Microsoft’s Office for iPad a Model for Success in Mobility


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

office-for-ipad

Yesterday, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced two new products: Office for iPad and Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Both are exciting new products that reveal Microsoft’s dedication to leading the consumer and enterprise mobility space.  Office for iPad is getting the most press coverage because it shows a departure from traditional thinking as Microsoft is focusing on great experiences outside of their own the operating system.

Nadella’s comments, however, pointed to the Enterprise Mobility Suite as the key product in Microsoft’s strategic positioning.

So, what can we learn from Microsoft’s refreshed strategy?

Embrace Mobility

There is no shortage of reports detailing the fact that mobile devices outnumber desktop computers. In fact, there are more mobile devices in use in the world than there are humans.
With these product announcements, Microsoft is embracing this reality.
Your customers want mobile solutions, period.  Many manufacturers and ISVs in our channel are focused on providing integrated mobile solutions. Challenge your team to consider ways your products can evolve to meet the rapidly changing needs of your customers.

Embrace A Wider Market

Don’t be too proud to develop new business. Make your offering as flexible as possible so you can capture the attention of a wider market. Today’s technology landscape includes consumers who mix-and-match hardware and software manufacturers.

The PC-based finance firm, for example, may issue iPhones to their employees for business use. Folks who are given iPhones by their companies may own Android devices for their personal use. It’s imperative that the products we’re offering our customer’s work together to solve their problems; not create new headaches as a result of incompatibility.

Embrace SaaS

The Office for iPad apps are free to download.  The apps offer useful functionality for free and expanded functionality at a cost. The strategy here is to make the consumer’s initial investment low to hopes that it will result in an easier sell down the road.

This business model will continue to grow as customers would rather have a short term subscription commitment compared to a full cost license.  This model is already in our channel and gaining popularity. Consider if this is strategy that could apply to your product offerings.

Embrace Experience

Companies that are winning are focusing on experience. People want more than just a product or service, they want to enjoy the process of using it.  Sometimes, that enjoyment is not being frustrated by getting their technologies to work in harmony.

Microsoft is doing this by making sure they have great offerings on all platforms.  This same mentality must be applied to the solutions that you provide.  Is the experience seamless from all devices for all users?  Is the customer’s interactions with your company seamless from sales to service?  Focusing on experience will make you the partner of choice for your customers.

Takeaway

Embrace change head on.  Companies both large and small must react to change whether the source is disruption in the space from new competition, expansion in consumer use cases or new challenges in everyday life. The companies that are committed to reacting quickly and adapting innovations into their offering will last.

If your primary vertical is point-of-sale and you’re not integrating security or inventory control into your solutions, you should research this growing opportunity. If your primary focus is barcode labeling you should consider whether you would benefit from expanding into warehousing solutions. Your customers have a wide range of needs and if you can meet more of them then you become more valuable partner to them.

BlueStar wants to know how we can help you help your customers. Check out our traveling road show schedules to see if we may be coming to an area near you in 2014.

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