End of Business as usual – Bye Bye PCs, Hello Smartphones & Tablets
Web commerce took 15 years in disrupting the traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. World spins faster now, mobile is significantly disrupting the web channel in less than 5 years. Today nearly half of Americans own a smartphone within 5 years of Apple iPhone launch that defined this category. It would be unimaginable 5 years ago to think PC ecosystem and industry behemoths like Intel, Microsoft, HP, and Google will struggle to adapt their business models. The rise of mobile devices – smartphones and tablets as consumers step away from PCs has fundamentally transformed how users stay current, shop, connect, and play. The change has been swift and decisive – Demand for Intel chips inside PCs is plummeting. At Microsoft, sales of software for PCs are sharply declining. At Google, the price that advertisers pay for people to click on a desktop ad is falling consistently the last year. Facebook has lost nearly half its value on Wall Street given challenges in monetizing mobile as 6 of 10 Facebook users now experience Facebook through mobile devices. We recently heard disappointing earnings reports across the board from giants like Google, Microsoft, and Intel due to inability to effectively monetize the mobile channel. One time web giants like Yahoo have failed to capitalize on mobile, which has threatened the viability of the company as a relevant and profitable enterprise.
Mobile monetization concepts are quickly evolving from generic mobile ads to location based user specific targeting and tracking ad effectiveness in real-time by collecting data on actual spending. Mobile channel provides huge big data mining opportunities as users are more willing to disclose themselves – who they are, where they are, who they talk to, where they shop, and what they buy as mobile wallets evolve to gain mainstream payment mechanism status. Google Wallet has been the missing step in Google’s ability to track offer-to-acceptance cycle – as a user searches for nearby sushi restaurant, did s/he actually eat there based on the coupon presented. The importance of location awareness and real-time user spend pattern insights for up-selling can be understood by Apple’s move away from Google maps into Apple maps as look to hold on to current location based search data.
High-tech companies are addressing the mobile challenge in different ways. Google – once just a web search engine has now activated half a billion mobile devices running its Android mobile operating system. Google says it is targeting $8 billion from mobile ads, apps, and media next year. T-Mobile sends users ads when they are near their stores based on promotion effectiveness analysis done using SAP big data in-memory analytics solution using SAP HANA. Microsoft has so far largely watched from the sidelines – the steady procession of PC users into mobile domain. However, Microsoft is turning the corner fast with the introduction of a largely mobile centric OS Windows 8 and a competitive tablet in Microsoft Surface. Intel is also playing catch-up as it has moved into manufacturing mobile chips for more than two dozen smartphones and tablets coming to market. Mobile trend is helping Intel indirectly as well as most of the mobile content gets stored in the cloud – large enterprise farms powered by Intel chips. Amazon is a great example of how a company can effectively transition from the traditional web channel into the mobile channel – consumers are increasingly using Amazon apps on Amazon Kindle Fire tablet or other competing mobile hardware platforms to shop as opposed to the Amazon website through a PC. nVidia has also effectively transitioned its product mix of graphic chips more in favor of the mobile platform than the classic PC platform. Customers are using mobile services like Yelp, Zillow, and OpenTable far more often than they would ever use with their PCs and revenue trends for these players indicate this shift.
SAP has capitalized on the mobility trend early as it acquired leading mobility business solutions player Sybase in 2010. SAP’s vision is to provide business users with consumer grade apps to further blur the line between business and personal worlds colliding on a single mobile platform – whether smartphones for on-the-go insights or immersive explore-oriented experiences with tablets. Combined with its big data insights using SAP HANA and cloud based mobile apps, SAP is a leader in enabling the next level of productivity and superior decision making as business users finally get untethered from their PCs. Across the board, our customers are demanding an entirely fresh perspective on mobile apps that enable transactional execution, routine approvals, and real-time insights based on real-time execution status – all on their mobile device.
For more information on how SAP is enabling the new mobile business user army, visit market leading mobile software solutions from SAP.