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Wednesday, May 22, 2002


Back to Business. If you're exploring the feasibility of employing m-commerce or wireless-enabled systems I recommend reading Mobile Business Strategies: Understanding the Technologies and Opportunities. It's not overly technical, so if you are not up-to-speed in the technology (which is constantly and rapidly evolving) it will allow you to quickly learn the fundamentals. It's written to provide a basic, but complete, introduction to mobile commerce from a business strategy point of view. It helps you answer some fundamental questions, such as:
  • Does mobile commerce make sense as a part of our business strategy?
  • What does it take to implement it?
  • What have other done to be successful?
From the above the most suitable audience consists of upper management on the business side, marketing and IT/IS management. Upper levels of business management who are exploring how to integrate mobile commerce into the value chain, or develop a strategy for competitive advantage that taps into the proliferation of mobile devices (cell phones and PDAs) are going to benefit most from the following chapters: (2) Partnerships—the way to Success in the Mobile Era and (4) Corporate Applications: Aligning Mobile Commerce with your Business Goals.

Marketing will get the most from chapters (3) Consumer Mobile Commerce—Mass Market Solutions with Segmentation and (6) Portals—A Single Plate for Various Dishes. Another book that will serve marketing well is The Mobile Internet: How Japan Dialled up and the West Disconnected by Jeffrey Lee Funk because it provides deep insights into marketing issues, as well as how Japan's NTT DoCoMo became an international success story.

Both business managers and marketing will also gain keen insights from the case studies and scenarios that are used throughout the book to illustrate key points and show how others have successfully employed m-commerce solutions for strategic advantage or as service offerings.

IT/IS management will get a high level overview of the technical underpinnings, issues and factors associated with developing, deploying and maintaining m-commerce systems. The technical details are not deep, but are sufficient to gain a rough understanding of the scope and complexity of implementing and supporting m-commerce enabled systems.

If you are seeking in-depth technical details you will be disappointed. However, if you are among the target audience or have the goals I cited above you'll find this book to be one of the best in its genre for introducing the business and strategic issues surrounding mobile commerce.

If you are pursuing an M-commerce project and need to quickly get your staff trained, but lack the budget, see today's entry in Notes from the Field for an alternative that may meet your training and budget requirements. Also see my 12 May entry there for related resources.