A good mobile app experience is central to whether today’s connected consumer engages with your brand, or passes you by. How could Open help clients ensure a first-rate user experience, every time?
Open created Moodpeek, a cloud-based data and semantic analytics tool, to turn user ratings and comments on Apple and Android stores into actionable insight, helping companies enhance user experience.
Enablesa powerful cognitive solution to analyze tens of millions of user reviews
Helpsclients optimize their app experience, sharpening their competitive edge
Supportsglobal application launch, with scalable, fully managed development tools
Business challenge story
Optimizing the app user experience
In today’s marketplace, the cellphone app is fast-becoming a vital marketing tool to raise brand awareness and boost customer loyalty. Consumers are spending more and more of their time tied to their cellphones: according to one study, close to three hours each day, of which nearly 90 percent is spent using apps. That makes the cellphone app the ideal channel for increasing engagement with customers through notifications, useful information and direct messaging services.
Manuel Pennequin, Mobile Analytics Director at Open, begins: “As specialists in creating digital and mobile solutions, we always ask our clients ‘What if your reputation depended on your cellphone app?’. We know that 64 percent of French consumers believe that the quality of an app impacts overall brand image, and yet many companies neglect their mobile app reputation and receive limited downloads as a result.
“Whenever I used to meet customers to discuss mobile strategy, I would check the reviews of their app on the Apple or Android Stores, and pick out particular bits of user feedback. The comments and ratings on the app stores are two of the central influencers that drive other users to install the app, and are a huge source of insight for companies to tap into.
“I had the idea then of creating a solution that would take all of the reviews, evaluate them, and deliver valuable information about what users liked about the app, what they didn’t like and, most importantly, the capabilities and features they would like to see introduced. Armed with these details, our customers would be well-placed to update their apps and optimize the user experience.”
Open initially built a prototype application and first release called ‘Open Up’ to assess app reviews. However, this first offering could only provide static reporting, and lacked other important functionalities, such as client access to data via a web browser.
To deepen insight into app user sentiment, Open planned an upgraded application, called Moodpeek, as Manuel Pennequin elaborates: “To create the updated version, we needed development tools and cloud-based data services to support our advanced analytics capabilities. It was critical to ensure unlimited scalability, because we planned to release Moodpeek not just in France, but internationally too.”
Harnessing the tools for application development
To build an architecture capable of supporting its ambitious plans for Moodpeek, Open selected the IBM® Cloud application development platform, including IBM Compose database-as-a-service (DBaaS) technology. IBM Cloud enables Open’s developers to rapidly deploy production-ready open source resources in the cloud to optimize the performance of Moodpeek.
Manuel Pennequin explains: “We have a great deal of experience working with open source software for application development, and were hugely impressed with how extensive the Cloud catalogue is in this regard. We wanted to work with the global leaders in cloud and cognitive services, and in the Cloud platform we saw the potential not just to build the Moodpeek application, but to support many other digital transformation projects.”
He continues: “We were also keen to move away from the traditional delivery method of installing and configuring software on our servers, and towards using platform-as-a-service. Combined with the tools it offers us, this made choosing Cloud an easy decision. As a result, we now have a much more flexible business model.”
The Moodpeek solution is based on a powerful semantic analytics engine, created by Open, that delivers rapid assessments of the user comments and ratings of each client company’s cellphone app. Moodpeek classifies the reviews as either positive or negative, picks out particular strengths and weaknesses, and generates an overall score, along with reports and graphs to break down and illustrate the results. Clients can access the Moodpeek analysis on a customized interface via a web browser.
IBM Compose provides the data layer supporting Moodpeek, ensuring ultra-fast, rock-solid access to data generated by app ratings and comments. Manuel Pennequin notes: “Compose plays a crucial role in the Moodpeek architecture, as we use it to provision and manage our Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL environments.
“Compose is simple to integrate with our application, and we can set up new instances in just a couple of clicks. The auto-scale feature will be especially useful as the number of Moodpeek users grows, and high-availability clustering ensures consistent access to data even if an individual component fails. As Compose is a fully-managed service, we do not have to worry about server administration, handling upgrades, or performing backups, and can focus our time and resources on building innovative new applications.”
He continues: “Working with IBM has been a great experience. We enjoy a very strong relationship, and the performance of the technology has been excellent. We even have an IBM representative based here at the Open office who provides project support, skills training, and facilitates contact with other IBM teams whenever we need assistance.”
Boosting customer loyalty and brand visibility
Supported by IBM Cloud technology, Moodpeek is helping many of Open’s clients in the French marketplace to improve their cellphone app experience. Already, Moodpeek is monitoring over 7,100 apps, and has analyzed nearly seven million comments, in addition to 16 million ratings on app stores.
Manuel Pennequin explains: “Armed with the insight that Moodpeek provides, our clients can identify features that users want to see more of in their apps. They can then take fast action in response by adding new functionalities, snippets of useful information, or promotional schemes to increase customer engagement.
“And, by responding positively to the data Moodpeek provides, our clients’ apps will gain better feedback in the future, and in turn, even more app users. It is a virtuous circle, created by Moodpeek, which gives our clients crucial competitive advantage by raising their brand visibility.”
The feedback Open has so far received for Moodpeek has been excellent. In one case, an international hotel group highlighted the flexibility and depth of insight that Moodpeek offers. The hotel group uses a single app for its various brands, but monitors a total of nine apps through Moodpeek – its own, and those of its competitors. Each morning, it receives an email alert giving an update on its Moodpeek rating in comparison to the previous day and to its competitors’ performance, along with a detailed analysis of the reviews that have contributed to the scores.
Although the initial launch of Moodpeek was focused on the French market, Open believes that by building it on the Cloud platform, it has the scalability and performance it needs to go global.
Manuel Pennequin notes: “Next, we plan to launch Moodpeek in London, and beyond there we see no reason why we cannot roll out the solution across the globe. With IBM Compose and IBM Cloud behind our application, we can add users and features without having to worry about the performance or availability of the underlying infrastructure. In my team at Open, I’m now adding business development managers, rather than technical staff.
“That’s the beauty of working on Cloud; it takes care of the underlying architecture, and we can focus on selling more and selling in new places, confident that the technology will scale and support us every step of the way.”
He concludes: “Thanks to IBM, we have an unlimited horizon to how far we can take our Moodpeek solution, and how many businesses we can help engage new customers through their apps.”
Open is a leading provider of digital and IT services, including application development, mobile services, infrastructure management and platform design. Founded in 1989 as Open Technology, the company has grown through a series of acquisitions, and now employs 3,700 staff and achieved turnover of EUR 305 million (USD 331 million) in 2016. Open operates from 16 locations in France, as well as sites in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and China. Clients include companies in the financial, public, transport, energy and telecoms sectors.
Take the next step
IBM Compose is a cloud-hosted platform for building enterprise applications on open source database technologies. Offering a choice of the best in OSS databases, ready to go into production within minutes to support web and mobile apps, Compose combines practically unlimited auto-scaling with practically zero administration. For more information and to try out Compose for yourself, visit: ibm.com/cloud/compose
IBM Bluemix is the cloud platform that offers a choice of scalable and flexible compute and deployment models, with one consistent experience. Bringing together infrastructure and platform services, Bluemix offers a rich and continuously expanding ecosystem of IBM and 3rd party services to accelerate the pace of business. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMCloud, and on our blog at IBM Cloud Blog.
View more client stories or learn more about IBM Watson Data Platform