Nowadays, superlatives are often misused and overused. Trends are all too soon identified as ‘the next generation’ or ‘game changing’ only to disappear just as quickly as they arrived. Developments in technology are often seen as ‘state of the art’ by experts only to be ignored by the general public. On the other hand, the smartphone market has boomed –and this is no exaggeration but a cold hard fact.
According to Statista, 2016 saw around 2 billion people across the globe using smartphones, and the numbers are growing. Over one in four of the world’s population owns an ‘intelligent’ device. In 2012, the number of users was around half that figure. Business is booming in Germany, too. According to Statista, around 46 million people own and use a smartphone in the country. In 2015 alone around 25 million new devices were sold in Germany and estimates predict more than 28 million in 2016.
Understanding and pleasing customers
Looking at these figures, it is no wonder that companies in the smartphone industry are wondering how to take advantage of this development. The key is to differentiate yourself from your competitors in this competitive market. But how can you achieve this in the world of smartphones? One possible way forward for innovate companies or start-ups is increasing a device’s user-friendliness and thereby optimising the user's experience. However, providers need to know first how customers behave and what they want. Here are couple of examples of how this challenge could be met:
Case study 1: Web server and backend for consumer behaviour
A company designs themes for smartphones which users can download for free from the internet. A one-time registration, either on the provider’s mobile website or via an app, allows users permanent access to the whole catalogue with new designs being added regularly.
The user can then opt-in to a news service which will keep them up-to-date with the latest developments such as recently launched smartphone models, themes, or system upgrades. Users can also access the Service Area on the mobile website or app. This then becomes the central hub for questions about the provider’s devices. The aim is to increase customer loyalty and maximise customer experience.
And how does the company learn more about their customer? Quite simply! The web portal is supported by a backend which stores user data, theme catalogues, and analytics. The analytics monitors interaction on the portal to better understand user behaviour and to measure the portal’s success. Start-ups and medium-sized companies do not usually possess the IT infrastructure necessary to run such a system. In this situation, a Cloud solution is ideal.
A further aspect in favour of a cloud-based solution is ever-present uncertainty. The company is unsure at the start how the idea will get to market, if at all. A cloud platform is the ideal solution to keep risk at a minimum as a large investment is not necessary.
Data security plays an important role when analysing user behaviour and sensitive customer data. More and more companies want to comply with strict German data protection guidelines and because of this, they come to Open Telekom Cloud. A complete solution – web server and backend – can be set up simply, securely, and cost-effectively using the Public Cloud ‘Made in Germany’.
As the company’s campaigns become more successful and attract more users, the infrastructure platform reacts flexibly to ever-increasing numbers, thanks to the automatic scalability of Open Telekom Cloud. The company also benefits from transparency. The Monitoring Services allows them to always know exactly how much resources they are using and allows them to adjust their pricing models accordingly.
Case study 2: mobile apps for gaming
The second study is similar to the first; hosting and running a mobile app is a typical use of IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), and just like the smartphone market, the app market is booming. According to Statista, in 2012 users worldwide downloaded around 57 billion free apps onto their smartphones, 1.7 billion in Germany alone. For 2017, the volume of downloads is estimated at more than 250 billion. A large proportion of these apps are games whose business model is based on upfront payment, advertising, optional upgrades, or in-game purchases. However, only a few achieve an income that exceeds the costs of running, programming, and further development.
Although providers are given an established and cost-effective sales and marketing platform by selling through a mobile app store, backend systems covering some functionality are still needed to run the app. Market success is difficult to gauge when launching an app, and this makes estimating the amount of demand on the system problematic. At the same time, purchasing dedicated servers is a serious investment and a financial risk that should not be underestimated. With no idea of popularity and with little investment capital on hand, using an IaaS solution based on the cloud is the best choice in this phase.
Instead of purchasing expensive dedicated servers which could lead to underperformance if the app proves popular or during periods of high-demand, a public cloud such as Open Telekom Cloud could be used for running the computing and storage resources required. Peaks in demand are catered for automatically, and integrated scalability ensures flexibility. Financial risk is minimised if the app is less successful than predicted. The cloud gives the provider the option to dedicate resources to the key functions of the app.
Conclusion: Open Telekom Cloud offers solutions for every business model, be it start-up, medium sized company, or large corporation. With the user-friendly Configurator, customers can configure the Open Telekom Cloud to their individual needs in a few short steps. Simple. Secure. Cost-effective.
Read more in an interview with our expert Jürgen Wilde: Is the Open Telekom Cloud suitable for your business?
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