What PLM can learn from “mobile discover apps”?

Mobile apps is one of the most growing segments of software business these days. Clearly, the years after iPhone and Android introduction, we had an explosive growth of mobile software and variety of applications. Enterprise software and PLM vendors are trying to learn "mobile language" as well. However, in my view, vendors are still missing the point of mobile. I posted about that last year. The initial approach taken by many PLM vendors was to bring "the same software mobile version" was wrong, in my view. Current PLM software took a holistic approach on use cases and scenarios. "Mobile" experience requires different, task oriented approach.

Couple of days ago I was reading Mashable article – 9 Excellent Apps for Discovering New Things. I was using some of these apps like Flipboard and Waze. I found the concept of "new things discovery" interesting. Alongside with apps, I found the following quote interesting

Breaking from the norm and discovering new things can often be a difficult undertaking. Your smartphone can help along with that process, and is a great starting point for finding something new.Whether you’re looking for new places to check out news, a new less congested way route to work, or even something fantastic to eat for dinner, apps can help you get there a little quicker, often suggesting things you might have no realized even existed.

I made me think about mobile and PLM mobile apps. Engineering practice requires "discovery" very often. Here are some use cases – discovery of previous decision made by your company, discovery specific domain experts, partners discovery and many others. To use the concept of "discovery apps" can be an interesting way to think about mobile experience in enterprise.

What is my conclusion? New class of mobile app/services is emerging these days.PLM vendors thinking about mobile need to make a note. The three important keywords are – user, data and context. Combination of them together creates a completely new class of experience. Context removes of significantly decreases the need for user input as well as eliminate additional filtering. Discovery mobile app for manufacturing and engineering can be actually very cool ideas.

Best, Oleg

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