Be happy the mobile ate your computer

Mobile First is a miserable slogan but people in the Nordics are far happier than us and they adopted this strategy. So what does it actually mean?

Here are three mysteries: What does Mobile First even mean? Can you afford to ignore the Scandinavians who wear this on their TV shirts? Why are Norwegians the world’s happiest people?

Iain Sinnott, the head of international carrier sales for Enreach for Service Providers, says there is a link between happiness and the Nordics being first to make their mobile phone the apex computing system. These regions have led the world in giving priority to the mobile, even feeding it with all their business apps. The mobile ate my mainframe! So Mobile First is actually an apt description.

Norwegians have huge oil reserves, a Sovereign Wealth Fund and sensible investment in a green future. The Danes exude hygge because they are close knit and yet comfortable together and interested in each other’s welfare. Swedes are good at prioritising.

In all three cases, the mobile phones are the enablers. Hang on though, isn’t there a link between mobile phone addiction and misery? Not in this case, as the Scandinavians regard their phones as work tools, which is quite logical given that these machines are like media centres, broadcasting hubs and fun sized mainframes. Nobody wants to bring their enterprise home, so it’s unsurprising that the Nordics are good at separating work from home life.

How did they achieve that? Our friends in the Nordics latched on to the fact that they could integrate everything, from CRM to ERP, onto the phone. At the other ends of the scale, service providers went beyond the call of duty to provide handsets and contracts. They encouraged small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) to incorporate unified communisations systems. Though these were by necessity rudimentary, they provided the essential tools to solve the ‘low hanging fruit’ of business problems, namely handling customers and suppliers.

If you’ve witnessed the angst that people have organising their holiday rotas, even with the luxury of plenty of time, it’s obvious that they’ll struggle to deal with the volumes and velocity of organising calls. This is where the unbiased brutal efficiency of a call handling system for routine enquiries makes this process infinitely timely.

Even the simplest customer inquiries will stop each employee in their tracks so the first massive saving is getting a bot to answer all the routine stuff. Small businesses survive on prosper by being in the right place at the right time, so the service providers accentuated this positive by retaining that essential SMB dynamism even as they get bigger.

Conversations with business customers have to change and be more about addressing their real needs and being outcome-driven, not just selling mobile-enabled products and services, said Sinnott. You get big company technology on a small business budget. Small businesses survive on prosper by being in the right place at the right time, so pack as much power as you can into your mobile phone comms budget.

A few years ago, mobile-first was a term only a handful of organisations in the telecom industry used, unless you were in Norway. Now, having seen how efficient our rich, contented cousins everyone is adopting a Nordic accent. So, now is the time to get the foundations in place to help business customers mobilise their businesses more fully.

To paraphrase Lucian from that ghastly Google TV advert you use your mobile for talking to customers, you use your mobile for presentations, you use your mobile to keep in touch with the office. So why don’t you use for mobile for unified communications systems? Why indeed. That’s what the Nordic countries have done. That’s why they are happy and productive and their economy is booming.

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