The Latest: New immigration plan to change focus from family

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's immigration plan (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

The immigration plan unveiled by President Donald Trump includes a proposal to allow public donations to pay for his long-promised southern border wall.

A fact sheet release by the White House on Thursday evening says the president's proposal "will safeguard our homeland by continuing to add to the 400-plus miles of border wall underway in strategic locations" and "will also enable public donations for the wall.Read more on

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Why Your Existing Customers Are Your Best Customers

Sometimes, it’s so easy to get caught up in the process of converting new customers that you forget that your best customers are sitting right in front of you.
They are your existing customers. You’ve already won them over with your products. But did you also know that keeping customers loyal comes with a wealth of benefits?
Table of Contents

Your existing customers are more likely to spend more on your products
Focusing on your existing customers helps keep your retention rate high
Retaining existing customers increases their lifetime value
Existing customers are great salespeople who can refer others to your business
Key Takeaways

It’s easier to convince them to buy products from you again, and the longer they stay with you, the greater their lifetime value becomes. In addition, once you’ve built a solid relationship with your existing customers, they’ll refer their friends. So, they’ll become powerful advocates who can bring new customers your way!
Let’s dive further into why keeping existing customers is as important, if not more important, than obtaining new customers for your business.

Your existing customers are more likely to spend more on your products
Satisfying your customers helps you build a large, reliable customer base. And strengthens the pool of customers you can count on to repeatedly purchase from you.
When your existing customers are satisfied, they’re more likely to buy from you again. So, it’s far more cost-effective to persuade existing customers to make a repeat purchase than it is to acquire a new customer (think of the money you don’t have to spend on ads as well as the time it takes to find people in your niche).
These compelling stats show just how valuable it is to maintain your customer base:

65% of your sales will come from existing customers. (Small Business Trends)
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60%-70%. Meanwhile, the probability of getting a prospective customer to buy products from you for the first time is only 5% to 20%. So, you’re at least 40% more likely to convince an existing customer to buy from you again than you are to convert a prospective customer. (Neil Patel)
Compared to new and prospective customers, existing customers are 50% more likely to try out your new products. (Neil Patel)
80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers. (Customer Thermometer)
Repeat customers spend an average of 31% more than first-time customers. (Neil Patel)

Focusing on your existing customers helps keep your retention rate high
Retention rate is the percentage of customers who have remained with your company over a period of time. (The opposite of retention rate is churn rate, which shows the percentage of customers you have lost over a given time).
For example, if you started the year with 1000 customers, and then found out that 800 of those customers remained your customers at the end of the year, your customer retention rate for the year is 80% and your churn rate is 20%.
Higher retention rate is directly connected with higher profits. After all, as the Harvard Business Review explains, “you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — you just have to keep the one you have happy.”
According to Destination CRM, increasing your customer retention rate by just 2% has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10%. And, as Customer Thermometer reports, increasing your customer retention rate by 5% can increase your company profits by 25% to 125%.

Retaining existing customers increases their lifetime value
Lifetime value measures the total profit contribution that a customer has brought to your business. The longer someone remains your loyal customer, the greater their lifetime value.
Customers with high lifetime value are extremely important to your business’ success because their purchases are not counteracted by acquisition costs.
A new customer who spends the same amount of money on products as your average existing customer doesn’t bring nearly as much profit as the existing customer, because you must account for the one-time costs to acquire that new customer.

It’s between 5 times and 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain and satisfy an existing customer. (Harvard Business Review)
It’s 16 times more expensive to bring a new customer up to the same level as a current loyal customer. (Small Business Trends)

If your acquisition costs are greater than your average customer’s lifetime value, you could be losing money, and you will need to rethink your marketing strategy. But the more customers you retain, the higher your average customer lifetime value becomes, leading to more profits.
You can calculate your average customer lifetime value with this basic formula:

Average annual profit contribution by a customer
(X) The average number of years that someone remains a customer
( – ) the initial cost of customer acquisition for each customer
For example, say your average length of customer retention is three years;
Customers spend $500 a year on your products, on average;
and it costs you $800 to acquire a new customer.

