The app to kill all apps
One of the Internet's many benefits is the ability to enable aggregation, whether that be of purchasing power through Groupon, multiple news feeds into industry portals, or online identity management tools that allow a single login to multiple services.
This background provides the basis for local app Connecto's vision to create a single mobile app that gives users access to services and information from their business partners. These business partners would have to be signed up to Connecto, which allows them to have a virtual app fed from their own mobi site or related service.
"The users won't even be aware they're on a mobi site as our user interface running on top of that looks and works like any proprietary app would," explains Lee Hartman, one of the company's founders.
The power of Connecto is that it allows businesses to appear to have an app, which can be fully branded and offer services and interactivity to take advantage of the mobile platform, without having to invest in building their own. Typical services include simple customer relationship management tools to automatically update contact and contract information, conduct transactions or access dynamic information like account balances via the app.
Getting Connecto to be widely used is going to be the company's biggest hurdle, as volume and usage are needed to validate its business case. This business case requires companies to want to pay to connect with customers via the mobile platform.
There's evidently a strong argument in its favour as Connecto has attracted investment from World of Avatar, and has partnered with Trudon, the people behind the Yellow Pages. This partnership gives the start-up direct access to Trudon's database, as well as more than 400 of its field agents who have existing relationships with customers that could benefit from this digital channel.
It remains to be seen how this new service takes off, but it certainly cuts the barriers to entry for companies dipping their toes into the mobile app world.