As the technology develops, companies are adopting emerging technologies in their business model. Mobile Business-to Business (B2B) application is currently an innovative technology that fosters business-customer interactions. However, the Choice of business-to-business (B2B) commerce requires highly customized applications developed for specific needs, offering highly specialized, service-oriented and solution-based software components, systems, and digital tools, aiming for a fast and accurate decision support system. This forces organization willing to implement mobile application as part of its project, to start with a careful requirement elicitation process which helps to determine necessities and serve as basis for strategic decisions.
One of the companies that has discovered the importance of implementing a B2B mobile app in their operations is the company X, an SME in the food industry that supplies food products to catering companies.
This document is a report bid proposal for conducting a scoping study that determines the necessary requirements for development and implementation of a B2B mobile application for the client, company X. The report focuses on different things that the client should consider before investing resources into the project, helps the company to make the necessary preparations and serves as a strategic decision making tool. The approach presented are techniques and methods approved by industry experts as well as case study-based experiences. The bid introduces the appropriate methods to investigate the suitable functionalities of the B2B application (Functional requirements), conditions necessary for the adequacy of the implementation of the application in the structural conditions of the company X (Structural requirements) and the resources requirements for the project. While the study will be conducted within six (6) months, a Gantt chart is used to indicate which activities should be performed; as well as where and when, in order to complete the study efficiently and effectively. Lastly, the contribution section acknowledges the benefits of the methods/techniques chosen, their relevance to the project and the reasons why they were adopted in the study.
In recent decades, there has been a rapid growth and development of information and communication technologies, especially the web 2.0 interactive technologies that dramatically influenced how people communicate (Okello, 2015). Since the introduction of mobile smartphone in 2004, there has been revolution of information flow especially in terms of business. Since then, smartphones and mobile applications outnumbered laptops and desktops (Yoni, 2016). While there has been growing possession and use of internet-capable devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. on different workplaces (OECD, 2004, Dahlstrom et al., 2015; Daniel, 2016); technology has changed business conditions, customer behavior and market opportunities by allowing connectivity and electronic collaboration between businesses and their customers. For example, the study conducted in 2017 indicated that people spend, on average, 2 hours per day using their phones, compared to 97 minutes they spend with their friends and families (Kapil, 2017). This allowed people to become familiar with different mobile software which became easier to use and cheaper (Green and Hannon, 2007). These increasingly popular innovations are continually forcing companies of all sizes to re-evaluate their priorities and rethink the use of technology to engage their audiences through the so-called Business-to-business applications (B2B) (Kuhr, 2017). Today that users spend more and more time on mobile applications (Alin, 2015), B2B applications are becoming important business tools that drive customer relationship management where the most successful companies are taking advantages of mobile applications to reach different business goals (Kapil, 2017; Chris, 2016). The potential implication today is “If you are not able to reach your audience through mobile or you are not providing a satisfactory mobile experience, you will miss out on your customers.”
- The current client, company X, is a SME in food sector that provides food products to catering companies. Being aware of these trends, the client is looking for a consultant to undertake a scoping study to determine the necessary requirements for developing a mobile B2B app. This application is believed to promote company visibility, create a Direct Marketing Channel, Provide Value to the company Customers, Build Brand and Recognition, Improve Customer Engagement, and help the company to stand out from the Competition and Cultivate Customer Loyalty (Dan, 2017; Rose, 2017). However, in order to succeed, experts advise that implementers should carefully identify and clearly define relevant requirements beforehand (Olga, 2018).
Like Veronica et al. (2014), the development and integration of software applications in enterprises requires the prior identification and careful analysis of different functional and non-functional requirements. Since our client wants to conduct a study that examines these requirements, the purpose of this paper is to suggest to our client, based on their project objectives, appropriate methods for studying these requirements using appropriate and approved methods that comprehensively map evidences across a range of industrial studies designed to inform future research practice, programs and policy.
As highlighted above this study project regards the identification of the necessary requirements for the development of a mobile B2B application. Keeping in mind that the study methodologies build on one another, as discussed above, three types of necessities will be studied:
Objective 1: Identification of the functional requirements of the mobile B2B application in the food market for catering companies. This will be done through market and stakeholder analysis and software benchmarking as well as the security requirements analysis.
Objective 2: Identification of the structural requirements for the programming and implementation of the application in the current structure and capabilities of the company, by conducting a system environmental analysis, personnel analysis and risk identification and analysis.
Objective 3: Identify the resource requirements that the client needs to raise for the programming, implementation and operation of the mobile B2B application, which will be achieved through project time planning and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis.