Good things come in threes

CRN Fast50 2014 - badge WEBToday is a day of celebrations for Outware!

We are incredibly pleased to announce that:

  1. Outware Mobile was listed in the CRN Fast 50 for the third year in a row, coming in 13th place
  2. We picked up the Campaign Specialist Agency of the Year award (Bronze) – Australia/New Zealand)
  3. The MedicineList+ app is shortlisted as a finalist in the 21st AIMIA Awards for Best Smartphone or Tablet Application – Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

We’re very proud and humbled by these awards. Well done to the team who worked on MedicineList+ and a big thank you to our entire team, our clients and all our supporters for helping us make Outware the success it is today.

2014 Deloitte Tech Fast 50

Deloitte_TechFast50_OutwareMobile

We are delighted to announce that Outware Mobile was ranked 8th in the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 50.

Now in its 14th year, the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 is a program that recognises and profiles Australian technology companies, public or private, that have achieved the fastest rates of annual revenue growth (based on percentage revenue growth over the last three years).

This is the third year in a row that Outware has made the list. Along with the BRW Fast 100 and SmartCompany’s Smart50 awards, this latest award proves that our ongoing success and growth has been no accident. Each of these awards have different methodologies for measuring progress, so to be recognised by all of them shows that Outware really is at the forefront of the most dynamic, changing, and growing companies in Australia.

To the team and all our clients and partners, thanks for supporting us and being a part of this exciting journey.

Shop Ethical! New look, new features

The latest Shop Ethical! update is now available on both the App Store and Google Play. Shop Ethical! is the most popular digital guide to ethical shopping in Australia and was recently featured on Google Play.

Shop Ethical! featured on Google Play

The app gives consumers information on the environmental and social record of companies behind common brands in Australia. In this update, we’ve completely redesigned the user interface to provide users with the easiest way to make informed, ethical purchasing decisions. In addition to this, the latest release also includes an updated database, new categories, improved navigation and much more.

Shop Ethical! is a collaboration between the Ethical Consumer Group and Outware Mobile. We are incredibly proud of this app as it is a prime example of our vision to make a difference through creating mobile experiences that are intuitive, effective and engaging.

Well done to the team involved in this project and thanks to all our users and supporters!

 

Download from the App Store Download from Google Play


The OMPodcast – Mobile Strategy

v1.32 Danny and Pete C

Episode 32 of the OMPodcast is now available for download from – iTunesdirect feed, or direct download.

Inspired by Benedict Evans’ recent presentation, Mobile is Eating the World, this week’s podcast is all about why mobile is important and how a mobile strategy is essential to business success. Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead) is joined by Danny Gorog (Director/Founder), Peter Collins (UX & Visual Design Manager) and myself, Lucia Vuong (Marketing Manager), to talk about setting the right goals, choosing your audience and technology platform, and planning for the long run.

This is also our final episode for the year. Thanks to everyone who’s been listening to Season 1, it’s been a fun and rewarding experience. We’re very excited about the new year and bringing you even more insights about the mobile industry.

Look out for our end of year wrap with predictions for 2015, due to be released mid-December.

The OMPodcast – IoT: Smart or Not So Smart Things

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Episode 31 of the OMPodcast is now available from – iTunesdirect feed, or direct download.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, the OMPodcast crew have started to wonder: Are smart things really that smart? Or do they add complications to our already busy lives? Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) and Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead) are joined by Oculus Rift owners Jerram Watters (Middleware Developer) and Andrew Besselink (iOS Developer) to ponder these exact questions.

Jerram and Andrew first take us on a detailed tour through the lens of the Oculus Rift, before delving into the depths of ‘smart’ things. With everything becoming ‘smart’, from’ bicycle handlebars to fridges, light switches, locks, and so much more, what are the security implications? What are the actual use cases? Do they make sense? How do we go from here to where we need to be in a truly connected world of smart things like in The Jetsons?

Listen in and find out!

Coles Mobile Wallet wins Melbourne Design Award

MelbDesignAwards-2014

Coles Mobile Wallet has won another award, cementing its position as a leading product in banking and finance innovation.

The app received a Silver award in the Digital Experience – Mobile category of the 2014 Melbourne Design Awards.

As part of the global [city] Design Awards program, the Melbourne Design Awards celebrate creativity, courage and innovation in design. Melbourne has its own design focus and culture– the [city] Design Awards program provides a unique opportunity for a city’s design community to join together in celebrating their design diversity and the city’s top designers and commissioners.

At Outware, we believe that designing a great user experience is just as important as the engineering behind the scenes in producing a quality mobile app. We are very proud of our partnership and work with Coles Financial Services on the Coles Mobile Wallet and delighted to see the industry recognising and rewarding our hard work.

Well done to all those involved in the Coles Mobile Wallet project. Great job, let’s keep it up!

The OMPodcast – Resolution Revolution

MarcEdwardsEpisode 30 of the OMPodcast is now available for download from iTunes, via direct feed, or direct download (audio file).

In this very exciting podcast, Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) is joined by Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead), Danny Gorog (Director/Co-founder) and special guest, Marc Edwards from Bjango, to discuss the challenges involved in UI design for a rapidly growing number of devices.

With so many new devices on the market, from the iMac 5K to the new iPhones, Apple Watch and Nexus 6, Marc talks about his experience working through these changes over the last ten years, gives us some tips about the best tools on the market, and even shares his thoughts on the Apple Watch. Marc also talks about an exciting new tool that they’re working on.

