Creating a Mobile Culture of Development

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Mobile is the hot topic within the IT world. 2013 saw the mainstream press regularly feature stories on smart phones, tablet PCs and application stores, among other things.  The ever-changing nature of mobile device technology, and increasing levels of “consumerization” have created a groundswell in workplace demand for mobile solutions.  The demands placed on enterprise IT and the corporate infrastructure are among today’s most pressing technology challenges.

The Michigan Council of Women in technology invited Christian Marcillo of Future Help Designs to provide insight on this hot topic, providing questions that ranged  from device management and app development to  user engagement.

Of particular interest to the Michigan Women in Technology and IT managers globally is the growth of the Global App Economy  which  is expected to grow to an estimated $36.2B by 2016 in contract work alone for apps development, and $11.9B in App Store sales according to VisionMobile.

In the presentation, Christian shared a high level approach to app development projects for the IT world, as well as best practices on initiating a mobile project for an enterprise or personal project. He shared some insights about the app development process, starting with a methodical approach to formulating your idea, identifying a platform, creating minimum viable products that connect to a roadmap, and building and engaging a delivery team.

Three key skills in a mobile development culture include strategy, agility, and communication.

Building a mobile app is more than just a team of developers; it is more about creating a culture of mobile development. Because mobile application development is so highly fluid and dynamic, it does not follow the generally accepted principles of project development.  This challenge to the IT project development process is highly disruptive, and is a key differentiator of the mobile development approach.

Co-location of the development team and a flat organizational structure encourage the mobile development project to be self-governing, with a strong collective work ethic that gets the optimal output from each project team member.   The project manager’s role evolves from one of directing and managing, to one of navigating and removing obstacles to the development project’s progress.

Markedly different are the strategic thought around the process of idea gathering and refinement, and planning iterative growth.  Rather than gather and vet requirements at the beginning of the development project, readying them for eventual development, the mobile development environment is an “Agile” one.  Shorter, tighter, more iterative development cycles enable the mobile development team to develop, test, and adjust the product in shortened cycles.  Add to that the presence of clients and business stakeholders on the project team, who are able to  compress review and approval steps, and you have an accelerated development process that is lightweight, flexible, and highly maneuverable.

The steps to creating a mobile development culture would include such things as Mobile Strategy that incorporates:

  • Business goals in alignment with technology resources
  • How to plan & communicate design & strategy
  • Discuss platform & device differences
  • Mobile development tools for IT professionals
  • Identification of the development team
  • Deployment strategies

For further information on assistance with moving your company forward with a mobile app contact Future Help Designs at If your IT team is ready to conquer mobility and receive training towards certification contact Mobile Comply at

Have more questions?  Feel free to review the presentation here.

Or contact us here:
The Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) is a progressive organization that inspires and supports women as they enter, advance, and contribute to Michigan’s technology community.



Mobilizing Education

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Mobile technology is on the minds of education professionals now more than ever before; but those education professionals are involved in a variety of education sectors, including:

  • K-12
  • Higher education
  • Business education
  • Self-education service providers.

It’s a big topic, with far-reaching implications for our children – their current education and their future careers, our businesses and ourselves. To help gain an understanding of the topic, Mobile Monday Detroit is presenting Michigan-based experts to provide us with a wide range of perspectives on the topic of ‘Mobilizing Education’.

Speakers and their areas of focus will include:

  • Elaina Farnsworth of Mobile Comply
  • Christian Marcillo and Glen Konopaskie of Future Help Designs

Who will jointly be presenting a case study which showcases how these firms are working together to bring technology, curriculum content, and stakeholders to the table to move the needle in how education is approached from an interactive classroom.

  • Lisa Toenniges and Matt Kurtin of Innovative Learning Group

Who will discuss how learning technologies are providing new opportunities for learning and performance support and will identify technology-based solutions to fulfill performance needs using a standard performance improvement model, as well as providing several examples of performance improvement solutions successfully using today’s new technologies.

  • Jeff Muglia and Dave Zabihaylo of Sprint

Who will be presenting “What works (and what doesn’t) with Wireless for Education”.


