Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Real Estate Companies and Enterprise Mobility

I read today that the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., was a recipient of a Digie Award at the Realcomm 2011 tradeshow last week. The award recognizes Inland’s achievements in mobilizing business data and property management information.  Never heard of the Digie Award?  Me neither, but it honors companies, projects and solutions that represent the most innovative use of technology and automation in commercial and corporate real estate.

Their enterprise mobility solution is said to enhance the productivity of property managers, maintenance supervisors and leasing agents.  What was the problem?  They were using JD Edwards ERP system and custom built SQL data warehouses in the office, but they printed expensive and out-of-date paper reports to use in the field.

The mobile solution they chose was from Webalo.  Now, once on site, employees can use a mobile solution on their smartphones to check the current status of rent receivables, review upcoming lease expiration's, check on outstanding work orders for repairs and improvements, look up and contact approved vendors, access staff and tenant phone numbers and review the history and status of onsite safety equipment.  Those are a lot of different business processes that are all supported in one solution.

The article said the Webalo solution connected the existing enterprise with the most current data to the employees’ smartphones without creating mobile apps, and without incurring the expense of traditional mobile development.  Without creating mobile apps?  Hummm....how do they do it?   Here is what their website says, "The Webalo Client automatically generates an interface that’s compatible with the user's device to provide interaction with enterprise applications."

Inland’s John Bedlek said, “In the current difficult economic climate, we were able to quickly and economically provide better service to tenants, more information to property managers and leasing agents and most importantly, greater value to investors.”

I find this model very interesting.  You configure your interface to the back end systems in a cloud-based configuration tool, and then the user interface is generated for your mobile device, and you have access to your data.  They claim simple mobile projects can be done in hours or days if you have the right business analyst available to help you access and find the right data.  Interesting indeed!

You can read the full press release here.

Upcoming Events

ClickConnect APAC 2011, July 11 – 13, 2011
Syclo Mobile Conference 2011, July 13 – 15, 2011

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Mobile Adoption Among Gas and Electric Utilities
Mobile Adoption in Life Sciences
Mobile Adoption in Oil and Gas
Networked Field Services

Recorded Webinars of Note

3 Critical Considerations for Embracing Mobile CRM
The Future of Enterprise Mobility
The Latest m-Business Trends and How the Onslaught of Mobile Devices Affects Development Strategies
The Real-Time Mobile Enterprise:  The Benefits of Rapid, Easy Access
Syclo and SAP Deliver Mobile Apps on Sybase Unwired Platform

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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.