payment providers collect location information from their users, but only with affirmative consent. Product specific information isnít collected at all and so cannot be added to a consumer profile to target ads. Cell phone and email information are available to mobile payment service providers at the time of sign up, but are not transferred to third parties such as retailers. Mobile payment services are savvy enough to avoid the mistake of allowing secret, undesirable acquisition of contact information by third parties. Under the Google Wallet rules, for example, contact information could not be disclosed to a retailer for marketing or advertising purposes without affirmative consent.

The privacy default for mobile payments is that consent is needed for any sharing of consumersí personal information for marketing purposes. Industry participants have set up their systems with this requirement for consent as the default. This privacy-by-default approach renders concerns about privacy violations more theoretical than real. Mobile payment users can feel confident that they can enjoy the conveniences and added security and usefulness of mobile payments without worrying about privacy violations.

Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIAís public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology.

SIIA All About the Cloud Video Preview

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 16:35

Check out this video preview of what’s to come at SIIA’s All About the Cloud 2012.

Katie CarlsonKatie Carlson is Program Manager for the SIIA Software Division.

All About Mobile Goes Hybrid

Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:05

All About Mobile Goes Hybrid – Check out this video promotion featuring Rhianna Collier, Vice President of the Software Division at SIIA as she discusses the two ways to hear from our amazing line up of speakers. Taking place in San Francisco, CA November 15, 2011 click here to learn more about the conference and learn how we are accommodating the mobile workforce.

Trends of 2012: An Interview with SIIA

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:46

Rhianna Collier, Vice President of the Software Division at SIIA, catches up with Matt Childs of DreamSimplicity in this video interview at Dreamforce 2011. Many of the customer trends discussed by SIIA’s members at Dreamforce will be broadcasted and examined at SIIA’s All About Mobile conference taking place in San Francsico, CA November 15, 2011. Click here to learn more about the conference.

The Cloud Channel Summit: Examining the Evolving Role of the Channel in the Cloud

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 18:38

SIIA is pleased to support the Cloud Channel Summit, which will bring together industry leaders to examine the emerging channel opportunities in the Cloud Computing market. Taking place Monday, November 7th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, the Summit will provide a forum for senior executives from leading Cloud vendors and channel companies to define the role of the channel in the Cloud and create best practices for forging successful partnerships for both Cloud vendors and their channel counterparts.

Host Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies and founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace, will steer the Cloud Channel Summit to enable Cloud vendors to increase awareness about their channel programs. Participating industry visionaries include:

Plus, SIIA’s VP of Software, Rhianna Collier, will moderate a panel on “Real-World Cloud Success Stories.” The SIIA community can save 10% when it registers for this event with the special discount code SIIA117. And remember, don’t miss SIIA’s All About Mobile event November 15th in San Francisco, CA, where we’ll take the next great leap in the evolution of software and services by helping providers better understand how they can more effectively deliver business cloud services and enterprise mobile applications.

The enterprise goes mobile: An interview with SIIA

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 19:44

Rhianna Collier, VP of the Software Division at SIIA, is featured in this blog post about how mobile applications are reshaping the way companies do business. Many of these topics and more will be featured and discussed at the upcoming All About Mobile conference taking place in San Francisco, CA November 15, 2011.

SIIA Issue Brief: Native App or Web Site?

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 17:48

Native App or Web Site?
Deciding Your Next Step in Mobile

Authored by:
Paul Moceri, Deloitte
David Smud, Deloitte
Daniel Vitulich, Deloitte
Nolan Wright, Appcelerator

The next installment in SIIA’s Issue Brief series discusses the wide variety of options to publish a free mobile app. The following quick reference chart covers a number of factors you should consider when choosing your route.

Download the complete paper for an in-depth review of these factors, along with use cases and more!


All About the Cloud: The Music Video

Fri, 27 May 2011 01:25

Thanks to everyone for another fantastic All About the Cloud conference!

Panel discussion with application vendors at SIIA All About Mobile conference

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 22:09

By Ryan Nichols, VP Product Management, Appirio

I had the privilege of being asked to join a fantastic panel at SIIA’s “All About Mobile” conference yesterday with some leading application developers making the switch to mobile. I was joined by David Fulton of Right Now, Jason Prater of Plex Systems, and Dan Miller of INgage Networks to discuss “Transitioning Existing Solutions to Mobile Devices.”

We were moderated by Anshu Agrawal, VP Marketing at Keynote Systems, who asked us a set of questions that are top of mind for any application developer thinking about mobile apps:

Here’s a summary of our conversation:

Anshu: Tell us a little bit about your company and why mobile is important to your business?

