Microsoft Dynamics Customer Engagement MVP Rick McCutcheon sat down with Ivan Stano, Chief Operating Officer of Resco mobility, the number one mobile platform for Dynamics 365, to discuss all things related to mobility and the innovative work at Resco.net.
Rick: Last year I went to Prague for your Resco Next conference and I’ve got to say I’m very, very excited about your platform, some of the things your company has in the works and what you are building. What I like most about it is that it’s a very simple mobile application.
Ivan: Resco Next in Prague last year was our most successful multi-day event yet with over 200 people coming from all over the world, including Japan, the US and people from all over Europe as well.
To really get to where we are as a platform, it took a long time and effort put into our solution. As you said, you like the simplicity of our app and this is something we really fought for. At the very beginning of our journey we were really considered just a simple mobile app that worked on a couple of mobile devices.
We really invested and decided not only to offer a simple mobile app but something more robust.
Rick: At one time there were four or five companies with your type of mobile application. Why do you think Resco is still here today?
Ivan: There were a lot of companies doing similar things, and there was a lot of disruption over the years. Microsoft always had their own mobile strategy and plans. Some of the companies didn’t make it. I think we were the most flexible and most committed to succeed. Basically we now own the mobile ISV space within the Dynamics channel.
Rick: What types of companies use your application? What difference between Resco and Microsoft’s current mobile application?
Ivan: When it comes to our customer base it’s really hard to pinpoint it to one type of customer. Currently we have more than 2,200 customers that use our technology to mobilize their employees, colleagues or even external users. They come from many different industries; probably the leading one is manufacturing but we have customers from all sorts of different industries. Globally they’re spread mostly between Western Europe and North America but we also have customers in Africa, Asia, Australia and pacific Japan - so it’s truly a global customer base. Some are global companies, some are local companies serving regions. It varies a lot.
I think the biggest advantage of Resco is that there truly are no compromises when you choose Resco.
One of the great examples I like to talk about is one of the most challenging and demanding uses is the program we’re doing with the United Nations. We teamed up for an application called Rapid Application that the UN uses to identify and register refugees in Africa and South America and rolling out this application in many other countries.
The demands the app needs to face are totally out of this world. If we talk about offline these are the most brutal demands do far. The app is used in refugee camps literally in the middle of nowhere. Electricity is coming only from mobile generators. The camps are pretty much just tents or temporary settlements. That makes me believe any requirement or functional areas companies seek, we can deliver. I have absolutely no hesitation to say Resco has what it takes for any type of mobile application.
Microsoft is trying to address the majority of mobile uses cases. They have as strategy with their PowerApps, with the ability to create simply mobile applications for any type of simple purpose. Those are a perfect help if you need to create something easy with a limited number of screens and functionality. I think it’s a great performance booster.
Rick: I think the offline functionality is the big advantage of Resco’s mobile application. At your conference last year I was talking to one partner who has a project where they’re working on with a merchandising group. They want to be able to go into a store and spend no more than a couple of minutes to inventory the current merchandise. The last thing they want to be doing if fighting with any kind of lag from an online application.
Ivan: The biggest performance boost of offline is no existing lag. If you have a little slower connection or if the server a little slower to respond, your performance is going to be affected. When you work with a local database the app is super responsive, super fast. The app is ready after a simple tap on a screen and you can focus on what your job is all about. You don’t have to fight with the technology.
Ivan: It was basically our answer to provide the Dynamics channel partners with a tool that would allow them to configure the mobile application easily and very quickly. That really enabled us to grow our partner channel much faster and it allows our partners to create different types of configuration without being a developer or coder. Most of the things are done with a mouse. It’s more of the point and click type of tool, very powerful though, equipped with components and modules and functional blocks with companies and partners can use to extend functionality of the application.
In the future, we’re expanding that a lot. We want to move beyond the era of Woodford, a simple tool, and step into a development platform era, looking at other extensions of how people use technologies.
Ivan: I see tremendous potential with Inspections. It’s not an accident we decided to create a solution such as Inspections. It comes from a lot of customer feedback. We understand what they’re trying to achieve with our technology and we see where they struggle. They’re real seeking to have an easily configurable mobile experience they can change quickly and provide an inspection form – a questionnaire or survey type of screen for the user to gather the information they need. We decided to create Inspections as a new solution that can be but doesn’t have to be fully integrated with our current product offering.
It’s equipped not only with new building blocks in the app but also new set of tools and additional applications. So there are new tools like an inspection designer, a new scheduling part and an analysis application to understand what kind of input colleagues are gathering in the field.
City Smart Services is our answer to municipalities. We’re putting together all our knowledge from the mobile world. Were really starting aggressively in our home turf - the lovely country of Slovakia where we work with towns and municipalities to allow this solution and we’ve provided it free to all municipalities in Slovakia. The feedback so far is very, very positive.
Rick: That’s great have some customers close to your developers really taking the product through the tough processes they work through.
For more information on mobility solutions, Resco and upcoming events where Resco will participate, please visit https://www.resco.net/about-us/events/