Speaker biographies:

Elaina Farnsworth, CEO, Mobile Comply

Elaina is skilled in showing professionals how to leverage the POWER of Mobile and teaching businesses how to reach their audience through these tools. She is a speaker and thought leader in the Mobile/Social Media Industry and is a proven expert in showing companies how to ‘Spin their Mobile Web”.

Elaina works together with companies to include best practices and mobile principles to launch meaningful training curriculum into their infrastructure. She created a 9-step ‘Spin Series” as an easy-to-understand guide to help businesses and organizations get started in mobile marketing, and she uses these concepts to help businesses create new opportunities and establish new connections with businesses and customers.

Elaina is honored to be a part of the 2013 Brooks Patterson’s Elite 40 under 40 class and a member of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan Board of Directors.

Christian Marcillo, Co-founder/CEO/Creative Director, Future Help Designs

Christian is skilled at connecting users with mobile technology, and speaking the languages of both consumers and developers. He has an ability to speak with the right and left brain thinkers to put together projects that provide high-end user interfaces that don’t require the need of an instruction manual to use them. He works together with companies, idea generators, and engineers to focus on best practices, mobile principles and strategy. Bridging a fascination with technology and how it is utilized in every day ways is where he performs best. He demonstrates strength and experience in leveraging cloud environments and strong training, transparency and team collaboration to create a cultural foundation for Future Help Designs.

Christian is an Ambassador for the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan.

Glen Konopaskie, Co-founder/President, Future Help Designs

Glen is skilled in assisting corporations adopt mobile strategies to implement industry and enterprise app solutions. His background is in training and software design with business degrees from Lake Superior State University. He has lead the development of several strategic mobile solutions from roadmaps to multi-platform app developments. His current role allows him to monitor the mobile and cellular industry for planning corporate direction and securing strategic partnerships that can extend into key markets. His current product development projects bring interactive mobile technology into the classroom.

Glen leads several product developments within the education and technology sectors. He is currently focused on a project that brings interactive mobile technology into the classroom, and his knowledge of mobile technologies and opportunities within the education space are gathering excitement for future products to come.

Glen is Vice-chair of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan Board of Directors.



Local Students learn skills at Future Help Designs

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Future Help Designs is strongly connected to supporting the community.  As part of that effort we take on interns to help them gain professional skills for their future employment as well as specific skills training for coding and development.

This summer we had a great intern from the Pontiac High School come join us as an assistant to our efforts.  On the job skills learned began with preparing a resume of past experiences during the interview.  Once brought on he learned additional skills such as utilizing social tools like Prezi for presentations, Podio for corporate database management, Facebook and Twitter as a marketing tool.  The responsibilities added to the resume were completing market research tasks, planning social media content, maintaining the organization and cleanliness of the office, and greeting guests.

As part of his internship he also helped review one of our fun games; GoJUGGLE.  Check out this years summer high school intern’s project he did on

AIDS Walk Detroit 2013 – enhancing their engagement through mobile apps

Posted ago by FHDadmin

For a second year in a row, Future Help Designs is supporting the technology efforts of an incredible cause, AIDS Walk Detroit.

AIDS Walk Detroit 2013 is once again reaching out to do an incredible amount of fundraising and in doing so they are maintaining relevance to their audience not only by leveraging social media tools to promote their cause and actions, but also mobile technology.

Their audience are people who are key at networking and raising funds from within their network.  By making sure the have a presence in everyone’s pocket they have increased their visibility and maintain a top of mind approach by housing space in the form of an icon on their fundraisers and supporters smartphones.

The AIDS Walk Detroit App’s main features allow users to sign up as a walker and collect donations right on the spot. No signup forms to carry. The intuitive interface is set up in a way that many smart phones users are very comfortable with. Pull their phone out of their pocket, open up the app, register as a new walker, sign up sponsors and collect donations.

The Technology:  As part of this year’s event on the backend we’ve made it even easier for the event organizers to update information as the event changes and grows.  This gives power to even more immediately connect to their supporters.

Download the Apps:  Support the cause in your own way.  Donate, Walk, and Share.  Download the application to your smartphone to stay connected to the event.