This means you could be losing money.
Your average customer’s lifetime value is $100 less than your acquisition costs.
But what if your average length of customer retention becomes 4 years (assuming that your acquisition cost and the average amount customers spend both stay the same)?

That’s $400 more than it costs for you to acquire each new customer.
Increasing your average customer lifetime value makes all the difference! Thus, focus on building customer loyalty, so that you can increase customer’s lifetime value and reduce your acquisition costs.
Existing customers are great salespeople who can refer others to your business
Existing customer’s real lifetime value is even higher than the value of their repeated purchases. Your existing customers are your greatest advocates. If they’re happy with your products and pleased with your customer service, they’ll refer others to your business, authentically and naturally.
As Inmoment reports, 75% of loyal customers will refer their friends and family to your brand.

Loyal existing customer’s referrals come in a variety of forms, including:

Word-of-mouth recommendations
Social media posts and messages about your brand
Positive comments and reviews, posted on public pages for anyone to see
Messages from your brand’s referral programs

These recommendations are powerful tools that should never be underestimated. People trust referrals from their family, friends, and peers far more than they trust messaging that comes directly from your brand. It’s one of the many reasons why you need a referral program.
After all, they feel that the people they know are least likely to mislead them. Plus, when people make decisions about what to buy, they rely on these genuine referrals most, because they value personal experience— referrals come from people who have had real experiences with your brand.

83% of Americans say that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family members make them more likely to purchase that product or service. (Referral Rock)
According to a Nielsen survey, 90% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, and peers they know over other sources.
88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from people they know. (BrightLocal)
72% of consumers will take some sort of action after reading a positive review. (Referral Rock)

In addition, your existing customers’ recommendations can reduce your marketing costs even further. After all, their referrals come naturally, at absolutely no cost to your business! Prioritize your existing customer’s experience, and new customers will end up rolling in for free. You won’t need to spend nearly as much money on new customer acquisition!
Most crucially, new customers who were referred by an existing customer already have a positive impression of your brand, since their trusted friend, family member or peer gave your brand the thumbs up.
So, they are more likely to become loyal, lasting customers. In fact, the average lifetime value of referred customers amounts to 16% more than the value of other customers. And best of all? Referred customers are more likely to keep the cycle going, and refer their friends to you.
Key Takeaways
Your existing customers are your best customers because they are more likely to spend more on your products; because they keep your retention rate strong; because their lifetime value keeps increasing with every consecutive year they stay loyal; and because they are likely to refer others to your brand. All of these factors help you spend less on customer acquisition. So focus more of your time, money, and energy on retaining your existing customer base!
Now that you’ve seen how valuable your existing customers are to your business, make sure to prioritize building a relationship with your customers, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and to build a robust referral program to make it easy for existing customers to share their positive experiences!

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OU baseball: Nathan Wiles shuts down Texas in 4-2 Sooners win

By Jeff PattersonNathan Wiles pitched a season-high eight innings, allowing just two runs and Oklahoma opened its final Big 12 series of the season with a 4-2 win Thursday at Texas.The junior right-hander scattered eight hits with eight strikeouts and no walks to improve to 8-3 on the season.Jason Ruffcorn got three outs on just three pitches in the ninth inning to pick up his 11th save.Brylie Ware opened the scoring for the Sooners (32-20, 10-12 Big 12) with an RBI double in the first inning.Conor McKenna added an RBI single in the second to put OU up 2-0.The Sooners gave Wiles all the support he'd need with two more runs in the sixth on and Tyler Hardman RBI single and a Brady Harlan sacrifice fly. Texas (26-26, 6-15) scored twice in the bottom of the sixth.The final two games of the series will be played in a day-night doubleheader Friday after the threat of bad weather Saturday forced a schedule change.Read more on

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4 Reasons Your Clients Business Online Reputation is as Important as Your Own

