Mobile%20Pic %20MEast%205What does the head of a ministry need to know about mobile?  While it is a bit different than what the CEO of a Fortune 500 company needs to know there are points of convergence. Tomi Ahonen, the end-all-be-all of mobile knowledge, seeks to provide the information a Fortune 500 company CEO needs to know in an article called Fortune 500 CEO Guide to Mobile. Tomi has two main thrusts in his article- WHY Fortune 500 companies need to go mobile and HOW they should go mobile. This is a really excellent article and, while I’m not going to cover the great examples he gives, I’d like to share some take home points for the appropriate sequence in implementing mobile in any organization (anything in italics is a direct quote from his article):


1. Start with Short Message Service (SMS)

a.  SMS is the biggest opportunity. “Every single mobile phone in use on the planet, including the oldest second-hand crummy and worn Nokia basic phones in the deeps of Africa - can do one other thing equally as well, something that no landline phone can do. It is SMS text messaging.”

b.  How many people use SMS? 4.2 Billion people thats who. SMS is twice as big as the internet! SMS has 3 times more users worldwide than email. SMS is 2.5 times bigger than television. SMS is 8 times as big as Facebook. SMS is the most used data application on the planet

c.  SMS is the most disruptive thing going, at least as disruptive to all businesses, as the internet was two decades ago, as the PC was in the 1980s, the telephone a century ago and electricity in the late 1800s.

2.  Then move to Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

If you think 160 characters is too short, MMS allows more text. If you think you like SMS but would need to show a picture - MMS allows sending pictures. If you would like to show a video clip or sound - MMS allows those too. And MMS is already bigger than the internet or television or email globally - has 2.1 Billion active users. MMS is clumsy yes, it does not work perfectly everywhere yet, that is true.  But it works on more than 80% of the phones used in the world.

3. Then move to Mobile Web

a.  remind your marketing communciations, that a mobile website costs about one tenth that of the development costs of one iPhone app ($3,000 dollars mobile web vs $30,000 for iPhone app); and the mobile web reaches an active user base in the USA of more than 7x more than all cumulative shipments of iPhones - and globally 30x more. It is truly a 'no-brainer'.)

b.  Implement mobile web projects in this order

    i.   Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) browser optimized first (reach the largest number of phones)

    ii.  HTML browser optimized second (reach phones with full internet browsing ability)

    iii. “Mobile Touch” premium experience third (customized web experience for users with various higher end touchscreen mobile phones)

4.  Apps

As far as Tomi is concerned apps are, comparatively, a waste of resources and time!

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