Alpha Software Blog

Offline Apps That Work: Enterprise Users Won’t Settle for Less

Offline capabilities mobile web apps
For three years, Alpha Software has been working on and talking about the most important, difficult feature of mobile apps: offline capability.  CTO Dan Bricklin has written about it on his  blog. Alpha Anywhere was the first first rapid mobile app development and deployment environment on the market that featured built-in robust offline capability.  Our customers were some of the first to build robust offline apps with conflict resolution.

In the past year, the market seems to be aligning to our viewpoint.  On January 8th, Robert Desisto, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner wrote about the importance of offline capability in mobile apps on his blog.  In “Mobile Offline: Back to the Future” Desisto blogs that he used to think inquiries about offline capability in CRM apps was “just special case circumstances until the number of inquiries kept growing.” He explains that the two most common reasons Gartner clients look for offline mobile CRM apps is:

-        To serve mobile salespeople needing access to the app in areas with low connectivity

-        Enable IT departments to reduce telecommunication costs.

Desisto goes on to point out that this is a key challenge in the CRM market because most CRM vendors do not support offline sync and are rushing to get out solutions that address the problem.

This week, Fred Donovan of FierceMobileIT raised the issue in the article, “Enterprise Users Want Offline Access to Mobile CRM Apps.”  He recognizes the point Desisto makes about the shortcomings of current CRM solutions when it comes to offline. Donovan explains:

“One reason is the difficulty of synchronizing data and resolving conflicts, which occur when a number of users edit the same record and then attempt to sync those versions.”

Donovan goes on to recommend that companies not only think about offline mobile support in CRM apps:

“This is certainly an interesting mobile enterprise IT development to watch. There seems to be no reason why this trend shouldn't spread to other mobile enterprise apps, such as enterprise resource planning.”

We couldn’t agree more!  Kudos to Desisto and Donovan for bringing to light an issue that we’ve seen for years, but that many enterprises are just beginning to encounter. We released Alpha Anywhere with this challenge in mind, and hope it will help a large number of enterprises quickly solve the offline mobile support problem.

Read why having your app work offline is a major problem that enterprises must address in their mobile apps.

To read InfoWorld’s review of Alpha Anywhere’s offline mode, read: “Alpha Anywhere Aces Mobile Apps.”
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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.