Ilium Software Interview: How Difficult Is It To Pick A Platform?

This is part three of five parts of my interview with Ellen Craw of Ilium Software. Click to read: Part One, Part Two.

We are continuing the interview with Ellen Craw of Ilium Software, which has been selling programs for mobile devices since 1997. Ilium’s first programs were for Windows CE, the forefather of Windows Phone 7 Series, and they released versions of those programs for the Palm OS, which was the second major platform at the time.

One thing that may be overlooked in the consideration of how many mobile platforms a company supports is that it is not just about writing programs. To make money the company has to market their product, and additional platforms mean different marketing for each. Perhaps more important is providing support for the products. In today’s world where it is so easy for people to air their complaints on the Internet, it is most important for small companies who mainly sell their products on the Internet to keep their customers happy. Answering phone calls and e-mails is a lot of work.

Today Ilium Software sells products for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Palm OS, Windows PC and Macintosh. That seems like a lot of platforms to be supporting, how difficult has it been to support this many?

Very difficult. Not only is there development and maintenance, but also support, marketing and distribution for each one. Each new platform is a LOT of work.

One of the platforms you currently do not have a product for is Android, are there any plans to create versions of your products for Android? If not, why not?

At this point it still is not clear if Android is a viable platform for selling software. At the same time we know a lot of our customers want an Android version of eWallet. One thing we are working on right now is an eWallet Viewer application that will let owners of the full eWallet package view their wallets on their Android mobile device.