Emily Williams is the senior product manager for Infor Ming.le™, a groundbreaking business collaboration platform. Over the past three years, Emily’s vision and leadership have brought Infor Ming.le to desktop, mobile, and, now, to the Apple Watch.
How would you describe your job to a stranger?
My mentor, Massimo Capoccia, says that being a product manager is like being a spider in the middle of the web. You have all these different teams—engineering, design, support, sales—coming to you and you’re the singular point in the middle of it all. You are your product’s number one advocate, so it’s your job to uphold its vision and make sure everyone else is working toward it.
Infor Ming.le for Apple Watch launched in the App Store this week. Why did you and your team decide to make an app for the Apple Watch?
Infor Ming.le and Apple Watch are a match made in tech paradise. The very essence of Infor Ming.le is to help users stay constantly informed and up-to-date. And then you have the Apple Watch, which is on you—physically on you—at all times. So let’s say you’re meeting with your boss or eating lunch with some colleagues or visiting a client—it’s really rude to pull out your phone every time it buzzes, but people still do it all the time because they don’t want to miss anything important. Infor Ming.le for Apple Watch delivers only the most relevant and time-sensitive information to your wrist. You can easily glance at it—probably without anyone noticing—when an alert comes in and instantly know whether you can ignore it or if you need to act.
How was it different than building Infor Ming.le for mobile and web?
We’ve designed each version of Infor Ming.le according to the way users interact with each device. The web version allows users to dig in if they need to, but they can also just check their latest updates and get in and out within a minute. For mobile, we took that down to thirty seconds. And now, with the Apple Watch app, we’re only delivering super-quick headlines so that a user can simply glance down and get the full story within just a few seconds.
What’s next for Infor Ming.le?
We’re thinking about gamification. I’ve seen other vendors use gamification where they’re like, “Oh, Billy posted 100 times, he gets a star.” But that’s not useful. I think it will be really meaningful if we can add gamification elements to core business processes. Take, for example, order to cash. That process might take a company two or three weeks. We’re exploring ways to gamify the experience and help users get it down to ten days. Gamification shouldn’t be about acknowledging someone when they’ve done a task that they’re supposed to do. It should help motivate employees along the way and celebrate them when they succeed.
What is your proudest achievement?
Taking Infor Ming.le to market. I’ve been working on this product since the very beginning, when it was just an idea and a few mock-ups. Now we have this real product that customers love using to help run their businesses.
Do you have any advice for girls who are interested in tech?
Learn to code. If you can code, you’re going to rule the world.
Read about the making of Infor Ming.le for Apple Watch in this blog post by the app’s designer, Maksim Petriv.