Thursday, November 04, 2010

Custom Mobile Applications for the Enterprise

When I was managing a mobile applications company a few years ago, our entire market was SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises).  In over half the mobile application development projects that we worked on there was NO existing backend database.  Companies would contact us and say they needed the following:
  1. A mobile application for a specific business process, inspection project, or unique business model.
  2. They needed a database to store the data they collected in the field.
  3. They needed mobile middleware to synchronize the data from the mobile devices to the database
  4. Web access to the database so people around the company could easily view the data.
  5. Reports on the data collected in the field.
Sometimes it is easy to focus only on the largest companies that use ERPs, but it is important to recognize that the majority of companies in the world do not use big ERPs and these companies are often service companies doing work in the field.  These SMEs do not often have their own mobile middleware. They want as much simplicity as possible. 

SMEs don't care that SAP acquired Sybase and is promoting the Sybase Unwired Platform.  They want an all in one mobile solution that is simple and solves their problem cost effectively.  That is why no matter what SAP, Oracle and others do, there is still a big need for mobile solutions that  provide a set of mobile tools and technologies that let customers integrate, develop, control and manage mobile apps that span many user groups, geographies and devices. 

The enterprise mobility vendors listed below are well known for their work in SAP mobility projects, but they also serve non-SAP customers.

Syclo has their Smart Mobile Suite and Agentry mobile platforms.  These solutions include mobile application templates and integrated mobile synchronization technology that they have developed themselves.  These solutions are intended to mobilize both ERPs, packaged software applications and custom database applications.

ClickSoftware has their ClickMobile solution that utilizes the Sybase Mobility Platform.  It is designed to enable you to cost effectively mobilize and connect to SAP or a wide variety of backoffice systems.

Sky Technologies is also a well know mobile solution that includes an SDK (software development kit) and mobile infrastructure that integrates with a wide variety of mobile solutions.

There is a plethora of other enterprise mobility vendors as well, but the companies above are well known for supporting both large SAP environments and other SME environments as well.

Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.