Monday, April 6, 2015

Can the Apple Watch Work for Businesses?

image Have you seen the ads yet? (How could you miss them … and all the hype?)

Would you pay $15,000 for a gold watch?

Would you pay $350 to replace your credit card?

These are two of the proposed price points for the Apple Watch.

The first price is pretty ridiculous for most normal humans, but it seemed to have the desired effect and impact … EVERYONE was talking about Apple.

The second price is a number that was bandied about and the idea is that when you have an Apple Watch you never need to pull out your credit card because you now have a device that carries all of that information. 

The idea is that having a device that carries around your preferences and personal financial information means you can become a part of a much smoother cycle of any business process. You and your Apple Watch become part of a Frictionless Commerce model.

The Average Person pulls out their
Mobile phone 100-150 times per day.
~ Daniel Debox, Founder of Ryple

Two Industries Will Be Impacted

Service industries and the medical industry. These are two areas that stand to benefit almost immediately from the Apple Watch. In a similar way I predict the Microsoft Band will also prevail in the medical device industry. However, I think the Apple Watch may have a shorter runway in that Apple seems to be smarter in that they are only using the Apple Watch as a gathering point instead of the data collection point. We shall see how this all plays out in the coming months.

Service Industries

Imagine a service technician arrives on the job site --- It doesn’t matter whether it’s a warehouse or your house.

Using the Apple Watch the technician can avoid distractions. They can take an occasional quick glance at the Apple Watch if needed, but that’s about it. The Apple Watch is on auto-pilot from the time they arrive because it’s geo-fence enabled. As tasks are completed the service technician merely needs to push a button. Companies like Invoice to Go are filling this niche and looking to make the Apple Watch the vehicle at the center of Frictionless Commerce. Imagine Plumbers, HVAC technicians, Cable TV installers and everything in between empowered by an Apple Watch. They can focus on the task and leave the detailed billing and information tasks to the system that backs them up.

  • CASH FLOW is KING
    • GeoFenced Location Based Task Management --- once the technician is onsite … the timer starts!
    • Task Based: This puts the onus on the task … not the worker.
    • Detailed Invoices: The device can provide a lot of detail … which can be provided to the invoicing system … which can be enabled in real time. Which means a customer can pay (or dispute) any services in near real-time.

Medical Industry

There is a coming boom in the medical industry. It will take some time and perhaps some slight changes in the way processes, devices and policies are enacted and supported. Eric Schadt, Director at the Ichan Institute for Genomics suggested the following three areas are ready for business with the Apple Watch.

  • Expect things like Bluetooth enabled inhalers – The device is connected to your Apple Watch for tracking and usage details.
  • People Self-Select .. load the app, join a study, opt-in. This is where Apple may be ahead of the curve. They are just the gathering point for the data. They can avoid some of the challenges with getting devices and drugs through the government regulation efforts by letting the companies that are best at that do what they do. Then, when they are done … your Apple Watch will be there to gather the information.
  • Longitudinal Studies are much more easily enabled. All that information being gathered can be harvested for long term studies, short term engagements and much more. And, it can be all on an opt-in basis. Sure, insurance companies and others may “strongly suggest” that some studies are opt-ed into, but again Apple can stay above that fray by just being a gathering point.

Can Apple Watches … be put to work … for Businesses?

The simple answer is yes. It remains be seen how they are rolled out.

But, the fact of the matter is that there are businesses already gearing up to provide software services for them.

When done right the process will be transparent and there will be no hoopla about the Apple Watch just doing it’s job.

However, as we all know … that’s not how Apple slices up their business.

Will you be setting up an appointment to see Apple to buy an Apple Watch? Drop a note in the comments with your thoughts.

Image Credits: Techcrunch


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Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and is currently the Chief Evangelist at K2. Tweet him @jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ He is active in the Microsoft Partner Community and is the co-founder and President of the IAMCP Seattle chapter.

He is a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog.

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