Mobile App Developers Are the New M&A Target

 
 

Mobile applications are emerging as a critical component in the strategies of corporate giants from retailers to accounting companies. Are golf course operators among your clients? Better make sure they have a good caddy app that takes advantage of the latest in GPS technology. If you're a retailer, you want to make sure your point-of-sale software is well integrated with the latest  barcode-reading app. 

To develop that capability to quickly take advantage of the latest in mobile app technology, large corporations are buying up leaders in the  mobile app industry.  In December Deloitte purchased Seattle-based Übermind, followed quickly by Walmart’s announcement of a deal with the Portland, Ore., firm Small Society to go with their expanding Walmart Labs portfolio of app developers, such as Grabble and OneRiot.  With these acquisitions Walmart and Deloitte get firms with proven track-records to add to their respective stables: Übermind has developed apps for REI, Target and Alaska Airlines, among others; while Small Society has worked with industry giants Amazon.com and Starbucks, as well as Zipcar and the Democratic National Convention.

Both Deloitte and Walmart seem to be using these purchases as strategic assets to upgrade their digital services across the board, rather than as keeping them independent entities as CNN professes to be doing with their recent acquisition, Zite.  In August CNN purchased Zite, the creators of a mobile magazine app of the same name, with an eye towards gaining purchase in the app marketplace.  Though CNN admits to using Zite’s talent-pool to upgrade their digital content, as of now it will remain an independent entity.  Whatever the case may be, mobile app developers look to be the hot new commodity for larger firms lacking a tech-savvy pedigree that are looking to keep up with the mobile app boom.

Sponsored

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Wearable technology increases productivity for HVAC technicians
 
 

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

XOEye technologies created a smart glasses tool, built specifically for field technicians to capture real-time documentation. When MacDonald-Miller heard about the new wearable technology platform, they saw it as an opportunity to be the first mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest to implement these smart glasses into their services.

We interviewed MacDonald-Miller’s Chief Information Officer, Bradd Busick, to hear first-hand how this new technology will be integrated into services and how it will streamline HVAC projects.

What are the capabilities of the smart glasses? 

The smart glasses, MacLens, capture and stream high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV). MacLens includes a camera, earpiece, and microphone — all built into a single headset, capturing real-time documentation of equipment, work performed, and recommendations being made. 

How does it work for technicians?

Once service techs arrive onsite, they put their MacLens glasses on to create an intro video communicating where they are, a brief diagnosis or repair identification, and a summary recap for the customer. After the site visit is complete, the tech then uploads the content to the call summary report on the customer portal, where customers can access it at their convenience.

What is the benefit for the end-user?

Building owners and property managers have to trust their maintenance provider is actually doing the work they claim. Most building owners will never see the work being done on their properties, but they will receive a list of recommendations for changes and a bill. It’s a relationship built on trust. MacLens adds a level of transparency and customer experience where we are able to show in real-time what is happening on roofs and in mechanical rooms. MacLens embeds audio and video content into each summary report, providing customers with the peace of mind that comes with unbridled transparency.

What is the vision behind this technology roll-out?

The goal is to enhance the customer connection to the services provided and also enable technicians to connect with each other. There are incredible operational efficiencies that enable mobility and collaboration through telepresence and increased accountability.

How will they affect the next wave of HVAC technicians?

Not only will MacLens increase workflow productivity, but it also offers training opportunities and safety benefits without adding any additional work to service technicians. This is a major educational advantage. Now expert journeyman can train apprentices simply by walking through their daily tasks, recording those sessions and sharing them in our learning management system — it’s the next evolution of training!

See MacLens in action here.

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.