Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mobile Applications for Handheld PDAs and Business Process Automation

Some of the most important and valuable components of SAP's ERPs are the best practices business processes and work flows that are developed in them. These are automated processes that ensure that the business is completed in the appropriate way each time. These work flows and business processes have evolved and improved over the past couple of decades with much research, trial and error. Now that they are highly developed, wouldn't it be a shame to lose the benefit of them when applications go mobile and are used on handheld PDAs and smartphones?

Business process automation is even more necessary when workers are mobile and working away from management oversight. How, when and why should information be collected from the remote work site? How should you handle the need to purchase replacement parts for the equipment you are repairing 50 miles from the office? What paper work do you need to fill out? How do you hire temporary labor at a remote work site? What paper work needs filled out and what information needs sent back to the office so paychecks can be processed? The answers and processes for these kinds of issues are usually pre-determined and pre-configured in the ERP system, but not often on the mobile software that runs on your smartphone or handheld PDA.

When considering the use of mobile software applications, ask your SAP consultant or mobile software vendor how they can help mobile workers by extending business process automation to mobile handhelds and smartphones.