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A surprise to many in Michigan, and across the globe, is that the State of Michigan is becoming a ‘go to’ place for those engaged in providing or utilizing mobile/wireless technologies – in any industry. The state is experiencing tremendous increases in the utilization of these technologies across many industries, including: automotive and other transportation sectors, healthcare, entertainment, government, real estate, consumer products, energy, banking and much more! The increased focus on these technologies is resulting in even more surprising numbers of jobs being created. See many of the stories about Michigan’s engagement with these technologies HERE.

Jobs graphicA recent study in which the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) collaborated with the state’s economic development organization to determine the economic impact of mobile/wireless technologies on the State, indicates the following:

  • Every mobile/wireless tech-related position created in the State of Michigan also creates 6.54 additional jobs in the state.
  • In comparison, according to the same study, a job created in the automobile manufacturing industry creates 5.92 additional jobs for the state.
  • The average compensation for a mobile/wireless-related position in Michigan is over $89,000 annually, which is an increase of 48% from 2011 when the study was last completed.
  • If MTAM can help the state achieve the association’s target goal for Michigan mobile/wireless-related job creation of 9,250 new jobs by the end of 2020, then according to the results of this study, Michigan will also have benefitted from the creation of over 60,500 additional jobs in the state and over $3 Billion in new annual salaries / wages for Michigan residents.

As the state’s trade association for Michigan’s mobile/wireless technologies, MTAM is in a unique position to understand the impact of these technologies in industries across the state. As a result, the organization has made some observations:

  • The state is experiencing this growth due to the utilization of these technologies across many industries. This expansion of industries using mobile/wireless tech in new and exciting ways will continue.
  • For the first time, job creation in Michigan driven by the increased use of mobile/wireless tech has surpassed jobs being created by our historic ‘main’ industry (automotive manufacturing); this presents an opportunity for economic diversification that has not previously been available.
  • There is tremendous opportunity for success available to Michigan residents who choose to remain in the state to launch careers or start businesses involving these technologies.
  • Financial success in mobile/wireless tech-related careers or businesses DOES NOT require relocation to the Silicon Valley or anywhere else, in fact, a much higher standard-of-living can be achieved here in Michigan due to the significantly higher cost-of-living in the Silicon Valley and other perceived U.S. ‘tech hot beds’. As an example, Michigan’s average mobile/wireless-related compensation of $89,000 annually would require a Silicon Valley salary of over $158,000 to achieve the same standard-of-living.
  • There is a strong mobile/wireless tech community in Michigan made up of representatives from all sectors of the eco-system; opportunities for collaboration, education and business development are driven by MTAM and its Mobile Monday Michigan subsidiary chapters in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

“Michigan has an opportunity to become the ‘go to state’ for mobile/wireless technologies, particularly with regard to their use in the enterprise and the education opportunities we can provide,” states MTAM Executive Director, Linda Daichendt.

“MTAM has a number of initiatives we’re working on to help position Michigan as that ‘go to state’, however, what Michigan needs most to make it happen is increased collaboration between us and education, government, business & industry, non-profits and all the programs/initiatives across the state related to these technologies,” Daichendt says. “We need to work together on strategies to increase training opportunities in Michigan in all industries and job areas where these technologies are being, or will be, utilized. We also need to extensively promote mobile/wireless as a career opportunity no matter what industry interests someone, increase awareness in Michigan businesses and industries about the productivity and profitability gains to be achieved with the use of these technologies, and promote nationally and globally the mobile/wireless tech innovation taking place here.”

To learn more about mobile/wireless-related work being done in Michigan and the opportunities that provides for the state’s businesses and residents, we encourage you to review the PowerPoint below, visit our website at http://GoMobileMichigan.org/MobileInMichigan, or contact us at info@GoMobileMichigan.org to be involved in making Michigan the ‘go to state’ for mobile/wireless tech or with any questions you may have. We at MTAM would love to help you take advantage of the mobile/wireless tech opportunity!