A business’s online reputation is extremely important, and many business owners understand this. According to a recent study conducted by TripAdvisor, 97% of business owners agree that online reputation management is important. Although most business owners understand the importance of their own online reputations, many do not understand that their client’s online reputations are also very important. If your client’s online reputation is negative, it could be negatively impacting your business. There are many reasons for this, but in this article, I will be discussing the four main reasons why your client’s online reputation is just as important as your own online reputation.
1. It influences Your Own Online Reputation
If you are in business with an individual or corporation that has a negative online reputation people may assume negative things about you and your business as well. As a result, your online reputation will be negatively impacted. Consider carefully whether it makes sense to do business with anyone who has a negative online reputation that can’t be fixed. Although there is no way to fully control what people say about you online, doing things like responding to reviews, being active on social media, providing good customer service, and keeping all of your business accounts safe from hackers with database security are all excellent ways in which you can help improve your online reputation. Your clients should be keeping these same practices.
2. It Can Impact Sales
Believe it or not, your client’s online reputation doesn’t just impact your own online reputation it also hurts your business’s bottom line as well. This is because many consumers are influenced to either buy or not buy a product or service based on what they read online. Therefore, if you’re closely associated with a client who has a negative online reputation both of your sales are going to be negatively impacted.
3. It Can Lower Trust
If your customers find out that you are in business with some people who are not well liked within the online community, they may lose trust in you and your business. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more. If you really think about it, this concept makes perfect sense when it extends to you and your clients as well.
Let’s say that your stockbroker is in business with some shady people who have been accused of stealing money, or insider trading. Any rational person, under those circumstances, would be concerned, and try to find a new stockbroker – even if their current stockbroker has done nothing wrong and is the most ethical person in the world. This same ideology applies here as well. Even if your company is the most ethical and reliable company in the world, by being in business with shady people, you will ultimately lose the trust of your clients.
4. It Hurts Your Ability to Generate New Business
Every business wants to expand at some point in time and the only way to do that is by generating new business. It is almost impossible to expand your business if you can’t get new clients. By being in business with brands or individuals with negative online reputations, you are decreasing your chances of accomplishing that goal. Most people would rather not be in business with someone who represents a brand or individual with a negative online reputation.
Before you agree to do business with a new client make sure their online reputation is positive – or you could be hurting your own business. Many business owners understand the importance of their own online reputations but don’t fully understand the impact that their client’s reputation has on their business. It’s important to consider not only your own online reputation but the online footprint of everyone you do business with.

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Hiring a Sales Rep: Make the Right Hiring Decision

The final interview is complete and your candidate shortlist is ready to go. It’s now time to choose the person you think is the best fit for your open sales position, and it’s not a decision to take lightly.
The stakes are high: Selecting a bad candidate can run between 30% to 150% of their annual salary. With the average annual turnover in sales being 25 to 30%, you need to nail the hiring decision — do so in three steps.
1. Check your job criteria again
With the interview process complete, you should have a list of candidates that made the final cut — a shortlist. Now you need to reduce your list even further.
Poor job fit is the number one cause of negative performance and employee turnover. So it’s important to look objectively at the criteria set in your original sales job description to construct your final list of candidates.

Chart adapted from Bridgespan’s Sample Assessment Grid Skills and Competencies
Then review the notes from your interviews before answering questions about candidates from your interview shortlist:

How much experience does he/she have doing the work required for the job?
What relevant advanced skills can he/she bring?
How much training will he/she need?
How quickly will he/she be able to work without supervision?
How fast did he/she progress through previous roles and responsibilities?
Was he/she able to provide quantitative evidence of past career achievements?
How recent were those achievements?

