Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Three Most Important Criteria in Selecting a Mobile Platform

Selecting the right Mobile Platform solution, either as a OEM or an operator, is no easy task. Mobile Platform solutions can serve a number of functions, such as providing the capability to deliver, customize, and manage assets on a mobile device, personalize user content, or enable social networking via mobile devices. Such systems provide device manufacturers substantial flexibility and efficiency in their software maintenance processes and enable Operators to deliver new services to their entire subscriber base to take advantage of market opportunities and gain a competitive edge.

There are a number of factors that must be weighed to determine the right Mobile Platform for your requirements. The biggest factor, of course, is the functionality required by the system but regardless of the system's requirements, there are three criteria that universally hold true.

  1. Delivery Model - Selecting a SaaS Delivery model is low-cost way to obtain rights to use a platform as needed versus investing expensive data centers with large application farms. On demand licensing enables the benefits of commercially licensed use without requiring in-house expertise, potential high initial and operating costs of running systems inhouse, and avoids distractions from the core business. It is important to ensure reliability in up-time and performance so that the system is available when it needs to be accessed.
  2. Pricing Model - Simple is best. Go for a pricing model that charges you for what you use but isn't convoluted in a way that it requires complex formulas to determine cost. At the same time, pricing model's should encourage usage of systems rather than charging extra for transaction volume or releases depending on system functionality.
  3. Integration - Its important to select a system that augments existing functionality and can integrate with systems that already exist. This is extremely important so that you can leverage your current investments and get the most out of your spend. Even if you are selecting a system to do an isolated task, its important to ask the question: "How can this system be integrated with existing systems."

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of criteria that are important to consider. The above are the ones Pixatel feels are most important. In the coming weeks, we'll discuss best practices and desired functionality for some representative mobile platforms. They will include:
  • Gift Card Systems
  • OTA Update Systems
  • Mobile Storefront Systems

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