Keeping Tabs on Innovation
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That said, Spicer and his team keep close tabs on developments in mobility. The company is in the process of evaluating iPads and is planning to check out other tablets as they enter the market.
"[Mobility] is a very rapidly changing environment and space," says Spicer. "We look at this as a six-month horizon. It seems like things are changing at least twice a year, and in a substantial way. Add to that the overall excitement that is generated by the change in the consumer marketplace, and that bleeds back over into our customers and to us. We're making sure we stay abreast of all these changes and support things that fit our environment and offer the best value to our team members and customers." (For more on Wells Fargo's strategy, read the article Wells Fargo Mobility Strategy: Close Every Gap.)
For both Chubb and Wells Fargo, tools such as e-mail and calendaring are the primary functions used by their mobile workers today. Tomorrow? Well, that's another story.
The array of mobility solutions that Royal Caribbean is rolling out on two of its new tech-forward cruise ships--the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas--provides a glimpse of what's on the horizon. These vessels serve as the template for mobility offerings that will be rolled out companywide through 2012. They'll encompass passenger applications on iPhones, as well as mobile point of sale (MPOS), mobile mustering, work order management, show ticketing and asset management.
Among the mobile solutions Spicer and his teams at Wells Fargo are evaluating are:
- mobile customer service apps;
- mobile online training;
- mobile Web conferencing and video presentation;
- mobile travel tools;
- mobile T&E approval; and
- mobile IT request management.
Implementing such solutions successfully requires interdepartmental collaboration. For example, Royal Caribbean's VP/CIO Bill Martin says he works closely with the company's SVP of operations on mobility projects. "How do you not collaborate at a very high level to get things done?" asks Martin. "The business models come to us from operations, maintenance, safety. CIOs need to be very engaged in the strategy of the business. We need to bring ideas and craft ideas with business leaders." Martin adds that he is regularly involved in senior operations meetings with his Royal Caribbean colleagues. (For more on Royal Caribbean's strategy, read the article Royal Caribbean Cruises Creates a Wireless Oasis.)