Mobile apps are a potential boom market for Kiwi developers. Heather Wright meets one company leading the charge.
Kiwi enterprise mobile application development agency Sush Mobile is capitalising on SAP’s opening up of its mobile apps partner programme to New Zealand with plans to leverage the SAP co-operation agreement to enable them to work with New Zealand companies to improve productivity and customer engagement then potentially distribute certified applications globally.
Local app developers now have more choices of how to access the $7.7 billion mobile app market as a result of SAP’s move.
Auckland-based Sush has been in operation since 2008, partnering with organisations such as Local Government NZ, Spicers NZ, Ritchies Coachlines, NZ Herald and LIC, as well as budding entrepreneurs who have ideas and concepts for apps, be they business tools or games.
Sush was one of the first companies to sign up for the SAP programme, and Matthew Hadlow, Sush Mobile business development manager, says it’s an opportunity to move away from the exclusive platform arrangements they were considering, to work instead with an open ecosystem.
He says with the convergence of big data and mobility, the logical next step is for mobile apps to support data access from anywhere. Hadlow says the mobile apps space provides enormous opportunity.
“Just about every corporation or business is looking at what mobile means to them.”
And while he says companies looking to get into the development area need to ‘make the commitment because it’s not just something you can dabble in’, he says there is ‘absolutely’ work to be had for system integrators and resellers.
“There are definitely opportunities. Often, apps will need to pull data out of the organisation, which requires work from system integrators or organisations like KPMG.”
He says the company is also happy to work with resellers who might have ideas for apps for their own clients. Sush does not retain IP, so the reseller would then be free to on sell the apps as desired.
Sush’s work includes the Android and iPad Precision Farming offering for ordering, monitoring, measuring and recording activities of fertiliser spreaders on farms; and the iPhone Speak Like a Pro, for improving public speaking skills. Speak Like a Pro was designed for Spicers.
Sulabh Sharma, Sush Mobile managing director, says apps ‘have got to have a purpose, a reason, you can’t just do apps for apps sake.
Sheenu Chawla, Sush Mobile director, says developing an app for business use is no longer just about making a website user-friendly on a mobile device.
She says Sush has worked on several projects that are business solutions ‘delivered in a fun, innovative way’.
“We’ve seen a huge increase over the last couple of years in the use of smartphone and tablet devices for business, and all the indications are that usage will continue to rise.
“As a result, mobile device applications are changing the way businesses engage with their customers as well as enhancing the capabilities of their operations.
"A successful app should not only look great, but also cater to the needs of the user by making their lives easier.”
SAP’s app move While SAP is best known for its back-end ERP platforms, the company was recently identified by Gartner as a leader in the mobile application development market with ‘the most flexible application development environment’.
The company says it will continue to open its mobile development platform to app developers, ISVs and VARs by providing development licences and support, technical enablement, cloud environments, coaching and marketing support to deliver cross-platform tools.