In the world of enterprise mobile apps, user experience is sometimes a secondary consideration. And Unwired Revolution is looking to change that, one client at a time. The company is a mobile solutions integrator specializing in security, management, support, connectivity, and application enablement for enterprise mobile initiatives across all major industries. It has turned much of its focus towards the development of custom apps that help clients’ internal teams collaborate more productively and effectively.
“When we design apps, one of our top priorities is to make the experience fun, fast and simple,” says Matt Vlasach, Director of Mobile Integration Services at Unwired Revolution. “There’s no better way to encourage widespread enterprise adoption than to make an app genuinely enjoyable to use.”
Helping Clients Collaborate More Effictively
For one client — a major player in the food and beverage industry — Unwired Revolution designed DocLink, a software solution for accessing enterprise content on iOS devices and Windows 7 desktops. With this app, salespeople and other mobile employees can access files and auto-generated reports stored on enterprise servers through a common and very secure RESTful API. Users can subscribe to content they find interesting and that content is then automatically synced to their mobile devices for offline availability.
Another client — a major utility — needed an app to make mobile device management (MDM) a more user-friendly process. Unwired Revolution made it easier for the company to manage devices and maintain security posture without exposing thousands of end users to a complicated ERP backend. “In both of these engagements, we wanted to enable seamless functionality for enterprise users in an attractive, intuitive UI,” says Vlasach. “The ultimate goal was to unleash more productivity by transforming difficult, inefficient processes into engaging work experiences.”
Solving Their Own Performance Issues
But an app can only engage users if it performs as expected. During test phases for client projects, Unwired Revolution often had its own share of performance hiccups. “At one point, a pilot end user reported an increase in ‘server errors,’ but we couldn’t identify the source of the problem or reproduce it,” says Vlasach. “Our only option was to review log files and debug traces, which is hardly an efficient use of developers’ time. Besides, we didn’t want to burden our clients with the task of troubleshooting. Our goal is to be proactive — to identify problems before our end users even know that something’s wrong.”
Vlasach was already familiar with New Relic before bringing it to Unwired Revolution. In fact, he’d been using the solution for apps in his side business for nearly a year. “From my own experience, I knew that New Relic could help us address our app performance issues and give us early warning of issues,” he says. “We installed it on our production servers in February 2013, and right away it gave us deeper insight into any errors we encountered going forward.”
Server Side & Mobile Monitoring
Server Monitoring was just the beginning. Vlasch and his team began using New Relic for Mobile Apps as soon as it became available. It immediately gave them greater insight into their mobile app performance. “We got the Mobile iOS SDK up and running in literally five minutes, and we were getting valuable information right away,” he says. “It was amazingly simple: just insert two lines of code, add a framework, then run the app … With New Relic for Mobile Apps, we can clearly see which calls are being made, which ones are failing, how fast the servers are responding, and so on. There’s so much comfort in having instant visibility into our app’s performance — just knowing that everything’s OK.”
New Relic enables Unwired Revolution to identify and address performance issues on a proactive basis — long before those issues impact end users. This lets his team spend their time on something other than troubleshooting. We can spend more time doing something productive rather than chasing down a problem,” he says. “The investment we’re making in New Relic is trivial compared to the time it takes for a team of skilled developers to search for the source of a performance issue. From that perspective alone, the software easily pays for itself.”
And most importantly, better performance means a better experience for Unwired Revolution’s end users. “Our DocLink application is a big hit,” says Vlasach. “Users are saying, ‘This app is fun to use. It makes my work so much easier.’ That’s exactly what we’re going for — and performance plays a huge role in making their experience more enjoyable. At this point, I honestly can’t imagine releasing a mobile app without help from New Relic.”
Read the full case study to find out how Unwired Revolution gained full visibility into its enterprise environments with New Relic.