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Seasoned venture investor, senior advisor to global corporations, and a recognized thought leader in big data, digital platforms, and corporate innovation. Author of the book The Big Data Opportunity In Our Driverless Future. Founder and Managing Director of Synapse Partners, a firm that invests in early-stage companies developing applications that combine artificial intelligence with big data. Previously Managing Director with Trident Capital and Apax Partners. Prior to his investing and advisory work, Evangelos had more than 20 years experience in high-technology industries, in executive roles spanning operations, marketing, sales, and engineering. He was the CEO of two startups. He is a member of Caltech’s advisory board, the Advisory Board of Brandeis International School of Business, and the advisory board of Center for Urban Science and Progress. In 2014, he was named a Power Player in Digital Platforms. Evangelos earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Brandeis University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Caltech.

11 responses to “Mobile-First: The Future of Enterprise Applications”

  1. Joyug

    Very interesting article Evangelos. Just have a few questions for you and will appreciate any perspective

    a) Serious enterprise mobile apps (not the angry bird games), typically access a server hosted (say a CRM hosted in a datacenter) application and provide its features on a mobile device. Its like someone accessing the datacenter application using a desktop browser and in mobile’s case using the mobile app. Are we saying that we can create the entire CRM on the mobile itself? Or are we saying that mobile app will continue to access datacenter hosted app and provide user a mobile-based access?

    b) If you believe we can create real applications (again not the typical games etc.) say CRM for mobile app, won’t it become like it used to be on a desktop? Applications moved away to servers so that consumers can access them using a browser or a client. But if we start creating applications for mobile (not running on a datacenter), will not we be required to install that application to ALL mobile devices across an enterprise. Currently mobile users just download the mobile app from store which then works (or connects) to a server hosted application and therefore users just need to download that app. If there is no server hosted app, how will user really perform useful functions that they normally now do (using desktop browser or a desktop client)

  2. esimoudis

    @Joyug: thank you for the detailed message
    on a) I am saying that a major portion of the applications functionality will be native to the mobile device (maybe even the entire application). Data can still be accessed from the cloud (public, private or native) or portions of the data may also be cached on the mobile device itself.

    on b) I am saying that because the mobile internet conditions are different from desktop internet access, and depending on an enterprise application’s requirements you may have to implement the application (or portions of it) in a way that will run native on the mobile device (essentially providing the equivalent of a “fat client” application). As I mention in the blog I expect that the debate of whether to implement an application as a web or a native application will not be settled for awhile.

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  5. Frank Nurock

    CIOs are admitting that bringing mobility to their corporations is one of the
    most momentous business challenges since the arrival of the internet and IT experts believe mobility will impact their business as much as or more than the internet did in the 1990’s

    Thanks for the interesting insight.

  6. jbugwadia

    Evangelos, great article. While I agree with the growing importance of mobile clients, at Nirmata we believe that the next generation application platform will be based on cloud services, and applications will be composed from multiple cloud services. Cloud services, based on uniform APIs, are a perfect enabler for mobile or other front-end clients. The benefits of simpler, focused apps are also provided in a fine-grained cloud services architecture.

    Do you see a similar trend, or in your opinion will the mobile applications absorb more server-side functionality?

  7. Evangelos

    @jbugwadia: thank you for your comment. I agree that cloud-based composite applications will find their way to the enterprise very much as on-premise composite applications did. In 2002 I had invested in Composite Software, that was recently acquired by Citrix, which had developed a framework for creating composite applications using web services. Mobility will start playing an important role in this type of applications. Not only because more enterprise applications will need to be mobilized but also because the future mobile applications will become composite themselves rather than continue being the single-purpose apps they are today

  8. jbugwadia

    Evangelos, thanks for the response. That’s a very interesting idea. I agree that the power of RESTful services (if we can get to truly uniform interfaces!) will allow mobile applications themselves to be composite.

    However, here’s what I am struggling with – can the mobile client itself become a platform, or will the cloud be the ultimate server platform? Take Google Now as an example of a service: its uncanny ability to provide relevant information comes from the ability to correlate information across multiple sources & devices. I can see some applications for peer-to-peer mobile services, where the mobile clients themselves become the platform and do not require a server except for basic data services. However, for other types of mobile services, where data needs to be analysed and correlated, seems like the heavy lifting would be done in the cloud.

    BTW, is the Composite Software the data integration / virtualization company Cisco acquired earlier this year?

  9. Evangelos

    The biggest part of integration and application composition will be taking place in the cloud but mobile devices (not necessarily smartphones) will play an increasingly important role, particularly as their processing and communication capabilities increase.

    Yes, Composite Software was recently acquired by Cisco

  10. saan

    HI,
    Kindly help me to understand the title below

    “Agent Modelling Techniques for modelling CRM mobile enterprise apps for an Online E-Learning Environment”

    Thank you

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