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About the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan

MTAM is a non-profit trade association for Michigan’s mobile/wireless technologies, the firm’s who provide them, and the firm’s – in all industries – who use them. The organization’s mission is to facilitate conversation/collaboration between varied sectors of the mobile/wireless eco-system and serve as the bridge to enable diverse organizations to understand each other’s perspectives and needs in order to drive new innovation and opportunities involving these technologies; to increase the use of Michigan-based mobile/wireless technology products and services in-state, nationally and globally; to increase the productivity and profitability of every industry vertical in Michigan via the use of these technologies; to create sustainable jobs and increased entrepreneurial opportunities in the state based on the use of these technologies, thereby achieving substantial growth of Michigan’s economy; and to help the communities we serve via the use of these technologies. Information about MTAM can be found at GoMobileMichigan.org.

Are you a Michigan-based firm that is utilizing mobile/wireless technologies in some way within your firm, and exhibiting at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January? If so, we’d like to speak with you.

As the first state-focused mobile/wireless technologies trade association in the U.S., the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) provides a unique opportunity to help you promote your products/services not only statewide, but also nationally and internationally.

Being a non-profit organization we are focused on increasing the use of these technologies in every industry in order to achieve job and business creation in Michigan which ultimately results in positive economic growth for the State.

We want to help you!

Therefore, if you are a Michigan-based firm, or a non-Michigan-based firm having a Michigan location, we would like to schedule time at CES for our representative to meet with you to learn about your products/services and discuss how we might be able to assist your business.

Appointment space is limited, so if interested in meeting with our representative at CES please contact us at info@GoMobileMichigan.org. We will need:

  • your name
  • job title
  • company name
  • email
  • direct phone number
  • web address

Once we receive your information an MTAM representative will contact you to schedule a meeting at CES as long as slots remain available.

We look forward to hearing from you and learning about the great mobile/wireless-related work you are doing in Michigan!

Jobs graphicIt seems like everywhere you go these days people are talking about connectivity; connected cars, smart homes, smart watches, etc. But what is not clear in all these conversations is what it all means – for our futures, for jobs, for our communities, etc.

First, it might be helpful to understand that many different terms are being used to talk about just one thing – mobile technologies. Some call it ‘connected’, some call it ‘mobility’, some call it ‘wireless’, some call it ‘smart’ – at the end of the day, it all comes back to the same thing, new ways of doing things driven by many different types of mobile technologies.

So understanding the terminology is one thing – but what does all this ‘connectivity’ translate into in terms of jobs? Well, let’s look at some of the projections:

  • Today there are 10 Billion+ connected objects; by 2020 there will be at least 50 Billion and some studies are predicting in excess of 70 Billion
  • As a result of connected technologies:
    • 220,000 new engineers will be required every year between 2014 and 2022
    • 600,000 more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. driven by automation and supply-chain data
    • 300,000 new data analysts to bring intelligent decisions to ‘Big Data’
    • $202 Billion in increased automotive revenue
    • $69 Billion in increased healthcare revenue
    • $445 Billion in increased consumer products revenue
    • $36 Billion in increased utilities revenue
    • Wireless broadband investment will create as many as 205,000 U.S. jobs by 2015
    • The worldwide smart grid market will grow from $20 Billion in 2010 to $100 billion by 2030
    • Wireless economic contributions have grown faster (16%) than the rest of the economy (3%)
    • Wireless jobs pay greater than 50% more than the average of other production workers
    • U.S. 4G wireless network investments will be up to $53 Billion by 2016; resulting in up to $151 Billion in GDP growth and up to 771,000 jobs being created.

So what’s the bottom line on all this? JOBS!  Lots of jobs, in every industry – tremendous numbers of currently available jobs going unfilled because we don’t have people qualified to fill them – and many future jobs you’ve never yet heard of because they don’t yet exist!

And if connected technologies are creating all these jobs, obviously its in our best interest to make certain we have the people to fill them. This is an endeavor that the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is committed to, and we’re happy to see that other organizations in our community are just as committed to this effort.

We believe it to be very important to share the thoughts of other organizations involved in this work to help broaden awareness of what is being done, therefore below is a re-print of a recent article from Lisa Katz, Executive Director of the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) that first appeared in Crain’s Detroit. This article is re-published here with Lisa’s permission.

We encourage readers to pay close attention to her message and to take it to heart. The sooner you, your firm, your educational institution, your government, etc. become involved in adapting to our new future, the sooner we all will reap its rewards!

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In a connected world, shift happens

by Lisa Katz, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN)

In just a five-year time period in Southeast Michigan, the number of online job postings for information technology jobs climbed 55 percent.  This was just after the recession and leading into an economic future that, while arguably more stable, certainly has not been a boom time in our region.

