Translating enterprise apps to mobile: Three companies' journeys

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Firms are discovering what works -- and what doesn't.

When it comes to mobile apps, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has taken some risks. In 2011, the $13 billion global insurance provider rolled out two consumer-facing mobile apps, one for ordering roadside assistance and the other an auction guide for classic car collectors. Flush with its success from "tens of thousands" of downloads from Apple's App Store, the company began to see the value in creating mobile apps for some of its core processes, too.

Turns out that some of Chubb's independent agents were ready for mobile apps, too.

Since independent agents sell multiple carriers' products, details about any given policy or plan can be hard to remember. "When you're dealing with high-net-worth prospects you don't want to seem confused or have a lack of understanding of the product when standing in front of a potential customer,'' says Mike Ribeiro, Chubb's assistant vice president of enterprise architecture.

The mobile app revolution is akin to the beginning of the Web, observes Finley, when "you had to be there. Not so much for your workers but for your consumers or businesses you sell to."

Burger knowledge goes mobile

Around since the 1940s, burger chain Red Robin has been focusing on the need to keep up with the competition and revitalize its business. One strategy, business leaders decided, was the use of mobile and social media tools. With 26,000 team members in 44 states, they determined the best way to train their staff, of whom 87% are Millennials, is in a way they're already familiar with: interacting with technology and networking with one another, says Chris Laping, CIO and senior vice president of business transformation at Red Robin.

Last summer, FlightWorks rolled out FAA-approved Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), a digital alternative to those bulky printed flight manuals, on about 50 iPads. FlightWorks is using Airwatch's MDM Secure Content Locker system, which is downloaded onto the tablets to protect proprietary data in manuals that have been electronically integrated into the EFBs.

Mobile phones

Pilots are required to enter their login credentials through a directory-based authentication layer. Sebring says the app is working well and he hasn't heard of any technical issues with the iPads. He doesn't have figures on hard savings but says the subscription cost of digital navigational charts is lower than the paper subscription, so it is saving FlightWorks a few hundred dollars per aircraft per year. The company has also saved on printing and shipping costs for the manuals.

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