Three Companies In “Traditional” Industries That Seized the Mobile Opportunity

Traditional Companies

While plenty of companies have sprouted with mobile-only business models (Uber, Instagram, Tripit, etc.) and others – notably social media companies such as LinkedIn and Facebook – have reoriented their entire offering around mobile, the mobile shift is also well underway inside companies that have been operating for decades. Companies of every shape have recognized that a sound mobile strategy delivers better customer reach, more lasting customer engagement, and a happier, more effective workforce.

Below we highlight three companies in long-standing industries that have used mobile to solve a problem in their organization, or create new value for their customers and clients.

1. Northern Trust Bank

One of the largest investment managers in the world with more than $915.4 billion in assets under their management, Northern Trust has clients spread all over the globe. Founded in 1889, they have seen plenty of technological change and are no stranger to the ways that technology can impact customer’s needs. So when their clients began expecting financial consultation on their mobile devices, Northern Trust needed to act quickly.

With more than 20 percent of the Forbes 400 wealthiest people represented by Northern Trust, client meetings can happen in some unique locations. To allow managers the flexibility to meet on private planes or yachts away from a reliable Internet connection, they “…needed an app that would work…regardless of connectivity and Internet access,” vice president and system architect Chris Price told David Strom for ReadWrite. Northern Trust decided to build an iPad app that their client managers could take out of the office, allowing them to bring their financial analysis to meetings in locations without internet access.

With that in mind, Northern Trust began development knowing that the end product would need to work smoothly offline. Given the need for offline access, as well as the obvious sensitivity of client’s financial data and the importance of security, a native iOS app was the only way to go. Understanding the needs and risks of the product they wanted to build gave Northern Trust the flexibility to serve their clients effectively, on land, in the air, and on water.

2. Genentech

Biotech giant Genentech was founded in 1976 and has been researching and developing pharmaceutical products for decades. A huge organization with a salesforce of over 12,000 employees, Genentech’s team is worldwide and constantly on the move. And with more than 40,000 sales calls happening every month, effectively tracking and following up on warm leads became an issue when employees didn’t enter data consistently. An internal audit showed that only 56 percent of sales calls had been recorded more than a week after the meeting occurred. Potential leads, and bottom line dollars, were left on the table.

Susan Kuchinskas at TabTimes reported on how Genentech turned to mobile as a solution for these missed sales opportunities. They have deployed more than 14,000 iPads and iPhones to employees worldwide and have developed a suite of apps available for download in an internal app store. Senior managers who were previously frustrated by the lack of reporting from their field salesmen have been thrilled to see the effects of empowering their employees with easy-to-use mobile offerings. One sales app called “On The Road” has increased the number of sales calls being logged each day from 20 percent to 40 percent. Across thousands of sales reps worldwide, that increased attention to detail is driving dollars to the bottom line in a meaningful way. Plus, “On the Road” is just one of 60 internal apps that Genentech has developed thus far to make their employee’s lives more mobile-friendly, productive and efficient.

3. HTH Worldwide

HTH Worldwide offers insurance plans for world travelers who are not covered by their domestic plans when abroad. Part of the appeal of their product is the peace of mind and convenience of having reliable access to coverage and services from every corner of the globe. HTH saw an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their larger competitors by embracing mobile and staying one step ahead of the curve. By developing several mobile apps for travelers, HTH began delivering the information that their customers needed straight to the devices in their pockets.

HTH Worldwide’s suite of mobile apps – for iPhone and Android devices – allows customers across the globe to access information about their coverage, points them to doctors based on their location, and enables them to submit claims seamlessly from their devices. And that’s led to real business impact. Director of IT Janet Hnat noted that she has seen a strong and steady increase in adoption of the mobile products that HTH has developed, and their mobile offerings are a strong selling point to potential customers. Thanks to mobile, the peace of mind that HTH strives to offer its customers lives right inside their pocket, no matter where they are or what type of device they are using.

(Full disclosure: HTH Worldwide is a customer of the Appcelerator Platform.)