A corporate view on mobile app development – interview with BM&FBOVESPA’s Web Projects Coordinator, João Magalhães Lima.
BM&FBOVESPA is the Brazilian stock exchange, and one of the largest in the world.
Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, it has offices in Rio de Janeiro, New York, Shanghai and London.
João Magalhães Lima is the Web Projects Coordinator for the Communications Department of BM&FBOVESPA, and responsible for managing projects ranging from social media strategy to mobile applications development. Here are his thoughts on the latter, and a few more about the mobile environment for financial institutions.
MoM: What is BMFBOVESPA’s main objective as you enter the mobile world? Are there any characteristics of the Brazilian audience that make this process easier or harder?
JML: BM&FBOVESPA’s aim is to be present in the mobile world, by making basic market information available in mobile platforms and thus also transmit the image that we are present and attentive to new technologies trends.
Different companies have different maturity levels regarding digital investments. Some may only want to develop a mobile application just to be seen, others are past that and actually trying to create products that are relevant to their core business.
Brazilians are avid technology consumers, and the recent approval of fiscal incentives by our government for the manufacture and sale of tablets will certainly boost sales locally. The environment is totally favorable to the investment in mobile products.
MoM: What kinds of apps, and to what platforms, have you developed so far?
JML: Currently BM&FBOVESPA has 6 apps: iPad (2), iPhone, Android (smartphones), Android 2.0 (7″ tablets) and Android 3.0 (10″ tablets). We are considering the release of windows 7 and blackberry versions within the next year, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
MoM: How is the developing process structured? Do you use a third party app developer or is it all executed by your IT departments?
JML: All development is executed through external partners. One of the advantages I currently see is the know-how they bring to the development process. As they are still relatively new technologies, it isn’t worth it to invest in the internalization of that process.
When the application content becomes more about our core business, then I believe internal development would be the better choice.
MoM: As a company, do you feel any advantages regarding the approval process in say, the Apple app store, that independent developers may not have?
JML: That isn’t something we take into consideration.
MoM: Does the demand come from the public? How important is user feedback to dictate new features, data, etc. in the apps?
JML: As in any corporate digital product, there are two fronts: our internal initiatives, plus user suggestions.
MoM: How do you deal with these platforms constant evolution, such as the booming Brazilian tablet market, for instance?
JML: The market is in an experimentation and stabilization phase, so mobile application investment is still relatively low. It is important to monitor new product launches, but we only trust established brands, as Samsung, Google, Nokia, Apple, etc.
MoM: Do you search for inspiration in other finance related apps, or do you try to find references and benchmarks in other segments as well?
JML: In the conceptualizing stages of application development it is important to research different products, but with user experience in mind, not necessarily the final theme. For instance, an application that helps you find the best cake recipes can work as a reference and contribute to the user experience in selecting companies to invest in, as in our case. Apps from different market sectors can be important best practices benchmarks.
Learn more about BM&FBOVESPA’s mobile apps (in English).