Native vs. Web Mobile Applications for Amdocs/Clarify


It’s hard to miss all the changes going on in the mobile phone world lately. Every time you read the news there is something about Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android or their respective ecosystems. For me it’s been a validation of sorts because I was one of those guys that paid $600 for my first iPhone.

Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by and watched the smart phone business and things are really getting interesting. There are massive changes taking place as the incumbents struggle to adjust to new players. The stakes are huge because the market, even in its infancy, is already enormous. Having a networked computer in your pocket that is also a phone is incredibly compelling and it seems quite clear to me that it’s true what many are saying, that soon smart phone users will outnumber “feature phone” users.

Naturally as smart phone use proliferates so does the availability of mobile business applications. But with all the turbulence in the market, one might think it’s too early to adopt new mobile solutions for your organization in any strategic way.

In fact, I think the timing has never been better. Not too long ago, your only viable option was to purchase or develop an application to run natively (created specifically for the device and operating system of choice). But now, most contemporary smart phones include fully functional and standards-compliant Internet browsers. So deploying a browser-based application may make a lot more sense, because one version will work on many of different phones and operating systems. Benefits of a web-based approach include:

  • You will only need one code base to support a majority of web-enabled devices for many years into the future,
  • Standard commercially available mobile devices can be used instead of proprietary and usually more expensive ones,
  • With the proliferation of smart phones, companies may be able to limit company-subsidized device purchases and service fees,
  • Standard commercially available devices are upgraded often and offer an increasing array of collateral functionality that continues to drive efficiency in unexpected ways, and
  • Lower long term costs and less complexity.

If you spend much time researching the native vs. web argument, you’ll find that the arguments against a web-app approach mostly distill down to poor execution. For instance, most performance and usability issues ultimately are related to design shortcuts (e.g., people trying to reuse pages and code that were not designed for mobile devices). As long as you can address these issues early in your project and your functional requirements aren’t super complex, a web application should be one of your top considerations.

The good news for Amdocs/Clarify customers is that Dovetail offers a great head start in delivering a mobile web app for your users. We’ve been in the business of providing web applications for Clarify systems for years and our application framework made it easy for us to build on top of proven technology that’s being used by dozens of our customers already.

The application we’ve built is called Dovetail Mobile. It can be added to virtually any Clarify system without incurring additional Amdocs licensing cost. It’s easy to customize and configure so you’ll be seeing the benefits fast. You can read about it and view a demo on our web site. But, perhaps even better than that, you can attend a mobile solutions webinar next week on Tuesday, March 1st.

Hope to see you there!