Bill Moylan, EVP of Sales at Syclo was kind enough to spend some time with me recently answering questions. Syclo is a co-innovation partner of SAP.
Kevin: What mobile device(s) do you personally carry?
Bill: I am a mobile junkie! I have a BlackBerry 9700, iPhone, iPad, iPAQ, and I will occasionally carry a Symbol MC55. I want to get an ES400. I have been a mobile junkie for years! I use the iPad, iPhone and BlackBberry every day. The iPhone and iPad are mostly for personal use. However, the BlackBerry is chained to my hand for work. Oh yes, I have Netbook in the livingroom to surf the internet while watching TV. I also have a laptop, but it stays in the office. I carry the iPad nowadays.
Kevin: How do you carry them all, one in each pocket?
Bill: No, I carry the iPhone and BlackBerry in the same pocket. I carry the iPad in my briefcase. The iPad is very useful. I used the iPad for navigation this week on a three hour drive. I sat in back and surfed the web on the long drive.
Kevin: What is your favorite mobile application?
Bill: The coolest mobile application that I have is called “Wine Snob.” At a restaurant, you can snap a photo of a bottle of wine, it captures the GPS, and it will instantly bring up the details and the retail price. That way you can see how much you are overpaying for the wine! You can rate the wine, see other people’s ratings and add comments; enter the restaurant name and the people with you. It keeps a historic log of the wine you have had, your ratings and the location you had it.
Kevin: How romantic! A candle light dinner, you snapping photos of wine bottles, scanning ratings on your iPhone and complaining about overpaying for it.
Bill: It is not romantic, but my girlfriend loves it too. She often carries my iPad. When my daughter is with me, she carries the iPad.
Kevin: What is your average mobile application deal size now days?
Bill: Average deal size – many are still SMEs, but average deal size is $250,000 because of smaller upgrades. Net new accounts are all $500,000-$1 million. The deals with SAP are very substantial.
Kevin: How is the SAP relationship going?
Bill: The relationship is going very well. I am on the road with SAP sales teams now all the time. I just got back from a sales call with SAP. It was with a company that does outsourced plant maintenance. I was with the SAP area VP of sales and the account executive. We had fun, as we got to see exactly what happens in the field. I love being in the field, and I training my sales team to be very thorough in the discovery process, so we understand the value
This is the second part of this interview with Syclo’s Bill Moylan.
Kevin: What advice do you give companies that are just looking to get into mobility?
Bill: Let me start out by giving some advice as to what companies should not do. I have seen many companies that try to build a strategy around what smartphones they happen to have in their pocket. Some companies say to me, “We use BlackBerrys, so we want a mobile application for a BlackBerry.” That is a wrong strategy, as mobile devices will change, but you want your enterprise mobility strategy to be long lasting. That is not a strategic view.
Companies have key business objectives; they are usually around reducing costs and increasing revenue. Companies should look at their objectives and then hunt for areas in the various operational areas where mobility can help the company accomplish them. We work with a lot of life science companies. They may be looking for ways they can improve the efficiencies of your 1,500 sales reps.
Walk around the entire organization, look for people not chained to their desk and look for ways to improve their operations business, ignore the devices.
Kevin: Do you see executives and board members starting to use iPads? Are iPad users more interested in funding mobile projects?
Bill: I see far more executives using BlackBerrys. Since they use BlackBerrys they are always asking what they can do in the way of approval management and things like that on BlackBerrys. I do see iPhones, but they are usually rogue iPhones.
Kevin: How does a company prepare for mobility?
Bill: The first step is that you need to understand your current processes. Where are you today? What are your current processes? Measure the current processes. How much time do all your processes take? How long are you traveling? How long does it take to complete the work order? How often are your service technicians completing a repair on the first visit, and how many times do they have to come back for a second and third visit? Are your service technicians bringing the right tools for the job? Do they have the right parts for the job? These can all represent inefficiencies. How long does it take to fix that particular piece of equipment? How much overtime am I paying? Can they move to a more planned maintenance model? CMMS really help! Data is completed at the point of performance. It is validated at the time it is entered. No one forgets to enter data.
I spoke to a company two months ago about problems or failures in their processes. They said the two biggest problems were service technicians entering the categories of “other” and under this answer; they would add the second “other.” How can you use “other” to improve planning and processes? How can you use “other” to improve predictability? You need to require real answers that are useful answers.