Rank each remaining candidate using a selection matrix, an objective method for selecting the final candidate. Rather than your team relying on subjective factors (e.g., “She was nice”), the matrix eliminates emotional bias and focuses solely on job requirements and criteria. Selection criteria are the same across the board.
Include qualitative criteria within your matrix (as shown above). Although quantitative qualities are important (e.g., sales numbers), cultural fit and a positive attitude are also essential. For example, if one candidate has less software selling experience but has demonstrated enthusiasm and motivation to succeed in a previous position, he/she might be a better choice over the candidate who has all of the experience but not a collaborative spirit.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, select the top candidate from the ranking.
2. Perform reference checks
As an extra precaution, discuss the final selection with your hiring team and then contact the references your candidate provided (some candidates may have overstated their qualifications).
Talk with your hiring team:
Before you contact a candidate’s references, you need to find out from your team what questions to ask.
What are their concerns about the candidate? What do they want to know more about the candidate that wasn’t touched on in the interviews? Maybe Mark doesn’t have a lot of leadership experience for your account executive position but obviously has excellent closing skills. This concern should be brought up to references.
Collect the feedback from your team and turn it into a list of organized questions for references.
Contact references via email or phone:
The first step is to let references know why you are contacting them. If the candidate didn’t let the reference know you’d be reaching out, that’s a red flag. Start the conversation or email exchange by asking how the reference knows the candidate. Then verify that the information the candidate gave you (e.g., job responsibilities or achievements) is true.
To fully understand if the candidate’s past experience adequately prepared them for your sales position, ask specific, job-related questions. For example, “We are strongly focused on social selling strategies at ABC Sales. Can you provide an example of when Mark successfully used LinkedIn or a similar platform to generate leads in his last position?” is an excellent question that should prod the reference to give you an actual example of the candidate in action.
Avoid asking broad questions such as “Tell me more about Jenny.” The answers will likely be something like, “Jenny is great, she’s really motivated to succeed.” You want references to provide stories of specific situations, tasks, and actions that the candidate handled.
Other good practices for talking with references include:

Establish rapport from the beginning of the conversation. Compliment the candidate and let the reference know that you are excited to learn more from them.
Describe your open sales position. Make reference to specific responsibilities. “Virtual presentations are a major role in this position. Can you tell me about a time when Mary presented at your company?”
Don’t rush the conversation, but also don’t take up too much of the reference’s time (an organized list of questions should help with staying on track).
Don’t interrupt — follow the 80/20 conversation rule here. The reference should be doing 80% of the talking and you should be listening the other 20% of the time.
Ask for instances when the candidate demonstrated soft skills. “How does John interact with other sales reps? How does he reflect empathy?”

3. Communicate with the final candidate
If the references confirmed your hunch that a candidate will be a good fit, it’s time to let them know the good news. You should have set up a hiring schedule at the beginning of your hiring process. Stick to that schedule. If you’ve found an amazing candidate, don’t waste time letting them know that they’re hired.
Discuss the final results with your hiring team. If, for some reason, the process is going to take longer or you need more time to talk, contact the candidate and let them know. Don’t leave them hanging or leave the door open for them to go to a competitor.
Contact your selection with a congratulatory email. Below is a template for a sales hiring email:​

Hi <Candidate Name>,
Thanks so much for interviewing with us this week. It was great meeting you, and we appreciate all of your time and effort.
We’d love to have you join ABC Sales as an Account Executive. This is a full-time, 40 hour per week position. You’ll be reporting to <Manager Name>.
We will have an offer letter sent your way soon. The starting salary is [$X] and [include bonus programs, if applicable.] annually.
These are the benefits we currently offer to our team members:
[include health and insurance plan, number of vacation days, gym stipend, etc.]If you have any questions about anything in the offer, feel free to ask.
Would you be available to start on [date]?
Looking forward to your reply!<Hiring Manager>

If, for any reason, the final candidate cannot accept the offer, repeat Steps 2 and 3 and identify the next best candidate to contact based on your candidate selection matrix.
Equip your new hire

Sales competencies are always changing. Even after you’ve made the hiring decision and your new salespeople are settled in the company, the process isn’t complete. Provide your hires with the resources they need to succeed such as training, a CRM, a standardized sales cycle, and clear career guidelines. Nurture your sales team as you would your customers to help reduce poor performance and turnover.

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OSU softball: Samantha Show pitches Cowgirls past BYU

By Scott WrightSTILLWATER — It wasn’t flashy, but it was effective and efficient.Oklahoma State scored three runs in the first two innings, then put the game in the hands of dominant starting pitcher Samantha Show to do the rest.Show pitched the Cowgirls to a 3-1 win over BYU in the opening round of OSU’s NCAA softball regional Thursday night at Cowgirl Stadium.Show played a role in the offensive production, too, scoring on a groundout in the first inning and driving in another with a double to right field in the second.OSU’s first run came courtesy of senior Madi Sue Montgomery, who drove in the 200th run of her career, becoming the sixth player in Big 12 history to do so.Read more on

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Man in country illegally charged with 11 murders in Texas

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas man previously arrested in the death of an 81-year-old woman has been charged with killing at least 11 more elderly women whose jewelry and other valuables he stole, authorities said Thursday.

Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney's office, said 46-year-old Billy Chemirmir was indicted Tuesday on six more counts of capital murder in the deaths of women ranging in age from 76 to 94.

Chemirmir, a Kenyan citizen who was living in the U.S. illegally, also is charged in nearby Collin County with two counts of attempted capital murder for similar attacks there, according to county court records.

A Collin County grand jury also returned five capital murder indictments against Chemirmir on Tuesday.

Chemirmir has been in custody since March 2018 in the death of the 81-year-old Dallas woman, Lu Thi Harris.Read more on

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How AV Integrators Can Send Their Best Emails Yet

Are you struggling with low click-through rates? Low open rates? Writing and sending a great marketing email is trickier than it looks. There’s a lot that goes into a marketing email that may be of little consequence for personal emails. For example, how much time do you spend on a subject line to a close friend? Probably not much. But in a marketing email, your subject line matters—a lot.
When it comes to email for AV integrators, it can be difficult to know how to improve or where to start. Luckily, I have the answer for you: start here. Keep reading below to learn five ways you can optimize your marketing emails.
Subject Line
As the prevalence of mobile devices in the workplace continues to increase, subject lines become trickier. Take a look back at your previous email sends. How many characters is your average subject line? If your subject line goes over 50 characters, it’s too long.
While the exact number of characters that do show up on mobile devices varies per device, the majority of mobile devices will show under 50 characters. There are some exceptions to the rule. For example, an Android phone in portrait mode will only show roughly 30 characters while an iPhone in landscape mode displays 64 characters.
Before you launch your email out to the entirety of your send list, send several test emails to one or two staff members. Have them open the emails on both their phone and desktop to ensure that the subject line can be read either way. A subject line that is too long won’t perform as well when it comes to email for AV integrators. Most readers prefer a subject line that is short, concise, and engaging. Keep records of your past email send and note what length of subject line performed optimally.
Send Time
Do you have a system for when you send your emails? Or do you just hit send as soon as you’ve finished it?
Unlike personal emails, the time of day and day of the week when you send your email for AV integrators matters. There are some standards across industries. For example, Friday is the worst day to send emails. Workers are too focused on making it through the day and heading home to have much patience for marketing emails. However, the best time to send your email can vary based on your industry and specific contacts.
If your list is compiled mostly of lawyers who work long hours, you may be able to get away with sending an email later in the day. But if you focus on your average 9 to 5 employee, you’d do best to send it in the morning. There have been numerous studies focused on the best time to send emails. While some studies are contradictory, most agree that the best time to send emails is on a Tuesday morning between 8 am and noon.
Email Lists
How do you organize your email lists? Or, a more accurate question, do you organize your email lists? Are they segmented? Do you know who you’re speaking to? Where they’re located?
Segmenting your lists can be key to great email for AV integrators. After all, if you’re hosting a small event, you don’t want to invite people who live across the country. They most likely won’t be able to come and now you’re coming across as spammy. If you segment your email lists by geographic location, current customers, past customers, and potential leads, you can more effectively speak to each audience.
By crafting content, subject lines, and offers specific to a certain segment of your audience, you can increase your email metrics and avoid spamming your contacts’ inboxes with content that doesn’t apply to them.
Personalization Tokens
Have you ever received a marketing email that is addressed to you? This is done via personalization tokens. These tokens can be used to greet you with your first name, even though the email was sent out to hundreds of people.
Personalization tokens are a great way to increase your click-through rate and open rate when it comes to email for AV integrators. People are much more likely to click through a link if its specific to their company. They’re also more likely to open an email if their name is in the subject line. For example, personalized email messages have been shown to improve click-through rates by an average of 14 percent and conversions by 10 percent.
While personalization tokens are great, they need to be used correctly and sparingly. If you use your customer’s first name in every subject line, it loses its intrigue. It can also come across as creepy if used the wrong way. Make sure that you have a friendly and general default inserted in the place of the personalization token in case one of your contacts is missing the first name.
Include Great Content
This may be the hardest part of great email for AV integrators. How do you include great content? Your content should be based around your list audience. What would they find helpful and relevant?
If you’re creating an email to send to customers or potential leads, you may want to include a helpful blog post full of AV tips. If your list is segmented by industry, you may want to include news related to that industry. At the end of the day, the best content is relevant content that provides value to your audience.
Keep your paragraphs short, your formatting neat and highlight the key takeaway. If you’re sending out a blog post, don’t include the entire blog post in the email. Instead, include the key takeaways in the body and link to the rest of the blog. At the end of your email, always include a call-to-action to sign up for a call or schedule a meeting with your salesperson.
Get Better Email Marketing for Your AV Integration Firm
Great email for AV integrators is hard to create. There’s a lot to consider and a lot of data to collect. Just because you use your own email for work purposes every day does not mean that you can send a killer marketing email.

