Mobile Data Now is a software application that allows you, your employees, and even the general public, to get quick access to information contained in your company databases while outside the office.
The way it works is you download a piece of software. Then configure it to allow messaging access to your existing database (SQL, MySQL, Microsoft Access, Oracle, etc.).
Then you, your employees or anyone else you choose can retrieve data using a mobile phone, Blackberry or similar mobile device. The data exchange is done through email, instant message, or text messaging (SMS).
This screen grab from the Mobile Data Now website, explains how it works:
A trend we are living through today is “mobile data convergence” or “Web and mobile convergence.” One aspect of that convergence for small businesses is that we’re getting closer and closer to being able to provide and retrieve key business data from mobile devices.
Some of us are already dipping our toes in the water — and we like it! Today we can pretty easily access our calendars and contacts from mobile devices. For instance, with the iPhone and Blackberry devices you can sync up your Outlook Contacts and Calendar. Heck, I can even do that on my iTouch. I have all my Outlook Contacts on my iTouch, and when I am about to go out of town, I sync up my Outlook Calendar to iTouch, too.
But imagine being able to expand that kind of access. What if I could get information from an Access database containing all my industry contacts (which are too numerous to gum up Outlook with)? Or if I could get access while out of the office to the MySQL databases that run some of my websites?
Large companies have spent mega bucks to custom program that kind of mobile access. But what if you could get access as a small business without custom programming? Mobile Data Now avoids the custom programming and the associated expense and time.
Recently I spoke with Nick Bolton, the company CEO from their Christchurch, New Zealand headquarters. He tells me that today the company is introducing a reseller program. It is actively seeking value-added resellers (VARs) and integrators around the world to distribute the software. They already have some resellers lined up, including Canada and the Middle East, but are looking for resellers in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The suggested retail price is $150 (USD) per user per year. Resellers get to purchase the software at a 40% discount and it is a recurring revenue stream. According to Nick Bolton, an example of an ideal reseller might be a consulting firm or integrator that sells CRM solutions.
But you can set up a single user for free.
Interesting little backstory about the company: It was founded in 2001. Originally it attempted to do something similar using a Web browser. Nick Bolton, the current CEO, bought the company for $1. He changed the focus to using messaging (email or texting or instant messaging) to retrieve the information, instead of a Web browser.
Looks promising because the solution is simple. Small businesses need more simple solutions if we are truly to be able to work mobilely. And considering that more people in the world have mobile devices than have laptops, it makes sense to get that access through handheld devices.