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When we say the word omnichannel, it’s natural to think about consumer apps. Consumer apps have perfected the game of creating their presence across all channels and devices. 

However, it’s time for enterprises to consider building omnichannel enterprise apps seriously.

Traditionally, enterprise apps such as ERP and CRM could function only on desktops and laptops. Some of these apps could be accessed only on the office premises. However, with most enterprises planning to continue with remote or hybrid work, omnichannel capabilities could help employees to work seamlessly from anywhere, anytime. It would also help the enterprise continue its business without any disruptions in meeting customer needs. 

Take, for instance, an established insurance company with legacy applications for insurance agents, customer service teams, and claims teams to use. Not too long ago, these apps would have been clunky, hard to use, and disjointed. Agents and customer service folks alike would spend too much time navigating through the apps from unattractive desktop frontends. Is it hard to believe that productivity, customer service, and sales would be low in such an instance?

Now imagine the company creates a new enterprise app with omnichannel capabilities. So, agents can easily access it on the website, tablets, and mobile phones. The UI is intuitive, and the agents can quickly get a 360-degree view of the customer to serve them better. Would that not enable the agents to do more and be more effective?

As more enterprises consider omnichannel apps seriously, Independent Software Vendors (ISV) should also focus on making their enterprise products meet these demands and stay ahead of the competition.

What Can ISVs do to Address the Omnichannel Imperative in Enterprise Apps?

Cross-Platform Design

Going back to the insurance company’s example, the new app would have to be built for all devices running on iOS and Android. So, while developing the app, ISVs must ensure that it works well on all devices. Remember to make the experience consistent and seamless across all the devices – be it a smartphone or laptop. That’s because users will be using several devices at different times of the day.

So, maintaining consistency is crucial. Cross-platform apps can provide that consistency. The advantage of cross-platform apps is that a single codebase can be deployed across multiple platforms. So, ISVs don’t have to deploy separate developers to develop and test different apps. The same code can be reused. This will help enterprises to save time and ensure consistency across all devices. Rich Internet Applications (RIA) are faster and more responsive with better usability and accessibility. Hence, ISVs must consider building them. 

Responsive Designs

An omnichannel approach allows users to access the app from anywhere, anytime, to complete mission-critical tasks. This helps them address their tasks more immediately. Hence, it’s time that enterprises seriously consider developing enterprise apps with responsive designs to ensure that the users always have easy access to them.

Typically, enterprise apps were developed for desktops and web browsers only. The mobile versions were developed as an after-thought. That’s why most mobile enterprise apps lacked a good UI and UX. With an uptick in mobile usage, ISVs must take a user-first approach to build a high-quality, responsive enterprise app that offers all devices a unique yet consistent experience.

Implement Self-Service

The need for self-service capabilities became a talking point when users had to work remotely during the pandemic. The dependency on the IT team reached a high level as everyone was trying to get their IT setup issues with infrastructure and enterprise tools resolved. Typically, every enterprise is heavily dependent on the IT team. Sometimes they are so overburdened that they are unable to address certain issues on time or are unable to identify or mitigate certain risks that could lead to unplanned downtimes or expose the system to vulnerabilities.

To reduce IT dependency, ISVs can consider empowering their users with more self-service options in their enterprise tools. The self-service option could have a service catalog and knowledge base to help users find solutions to their problems and address them without any intervention. ISVs could consider adding chatbots to the product UI to offer a quick resolution to the issues. The self-service options should have a human-centered and personalized UX and UI to improve user experience. 

Implement Emerging Technologies

Recently, Facebook launched a virtual reality (VR) app to allow remote workers to collaborate and work together as avatars in a virtual space. The users may work individually, but their avatars will be present in the virtual conference rooms where they can easily use whiteboards and share documents. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said that “We shouldn’t really have to physically be together to feel present, collaborate or brainstorm.”1

VR is already in use, especially in industries such as construction, to train workers at the construction site via a mobile application or a wearable device. It saves their time and resources on training. It could soon become a part of other industries too. Hence, ISVs must consider building the interface of enterprise apps with emerging capabilities such as voice, chat, and VR. It is more personalized, intuitive and could benefit users who work in roles with steep learning curves.

Conclusion

Enterprises need more flexible apps that could support emerging technologies and provide a seamless experience to users across all devices and channels. Hence, ISVs have to be capable of folding in these needs while building enterprise apps. At Xoriant, we help ISVs to build enterprise apps with omnichannel capabilities and personalized UX and UI. We combine our technical capabilities and knowledge in behavioral science to build robust, secure, and intuitive apps as user-friendly as consumer apps.

To know more about how we can help build the next generation of enterprise omnichannel apps, contact us

References

Virtual Reality App for Remote Work

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