Recently, a business journalist posted an article suggesting that the use of QR codes should be dropped. He says in part “Mobile barcodes can be confusing and can waste time. And as mobile technology progresses, they probably aren’t even necessary.”
This is one of those “insights” where the author doesn’t make his case. On one hand he presumes that technology will remain static and that the barriers to QR Code scanning — locating the right scanning app, waiting for the camera to focus, etc. — won’t improve and therefore users will be turned off. On the other hand, “near field communications” may arise in the next generation of smartphones to render QR code scanning obsolete. Which is it, is technology static or evolving?
We think that QR codes are a perfect ‘tweener technology that has virtually no extra printing cost and works with all smartphones. Yes, you have to be sure to use a compatible application, but once you figure that out for QR Codes (and again for Microsoft Tag codes), you’re set. Launching the app, waiting for the camera to focus and having the app autodetect the QR code and link to the corresponding URL takes no more than a few seconds. That is much faster than typing in a URL or keywords, if you don’t make mistakes or get distracted before you finish.
Also, when coupled with the right type of business software such as that based on our web-based, Rapid Enterprise Deployment engine known as AmpUp, the added cost of putting together a QR-code marketing campaign is negligible, so therefore the resulting ROI can be huge. Such systems can produce all of the differing QR codes, maintain a database, and then provide URL landing pages with corresponding and compelling content. Through web dashboards, company execs continuously monitor a campaign’s performance and even tweak it midstream if necessary.
The author suggests also that image recognition is a reasonable alternative. Not so. Mobile devices do not have the processing horsepower to implement broad-range image recognition, so they would have to upload the captured image to a capable server and receive the results. This might work for low-frequency use, but all the cell carriers now impose limits on data bandwidth, so this type of solution would really only be economically attractive when using WiFi networks, a severe limitation indeed.
It’s more likely that the author is taking a devil’s advocate point-of-view to make people think through their adoption of new technology, a process we employ as part of our technology strategy consulting services. If that is really the case here, then this author is to be commended.
Please feel free to contact us if you are thinking of using QR codes.
Posted in AmpUp, Internet Marketing, Mobile Computing, Systems, Technology Tips, Uncategorized
Tagged AmpUp, enterprise, image recognition, landing pages, near-field, QR codes, rapid development, smartphones, technology strategy, WiFi
Can Business Software be Better?
We have all heard the horror stories regarding business software systems: The tremendously expensive system. The system that didn’t work. The system that couldn’t grow with the business. The provider who wanted $50,000 a module and five modules would be needed. Critical software changes that take weeks or months.
With fast-changing markets, demographics and new regulations, businesses need to be nimble and fast in their reactions. The last thing a business needs is to hampered by expensive and time-consuming system implementations. Hearing about the bad experiences of others’ raises the question, what are the characteristics of good business software?
Thinking from a business owner’s perspective, better business software should:
- Work reliably and securely
- Be adjusted to take into account the uniqueness of the business’ operation
- Come at a cost that doesn’t break the bank
- Come with easy access to the software’s actual developers for the best possible technical support
- Be quickly extendible when new features are desired
- Not be locked in to a specific platform that doesn’t have a bright future or comes with high monthly expenses
- Maximize connectivity from anywhere using mobile devices
A tall order, right? Not so with us. With DataPlex and AmpUp – our rapid software development tool for business enterprise applications – you get business software that offers modern capabilities that can easily be altered to meet changing needs, possibly giving your business a competitive advantage.
By leveraging AmpUp, you get:
- A reliable and secure system that take into account the uniqueness of your business’ operation. We start by doing a free assessment of your current operation and then work with you to develop effective new displays and processes.
- A system at a fraction of the cost of other commercial systems, including those that claim to be “off the shelf.”
- Easy access and great support. We are the developers, and you have our direct phone numbers. (Email too.)
- The ability to add new features quickly and at any time. We’re happy to be your technical advisors on anything daunting.
- A web-based system that can be easily ported to your favorite cost-effective hosting service including those “in the cloud.”
- Connectivity from Internet-enabled mobile devices whether they be Android-based, Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft or something else.
We introduced AmpUp six months ago because, frankly, we were shocked at what some of our clients were telling us about what they had to put up for systems and support. We didn’t think that a small business needed to spend six figures for a new system, wait six months for their so-called customizations, and then wait weeks for bug fixes which sometimes added even more bugs.
AmpUp, it turns out, is a software development game-changer. It is a stable “software as a service” or SaaS platform that is shared among many different applications. In four months, we have been able to implement four very sophisticated enterprise systems. That’s one per month. Yes, you read that correctly – you could have one of our completely customized enterprise-wide systems working for you in a surprisingly short amount of time.
Interested? Feel free to drop us a call or note. We look forward to chatting with you soon.
Posted in AmpUp, Business, Enterprises, Software Development, Systems
Tagged AmpUp, Android, Apple, Blackberry, business system, cloud, cloud computing, enterprise, enterprise system, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Microsoft, mobile, mobile platform, rapid development
Navigate the Intersection of Enterprise, Mobile and the Cloud
As a disruptive phenomenon in the realm of information technology, Cloud Computing is evolving quickly and driving changes both in the personal space and in the corporate world towards a more portable and web-centric infrastructure, particularly in such areas as sales, marketing, customer relations, logistics and fulfillment.
Back in October 2008, we said “In only a matter of a couple short years, mobile computing with third party applications will become de rigueur, so it would be wise to plan for that eventuality.” It seems we’re on track.
More important than the introduction of the next generation electronic devices such as the latest iPhone and iPad is the prodigious convergence of enterprise IT with mobile computing with cloud-based services. If you missed it, our previous newsletter article “Exploring Cloud Computing” discusses the current state of personal and corporate services being provided over the Internet. It makes cases for when organizations with existing IT structures should explore moving some of their internal and commercial processes over to the cloud.
While one might understand that the cloud is basically a set of remote software services that can be leveraged to reduce the size and cost of in-house IT support, what he or she should also understand is how the growing shift to the cloud is affecting the types of devices and applications we all use.
Posted in AmpUp, Articles, Enterprises, Mobile Computing, Networks & Servers, Software Development, Systems
Tagged AmpUp, Android, cloud, cloud computing, enterprise, enterprise systems, iPad, iPhone, mobile, mobile platforms, smartphones
Volume 3, Number 5
What Mobile Computing means to Consumers and the Enterprise
The arrival of the next generation of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and the G1 based on Google’s Android technology heralds a new era in mobile computing. But what does this mean to consumers, and how do enterprises leverage these new devices without sacrificing security?
These are good questions, but let me start out by saying what this article is not. This article is not a review or endorsement of either the iPhone or the G1 phone or any other smartphone as there are simply too many features that matter disproportionately to different types of users. Besides, there are already plenty of reviews on the specific devices.
Instead, this article abstracts the notion of mobile computing and suggests ways it can and will enhance our lives, whether we are consumers checking our email and stock market investments or as members of a business, collaborating with our peers while away from the office.
Posted in Articles, Consumer Electronics, Enterprises, iPhone/iTouch
Tagged Business, enterprise, G1, iPhone, iTouch, LinkedIn, Mobile Computing, peripherals, servers, smartphones