These new jobs did not come primarily from a core of NASDAQ-listed IT companies.   In this region, IT job demand comes from numerous industry clusters: automotive, banking and finance, health care, and logistics, just to name a few.  This is because information technology is being infused into nearly every facet of business and has become almost completely integrated into our daily lives.

For example, this year it was announced that Roush would be assembling self-driving Google cars in Allen Park.  WIN has participated in several meetings in the last year that explore how the region can capitalize on job growth. There are many new economic opportunities that come with the emerging (and possibly inevitable) connected automotive industry. Some experts forecast that by 2024, a driverless car will be optional for all new vehicle purchasers, and by 2044 they will be mandatory.

That sounds like a long way off, but we are approaching these benchmarks incrementally.  Recently, while driving to dinner in a new Ford Escape, my husband began to parallel park on the streets of downtown Rochester.  He hit a button and announced:  “Kids, mark the date: Oct. 21, 2014.  Today is the first day you rode in a car that parked itself.  Someday you’ll laugh while you tell your kids how people used to have to drive their own cars.”

Indeed, connectivity is changing the way we think about cars, but also life in general.  Connected toothbrushes can tell us how long we should brush and whether we have missed a spot.  Connected refrigerators can tell us whether it is time to buy new milk or whether the chicken is about to go bad.  And the technology exists that would allow a refrigerator to transmit an inventory of needs to a grocery store, which then could have the necessary items delivered direct-to-home.

Gregg Garrett, head of the local innovation-consulting firm, CGS Advisors, is fond of reminding me that, today, only about 1 percent of items that could be connected actually are.  Of course, this will rapidly change.

Technology has been shifting exponentially for years.  According to one of my favorite videos, Did You Know?, in the year 1900, human knowledge doubled every 100 years, in 1945 every 25 years, and in 2014 every 13 months.

By 2020, human knowledge will double every 12 hours, and by 2017, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.

By 2049, a $1,000 computer will have more computational power than the entire human species.  Several other theorists, like Ray Kurzwell, who produced a great visual of this phenomenon, agree.

So what does all of this mean for Southeast Michigan?  First, while we cannot ignore issues like math and reading literacy, we certainly cannot ignore digital literacy. The very way we work will change as a result of technology, and if we do not embrace the idea that everyone can and should learn to be at least good users and navigators of technology (if not developers and creators), we do a disservice to our whole community.

Efforts like the planning that will shape Mayor Duggan’s Detroit Innovation District can and should explore how to maximize opportunities for companies and workers in a new economy increasingly dependent on technology.

Second, everyone must re-think attitudes and mindsets related to learning.  Once again, according to the video Did You Know?:

  • 65 percent of today’s grade schoolers will hold jobs that do not yet exist.  “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.”
  • 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.  The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.    “For students starting a 4 year technical degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.”

Employers will need to make new investments in their workers. For example many companies spend more on coffee than on important training for their employees. Of course, workers will need to shift and commit to the idea of lifelong learning as being a given. Likewise, education and training institutions will need to shift the strategies and resources that help both of these groups adapt to ever-changing talent needs. We will have to teach our young people how to think creatively and flexibly, dealing with problems that have not even been defined.  Schools, like Oakland University, already are teaching engineers and business leaders what the connected world will mean for the future of engineering and work in general: more people should be having this conversation.

These ideas may sound like a tall order, but it is highly unlikely that the pace of technological change will slow. Without acknowledging that shift happens, Michigan’s lost decade could become a lost century for those who cannot or will not adapt.

This conversation is happening now, and we must begin the conversation, set a vision, and pursue a plan that will secure Southeast Michigan’s place in a more connected future.

One of the long-standing messages that we at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan have tried to communicate to all the businesses, governments, non-profits, and educational institutions in Michigan is that mobile/wireless technologies will soon be an integral part of their organization if they aren’t already – it’s not an option or a ‘maybe’, it’s a certainty. Further, how well they integrate these technologies into their business will impact their productivity and/or profitability going forward, and in some cases, their survival.

Unfortunately, this message is still a challenge to get the majority to comprehend – particularly because when most people think ‘mobile’ they think ‘cell phone’ or ‘tablet’. They don’t yet have awareness of the wide variety of mobile devices and mobile technologies that exist, nor do they understand the concept of ‘Internet of Things’ which focuses on the idea of machine-to-machine connected devices.  Therefore, we at MTAM are always glad when we find a resource that can help us convey this information to our communities in an easy-to-understand manner.