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NYPD used Woody Harrelson photo to find lookalike beer thief

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department used a photo of Woody Harrelson in its facial recognition program in an attempt to identify a beer thief who looked like the actor, according to a report published Thursday.

Georgetown University's Center on Privacy and Technology highlighted the April 2017 episode in "Garbage In, Garbage Out," a report on what it says are flawed practices in law enforcement's use of facial recognition.

The report says security footage of the thief was too pixelated and produced no matches while high-quality images of Harrelson, a three-time Oscar nominee, returned several possible matches and led to one arrest.

The NYPD also used a photo of a New York Knicks player to search its database for a man wanted for a Brooklyn assault, the report said.

"The stakes are too high in criminal investigations to rely on unreliable — or wrong — inputs," Georgetown researcher Clare Garvie wrote.

"It is one thing for a company to build a face recognition system designed to help individuals find their celebrity doppelgänger or painting lookalike for entertainment purposes.Read more on

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How to Create an Invincible Enterprise Mobility Strategy in 7 Steps

Enterprise mobility has turned a new leaf for forward-thinking companies that seek to thrive and grow with consistency. It has changed the ways we communicate with humans as well as machines in our day-to-day life and for enterprises, it has transformed the way they conduct business and interact with customers. For the record, enterprise mobility is much more than just managing mobile devices and driving a mobile workforce. It is transforming into a holistic organizational culture that supports and accelerates innovation, integration, opportunities, and efficiencies in a way that doesn’t restrict choices and user access to facilitate organization-wide productivity, workflow efficiency, real-time collaboration and connectivity and business profitability at large.
Crafting and driving a fool-proof enterprise mobility strategy needs a well-organized thought process weighing all the possibilities, technicalities, challenges, and risks factors. So, what exactly should the companies know about a strategy for enterprise mobility? There are more than a couple of factors!

Evaluate the importance of having an enterprise mobility strategy

Even before having an enterprise mobility strategy in place companies should first ensure that they understand what enterprise mobility is and why they would need it. At the same time, they need to evaluate how much expertise they have around mobile technologies and what the company can achieve by incorporating these advancements. It’s imperative to assess the ways enterprise mobility will add value to the employee and customer experience and whether it will make a difference in the business, the core products or the services. Also, companies must evaluate the better business opportunities that can be brought in by enterprise mobility and ways to capitalize on those. The first step is to have a 360-degree view of enterprise mobility, its possibilities, ROI, impact on business, users, customers and product and the long-term benefits.

Your enterprise mobility strategy needs an effective plan

The next step is to create a holistic plan including all the parameters and considerations around enterprise mobility and that includes buy-in time and commitment from the decision makers as well. Once the company figures out how the business goals and objectives can be better driven via mobile solutions, which can further accelerate employee productivity and company revenue, they will next have to launch a plan of initiatives. This enterprise mobility plan will have all the clarifications about the company’s digital maturity level, corporate vision, employee training requirements, IT and security requirements, implementation and integration of mobile technologies, impact on customer experience and employee interactions, risks, constraints and challenges concerning adaptability and costs. A flawless plan will have to be created in the form of documents, presentations, graphs and images, and references.

