Selecting the Right Strategic Mobility Partner

Dec 31, 2019

If you prefer working with an outside partner when selecting and implementing mobile business applications, you’re not alone. In our 2019 Global Enterprise Digital Solutions Survey, only 4% of North American respondent companies* state that they prefer to act on their own when it comes to evaluating and deploying mobile solutions.

Major corporate software vendors – such as Salesforce, Oracle, Astea, ServiceMax, etc. – are the top choice for strategic mobility partner, a reflection of the significant investments they’ve made over the years in hiring talent, acquiring mobile-first software development firms, and transforming their desktop solutions with mobile access.

Interestingly, mobile device manufacturers are ranked #2 as preferred mobility partners. And the wireless carriers’ ranking has fallen to a distant third.

The top criteria used by North American businesses to select their mobility partners reveals a set of expectations that reflects customers’ growing sophistication around mobile business apps. In ranked order, these highly valued criteria are:

  • Experience with customizing mobile apps
  • Cost of doing business
  • Quality of the mobile app portfolio
  • Experience integrating apps with back-office systems and other services
  • Professional services capability
  • Technology evolution roadmap
  • Customer onboarding expertise

Today’s businesses understand that a siloed, out-of-the-box mobile business solution has limited value. As a result, companies recognize the importance of accessing expertise in the areas of app customization and integration.  Seamless integration with key systems (inventory, CRM, payroll, etc.) and third-party services is critical to providing optimal information and guidance to the worker and the management team.

Customers are also highly aware of the various technological advancements taking place, and want to be assured that not only is the current mobile app portfolio of the highest quality but that the partner has mapped out a process and calendar for incorporating new technologies to improve the quality of the mobile solutions. A prime example of technology evolution in this regard would be artificial intelligence and machine learning – technologies that were previously cutting-edge and are now simply table stakes.

Onboarding expertise is also highly valued. Customers understand that a smooth deployment at both the administrative and end-user levels is key to reducing/avoiding churn. Training, support, and availability from the solution provider are especially important during the solution’s early implementation stages.

Mobile business app providers are advised to regularly evaluate their capabilities in each of the seven partner selection criteria areas listed above.


*The survey sample consisted of businesses with 25 employees.

Jeanine Sterling


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