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Is B2B the new frontier for app development?

No matter what you’re looking for these days, as the saying goes ‘there’s an app for that’.

Given the sheer volume of app development that has already occurred, the consumer market is already pretty saturated – recent research revealed at least half of developers make less than $500 per app per month.

But despite this – and perhaps because of this – a bold new frontier has opened for developers in the B2B commercial arena.

Driven by the evolution technology and the need to open new markets, developers have unearthed exciting new opportunities for the creation of B2B and enterprise apps. The use of data streams from one system to enrich streams from others is helping to meet the call for greater efficiency in business processes.

The Internet of Things is allowing us to automate an increasing number of daily tasks, breaking down traditional barriers and providing an unprecedented level of intelligence and insight.

To use an example from the fleet management and telematics industry, integration with WEBFLEET platform allows mobile workers to complete all of their daily tasks via an app on a single, customizable tablet-style device.

Vehicle checks are made via the device, with results instantly communicated to the back office, daily workflow is loaded onto the device and navigation provided to each job. Automatic texts can be sent to customers advising them of arrival time and proof of delivery obtained by using the app’s signature capture functionality or by scanning with the device’s in-built camera or NFC chip.

Once jobs are completed, status is updated in the back-office system, along with daily mileage records and worker hours, eliminating the need for laborious record-keeping processes.

As our technologies begin to work together, businesses such as Mendix, Salesforce and, more recently in the fleet management space, TomTom Telematics, have evolved from mere technology providers to platform as a service (PaaS) companies, with ecosystems of partner developers. These companies provide the core technological infrastructure but allow developers to apply their specific expertise to add further layers of functionality.

As a result, technological platforms can be tailored to offer specific solutions for a variety of different industries.

In the fleet industry, change is already occurring. WEBFLEET open design allows other software applications to access highly accurate traffic information, historic journey times and up-to-date ETAs for any route.

Access to this data enables transportation, field service, and other businesses to benefit from more dynamic planning and scheduling, making ETAs more accurate and helping fleet managers to better understand what is happening with their field staff and vehicles.

But despite the limitless possibilities for smarter working, B2B apps remain a largely untapped market. A VisionMobile survey conducted last year found just 16 percent of app developers are focused on enterprises, so golden opportunities abound for developers who act now.

Visit the Webfleet App Center for more information on B2B apps available in the fleet industry.

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