After whittling down scores of entries, O2 has picked out four finalists with the potential to create the next 4G supercharged business app.
When O2 launched the competition in October, the mobile phone giant stated that entrants should build on the advantages of 4G – such as faster access to video and large files – to help businesses become more productive and to create a better experience for their customers.
Have these finalists got what it takes? We reveal the winner, and the three runners-up…
Report Back - Paul Teague
Report Back allows people to create highly detailed, location based reports from their smartphone. Businesses can incorporate images, video, 360 degree views, 'stitched together' tours, audio, document scans and text into their reports. For example, if a user is checking out potential new business premises, they can select a template and choose to customise it with photos and text only, video with audio commentary, or video only. Users can then upload their reports online, using Google Hangouts and Skype to share with others.
‘It gets rid of inaccurate 'pen and paper' tasks and reduces time spent and paperwork involved by automating repetitive tasks and removing the need to return to the office to file reports or attend meetings to discuss them,’ Teague says.
The judges thought the ReportBack app demonstrated ‘an innovative way for any business with a remote presence to make the most of 4G technology. The application was well thought-out and excited us with the number of possibilities for where it could be used’.
BillMeUp - Joel Chu
BillMeUp is a ‘time and place tracking, billing software with a twist’, the entry says. Aimed at contract or temporary workers, the app allows agencies to assign jobs to their register workers. It will also automatically clock people in when they arrive for work and allow them to easily generate invoices.
‘There are plenty of timesheet apps out there. But most of them require manual entry which is yet another form to fill,’ Chu says.
EnviroM8 - David Blockley
EnviroM8 is an application that allows organisations to accurately monitor and minimise their carbon emissions and mileage expenses. The driver uses the app to select journey start and end points. These are uploaded to the EnviroM8 cloud where a dashboard of information can be viewed, including actual mileage for expenses claims and accurate CO2 emissions for each driver.
‘Nine out of ten companies rely on unaudited mileage reports and are therefore at risk of being caught by a tax investigation,’ Blockley says. ‘HMRC will fine if it appears that too many records are ending in a zero thus appearing to be rounded up. The fine for inaccurate records is £3,000 per driver per annum, so it can add up.’
Paperless receipt - Rahul Rahman
Rahman’s idea is to create an app which allows receipts to be stored on a user’s smartphone, saving retailers money from having to print out receipts for customers. A QR code will be created at the end of each shopping transaction, which customers will then scan on their phones. The app also promises to break all the costs down to what day, what time, which shop and which month you have spent the most or least in.
‘Not only will shoppers be able to track what they are spending but businesses will be able to see anonymous data from shoppers, in terms of what it is that they are purchasing,’ Rahman says.
‘There were some great entries, many of which contained in depth pitches and innovative ideas,’ said Dan Payne, Senior Mobile Developer at O2. ‘The finalists explained how their apps would provide solutions for genuine and recognisable difficulties facing businesses today as well as suggesting how O2 4G could supercharge them even more.’
The winner will take home a whopping £30,000 towards the development of the app, a full day of mentoring from an O2 marketing expert, a chance to beta test the app with O2’s business customers and a handy 12 months free 4G with O2. The three runners-up will walk away with free O2 4G for 12 months.