E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Ready to Embark on the Mobile 2.0 Bandwagon? Now Is the Time!

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And continuing further with another weblog post on Mobile 2.0, it looks like things are just about to get even much more interesting. While some folks out there are debating whether one smartphone is way better than the other one (More on that in another upcoming post, by the way), news items keep popping up indicating how crucial mobile devices are becoming for the knowledge worker in order to help them be as productive as making use of their own computers while at the office. In particular, I enjoyed quite a bit this quote from Shel Holtz‘s post:

"It’s another sign that the cell phone is becoming a more ubiquitous communication tool; companies not preparing content and services for the cell phone (as, for instance, the Mayo Clinic has) need to start strategizing."

He is just so spot on! While I was attending the IBM’s Collaboration 2.0 conference event at the beginning of July in Somers, NY, one of the main discussions that I engaged with from various folks was the subject that for Social Computing to really reach and penetrate the Enterprise in a successful manner, not just for early adopters, it would need to start doing some serious work in a couple of areas: offline capabilities and mobile 2.0.

If we have already seen how social software is moving slowly into the offline area, like Socialtext, for instance, it was about time that some focus would be put together for the mobile devices market and start putting together some thoughts as to how it would potentially work. I do realise that just having one social software tool going offline is not going to be enough, on the contrary, we would need to get many many more for that shift to be significant. However, I am sure that over the course of the next few months we will see how that will change and for the better. More than anything else because we would not have a choice, seeing how the workforce is becoming more and more mobile as time goes by.

With the mobile market things would be different. Why? Well, maybe because there are already a number of devices that are helping the mobile workforce become as productive as whatever you may have thought from the past while they have been working at the office. There is no doubt that as more and more knowledge workers get to perform their jobs in a distributed manner they would be demanding such changes, if they haven’t happened already.

That is why, when I decided to go mobile 2.0 myself, I needed to ensure that it would be meeting my needs right away; I didn’t think I would have been able to wait that long. That is why when looking at how the mobile market is positioning itself I decided to jump for what I thought, still think, is one of the best options available out there. Yes, indeed, Nokia, and the N95.

This is probably as close as it would get from me to talk about the iPhone, which, in fact, I am not. Don’t worry. Main reason being that I do not think it is ready for the knowledge worker just yet. It may well be for the prosumer market, but I think it is way behind what a knowledge worker would want to have in order to be still as productive as ever. It is exactly the same thing as what has happened with the iPod.

When I finally decided to buy one, because I thought it was ready, I went for the one on 30GB, then the year after things were not enough and bought another one for 60GB and when you thought you were settled down, there comes the 80GB video iPod, which is supposed to be the latest one, despite rumours of the next generation coming up shortly. As a knowledge worker, do I want to keep buying whatever the same mobile device year after year just because the previous version has got some fundamental lack of capabilities? I don’t think so. I just want a mobile device that would last me for a few years, pretty much like I am with my notebook.

I want the job done, and not necessarily be in with the latest prosumer gadget that everyone wants to have. That is probably why I really love the way the iPhone has shaken the mobile market, pretty much like Nokia did in the past, but then again, it will be far too long for me to get my hands on it. Not on v2 or v3, but more on v5 or v6, when I know that device will be providing me with what I am currently getting with my N95 at the moment. Pretty simple: it just works and it does all what I want it to do, not what people keep telling me it would be cool it would do.

That to me is the key differentiator from any mobile device out there for the mobile knowledge worker. That is why the N95 exceeded my expectations from day one, and still does big time!, and why I know at some point I will own an iPhone, but this time around I learned my lesson and it will not be any time soon! Not, until it provides all I need it to do.

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