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Mar 11, 2015

Recap: Boston Higher Ed Mobility Professional Meetup

Tufts University explained that 90% of students access university resources via a mobile device, clearly justifying the need for mobility within higher ed. With impressive attendance from some of the top higher education institutions in the Boston area, including Brandeis, Harvard, Simmons and Boston University, this morning's Higher Ed Mobility Professional Meetup resulted in a lively discussion. Lead by Emory University's Stephen Wheat, Tufts University's Tom Klejna and Bill Sivret along side Apperian's SVP of Product, Alan Murray, many insightful topics were brought up.
  • MDM is now the exception - Emory uses mobile application management (MAM®) as their primary approach to mobility, and Tufts University doesn't care about managing the physical devices themselves but rather managing and securing the information and services on the device. Tufts sees everything being BYOD by the year 2020, and with the user resistance that exists around MDM, the approach just doesn't make sense.
  • Get end user feedback before fully pursuing the app - The importance of user experience and branding compliance to be immense. Tufts University explained that the best way to reduce the chances of lack of adoption and releasing a failing app is to go directly to end users to ask for feedback even in the very early stages of the app.
  • Don't underestimate the importance of an app store - Stephen Wheat explained that, while a download link sounds like the easiest option to get an app to users, there is still a preference for a native app store experience.
  • View students as collaborators and customers - Tufts University found that their students have the best ideas for how apps should work and want to use them as developers because of it. They even leverage computer science majors' hackathons in order to identify the most sustainable apps.
  • Biggest challenges of mobility - Apps of any kind without adoption don't mean much. Tufts found that marketing the apps in a way that promoted adoption and swayed users from building their own apps was the biggest challenge facing mobility.


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