Normally when I think about a consulting firm, I don’t think much. Last week that changed for me, at least with respect to Mindtree. It is a global information technology solutions company. Basically, it’s a consultant firm.
I was invited to a Mobility Strategy and Customer Experience that was hosted by Mindtree and Kony. Kony is a company that provides a suite of customizable, pre-built apps along with the KonyOne Platform. Both companies provide what can be considered mobile solutions.
That is where the business portion of the night ended. What followed was a very refreshing approach. Not counting the people from Mindtree and Kony, it was a rather intimate gathering of about six or seven key mobility people from financial institutions such as Citi, HSBC and Bank of America. These are the people who have to figure out the mobile strategy for their companies.
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What made the concept of the event so refreshing was that it was not a sales pitch from either company. In fact, other than sharing the results of a couple of studies and reports neither company talked about themselves. Instead this was an informal round table (there were 3 separate tables, but they were all round) discussion on creating a mobile experience that would benefit their customers.
All the companies mentioned above are financial institutions, so it was a little surprising that the first presentation came to us from Diana Pan who is the directory of technology at MoMA. Since the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a not-for-profit institution, it didn’t seem to fit into the evening’s events.
Again, I was proven wrong. Diana discussed how mobile technology was being used at MoMA. I was impressed with how it embraced the option of using mobile devices to make visitor’s experiences better. After a little background information Diana talked about how MoMA is leveraging different mobile platforms today.
MoMA is focused on improving its membership by offering discounts and additional options through mobile options. Currently of the 21 million or so annual visitors, about 30 percent are through mobile. MoMA also uses Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) to connect to as many members as possible.
From using iPod touch devices designed to walk members through all of the exhibits, to ticket and member card scanning, MoMA has put a lot of effort and resources into extending the use of mobile technology. The only way to really experience everything is to to visit MoMA and see for yourself how the technology is being used. It is very impressive.
What followed was a discussion on creating a true mobile experience for the guests’ consumers and customers. What was really good about this was that it was a combination of presenting substantiated facts with a lot of questions. It wasn’t just a dry presentation. It was interjected with questions that didn’t always have an answer.
Since the real reason for this gathering was to have an informal discussion concerning where everyone saw mobile technology now and what they would like to see next, there were more questions than just stating facts.
The members of each financial institution had their own unique set of goals and problems. A lot of interesting information was shared by everyone present at the event. It is true that there were a lot more questions than there were answers. However, the questions did make everyone focus on what they saw as the immediate problems to solve.
One of the things that came out of the discussions is that unlike the past, you cannot look at a five year plan. There really is no five year roadmap when it comes to mobile technology. Overall, people are still getting used to using their smartphones and tablets.
In America the issue of security is very strong. One of the common problems faced by everyone at the event was that they deal with incredibly sensitive information and it needs to stay, above all, private and secure.
There were many issues left unresolved, but the questions that were raised gave everyone enough food for thought. Seeing how not-for-profit MoMA worked out some of its issues were of value to the financial institutions.
Mindtree and Kony have had a few of these events in the past in other cities and they plan to continue to have more events in the future. These are definitely useful. This type of informal, small gathering to simply discuss the problems and possibilities of how to use mobile technology is a great idea.