David: RightNow Technologies is a U.S. software company that develops customer experience / customer relationship management software for enterprise organizations. It is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana.

Why mobile? Well, for RightNow, providing a mobile capability is critical for the business that we are in, where we are a technology enabler for a wide range of business to consumer interactions, and do so in volume, handling more than 8 million of those interactions a day on behalf of almost 2000 businesses and public sector organizations, most of those interactions taking place through the web. Given that most of those interactions happen through the web (through our self-service, chat, marketing and feedback products) its a no-brainer for us to deliver a mobile offering, as the migration of consumer traffic to mobile browsers would be quickly impacting our business.

Ryan: Appirio is what you might call a cloud solution provider — we offer products and services that help enterprises get out of the business of managing data centers and move to cloud applications and platforms like Salesforce, Google, Workday, and Amazon, who are our core strategic partners.

We’ve helped nearly 200 clients move their business applications to the cloud. Mobile is a key driver for enterprise adoption of cloud platforms, and mobile clients are an important but challenging channel for SaaS applications.

For example, at one $1B healthcare client, the iphone was the primary usage device for a therapy tracking app we built for them on Force.com … they’re rolling out iphones and ipads that are connected to electronic medical records in the cloud.

Jason: Plex Systems is the SaaS ERP provider for manufacturing companies.

Our founding philosophy is getting access to your ERP at any time, from anywhere on anything. Our 500+ customers need to get to the data they need to make real time business decisions wherever they are. We’ve had small mobile presence for many years, but we were always limited by the initial browsers that were available on mobile devices.

Dan: INgage Networks is a SaaS provider of Enterprise Social solutions that drive value for our customers’ organizations by aligning to strategic outcomes. INgage helps customers build Business Networks that deliver positive business results. We offer a hosted-multi tenant platform that can meet a number of needs.

Our MOVO mobile solution is used to extend the online experience out to the edge of the network, to the mobile phone, enabling participants to bring the network with them as they experience the physical world.

Anshu: What is the cornerstone of your mobile strategy?

David: The biggest challenge RightNow has as a business was determining where to spend our resources in transitioning to mobile, and that proved to be the most challenging part of building out a mobile strategy. In absence of a strategy it is easy to let a part of the business act as a catalyst, usually Marketing, to accelerate a vision but not necessarily deliver to the key business or consumer need. Marketing organizations, like Nature, abhor a vacuum!

The cornerstone of our strategy is to provide a set of capabilities to deliver great consumer experiences to a wide range of devices, across the mobile web. Pricing and packaging ended up being important strategic elements for us. We wanted to make sure that pricing didn’t become a barrier for entry – so we packaged the capability as part of our out of the box solution, so none of our existing customers could be put off adopting something that we feel is important for their businesses and ours. We also packaged the solution with out of the box pages and experiences, to lower the initial cost of adoption on the behalf of our clients, and very importantly, allow our customers to determine the OS/browser combinations that they want to support. If you lower the bar on effort for most customers to branding decisions, then you tend to drive adoption. Both of those factors are important, we believe, for driving initial adoption.

Ryan: Appirio released our CloudWorks technology to make the development and usage of cross-cloud mobile applications much, much easier. Think about what you’d have to do to get an enterprise-wide view on an important customer from your mobile phone while you’re sitting in their lobby about to meet with them: That information is scattered across different enterprise applications. Even if all of those applications were available on your mobile, that doesn’t give you the consolidated view you need. Switching from SaaS app to SaaS app to get the information you need is inconvenient when you’re in the browser on your desktop, it’s impossible when you’re on your mobile.

And think about what it would take to build a composite mobile application to bring all those things together — you’d have to worry about cross-cloud identity, security, data integration. With CloudWorks, we’re trying to solve those problems for enterprise developers and unleash information from all these different SaaS silos to the mobile workforce.

Jason: Getting the right applications into the hands of the mobile user has been the cornerstone of our strategy here at Plex. We started with a subset of three applications that are used by all of our customers so that we could get broad adoption from our customers.

Dan: INgage’s two strategies include the use of SMS to enable our customers to drive outreach and engagement to community participants while they are away from their PCs. This same strategy can be used to connect online with offline activities for brands and/or public organizations. Finally, our mobile application development capabilities bring very focused interactions to the one device that cuts across geographies and demographics.

Anshu: What do you feel were the pain points in implementing your strategy?