We found such an easy-to-understand article in a recent post on Techonomy.com, and with their permission, have incorporated that article into this blogpost. We encourage you to read the article and to begin considering how your business may be impacted by these technologies. Should you have questions, or need assistance, MTAM is here to help! As the state’s trade association for mobile/wireless technologies, the companies that provide them, and the companies that use them, we’re always available to provide information on ways your organization can take advantage of these technologies and maximize the opportunity they provide.  We’re easy to reach at info@GoMobileMichigan.org.

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Ten Ways Connected Devices Will Impact Every Organization

by Vladimir Pick

This year, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population. To survive the coming decade, most organizations will have to respond in some way to the rise of connected devices. As connected products, connected logistics, and connected phones become ubiquitous, they create value for users and risks for companies.

If you’re reading about the Internet of Things for the first time, here’s a short primer. But now that there’s widespread knowledge about the Internet of Things (IoT) — also known as the Machine to Machine internet (M2M) or the Industrial Internet (II) — we at consulting firm Undercurrent find that senior leaders at global organizations still struggle to articulate how it will meaningfully change their business, or shrug it off because they’re in the energy business, or the orange juice business, or name your 20th century business.

Winners will know they’re winning before losers find out they’re losing.

The pressures the IoT brings affect all types of organizations. For companies that make durable physical products it’s easy to imagine a digitally connected version. For companies that make consumables, the Internet of Things is slated to revolutionize logistics. For both, ubiquitous connected mobile devices are already changing commerce, workflow, and customer relationships.

Here are ten ways IoT will affect companies, and how companies can respond.

1. DO OR DIE, THE MARKET EXPECTS IT.

Over the next three years, every major manufacturer will have to include connectivity in its business product lines or logistics. Consumers will demand it soon, but Wall Street will demand it first. Companies like Tesla with their connected car or Amazon with their connected logistics are already trading above traditional valuations. Shareholders and analysts will evaluate companies based on their ability to integrate connectivity into their business and product lines.

2. MAKING PRODUCTS IS EASY, BUT PRODUCTION CHANGES TOO.

Manufacturers of consumer durables and equipment manufacturers will have to make connected products. CPG companies and grocers, will have to build in smart logistics. The new tech enables efficiency in managing production and distribution. Connected sensors monitor liquids, gases, and chemicals in real time. Route automation for moving things is on the horizon. Fleets of driverless trucks will soon become the standard.

3. THE RACE TO OWN THE PLATFORM STARTS WITH A PRODUCT FOCUS.

Competition will be dire, as most businesses will try to own the platform. While the tendency in big business is to build the platform first, every platform business starts off as a product business. Nest didn’t build a platform first, it built the best thermostat. To win, start with a hero product that conquers hearts and markets. This requires a radical focus on creating products and experiences that are beautiful, functional, and valuable to customers.

5. IOT IS AN ECOSYSTEM PLAY, AND ENABLES RELATIONSHIP GROWTH. IF YOU’RE IN THE CONSUMER BUSINESS, OWN THE HOME OR THE BODY.

In the future, consumers will buy new products based on how well they integrate with their smart home appliances or their health app. In June Apple released development kits for the smart home and the smart body. They’re enabling your competition and startups worldwide to create beautiful experiences for connected devices. When you go to Best Buy in a couple of years, you’ll ask if your new washing machine displays a discreet notification on your iTV. Being present in the home meaningfully also creates a commercial channel, and creates opportunities for great partnerships. You’d benefit if your fridge automatically re-ordered groceries from FreshDirect or Amazon Fresh, and so would the partners involved.

Connected equipment can sense and communicate a potential fault in any system before it creates a crisis. Such equipment can also lead to new efficiencies. For instance, a full milk tank can signal a smart truck to come pick up farm-fresh milk. Either way, a new service-driven model creates a reliable recurring revenue stream and protects your business from downstream challengers.

6. ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS MODELS WILL EMERGE.