“Be a work order.” Pin a work order to your shirt and walk the process. Understand all the hands that touch it, and all the steps. No cheating!
Kevin: Do you talk about improvements to DSO (days sales outstanding) as a value that may be available through better field services processes?
Bill: Absolutely! Make sure that all billing is done accurately. Make sure you are providing the services in the SLA (service level agreement). Make sure you have all the warranty information. Get the customer to sign off on the work. SAP gives you a lot of strength in this area.
Kevin: What mobile device trends are you seeing in your markets?
Bill: Executives want BlackBerry applications. Executives are trying to get IT to accept iPhones.
Kevin: How are you working with Sybase?
Bill: We are supporting the SAP Unwired Platform (Bill said this is the new name – it was formerly Sybase Unwired Platform). We are talking to SAP about how we can bring sales and field services solutions closer together. We can do both, but don’t want to infringe on Sybase as they are a close partner of ours.
Kevin: What are you doing to support the SAP Unwired Platform?
Bill: We will use key components of SUP and put our solutions on top of it.
Kevin: What was the biggest surprise for you in enterprise mobility this year?
Bill: SAP acquiring Sybase. This has been fantastic. SAP now says here is the platform, and here is the direction. We can now focus on vertical solutions. SAP has really made a commitment to mobility. They put their money where their mouth is. SAP is now going through a rigorous process of identifying all the mobile applications that are needed.
Kevin: What are the biggest challenges that SAP faces around enterprise mobility?
Bill: Educating the market about enterprise mobility. You do a great job at educating the market Kevin, but it is still a need. We have a complete program that is focused on educating SAP sales representatives about mobility, field services, perfect plant, and asset management. It is needed. The problem is that the SAP sales teams have so much to the learn, that they can’t learn it all. SAP sales representatives really just call on experts when they find an opportunity.
Kevin: What are some of the most interesting things you are working on now?
Bill: We are working with a large utility on vegetation management. They track vegetation growth with GPS and field data collection. They are inspecting power poles and entering the data into an asset management system. We have a very nice GIS integration solution that supports for ESRI.
I believe there is a latent demand for field services automation within the SAP customer base. With SAP’s push around mobility, there is a huge amount of interest now.
Kevin: Tell me about your mobile security?
Bill: We have security in all the key areas; on the device, over the air, device management, etc. People are worried with letting sensitive data out of the office.
Kevin: What other trends are you seeing in the enterprise mobility market?
Bill: We are actually still quite focused on the traditional market of field services. We have a narrower view of enterprise mobility than perhaps you. There are more devices, more operating systems and more choices for mobile devices, but the value propositions are much the same as we have been selling for sometime.
Kevin: What do you predict will be different in 2011 in the enterprise mobility market?
Bill: There will be a massive amount of options available for new mobile devices and operating systems. This will allow Syclo to recommend exactly the right kind of mobile devices for each kind of job. We will be announcing Android support soon.
Kevin: What industry markets are you focusing on today?
Bill: We really haven’t changed a lot over the years. We focus on field services, oil and gas, manufacturing, plant maintenance, life sciences, government (a lot of local government), sales force automation, and just about any regulated industries where they must document everything in the field.
Kevin: What are Syclo’s key messages as a company?
Bill: If you have a need for mobility, we are the experts. We have deep knowledge and 15 years of experience. We can help you avoid many mistakes and implement very efficiently. With our relationship with SAP, you can get technical support from either SAP or Syclo on our solutions.
Kevin: How is your relationship with SAP?
Bill: We are so excited about this relationship. In three years we have doubled the size of our company. They (SAP) are bringing us into the highest levels of executives in companies. Any frustrations that arise are nothing in comparison to the value we receive from the relationship. SAP brings so much to the table. They bring us into meetings that we would never have gotten to without them.
Kevin: Who are your competitors today?
Bill: People said Sybase, but that just wasn’t the case. We rarely saw Sybase in the market. Sybase sold to IT organizations; we sold to the field services organizations. We sold to different markets. We have competed with Antenna and Dexterra. The biggest competition is the “do nothing” crowd. Many companies push mobile projects to phase 2 or 3 and do nothing today. That isn’t smart. Why train the mobile workforce on a desktop interface they aren’t going to use?
Kevin: How has Syclo been able to grow over the years without external funding?
Bill : Good question! Rich is a genius. He built it out of his garage.
Thanks for sharing your insights Bill!