On iPhone:

On Android:

About AIDS Walk Detroit: In 1991 a group of local merchants and shop keepers in Royal Oak started AIDS Walk Detroit as a ‘simple request’ to raise money for individuals reeling from the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today AIDS Walk Detroit has evolved into the largest grassroots HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the state of Michigan. Over the past 21 years AIDS Walk Detroit has raised $3.5 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services here in Michigan. AIDS Walk Detroit 2013: This year AIDS Walk Detroit will take place on Sunday September 15th at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. We have ambitiously set a goal of raising $200,000 through this year’s event and mobilizing over 3,500 participants to participate. This year we are challenging each and every one of our supporters to make these goals a reality. – See more at:

Do you have an upcoming event:   Are you interested in a mobile app solution for your upcoming event?  Contact Future Help Designs to begin your mobile strategy and increase your relevance to your audience.  Let us help you get mobile.

BYOD? What is it and how could Future Help Designs assist?

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Are You Ready For BYOD? 

If you are an IT Manager, you have noticed that the practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)has become commonplace in almost every workplace. Although it may be useful and convenient for employees, and even for your company in general, you need to think through the implications that BYOD will have on your company’s security.

Because of the dynamics of employees accessing company data anytime, from anywhere,
now that the Web, wireless access, and mobile devices have become ubiquitous, the modern
company and its IT Department need to be especially aware of how far afield their company property is traveling and how to secure it.
Your goals are to increase productivity through BYOD practices, while reducing risk and cost.
Toward that end, here are some questions to ask:

1. Who owns, manages and secures each device?

2. How can encryption, antivirus protection, passwords, geo-fencing and other measures be implemented and enforced effectively?

3. What are the risks that employees’ BYOD practices introduce to your company?
4. What is being accessed and how do you use cloud storage, and  in-house and 3rd party apps safely?  According to conclusions from a survey of 1,500 IT decision makers by Dell Quest Software, “Those slow to support BYOD or constrained by a device-centric approach may deal with greater challenges, including the risk of being left behind from a competitive standpoint.” Its clear that BYOD is the new way of the workplace. Smart companies are staying on top of and ahead of this trend.
As you consider your corporate IT’s infrastructure and response to BYOD you may be considering building Apps as software to help manage sensitive corporate documents.  Future Help Designs has the capabilities to be your third-party vendor to assist your in-house team develop intuitive mobile applications for your workforce.  Contact us:
These 4 bullets were crafted in partnership with Mobile Comply, Christina and Future Help Designs, Glen Konopaskie


Posted ago by FHDadmin

On a recent trip out to Seattle, WA for a school psychologist conference I had a wonderful experience of mobile trend watching.  Beautiful Downtown Seattle was host to the NASP conference for school psychologists.  I witnessed and conversed with many attendees and heard their thoughts around the mobile trends in the education and behavior space.  Also while there I was able to enjoy several of Seattle’s coffee shops and in particular one shop leveraging mobile in incredible ways.  And lastly on my flight home reading the Sky Magazine they spoke of the ability to leverage mobile technology to modify behavior to promote better health styles.  In summary these are the three mobile trends I’m documenting this month:

  • Mobile in the world of education
  • Mobile in the world of the small business
  • Mobile as your behavior modifier

5 Questions to consider as you create your Enterprise Mobility Plan

Posted ago by FHDadmin
Do you have an Enterprise Mobility Strategy? Or do you just have an app?
Developing a mobile app without taking a step back to strategize means you may end up with a “half-apped” mobility plan. Managing Enterprise Mobility means more than just keeping track of who is using which types of devices. Many companies utilize best practices for cutting costs, extending mobile access to data to more employees, and decreasing the incidence of lost or stolen mobile devices.

Here are 5 questions to consider as you create your Enterprise Mobility Plan:

1. How can Mobility improve your organization? By creating greater efficiencies and faster communication, more streamlined workflow, ”workshifting, ” enhanced collaboration amongst teams, and better usage of company data and resources location-independent, mobility can add to the bottom line in more than a few ways. 71% of companies have changed at least one business process and 20% of companies have changed four or more business processes to accommodate mobility into their organization. Before you design a strategy do your homework on mobile in your place, execute a minimal viable plan to test the new processes and procedures and consider evaluating a results focused work ethic and environment built around your mobile strategy.

