What is Contextual Computing?
In Bin Hu’s explanation of how one can describe contextual computing, he narrated that context and users are the keywords of the concepts definition. He further stated that “context should include information to enable systems to achieve timely and precise understanding of users and their situation”. Turban et al (2006) also defines contextual computing as “the enhancement of a user’s interaction by understanding the user, the context, the applications and the information required”. Their definition stresses the correctness of Bin Hu’s ideology that context and users are highly significant for consideration in what is open on christmas day.
In the case of Nigerian banks where competition is ever growing, little things like remembering the customer’s birthdays are now taken into serious consideration. From my experience I have observed that customers become more loyal when they receive birthday wishes from their banks. In addition to noting the location, weather, time of the day, users Calendar, and Customer’s birthday e.t.c. Banks in Nigeria will serve their customers better if they get personalized information like religion from customers. During religious occasions like Christmas, Christians gather in groups in different locations, the same happen for Muslims in time of Sallah. These devout members of the two religious groups can find themselves in strange geographical locations where they are not familiar with and might need to do cash or other types of transaction that will rely on the banks proactivity. It is the duty of banks to know the right information at the right time and get themselves ready to satisfy the needs of their customers who are in an unknown terrain.
For example one Oceanic Bank customer whose church is in Ajegunle might need to travel to Ado-Ekiti for a religious celebration. The bank might have certain facilities and infrastructure (e.g widespread POS terminals) that will benefit the customer in all Ado-Ekiti’s churches where the customer is heading. It becomes the bank’s responsibility to be able to determine that their customer is in Ado-Ekiti at the time and that he is a christmas day restaurants.
Assuming the GPS mobile phone facility that allows one to determine the location of users is widespread and the banks network gets a signal that its customer has moved to Ado-Ekiti, there should be an automated SMS welcoming the Bank’s customer to Ado-Ekiti and at the same time telling the customer about all the various transactions he can benefit from as an Oceanic Bank’s customer. One of the services could be ability to pay his tithe through any of the bank’s POS terminals located in all Ado-Ekiti churches. This means that with the right information at the right time, the customer has been saved from withdrawing cash and other risks that might come with it in a new location where he might not be familiar with. The customer has been served and will surely come back to Oceanic because he will feel that he can rely on Oceanic as always there to know what he wants.
I gave an order to my stockbroker to buy some stocks for me and the company has failed to buy the stocks for over two weeks now. This situation could be improved upon if the stock broking firm actually considered that some customers have peculiar reasons for purchasing and selling their stocks. Various infrastructures should be put in place to enable customers buy whatever stocks they wish to buy like it happens in other countries.
This type of services is rendered by some companies, example is FXCM where a customer can actually trade currencies online, another example is Wallstreet Survivor with a game functionality that allows one to buy and sell stocks with real time quotes.
The Electronic aspect of stock trading should have been initiated in such a way that, customers can go online through their phones or laptops and purchase or sell whatever stocks they want to sell. This is a case for contextual computing that can be taken care of as mentioned under pervasive computing by Turban et al (2008)
Brown (2000:52) mentioned that as “customer strategy evolves, companies move from customer loyalty to customer dependency. The only way a company can satisfy its customer’s needs is by making them permanently dependent on its initiative. This can be done by getting personalized information that can be used to prescribe personalized services for the customers. This further enhances the better satisfaction to the customer segment preferred by the company and thus means better revenue.
Efraim Turban, David King, Judy McKay, Peter Marshall, Jae Lee, Dennis Viehland, (2008) “Electronic Commerc – A Managerial Perspecive” ISBN 9780135135440 Int’l Ed. Pearson Education Ltd. london
Bin Hu (2006), “Pervasive Computing and Applications” [Online] Available at: IEE Explore Digital Library (Accessed on 1st August 2009) Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/SPCA.2006.297459
Stanley A Brown (2000), “Customer Relationship Management: A strategic imperative in then world of e-business” ISBN: 0-471-64409-9, PricewaterhouseCoopers, John Wiley and Sons, Canada.