Insider Focus with David Bauer, IBM Partner

What is your current role at IBM?
I am a Partner at IBM, and I lead the partnership and manage the relationship between IBM and Honda. We are currently in the midst of many transformational projects at Honda, including building a new commerce website, rebuilding enterprise lead management, and creating a new digital marketing platform with journey management. IBM also builds Honda’s mobile apps and connected car experience.

What is your past experience and what makes you an “enterprise mobility” specialist?
I’ve been at Bluewolf for 10+ years, and I’ve spent the majority of that time managing large accounts like T-Mobile and Caesars Entertainment. A key focus for both accounts was creating a better employee experience, which would, in turn, lead to better customer experience -- and the way to do that was to enable employees with information at their fingertips. Creating ways to access and process information quickly was key to success, so we had to think of our projects with a mobile-first mentality. During my time at T-Mobile and Caesars, we created many mobile experiences that directly impacted ROI and customer experience.

What are your key takeaways from your time at T-Mobile and Caesars?
I would say that data continues to be one of the significant inhibitors to change. It’s not getting any easier because organizations are only adding more and more data to their enterprise. But we, as consultants, need to help these enterprises to make more incremental change with data. Instead of throwing around vague terms like “Customer360” or “Master Data Management,” we need to help our clients articulate very clearly the actual problem that they are trying to solve. We need to take large problems and large amounts of data, and whittle that data down to something simple and easy to articulate, and then create a mobile solution that addresses a real, solvable problem.

What do you see as one of the biggest pain points in terms of Enterprise/B2B mobility?
There’s still very much a “butts in seats” mentality in the workplace – this idea that you’re only doing work at a desk. We haven’t yet fully embraced a mobile way of working. And remote work isn’t exactly “mobility,” but rather just being at a desk at home. We need to embrace agile collaboration. This can be physical like standing and brainstorming together or joining daily scrum meetings, or it can be digital using tools like Google Docs, Quip, or Mural that allow multiple people to be working on the same asset in real-time.

What are forward-thinking companies doing to optimize their employee’s mobile experience?
The companies that are doing it the best are field service-related companies, that have a real mobile workforce (i.e., employees that travel). Another company that sticks out to me is Slack. They are empowering mobile workplace management. They have introduced document sharing, and their mobile app is better than the desktop app, which shows that the company is prioritizing the mobile experience.

What steps are companies like IBM and Salesforce taking to offer best-in-class mobile for enterprises?
IBM is one of the largest organizations in the world, and while we haven't yet perfected enterprise mobility, we are doing some things very well. Internally, IBM has app stores, where employees can create and customize their own mobile experience based on the tools they use most. IBM also has an internal utility called Blue Pages, which is a digital employee directory and tool, where you can find and call someone at the company within 2 or 3 clicks on your phone. It’s executed and curated very well. Salesforce continues to be cutting edge when it comes to mobility. It’s becoming more open-sourced, in the way that you can use iOS type frameworks and Field Service Lightning. Salesforce is all about enabling a mobile workforce, and they’ve made large investments like the partnership with Apple announced back in 2018. I think we’ll continue to see significant improvements in the next two years, and I’m excited to see more and more companies develop mobile-first strategies.

The State of Salesforce and Further Reading 
To learn more about current trends in mobility and how the best companies are using Salesforce, check out David Bauer’s previous blog entry: Why Mobile is the Top Sales Imperative, or download your copy of The State of Salesforce 2020 report.

Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results. Now.