Assess the industry performance and identify the use cases

Companies need to analyze what and how their competitors in similar industry are doing with enterprise mobility and this requires extracting some data and evaluating some potential possibilities as per the company’s digital maturity level. Competition and industry analysis will give a clear picture of how enterprise mobility can expedite business growth with an all-rounder approach and at the same time, it will unveil the varied innovative and technological opportunities that the company can lever to drive organizational mobility. Post that, it’s time for use-case assessment across the business line and the company’s core functional areas that can be enhanced with mobility. Here, it might help to have discussions with targeted departments and brainstorm some potent ideas around how the employees can improve their daily yield and mitigate performance delays by using enterprise applications, handheld devices, mobile CRM, digital self-help tools and apps, and other mobile and digital platforms.

Understand the scope of application of your enterprise mobility

Mobility is a highly volatile space and companies that are on top of syncing the customer and user expectations with IT effectiveness always have an upper-hand over competitors. There’s no dearth of possibilities when it comes to developing enterprise apps to promptly solve customer problems and to enhance employee productivity at all levels. But companies should also have a plan for their regular updates and better functionality. Companies should ideally asses their business needs that can be met via enterprise mobility and explore the varied options like business apps, self-help software, enterprise communications platforms, enterprise devices, collaboration and automation software and so on. It’s always advisable to follow agile methodologies when it comes to strategizing a mobility roadmap. Taking a DevOps approach to leverage the coordination between developers and the operation team also has its own benefits to drive mobility.

Analyze your IT requirements for creating a mobility framework

The next step should be to create a mobility framework to standardize the IT operations and infrastructure, which will complement the company’s existing IT regulations like BYOD and data security policies, risk management, mobile readiness, IT/business restrictions and so on. This can be achieved by working it out with the right technology solution vendor who can offer the relevant features and potential capabilities to smoothly drive this mobility framework in accordance with the company IT policies, requirements and maturity, customer use cases, digital maturity, and existing skill set. While choosing the right vendor, companies should analyze capabilities like service interpretation, support for 3rd party enterprise integration, knack towards innovation, agility, and scalability, business performance, security and audit compliance, analytics and device management expertise, app and content management, identity management and other contextual aspects.

Measure the business impact and the ownership cost of enterprise mobility

It is going to be very crucial to justify the returns from your enterprise mobility strategy and this is where decision makers play a vital role by weighing the outcomes of the two elements – business impact and cost of ownership, alongside. There’s no doubt that mobility in enterprise devices brings in opportunity and enterprise-wide benefits but at the same time companies need to balance the outcomes with the associated costs of developing and integrating the corresponding mobile/digital solutions to figure out the business priority and to answer the question ‘is it really necessary for my business as a whole or is it going to be of value to just a department’? The business impact elements like productivity and improvements, customer experience, improved business growth, and enhanced analytics should be measured alongside the cost factors like app complexity, license costs, maintenance, upgrade, support and training costs.

Create an enterprise mobility roadmap and implementation timeline

Last but the most significant part after defining all the aspects of this enterprise mobility strategy to define a roadmap and to create an execution plan. This includes deciding a timeline incorporating all the organizational priorities, business goals, departmental requirements and employee and IT training needs. Next, finalize the key performance indicators to assess if your roadmap is showing the desired results within the timeline and make iterations accordingly to stay agile, effective and contextual. A governance structure is needed to be prepared that would give a clear direction of project execution and operational alignment. This should be followed by creating a realistic budget, getting approvals and managing resources. Once the company gets started with the implementation of enterprise mobility and device management process, it is necessary to keep in mind that it should be first introduced as a pilot project wherein the results can be measured before expanding the scope of involvement.
Enterprise mobility as a concept is getting more and more ambiguous with the emergence and advancement of so many digital technologies at once, and often companies fall into a quicksand of confusion about which technology to imbibe and to what extent. Selecting and defining a technology stack backed by a flawless enterprise mobility strategy includes companies answering simple questions around the industry sector they are in, what do the customers expect from them, how can they help employees do more in less time, how can they drive accuracy and process efficiency, how can they enhance employee performance, customer experience and overall business growth. Above all, two major things can never ignore in this entire process: data/IT security and user experience. Will talk about that in the next blog!

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