Crittercism launches the Fathom Mobile Command Center to help large companies manage the shift to mobile
No one has ever died because Seamless crashed just as they were about to place an order. Most people would either relaunch the app, use another delivery service, or — horror of horrors! — order directly through the restaurant. The only real loser is Seamless, which could lose a sale every time its app doesn’t work as intended; becoming a nuisance to users is simply bad business.
Crittercism, a mobile application manager that monitors apps installed on over 500 million devices, wants to help companies like Seamless figure out why their app is crashing and how those problems might be affecting their business. The company is today announcing the Fathom Mobile Command Center, a tool that allows companies and developers to see how often their apps are crashing, why they’re crashing, and what they might be able to do to fix it. We’ve all got smartphones in our pockets, and Crittercism is hoping that it can help companies survive this shift to the age of mobile.
It’s easy to see how the Fathom Mobile Command Center (hereafter referred to simply as Fathom) could help consumer applications. Many smartphone users are fickle customers living in an age of abundance — a few crashes, error messages, and arcane bugs are all it takes to convince them to use a different product. Being able to identify why those customers are experiencing those issues and how many of them are struggling to use an application can mean the difference between app store supremacy and obscurity. Fathom can handle all of those issues, and even determine how platforms and services over which a developer has no control (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, ad networks, etc.) are affecting their application’s performance.
Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy says that the company was able to help a retailer — he wouldn’t say which — determine that its application wasn’t allowing users to place orders for a half-hour during “primetime buying hours,” which had a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. A malfunctioning app had cost this company, and could cost many more, millions of dollars.
But that isn’t to say that Fathom was developed solely for consumer-focused companies, however. Crittercism recognizes that many companies are starting to rely on smartphones to serve a variety of functions, whether it’s through Lowe’s employees using iPhones to find products and information or Pepsi employees using smartphones to manage their distribution centers and deliveries. Smartphones have worked their way into every aspect of our personal lives, and they’re starting to become an increasingly important tool in the workforce, too.
“In a business environment, if you’re managing your inventory and suddenly there’s a failure within the application or within the device, that can actually have a detrimental impact on their operations,” Levy says. If your company replaces dedicated scanners with iPhones, relies on an iPad for a point-of-sale system, or hinges on a properly-functioning Android application, you’re going to want to know if those applications aren’t working properly. Consumers can simply use a different product or put their phone away and get what they need somewhere else; workers, in many instances, can’t.
So, no, you probably won’t die if Seamless crashes. If Walmart’s app doesn’t work there’s always Amazon, Target, eBay Now, and probably a dozen others. You have hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store and Google Play Store to choose from — and, according to Flurry, you’re already experimenting with all kinds of apps anyway. But the person who has to use an iPhone to to manage deliveries, gather information, or process customers’ credit cards? Those are the people who are stuck with just one solution and the ones Crittercism wants to help.