The m-commerce industry might be in its relative infancy but many market watchers think that eventually, its impact on business will exceed that of the Internet itself, Analysts at Ovum, for example, suggest that by 2005 more than 500 million m-commerce users worldwide will be generating revenues of over 130 billion [pounds sterling] for players in the value chain, from the network operator and technology supplier to the content provider and on-line merchants.
If even the most conservative forecasts are to be believed, any communications professional involved in developing customer-facing applications should take the business imperative of m-commerce seriously. Consider this basic fact: mobile technology enables a unique customer communications channel and nowhere is the impetus stronger than among the mobile network operators for whom m-commerce and the power of predictive CRM presents a real opportunity to counter the ongoing effects of customer churn and focus on boosting ARPU (average revenue per user).
CO-OPERATIVE MARKET FORCES
As it gathers pace, there are signs of a market making a cohesive effort to co-operate on the development of complementary and integrated products and services which will be essential to drive enterprise m-commerce adoption. There is a strong impetus to co-operate on developing Java-compliant operating systems, demonstrate applications which work effectively across disparate networks, deliver sophisticated roaming capability and reassure the corporate community that an integrated m-commerce strategy is a viable concept.
One thing is clear in this rapidly evolving industry: network operators, service providers and hardware developers must work closely with each other and with key partners in the financial sector to build a standards-based framework to deliver services which will meet high customer expectations.
Witness the constant parade of inter-industry alliances and consortia formed to drive...