Explaining the role that IBM plays in the mobile market is a difficult task. The organisation is so vast and far-reaching that any category in which you try to place it does not sit well. Nevertheless, the IT giant works with a huge number of enterprises on their mobile strategy, developing services that put mobility at their heart.
IBM has a very specific philosophy when it comes to working with clients to develop their mobile strategy. It’s based on customer experience and can be applied to almost any sector you can think of.
Matt Candy, managing partner, Europe IBM Interactive Experience, global business services, is one of the brand’s major spokespeople on the topic, and he believes that digital media is changing the way in which businesses and consumers interact: ‘The last, best experience that anyone has becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they have everywhere. These experiences transcend industry – this shift is changing the challenge that brands face when interacting with the customer. Traditional boundaries are dead, it’s time for businesses to focus on human-to-human interactions. This makes experience the new competitive battleground in which businesses will have to work.
‘You find that often businesses are very product and task-focused – we’re trying to change that, to make companies think more about experience. When you think about experience you start to think about things in a different way. This relates directly to design; design is basically about having empathy with the end user and designing for that purpose. We are working to get our partners to design experiences that focus on the customer.’
IBM has seen clear examples where this approach has achieved results, as Candy explained: ‘We worked with Homebase, a business that has 48m customers a year. We helped it to work on its customer engagement. We decided that we would help it move from a product-based selling model to a styling experience. The number of conversions has doubled thanks to thinking about the complete end-to-end experience.’
The IT giant’s reach extends across the mobile industry as it provides complete solutions that engage with multiple players. Candy continued: ‘We work with a huge range of players from the mobile industry, from telcos through to manufacturers, as our partnership with Apple demonstrates. Our focus is in the B2E space with a focus on enterprise mobility, but we develop apps for all sorts of purposes. We work with businesses to develop their mobile strategy – this will go from consumer engagement through to device management. But it could also involve IT systems – there are so many different aspects.
‘We’re a company that wants to be consistently innovating, creating systems that are always on, but are also human-centric in their nature. We are looking to drive innovation, cultivating an active dialogue with customers. We are trying to create a design experience that is powered by the insights we have discovered.’