A transcript of this podcast is also available.

Marc is the Director and Lead Designer at Bjango and a regular podcaster himself on the Iterate Podcast.

If you like what you hear, please review us on iTunes!

Outware in the BRW Fast 100

fast-2014-plus-BRW-300x188We are delighted to announce that Outware Mobile placed 8th in the 2014 BRW Fast 100 list.

Strategic growth has always been part of the plan for Outware. Over the last five years, we’ve seen our team grow from three to over ninety-five. We’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in Australia on some of the best apps on the market today in Banking and Finance, Sports, Health, and Government. We’ve moved offices three times to accommodate not only our growing numbers, but to provide better facilities and a more productive working environment for our team.

Our vision is to make a difference through creating mobile experiences that are intuitive, effective and engaging.

We are proud of our work and our achievements over the last five years and would like to thank all our clients, partners and the team who have been a part of the journey so far. We look forward to continuing our work together and having fun while doing it.

OMPodcast – Apples or Lollipops?

om-podcast

The latest episodes of the OMPodcast are now available from – iTunesdirect feed, or direct download:

Last week was an exciting week on the OMPodcast. First our panel of iOS fan boys reviewed what real world usage of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been like. Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) asks Danny Gorog (Director/Co-founder), Daniel Lawrence (iOS Developer) and Stephen Yao (iOS Developer) to share their experiences so far using the bigger (and better) phones. Is big better? How do you transition from one to two-handed usage? Do custom keyboards like Swype and SwiftKey really make a difference? And has the 6 Plus potentially become an iPad replacement? We talk about all of this and more and review a list of popular apps which have (or haven’t) updated.

With Google’s latest announcements about the release of Android 5.0, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead) rounds up some Android aficionados, Kieran Fleming (Android Developer), Jonathan Causevski (Android Developer) and Kelly Jennings (UX/BA), to discuss how they feel about all the new Androids. The crew talk about Lollipop and what it means for developers, the rise of the phablet, the Nexus Player (Android TV) vs Chromecast as well as Material Design.

Tune in and make up your own mind: Apples or Lollipops?

Innovation beyond the Hackathon

Recently, we held our Automation Hackathon, where all Outware employees were given the opportunity to work on projects of their own choosing, with the theme of automating a solution to a problem. Using the skills and tools available in the team, we saw really creative and inspiring prototypes being produced over the course of just one working day. While this event was a great success, innovation doesn’t end when the hackathon is over.

The mistake that many companies make is thinking that innovation can be time-boxed to one-time events like the hackathon and hoping for immediate, tangible business benefits to simply happen. The truth is, hackathons are only one small part of an overall innovation strategy. So how do you get the most out of your hackathon? You need to think about the following questions:

What types of innovation are important to your company?
Innovation, at its broadest definition, is about change that adds value to your organisation. Depending on your company’s core business, different types of innovation will add different types of value:

  • Product Innovation – Do you need to improve on existing products and services in order to stay ahead of the competition and keep your customers happy?
  • Process Innovation – Do you need to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in your processes?
  • Disruptive Innovation – Do you want to disrupt the market with new products or categories that will change the way people do things?

There are many other types of innovation. Most importantly, think about how your business can benefit from change and how this change will be valuable over time. Once you know this, you can focus the theme of your hackathon around these types of innovation activities.

What is your innovation strategy and how does the hackathon fit into this?
Hackathons should always form part of your broader innovation strategy. You need to ensure you have a formal innovation process in place that your team understands so that ideas can be directed through the appropriate channels in your organisation. Danny recently wrote an article for BRW about how to encourage innovation in your organisation. It describes three important themes:

  • People – The right attitude and a feeling of empowerment can be very motivational in driving positive change
  • Process – Keep your innovation activities effective and efficient, and communicate clearly
  • Continuous learning – Nobody remains an expert forever. Develop your team’s skillset and keep feeding their curiosity

If you get the balance right, your team will naturally be motivated and enthusiastic when the hackathon comes around. More importantly, you need to ensure you are clear about the purpose of the hackathon. Is it a breeding ground for new ideas? Is it a time to implement ideas that have been brewing in the team? Is it an opportunity for team members to upskill or work on something different? Plan the hackathon activities around this to get the most value out of the time you have set aside for the event.

What happens after the hackathon?
The most important part of the hackathon is actually the follow through afterwards. Make sure you’ve established what your objectives were before the event, in order to measure your success afterwards. Some questions to ask are:

  • How did your team feel about the event? Get their feedback!
  • Which projects will you pursue further and why? How will you fund these?
  • Did you achieve your goals? What can you improve for next time?

This is also a good time to review your innovation strategy. Reflect on how the hackathon contributed towards your broader innovation goals to make sure that it’s adding value in the right ways.

Hackathons are a great way to develop creative solutions to problems, test new technologies, or prove a concept in a short amount of time. But how they are run is different for every company. Ensure you have clear objectives in mind, plan your event and follow through, to ensure the success of the event.

Outware Mobile publishes a weekly podcast, the OMPodcast, where we share our knowledge and talk to industry experts all about the mobile industry. A couple of episodes that might be of interest are:

  • Episode 19: Peter Dalton (Group General Manager of Innovation at ANZ) talks to us about the Art vs Science of Innovation in an 175 year old organisation like the bank.
  • Episode 13: Hugh Bradlow (Chief Scientist, formerly CTO at Telstra) describes Telstra’s innovation processes in 5G in 2020.