2. Do you have a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy in place? It may lower costs to allow your employees to use their own personal devices at work, but what about the broader implications? 60% of  companies reported that most employees use personal computing devices at work. The usage of BYOD opens up more areas of security breaches for a company that your IT department should be aware of and manage appropriately. Another item to consider is a clear definition of work on mobile devices outside of corporate hours. Currently the argument is around emails after hours, but this will soon spread as mobile devices trend from devices of consumption to creation.

3. Can you leverage your existing technologies into Mobile?  Consider how you can integrate your investments in your website, ecommerce store or online marketing with your new mobile strategies. Mobile e-commerce web traffic is experiencing exponential growth. By integrating your existing technologies and extending them into mobile, you may be able to increase revenues, without large additional investments.

4. Which are the best mobile devices to begin with?  How to decide which platforms your company needs to be on entails assessing the choices in alignment with your business practices. Consider content creation vs. consumption, BYOD (bring-your-own-device), field usage, collaboration tools, and usage patterns within your organization.  Android, iOS, and Blackberry all have different uses, market targets and market shares for personal and corporate usage. 

5. Do you outsource or keep it in-house?  There are several approaches, which include building a homegrown solution, outsourcing to an agency or provider, a combination of in-house and outsourcing,  or buying or licensing software.  Your team should examine the time it will take, the integration with your current infrastructure, the upfront costs, the resources you have internally, the speed of change to your industry due to mobile and the requirement for expertise, and the return on investment.


These 5 bullets are crafted in partnership with Mobile Comply, Christina and Future Help Designs, Glen Konopaskie

Non-profits using Mobile apps to enhance awareness and fund raising

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Mobile Apps in the non-profit fund raising sector


Walk for Warmth is an annual walk-a-thon event hosted by OLHSA, A Community Action Agency.  They are community neighbors and supporters along side Future Help Designs in Downtown Pontiac, and their premier event sponsor, Genisys Credit Union.  The walk happens across the nation to help raise awareness for this important cause, and OLHSA coordinates the effort in the counties of Livingston and Oakland County, MI.

This annual goal is to raise $180,000.  In 2011 the Walk for Warmth raised $183,000, their most successful walk ever.  This included 1,500 walkers.

OLHSA’s mission is to enable the low-income, elderly and persons with disabilities living in Oakland and Livingston Counties to become more self-sufficient.

To discover more about OLHSA visit

The Challenge

The ability to rally around causes such as Walk for Warmth and assist through donations and participation has always been a challenge.  The world of donation sheets is long gone, digital web-sites now take over to help collect donations, and social media takes on the role of promotion through neighbors own personal promotions.  How does a non-profit agency rooted in the community continue to develop sustainable growth and stay relevant?  This year OLHSA reached out to Future Help Designs to help implement stage 1 of their mobile roadmap.

The Solution

The Mobile Roadmap

Planning growth goals and milestones in technology has proven to deliver the best results.  It’s the careful delivery of identifying the “wants” of a customer with the “needs” that can deliver.   For a mobile roadmap discussion visit “Going Mobile: From Idea to Development“.

iOS Walk for Warmth

Walk for Warmth iPhone App

A mobile app license from Future Help Designs was used to save development costs to deliver an app within a short time frame. Looking at existing content available from OLHSA’s website helped to define design decisions and populate the app with static content.

Individual interaction with the mobile app in the first stage was decided as customizing which walk the user would be attending with a countdown timer, allowing the user to post to their social media from within the app, and sign-up to walk.

Static content that could be re-purposed included the following:  An about page to communicate the purpose of the walk, walk maps and directions that could interact with the smartphones existing apps, and pages linking to walk sponsors.

Platform Decision

The decision on platform has to come from who the user is in the end.  In the case of OLHSA their users were community members who held many forms of employment and were socially connected and invested in their communities and helping others.  The platform decision was to make the app available for both the Apple and Android platforms, and the form factor of smartphone vs tablet.

