Monday, April 11, 2011

The Mobile Perspective

Interesting Perspective
Have you ever thought that a mobile worker might see enterprise mobility from a different perspective than the company he or she works for?  The company might be thinking only about how to extend their existing SAP ERP out to mobile devices.  However, in order to maximize productivity, the mobile user could benefit from other mobile solutions and by having integrations into many other back office applications.  Here is a scenario to consider:
  1. Charlie needs work orders to be dispatched to his smartphone from his non-SAP scheduling and work order management application.
  2. Charlie needs to fill out his timesheet using SAP's mobile timesheet application.
  3. Charlie needs step-by-step navigation from his existing location to the next job site.
  4. Charlie would benefit from having an automated telephone calling service to alert customers of his imminent arrival onsite.
  5. Charlie would like to have mobile access to his SAP based HR benefits, vacation and sick days information.
  6. Charlie would like to have mobile access to the account information of his customers in SAP CRM.
  7. Charlie would like to have mobile access to the service history of his customers.
  8. Charlie would like to have mobile access to shipping status, so he knows when he can schedule a return visit.
  9. Charlie would like to see how his KPIs compare with his peers so that he can improve his performance.
  10. Charlie provides asset maintenance services for his clients and needs to review EAM (enterprise asset management) data in IBM's Maximo solution.  He would benefit from a mobile integration with IBM Maximo as will as SAP.
  11. Charlie would like to have the ability to take orders, while on location, via his smartphone.
  12. Charlie would like to collect payments while onsite with the customer.  He would benefit from being able to process a credit card payment via his mobile device.
  13. Charlie would like to know the location of parts that he needs for his repairs.  Is the part in inventory in the warehouse, in a nearby company vehicle or down the street at a preferred vendor's location?
  14. Charlie would like to geo-tag (capture GPS location and apply a barcode label) to the equipment he maintains, so that next time he knows the exact location of all the equipment on the maintenance plan and can uniquely identify it.
The point of this list is to suggest that the mobile user, in order to maximize his/her productivity, may have different needs and different priorities than others in different roles and departments.  It is important to review the mobility needs of all of your mobile workforce first, before developing your company's IT priorities and mobility strategy.

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Networked Field Services

Webinar of Note

Redstone Arsenal’s (DOD/Chugach) 3 Maintenance Challenges Solved by Mobile

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.