SOTI Sync 2018 – The importance of storytelling in enterprise mobile

SOTI Sync 2018 – The importance of storytelling in enterprise mobile

SOTI, one of the last legacy MDM/EMM vendors that remains privately held, made its name in device management and now boasts 17,000 customers. In the last five years, the company has introduced new services to expands it offering substantially. A long-standing Stratix partner, several of our larger customer use SOTI to manage the rugged devices operating in their enterprise mobile solutions.

This year’s SOTI Sync, the fourth year for this annual global user and partner conference, drew 400 attendees to Dublin, Ireland – more than double those that gathered at last year’s event in London. A tour of the exhibit hall impressed with a larger number of sponsors on hand this year as compared to previous years’ conferences.

This year’s theme centered on storytelling and several interesting keynotes and breakout sessions supported that concept. For example, Keynote Presenter Doug Keeley, CEO and Chief Storyteller of The Mark of a Leader, hosted an interactive session to remind attendees that “people buy from people,” and humans are hardwired to remember stories – not facts. Text-heavy PowerPoint slides laden with data don’t allow presenters to make an emotional connection with their audiences – only stories can do that. He pointed out that using difference types of stories can shape the way a business is perceived by customers partners and the marketplace.

Afterward his keynote, Keeley had a “fireside chat” with SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues, who announced the company was making a €20m investment to open a development office in Galway, Ireland. This office will be the tenth office in SOTI’s global footprint. Rodrigues also alluded to the possibility of future acquisitions. The duo discussed how new Linux and indoor tracking technologies offer opportunities for the company’s SOTI One Platform to solve real-world problems related to enterprise mobile and IoT. SOTI One, which has been in beta for a full year, will become generally available November 1.

  • Larry Klimczyk, SOTI’s Vice President of Strategic Alliances, had an interesting panel discussion with two CIOs of SOTI customers and David Krebs, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices, VDC. Krebs highlighted key challenges for businesses employing mobile: security, transition away from legacy Windows Mobile/CE platforms and managing the mobile “AppGap” with costs and usability. He stressed the importance of involving end users in app development – up front – rather than in usability testing. He also summarized several new trends in enterprise mobile which hold potential for companies in all markets: mobile devices’ advanced camera technology; retailers use of vision technologies; automation and wearables; and growing acceptance of voice interaction.
  • Xose Diaz, head of Enterprise Services and Partnerships for Samsung Mobile Europe recapped much of the Samsung material referenced in previous industry conferences and briefings. However, one new stat about the state of the mobile workforce in 2020 was new: By 2020, 48% of the workforce will be mobile. For small businesses, the percentage of mobile workers will climb even higher – to 70%.
  • Lori Haggart, Global ISV Director, Honeywell, and Rob Auld, Vice President of Sales, SOTI, discussed recent mobile deployments for a shared customer – Dillard’s. They pointed out that the retail industry no longer uses the term, “omnichannel.” It has been replaced with a more descriptive moniker, “unified commerce.”

The retail industry’s ongoing effort to create the seamless, channel-agnostic experience customers want is likely behind the introduction of this new marketplace terms. It signals retailers’ desire to leave the channel world behind and combine commerce on a single platform which breaks down the internal silos associated with channels. Retailers believe a unified commerce strategy is more than semantics – they see a single platform as the fastest, most efficient way to arrive at one version of the truth. That single version of the truth plays a critical role in enabling the operational efficiency that creates a seamless customer experience.