Within the communities of Livingston and Oakland county the population was highly likely to own either an iPhone or Android device.  The functionality of the app would most benefit those on smartphones which require a mere 30 seconds of engagement vs a tablet which can maintain a users interest for 3 minutes.

Content Management System

A challenge that creates a customer need in the case of donor fund raising is the fact that many donors sign up at the last moments.  A solution needed to be provided that would allow for quick updates, without having to update the app code.

In an experimental case Future Help Designs guided OLHSA to leverage the ease of use of Podio to assist.  It resulted as a great communication tool so team members on client and developer side could see changes.   Additionally Podio held well as a content management system to update content on the fly to the downloaded user base.

The Results

This year’s mobile roadmap strategy and implementation provided for Walk for Warmth apps available on iTunes and Google Play.  The content management system was also implemented to provide timely app updates for new sponsors as well as communicating funds raised.

Walk for Warmth 2013

Next steps include preparing for next years walk and marketing the app’s availability and functionality.

OLHSA is well on it’s way to being an early adopter into what is already an expected state – “Is there an app for that?”  OLHSA’s answer is yes.

Download the iPhone App here

Download the Android App here

Sign up to Walk on the web here


Future Help Designs, Pontiac’s Mobile App Company, plays it’s role in the city’s comeback

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Future Help Designs, Pontiac’s Mobile App Company, owned by Glen Konopaskie and Christian Marcillo, demonstrates the ability of tech small businesses to play their role in urban entrepreneurship and socially responsible business.

In the February 18′th edition of the Detroit News, Future Help Designs and it’s neighboring businesses were credited as playing a role along side partnerships with city elected officials and emergency financial manager.  Tech companies like Future Help Designs and our small business neighbors all share the philosophy of live, work, play which helps not only revitalize our city but also is a core value in our businesses.

FHD plays in Pontiac's Comeback

Future Help Designs listed as a core business in Pontiac’s comeback


Future Help Designs leadership plays an active role within the community.  When not developing mobile apps co-owners Glen & Christian are in the community volunteering.  Most notably is Glen Konopaskie’s involvement with the Pontiac Downtown Business Association as President.  Creating structure and engagement has been an asset to the momentum being built.  Christian also plays a role in coordinating technology tools as a volunteer to help with the promotional activities to help drive traffic to the Pontiac Downtown events.

Other volunteer leadership roles within the tech industry itself places Glen as Vice-Chair for the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan. MTAM is currently leading the nation as the mobile trade associations only state wide movement nationally.  The organization is benchmarking how mobile, one of the fastest growing industries globally, can play in the economic development of states.

Future Help Designs plays its role in making apps, as well as driving economic development within it’s community, both at local, state, and national levels.  Check back often for more news.

To read the article in it’s entirity please visit the Detroit News. 

Differentiating Learning Experiences using iPad

Posted ago by FHDadmin

Future Help Designs with Paul Chrustowski and Christian Marcillo present on the use of iPads as tools for differentiated learning experiences.

The presentation was given at the National Association of School Psychologist conference (NASP) in Seattle, WA on February 12, 2014.

iPads enter the classroom more and more as the tool of choice to deliver educational content. The win for students is the ability to have self-paced learning without having to be too concerned about being slower or faster than peers. The learning environment is somewhat isolated. Teachers who are successful in utilizing this differentiated learning experience are using multiple apps within one class curriculum. Students sometimes can pick their own apps to facilitate their learning experience.

With this technology only being around a few years there are many levels of innovation. As part of that innovation cycle Future Help Designs offers FHDnet as a possible answer to assist educators in managing the differentiated learning experiences of our students while providing some level of classroom management. To download a free copy of FHDnet visit FHDnet on iTunes

Additionally learn new techniques around capturing behavioral assessments on your iPhone using iBAA. The templates that you can customize assist school districts capture data amongst observers such as school psychs, behavioral analysts, teachers, and even educational admins and stay consistent with the types of observations recorded. To give it a try visit iBAA on iTunes

For a copy of the presentation, please visit again shortly and we will post the link.
For those registered at #NASP login here:
Follow us on Twitter @FHDapps and we’ll notify you when the presentation is posted.