Going Camping with Mobile Business Intelligence
By tobyehatch on Oct 08, 2013
The mobile market is changing user expectations for consuming data, and those expectations are out-pacing available desktop and laptop software. Matt Milella, Director of Product Development for Oracle Business Intelligence Mobile Apps, joined me in an Oracle AppCast to discuss this phenomenon.
Instant access to critical business data on mobile devices is changing how and where people are making business decisions. I see people all the time waiting for planes, shopping for groceries, sitting in a cab or walking down the street (dangerous, don’t do this) using their mobile devices. In terms of business, what is going on here? It can’t all be email and YouTube! Matt told us, “Users no longer distinguish between mobile and desktop, they want to start something while they are riding on the train and pick up where they left off on the desktop at work. Apps like “Evernote” do a great job at this. We need to move towards that and are [Oracle] thinking about this deeply…. For example, a sales rep on the road might be working on a deal on their tablet in a taxi or on a plane – and may want to complete the work on a desktop when they arrive at their office or home. Executives on the road may start some analysis on plane and perhaps make annotations – and when they arrive at the office want to continue their train of thought.”
Oracle has released two exciting mobile Business Intelligence (BI) products, one called “Oracle BI Mobile App Designer” (launched recently), and “Oracle BI Mobile HD.” Matt provided some guidance as to the purpose and use for each. “BI Mobile HD is our iPhone and iPad app that allows customers to leverage their investment in BI. It allows users to consume existing BI content that was largely built for the desktop. The BI Mobile App Designer allows business users (not IT) to create mobile experiences, designed for devices. The apps are all responsive, which means the features are all accessible, so regardless of your phone or tablet size, the app will just work. The BI Mobile App Designer opens up the types of purposeful apps that can be delivered to the end user in an organization. It goes beyond traditional Business Intelligence; -- think dashboards focused on mobile with a specific flow. And these apps are developed in minutes with zero code.” I found that amazing.
It was also interesting to hear that mobile apps are not just the reincarnation of the desktop application in miniature for mobile phones or tablets, but rather apps designed with the purpose of the device in mind. Matt told us, “Let’s be realistic, you would not write a novel on a phone, or take your tablet camping. You could, but likely won’t. When building an app you really need to think about the user and which device is truly their mobile device. You may have noticed that our HD app is now a universal app (iPhone and iPad). We have a new focus on the phone, and we think this form factor is just as important as the tablet because they are typically always on and with the user. In fact I always have my phone, when I am out for a bike ride, or even out camping. The office walls have been blown up.” Matt talked about mobile functionality being dependent upon what the user would likely want to do with a particular device, and then building the app to suit the device. For example, receiving a status message on a watch, or being able to select from a short list of options to perform on a phone.
Matt further explained that one of the reasons that Oracle can keep up with the mobile market is that they changed the way they approach the mobile world. “We are an enterprise software company and we traditionally thought of release cycles as being long. For mobile, we are changing that cadence to one that is in line with the mobile market. Just this week I got an update for my BI Mobile HD client on my phone, and we will continue to release both features and patches at a much faster pace. In fact, over the last 2 months we have released two Mobile HD updates with a major leap in experience and functionality. We also just released Mobile App Designer, and I really think it is going to be a game changer.”
To listen to the entire podcast, click here.
To learn more about Oracle BI Mobile products, click here.