When connected products become pervasive and communicate continuously with one another, marketplaces are created involving machines, not just people. Imagine a future where your fridge negotiates with the grid in real time to get you the best rate on power if it can wait a bit for the next cool cycle. Optimization provides quantifiable benefits, and value becomes apparent to your customers. Inside industry-leading businesses, the risk tolerance required to embrace new business models (think Innovator’s Dilemma) is paramount to making big leaps.

7. YOUR ORGANIZATION WILL NEED NEW SKILLS.

Creating these products or supply chain improvements will likely require you to focus on hiring more engineers, designers, and data scientists. Hardware is increasingly just software wrapped in plastic, and connected hardware is all about data. Your organization structure might have to adapt as well in order to move faster. You might have to shed some fat in other areas of the business. Teams will have to be leaner, smaller, and multi-disciplinary to get to market faster.

8. IN EMERGING MARKETS (AND BEYOND), MOBILE BECOMES THE DEFAULT INTERFACE.

In Kenya, more than two thirds of the adult population uses a mobile digital currency called M-Pesa; 25 percent or more of the country’s GNP flows through this parallel financial system. Most emerging markets already have pervasive mobile usage, and smartphone adoption is increasing in the rising mobile-first billion.

Besides being a requirement for products or solutions targeting developing markets, mobile is a natural interface for connected devices. I love Benedict Evans’ perspective on this: dumb sensors paired with smart phones become exponentially more valuable.

9. EXISTING ASSETS OR INFRASTRUCTURE BECOME MORE VALUABLE WHEN THEY’RE CONNECTED.

For many companies, perhaps the most overlooked asset class is the network of products and customers that an established business has already created in the world. Imagine you’ve been selling vacuum cleaners or street lamps for decades. Odds are, there are thousands or even millions of products exist in the world with your brand.

Similar to how cell tower businesses use their network of physical assets (towers) to create new revenue streams by leasing out spots on the towers, all companies with products out in the world have a potential base to integrate sensing, connectivity, and intelligence open new and exciting revenue streams. Imagine how valuable the street lamps on your highway become if they broadcasted up-to-the-second traffic updates.

10. MORE THAN ANYTHING, RECENT ADVANCEMENTS IN CONNECTIVITY, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ROBOTICS DEMAND A CHANGE IN STRATEGY.

Organizations will require a clearer visionary focus and purpose. The teams and skill-sets required for companies to succeed in the near future need to pair up with new ways of working. Leadership teams must find comfort in embracing unknowns and iterating towards solutions, and they have to empower their teams to move quickly into new markets and product spaces.

The change brought on by this new wave of connectivity will be will be subtle at times, but always valuable. What’s intimidating is that winners will know they’re winning long before losers find out they’re losing.

Vladimir Pick works as a senior strategist for New York City consultancy Undercurrent, where he advises leaders of Fortune 100 companies on strategy, organizational design, and digital transformation.

Techonomy - squareThis article originally appeared at Techonomy.com. Techonomy will host its third Techonomy Detroit conference on September 16 at Wayne State University. (To register for the conference, click here.)

This article was originally published in the newsletter of our MTAM member firm, Logic Solutions of Ann Arbor, and was written by a member of their Marketing team, Louie Davis. The article is reprinted here with the firm’s permission.

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is a strong advocate for the use of mobile / wireless technologies in every business vertical. This article does an excellent job of helping to increase awareness of the capabilities of those technologies in the business environment.

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Mobile Business Apps and the Mobile Tipping Point

mobile in manufacturing 3At the turn of the decade, technology analysts and investors bet that enterprise mobile applications would revolutionize business activity akin to the way they changed social and consumer behavior.

It’s clear that their gamble has paid off:

In the past two years, enterprise mobile applications have gone viral. iOS and Android device adoption is growing 10 times faster than PC adoption did in the 1980s. 88% of organizations surveyed by IBM currently offer, or are expected to adopt, mobile versions of websites AND mobile apps in 2013. According to Forbes, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPads. By 2015, mobile app development projects will outnumber PC projects by a 4-to-1 ratio.

Mobile business apps for smart devices are a permanent and increasingly large piece of the business IT puzzle, not a transient fad.

Executives from every corner of the economy recognize a powerful upside to mobile technology, and they’re investing accordingly. Whether you work in a hospital, a factory, a classroom, or a retail store, employee-facing mobile apps are workforce productivity engines, making every day responsibilities and processes more efficient.