David: The biggest pain point for us at RightNow was what we had to take on for per-release support (we release 4 times a year). The mobile browser space is pretty fragmented. There are a lot of platforms out there with significant install bases — I’m thinking Windows Mobile, Symbian and RIM — with pretty awful and outdated browsers. On the flipside, there are a lot of newer devices out there that are setting the pace of innovation as far as mobile web interactions, but they don’t have a huge user base when you combine the smart phone and feature phone markets together — I’m thinking iPhone and Android in particular. We ended up supporting the later out of the gate, plus WebOS, as those platforms supported webkit browsers pretty well and having a common browser foundation enabled us to accelerate testing. Ultimately we’ll need to support 5 or 6 different vendor browsers within the next year, but our initial starting point was one we felt worked out very well for us.

Ryan: Appirio’s biggest pain point in the mobile space is fragmentation. Our simple idea of building and enabling cross-cloud mobile applications meant getting into a dozen different technology areas that we didn’t want to specialize in or make business decisions about. We had to pick partners to abstract away those decisions, but those decisions have their own tradeoffs.

Jason: Plex’s biggest pain point is adjusting to the typical mobile device screen size. We have had to live by the mantra of “It is complete not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away.” which is hard when some of our most active mobile screens have 50+ field on them.

Dan: INgage’s biggest pain point was deciding which feature sets of our fully enabled community environments made the most sense to enable via a mobile application, and which platform to develop for first. On the SMS front, the biggest pain point is the continuously evolving regulations of the US carrier networks.

Anshu: What were the biggest surprises for you in working to transition customers to mobile?

David: The biggest surprise was the adoption curve and the verticals contributing to it. We expected a big adoption curve primarily in High Tech, Retail and CPG. The surprising thing was that our University and Government clients are amongst the early adopters. Having the Social Security Administration go multi-deployment, multi-language within our first wave of adopters was a bit of a surprise for all of us. Nevertheless, a surprise we are all very happy and excited about!

Ryan: Appirio biggest surprise was how early it is for most enterprises and their mobile applications, and how much potential there is for this technolgy to enable new business models.

For example, one of our customers is in the customer intelligence business have tens of thousands of “mystery shoppers” collecting information in stores, theatres, restaurants … when we built a prototype showing them how they could use their users’ existing mobile devices to connect to their cloud applications and collect “mystery shopper” information form the field, it changed how they think about their business. Cross-cloud applications on a mobile device made their existing network of shoppers so valueable that they were able to make the business case to start acquiring other mystery shopping companies. This isn’t just about end-user convenience — this is about business model transformation.

Jason: Our biggest surprise at Plex was the wide variety of connectivity speeds that our users experienced out in the field. We had to re-engineer how our applications connected to our datacenter to accommodate the those users who do not have consistent 3G coverage.

Dan: I’ve been in mobile since early 2005 and every year that goes by, we have heard that “next year is the year of mobile”! The biggest surprise for me personally is how mobile apps have overtaken mobile web in about 1.5 years. It has been amazing to witness.

Anshu: What would you recommend to SIIA members looking to transition to mobile?

David: Make an educated decision on whether to initially go app or mobile web (very few of us can do both at the same time). The app route makes sense if you have a high touch / high frequency relationship with the customer, like a banking app that a customer may use on a regular basis, or where you control the devices that your customers use, which happens in a lot of BtoB scenarios. Building out an app strategy first has a allure to it, but don’t forget the mobile web, particularly if you are doing low touch / low frequency interactions with users. The ubiquity of the web means that your consumers can interact with you without having to make a decision on whether you justify a spot on their crowded app desktop. It would be terrible for you to invest in a mobile strategy that resulted in only a tiny minority of your customers using the resulting solution and your company not seeing the benefit from your investment. Look before you leap!

Ryan: Think about where you’re going to add value to the mobile experience of your customers, and focus there. Pick partners for the rest of it. We had to decide early on that we did not want to be in the business of abstracting away the differences between mobile platforms … if anyone was going to solve that problem, it wasn’t going to be us. You need to figure out what problem you’re going to solve, and then leave the rest of up to what’s turning into a very rich ecosystem.

Jason: Target one specific application that will appeal to the widest number of power users and get it out there as soon as possible. Real world feedback will drive a lot of decisions and it is important to not miss out on this shift in how people are using applications.

Dan: Understand that the user experience on mobile is vastly different than what one gets via a web-app or a desktop app. It’s going to be important to do a good job prioritizing the feature sets that give you the biggest bang for the buck and sometimes, less is more.

Anshu Agarwal is VP Marketing for Keynote Systems
David Fulton is Product Manager, Web Experience COE for RightNow
Dan Miller is EVP Business Strategy for INgage Networks
Jason Prater is Director of Development for Plex Systems
Ryan Nichols is the Vice President of Cloudsourcing and Cloud Strategy for Appirio

Roger Green, CIOZone.com, at SIIA All About Mobile

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:29

Roger Green from CIOZone.com talks about his experience learning and networking at SIIA All About Mobile 2010!

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