With over 400 exhibitors, finding the right vendors to meet your specific interests and needs at the 2016 Association for Talent Development (ATD) Conference in Denver (May 22-25) can appear to be a daunting task. Of course, the folks at ATD have made it easier for you by grouping exhibitors in alphabetical order or by product categories. In the mobile learning category, for example, 65 companies are listed along with their booth numbers and their website addresses.
But, if you look through the descriptions of what these mobile learning vendors are offering, you will find the word “platform” come up time and again. There are “mobile development platforms,” “mobile work platforms,” and “social media platforms” just to name a few. We are living in “the age of the platform.” While ready-to-use platforms may offer some advantages in terms of price and development time, most platforms constrain what you can do if you want to offer an enterprise-level mobile app or mobile communications system. And, most platforms are collecting data on your users that they often resell to advertisers. They also usually need to be approved and monitored by your IT department, so there may end up being hidden costs.
What if you and your colleagues have a unique idea for a learning app or an online service that you want to keep in the house, or that your company wants to own and sell without being constrained by some other company’s “end-user licensing agreement” (EULA)? What if your boss has said, “I want to do it my way!”?
If that is the case, you need to turn to a mobile services company that offers end-to-end custom development, where you end up owning the final product of the development process. Vendors who specialize in custom development are much scarcer among the exhibitors at the ATD conference. I have taken the time to review all the mobile learning vendors at the show, and have a list of the 7 vendors you need to visit if you want custom mobile development. These are the companies that, on their websites, offer some degree of mobile learning products: A+ Performance Consulting, Activica, ACTO, Aptara, Float, Maestro, and finally, OpenSketch.
End-to-end mobile development starts with mobile strategy, then moves through mobile design, app building processes, testing, content production, and delivery. Float works within this framework with its time-tested S3DTM process – strategy, design, development, and delivery. In particular, Float differentiates itself from the other custom mobile development firms in its emphasis on digital strategy, human-centered design, and deep technical capabilities that include skills working with augmented reality, computer vision, and geolocation to produce truly innovative apps. If you are in the market for a custom mobile solution, we encourage you to visit all 7 of the vendors listed in the table above. Ask tough questions, and check out each company in terms of innovativeness, design, project management, and technical capacities, and track record on delivery of projects on time and on budget. Then, come back to the Float booth for any final questions, and a discussion of how we can move forward together on your project.
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