Mobile business apps can increase a company’s overall productivity and reduce labor, materials, and operating costs. Early adopters of internal-facing mobile business apps are already enjoying increased productivity, reduced paperwork and increased revenue thanks to streamlined workflow and communications.

Similarly, with nearly 120 million Americans owning a Smartphone and 22% of adults owning tablets, customer-facing mobile apps are equally gainful. This channel offers exciting long-term opportunities for companies to extend their brand, deepen B2C and B2B/B2R engagement, and generate revenue.

But before your company can realize ROI from employee- or customer-facing mobile app, you need a well-mapped mobile strategy.

Custom Mobile Business App Strategy

The ash heap of failed mobile apps is littered with ambitious, creative ideas but poor strategy. Here are some questions your company should flush out when designing a mobile strategy:

Why?

Why is the app being developed? Define the pain points your app will be designed to alleviate. Detail your expected return on investment, whether that be in cost savings from streamlined processes, increased sales from reaching more consumers, creating brand awareness and engaging a larger audience, improving communications, etc. Understand at the outset what makes your investment worth it to you, then build from there.

Who?

Who will use the app? Employees? The general public? Account holders? Partners? Independent Reps? Retailers and distributors? Fans and subscribers? All of the above?

It is imperative for businesses to understand their target audiences through careful analysis and measurement. By understanding these connections, the mobile app’s strategic focus will sharpen.

Which?

Choosing a mobile development approach is highly contingent on your audiences’ device tendencies. Reaching the broadest audience is obviously best, but sometimes budget can be a limiting factor in deploying on multiple platforms.

Do your users prefer iOS, Android, or both? Smartphones and/or tablets? If you are creating an app for internal use, does your company have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, or does it plan on issuing common-platform work-only devices for employees?

What and How?

Knowing what your app will do might be the easy part, and you’ve probably had that idea in your head from the beginning. Fleshing out how it will do it can get trickier.

Will your app require and/or function best on a smartphone or tablet? Will your app require internet access? Do you need to retain the information that is being transmitted? Do you need the app to talk to other IT systems? Are there security issues?

One of the biggest questions is this: mobile web or native app?

Mobile Web or Native App

Mobile websites are traditional websites that have been optimized for the small screens sizes of smartphones and tablets. They look like apps, but are accessed through the device’s browser, using your existing URL.

Mobile web’s strengths lie in its cross-platform nature, its searchability, its relative ease-of-construction, and content delivery: it simplifies navigation by highlighting the most critical information to your visitors and customers.

Native apps are more appropriate for workforce productivity solutions and deeper marketing and customer engagement possibilities. They provide a “stickier” engagement experience and can also draw on native device capabilities and other options for increasing productivity, loyalty and monetization. Some of these features include data integration, GPS location functions, image manipulation, forms and surveys, event planning, content management, VOIP, and much more. Additionally, they may not require a constant Internet connection to operate.

Native apps are usually a more substantial investment than mobile websites. Programming is more sophisticated, and may need to be done in separate languages for different platforms. However, new tools are making cross-platform development less expensive than ever before.

Conclusion

Challenging financial times prevented many companies from investing in new technologies, but that is changing in a big way. One technology paper writes that, “If 2012 was a year of ‘wait and see,’ for business technology, 2013 will be a year to ‘go for it.'”

The mobile tipping point is here: thousands of companies—big and small—are already capitalizing on the ability of mobile business applications to increase workforce productivity and to reduce their labor, materials, and operating costs. Thousands more are using them to deepen customer engagement, brand loyalty, and to generate revenue.

In order to capitalize on this potential, understanding your full range of business software options is important.

Founded in 1995, Logic Solutions, Inc. is a privately held minority-owned corporation with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and offices in California and China. Logic Solutions provides technology solutions and services including mobile strategy consultation and application development, custom web applications, and comprehensive websites for businesses across the United States.  Website:  http://logicsolutions.com

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About the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan:

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is a Michigan-based non-profit trade association for the mobile / wireless industry. Our mission is to grow the industry within the state by increasing demand for Michigan-based mobile / wireless technology products and services, thereby generating increased entrepreneurial and enterprise-level opportunities and creating sustainable jobs for Michigan residents.

