Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing

Microservices Expo: Article

Why You Should Not Build a Mobile Application for Your Channel Partners

It seems every five years or so there is a buzz in the channel about a new way to engage your channel partners

It seems every five years or so there is a buzz in the channel about a new way to engage your channel partners, communicate with them more effectively and "stay top of mind". In the last two years, mobile apps for your channel have been the latest fad. But the reality is falling short of the promise. Downloads of vendor branded mobile apps are low and utilization is even lower. Why? And why is building a branded mobile PRM application a bad idea?

1. Build it and they will come...

We can't all be Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. The rest of us need to test our ideas and leave some things on the cutting room floor.

Of course if you asked a partner, "would you like us to make you a mobile application.", they will say yes. If that is the depth of your market research you should be fired. Or made to watch a 24 hour Dances with Wolves  marathon like I did while my wife was in labor. And I did it with no epidural.

The reality is: your channel partners have more than one vendor. I know this may come as a shock but it's true.  Better questions would be:

  • "Would you like to have 20 to 30 separate mobile applications on your phone, one for each of your vendors?"
  • "Would you like to decentralize communications from 2 applications (email and text) into 20 to 30 different apps all with blinking number badges in the high double digits?"
  • "Would you like 20 to 30 apps that have only a portion of the functionality that currently exists in mobile-friendly Partner Portals?"

If they didn't ask for it, don't build it!

2. What do leg warmers, mullet haircuts and OS-specific software have in common?

If you said they are all things from the late 1980's you hope never come back in style, you are correct.

Back then, there was a mad rush to convert client server software over to shiny new GUI desktop applications. It was a nightmare. Our battle tested business applications that always worked and could be updated in one place were now breaking every time Bill Gates unveiled the next version of untested, bug ridden crap.

We were at the mercy of the OS. Granted, OS's on mobile are more stable than the stuff Gates used to put out but you still need to manage to the OS release, and with mobile you need to do it for 2 major operating systems. Add to this that you have to submit your upgrade to an intermediary (AppStore, Android Store) and then wait for the user to upgrade both OS and your applications, you get a roadmap management and version control problem of epic proportions.

The browser changed all of that. Over time it evolved to support nearly every feature you could create on an OS. Today, no one in their right mind would write a business application to deploy on a desktop OS. Why would you opt to maintain 3 versions (Web, Apple, Android) of the same functionality with inconsistent user experience? It makes no sense.

There is certainly a place for mobile applications.  Social media, entertainment or anything that can make use of GPS, accelerometers, microphones, cameras etc. But in my opinion, if it can be done in a browser, do it in a browser. Just like 10 years ago when the Web replaced desktop applications, the browser is going to win this battle again.

Jason Jacobs is the CEO of Channeltivity, a company offering partner relationship management(PRM) software solutions.

More Stories By Jason Jacobs

Jason Jacobs is the CEO of Channeltivity.

Microservices Articles
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a common and reliable transmission protocol on the Internet. TCP was introduced in the 70s by Stanford University for US Defense to establish connectivity between distributed systems to maintain a backup of defense information. At the time, TCP was introduced to communicate amongst a selected set of devices for a smaller dataset over shorter distances. As the Internet evolved, however, the number of applications and users, and the types of data accessed and...