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Integration & IT Modernization

Pokemon GO: Inspiring the Connected Enterprise

Unless you’ve slept under a rock the past few weeks, the arrival of Pokemon GO has no doubt entered your consciousness from kids walking around aimlessly to businesses offering incentives for trainers who have managed to level up. Based on the Pokemon animation from Japan in the 1990s which features young adults traveling a fantasy land to catch creatures dubbed “pocket monsters”, the release has been a boon for Nintendo as well as nostalgic adults who collected Pokemon trading cards as children. This time, the experience has moved to smartphones where users can catch Pokemon using a combination of augmented reality and location-based technologies.

The success of Pokemon GO has sparked a conversation that moves beyond the revival of the popular anime. For enterprises looking to innovate quickly, capitalize on the next big idea, and catch all the customers they can, Pokemon GO presents a compelling blueprint in an era of digital transformation and connected experiences. In today’s blog post, we explore some of the higher-level philosophies and their takeaways for technology leaders.

Takeaway #1: The Cloud is Critical

In the early days of Pokemon GO, users were subjected to frequent crashes, leaving them anguished that they missed a rare Pokemon or were denied the ability to level up. While downtime was eventually attributed to hackers, these incidents only pushed developer Niantic to add more servers. In the longer-term, what Niantic really should have done is considered a public or hybrid cloud model from a vendor with guaranteed uptime to avoid these issues altogether and allow for flexibility during high usage periods like evenings and weekends.

Enterprises and organizations aspiring for a similar level of adoption for an application should take heed for what Niantic didn’t do. While the Pokemon brand is familiar to both children and adults alike, a newer company on the market is unable to afford downtime especially if the migrating to the competition is simple and painless. Leaders should push to move from on-premises technology to cloud solutions sooner rather than later to avoid the pinch.

Takeaway #2: Augmented Reality and IoT are Here to Stay 

Prior to the launch of Pokemon GO, augmented reality was confined to geeks and startups. The Internet of Things had made a mainstream push, but mostly in wearable technologies that served the purpose of working out. The arrival of Pokemon GO now means both augmented reality and IoT technologies can exist side-by-side.

The success here proves that if enterprises and organizations make the right moves and tap into customer interests, they too can do can hit gold. With both of these sectors still very nascent, the opportunity lies with a creative thinking IT manager and leadership team to turn dreams into reality.

Takeaway #3: There are Opportunities for APIs 

If there’s anything that Pokemon GO is missing, it’s application programming interfaces (application programming interfaces). While users are able to log into the application with their Google email addresses, there are few other features beyond catching Pokemon and checking inventory. In a world where customers share their experiences, having the ability to connect with social networking applications or email their latest catch would have likely spread the application even quicker.

It’s estimated by 2018 that nearly 85% of companies will have API programs. Much like augmented reality and the IoT, companies who hop on this train early will stand to benefit with an engaged and interactive audience. Solutions like Dell’s Integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS) Boomi platform can not only connect applications to each other, but can also drive customer relationship management and service too.

Will You Catch Them All? 

While your killer product idea may not result in customers walking aimlessly around town, it will need to have innovative characteristics that catch and keep users for a long time. To catch them all, start by understanding what your customers want and connect them to the experience they want so you are always top of mind.

Are you playing Pokemon GO? What lessons do you think your enterprise can take from the popular application?

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