MTAM sponsors Michigan-based growth of the Mobile Monday organization which to-date boasts 2300+ members in chapters located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing; performs research for members and other interested parties; facilitates idea sharing, entrepreneurial programs, training programs and jobs creation; acts as a liaison with the mobile / wireless technology community inside and outside of Michigan; and serves as a resource for all things related to the mobile / wireless industry. MTAM’s website can be found at http://GoMobileMichigan.org.

The growth of the M2M (machine-2-machine / mobile-2-machine) sector of the mobile technology industry is set to explode over the next 10 years according to a multitude of forecasters and analysts. The general consensus typically estimates that M2M device connections will grow from a rate of 62 million in 2010 to reach 60 billion by 2020 – and Michigan is well-positioned to benefit from that growth.

While the availability of mobile technologies isn’t new, the recent proliferation of mobile devices into the hands of consumers, and their demand to utilize mobile technologies in both their personal and professional lives, is driving an increase in M2M deployments in an ever-increasing array of industries. The fastest-growing industry sectors are expected to be: utilities, healthcare and security, however the list of industries that are currently, and can be in the future, positively impacted by M2M technologies is substantially longer. A recent article by the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) (http://dld.bz/awBxM) offered the theory that the impact of this technology specifically related to Michigan could in fact have long-term impact on the state’s economic growth. Linda Daichendt, Executive Director of MTAM states, “In our opinion, Michigan has a short window of opportunity to carve out a leadership position for itself in specific segments of the mobile / wireless space where major impact nationally and globally has yet to be achieved.  We see M2M as a primary focus area where Michigan has a tremendous opportunity for success due to existing resources already available within the State.”

In the next meeting of Mobile Monday Detroit at Automation Alley  in Troy on November 14th, the organization will explore the future of M2M technology on a global and national scale, as well as looking at its potential to positively impact Michigan specifically. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the meeting at no charge, though reservations are required. They can be made at http://meetup.com/mobile-monday-detroit .

As Michigan continues to search for the answer to return the state to economic viability, we at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) believe that a major piece of the state’s economic puzzle is being overlooked – by government, by business (both enterprise-level and small business), by the economic forecasters, and by a large segment of the education community. Research strongly indicates that mobile technology is the answer to Michigan’s economic recovery.

The maturation of wireless networks and the evolution of a wide variety of mobile technologies, along with the proliferation of hand-held devices of all types, has created a new class of technology that is ubiquitous and easily accessible at all times by businesses in every possible industry, by educators, and by consumers. The access provided by mobile technology is enabling significant growth in the economies of even the poorest of countries according to a multitude of global studies. Given that economic impact on a global scale, the expectation that mobile technology’s influence on Michigan’s economy would be substantive would not be unfounded.

Bearing out this inference, MTAM recently worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to complete an analysis on the impact of mobile technology on Michigan’s economy. The results of that analysis provide direct evidence of mobile technology’s ability to create sustainable, good-paying jobs in Michigan. For example:

  • There are currently over 47,000 residents of the State of Michigan currently employed in some segment of the mobile / wireless industry though its evolution in Michigan is still in its infancy
  • Of those 47,000+ mobile technology-related employees, approximately 4500 of them work directly for the carriers, a modest percentage work in mobile-related positions within enterprise-level firms, and the largest percentage work in over 2200 small businesses throughout Michigan
  • The study also reveals that every mobile-related job that is created in Michigan creates 3.9 additional non-mobile-related positions in the state.
  • The average compensation for someone working in a mobile technology-related position in Michigan is $63,000; a cost-of-living equivalent to $145,000 in California’s Silicon Valley.

As a result of these findings of mobile technology’s direct impact on Michigan job creation, MTAM has established a goal of creating 9,250 mobile-related jobs in the state by 2015 which if achieved, will also create over 35,000 additional non-mobile-related jobs in businesses both large and small. These new jobs will result in over $1.7 billion in salaries / wages for Michigan residents according to the MEDC analysis.

So you might wonder how mobile technology can be expected to have such signficant impact on the State. The answer lies in the diversity of industries which will be directly impacted by the development and implementation of mobile technologies. Such industries would include:

  • automotive
  • healthcare
  • education
  • general manufacturing
  • retail
  • marketing / advertising
  • real estate
  • logistics
  • transportation management
  • financial services / banking
  • gaming
  • travel
  • data security
  • business / consumer security
  • telecom
  • entertainment
  • consumer services
  • business services
  • many, many more!

