Custom mobile apps don’t have to be overly complex or insanely innovative – they just have to solve problems.

Nuvem Consulting was asked to develop a custom app for one of the largest cruise corporations in the world. The company wanted a simple mobile app that could serve as a payment and access code management system for crew members making long-distance calls back home.

Telecommunications is understandably difficult for crews aboard ships in remote international waters. Still, it’s important that cruise lines provide their employees with a way to stay in touch with friends and family.

Remember those calling cards you bought at 7/11 before cell phones went mainstream? cruiseship_equivoiceOur client’s crew members used a similar system to make calls out at sea. For a long time, these pin cards worked well but printing them, shipping them and maintaining the software used to load them was costly and inefficient.

Now, through a mobile app, thousands of crew members aboard ships across the corporation’s fleet can buy calling time through a secure online portal connected to their crew member account, all from the comfort of their cabin and without needing to exchange physical currency. The system also features live rate sheets, past purchase history and purchase error reporting.

After crews purchase calling time online, they are provided a pin code that is entered when dialing out. The pin code is tied to the funds in their account.

A mobile app for managing international calls is just one example of what can be accomplished through custom applications. For crews, mobile apps can assist with scheduling shifts, assigning work, tracking time, and monitoring productivity KPI’s. For guests, mobile apps can make it easier to make reservations, buy service items, log concierge requests, purchase activities and schedule entertainment both on and off the ship.