This month’s Momo London was themed "The Mobile Enterprise". Surprisingly, very few of the usual enterprise issues came up. Instead, there was much talk about the areas that might drive growth in the enterprise.
The most interesting and entertaining talk was by Dave Birch, Director at Consult Hyperion. Dave has a great talent of trivialising dry technical information to the point of making it genuinely entertaining. More seriously, he sees near field communication (NFC), as championed by London Underground (Oyster), as the next big thing in the enterprise and an area ripe for mobile innovation. For example, it’s possible to use NFC to allow entry to buildings, payment and even PC logon. The fact that it works now (for Oyster) and people are finding it convenient and easy to use was taken as testament to how successful NFC can be.
I have worked with Cubic Corporation and ICL, on three mobile ticketing projects directly related to those that produced Oyster. On one project, I ported the reader software to Windows CE for use in handhelds capable of checking Oyster cards. The Oyster technology is far from simple. Also, it’s not just about commoditising the reader hardware and software. Originally Oyster was meant to expand to use, for example, in shops as a form of payment. The financial, logistical and business ramifications of this have so far prevented this happening. This shows that success comes down to much more than just a great technical solution.