    

Given the ability for mobile technology to impact such a diversity of industries and to provide such pronounced economic impact, obviously it leads to the question of why there is not more focus on mobile technology within the State of Michigan. We believe there are a number of factors that are adversely affecting the technology’s ability to drive generation of the expected positive economic impact such as:

LACK OF EDUCATION

  • mobile is currently thought to be only a consumer-oriented technology, businesses have little awareness of the wide array of mobile technologies available and their ability to directly impact and increase a company’s productivity and profitability. Most business owners cannot yet concieve of mobile technology in any way other than cell phones, tablet devices, or vehicle navigation systems. The reality of mobile technology is far more diverse, and significantly more impactful.
  • resources are not yet available to facilitate training programs related to mobile technology. If such funding was available it would enable the re-training of downsized workers and once again enable them to find fulfilling, living-wage positions. Further, college students would begin to see the ability to stay in Michigan for their education – and their career; and small businesses would see Michigan as an environment where an industry with a lower than normal barrier-to-entry is embraced. Lastly, existing businesses would be able to re-define themselves with new product / service offerings that would once again make them competitive and able to expand their hiring.

LACK OF INDUSTRY COHESION IN THE STATE

  • various sectors of the industry such as carriers, mobile developers, equipment installers, etc. have very little knowledge of how their organizations and their sectors impact other sectors of the industry. This lack of awareness adversely affects the formation of relationships which could ultimately enable innovation and growth of the overall industry throughout the State.
  • while certainly competition is key to the growth of any industry, competitors in most growth-oriented industries have found ways to work together for their common good.  This cooperation has been achieved at the national and international levels in the mobile / wireless space – even when firms agree to disagree in specified areas, they have managed to come together on issues important to the overall industry. Unfortunately, in Michigan, the mobile / wireless industry has yet to achieve this cooperative status.

COLLABORATION

  • there is not yet a wide acceptance of the role that mobile technologies will play in the growth of Michigan’s economy, therefore support is not currently being provided from government entities, educational facilities, enterprise-level firms, state-wide organizations, marketers, national / international industry groups, or a majority of small businesses.

     

Returning to the question posed in the headline of this article, ‘can mobile technology jumpstart Michigan’s economy?’, the answer is an unequivocal YES!

Given the increasingly rapid pace at which mobile technologies are evolving, Michigan has a short window of opportunity to carve out a leadership position for itself in specific segments of the mobile / wireless space where major impact has yet to be achieved. Among those areas are machine-2-machine / mobile-2-machine and mHealth, and possibly even mobile TV. We at MTAM believe that Michigan is uniquely positioned to stake a claim to these segments of the industry due to our existing resources such as:

  • global leadership capabilities in manufacturing and engineering
  • exceptional educational institutions
  • an abundance of existing engineering and development talent in a wide variety of specialty areas
  • renowned healthcare institutions
  • recently developed production facilities that were built to take advantage of the now-defunct tax incentives for the entertainment industry

   

Michigan is currently faced with an opportunity to change its future and that of its residents. We hope that those in a position to directly affect the integration of, and promote the capabilities of mobile technologies to benefit the state, its businesses and its residents will realize that time is short. We at MTAM will be here to assist.

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About MTAM:

MTAM’s mission is to create demand for Michigan-based mobile technology products and services. Given the research, it is our expectation that increased demand will generate new opportunities for Michigan-based enterprises and small businesses, thereby enabling the creation of new jobs. As a state-based trade association for Michigan’s mobile / wireless industry we are working steadfastly to develop educational programs and locate educational funding, to increase industry cohesion, and to generate opportunities for collaboration between mobile and other industries, governmental institutions, education, associations, and consumers / businesses-at-large to insure that the State of Michigan has the opportunity to achieve the positive economic impact that can be derived from mobile’s diverse technologies. Should there be interest in learning more, or in working with us to facilitate that growth, please feel free to visit our website at http://GoMobileMichigan.org or to contact us directly at info@GoMobileMichigan.org .

About the Author:

Linda Daichendt, Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan and Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan is an accomplished marketer, and award-winning blogger, and one of Michigan’s leading proponents of the use of mobile technology and mobile marketing for businesses of all sizes.  She is a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience.  Linda  is also the CEO of Strategic Growth Concepts, and a Co-host / Co-producer of the international online radio program, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’. Linda may be contacted directly at Linda@GoMobileMichigan.org.