Posted 2/16/2016 8:39:10 AM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor
We visited with Ann Monroe, Sr. Director of Marketing, FileMaker (An Apple Subsidiary) to talk about the company’s and its platform to help enterprises create custom applications for iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web.
ADM: There are a number of players now in the custom app development space, and at 30 years old, FileMaker has been around a lot longer than many of these new companies and their solutions. What does FileMaker bring to the table that differentiates it from other offerings and keeps the company relevant?
Monroe: FileMaker has a proven track record of empowering business teams of all sizes with the ability to quickly and easily create and deploy custom apps that meet the unique needs of each organization. The FileMaker platform provides everything needed to develop these apps, and it enables faster deployment and modification as needs change or opportunities emerge.
The fact that creating the apps requires no programming skills or repetition of coding projects across platforms means less time spent building a custom app and more time to focus on getting work done. These apps can be seamlessly deployed across iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the Web, allowing organizations the ultimate in mobility.
ADM: Who is using FileMaker? How are they using it?
Monroe: Teams in companies of all sizes are using the capabilities of FileMaker to reduce inefficiencies and drive productivity specific to their organization’s needs. These apps are being rolled out across entire small businesses, as well as in smaller teams within larger organizations.
With over 23 million shipments of the FileMaker Platform together with over 1.5 million downloads of FileMaker Go from the iTunes App store, our customers run the gamut – from retailers, to craft breweries to the medical industry, law offices to universities, and many more. We’re even in use with such organizations as the Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the world’s gorilla population, and Metropolis Studios, a world-renowned recording studio.
That’s the beauty of custom apps – because they are designed specifically to fit an organization’s individual needs, they can be applicable to so many different industries.
Regardless of the industry, however, the goal of custom app development is more or less the same – to build a solution to a business pain point and increase productivity, consolidate information and reduce inefficiencies.
ADM: How specifically are organizations benefitting from FileMaker? What sort of outcomes are they seeing?
Monroe: Specifically, users are experiencing much faster app development, deployment and management. In fact, as our recent State of the Custom App report found, on average, customers built their apps in-house within three months. Contrast that to a 2015 study by Fortune Magazine that found the average time to deliver an office IT project was 10 months. That's a saving of seven months of time, which is huge when it comes to running a business.
Our survey found that 74 percent of our customers saw an increase in productivity thanks to the implementation of their custom app, and 81 percent reported a reduction in inefficient tasks.
And what’s more, 60 percent of customers saw a return on investment from their custom apps.
ADM: How does the mobile component fit in? What mobile offerings does FileMaker have and how do they integrate with the rest of the business?
Monroe: The FileMaker platform works seamlessly across iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and the web. It does not require separate coding projects and only needs to be developed once, at which point it can be deployed to multiple devices.
With FileMaker Go for iPad and iPhone, employees can access their FileMaker custom app everywhere - via the web or locally on their iOS device - and have the same experience. That means employees who operate out of the office or in the field are able to tap in to access or report necessary information while on the go, with ease.
What’s more is that organizations and employees can use the devices they already have – without having to purchase all new equipment.
ADM: What does FileMaker offer specifically for developers?
Monroe: FileMaker offers developers flexible design tools. FileMaker Pro provides an easy-to-use script workplace and data security. Developers create apps easily and effectively for their clients, and they only need to develop each app once - it can then be deployed to multiple devices. That speed of development, combined with ease of deployment and versatility offers developers a powerful tool.
ADM: Where do you see custom app development going in 2016?
Monroe: The custom mobile app market will continue to grow. In fact, IDC Research analysts are anticipating that 2016 could be the year that adoption of mobile apps at the business level really takes off.
Businesses are rapidly adopting mobile devices. Custom apps are often required for this, but the development and deployment of these apps is sometimes beyond the expertise of many teams. With growing competition coupled with cost concerns, the ability to take on the building of custom apps internally reduces the time and money many organizations cannot afford.
ADM: Where do you see FileMaker in five years? 10?
Monroe: Imagine a world where every business team deployed custom apps that are unique to their business needs. At FileMaker, we are making this possible. As mobile becomes an increasingly large important to business teams, the need for custom apps will likewise continue to grow. And when those needs arise, we are there to help our customers maximize their success with custom apps.
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