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Showing posts from August, 2009

Mobile Software SDKs and Toolkits for Handheld PDAs and Smart Phones

In the recent article by Peter Wayner of InfoWorld called iPhone development tools that work the way you do , he describes the value of using a mobile application SDK or framework. He lists 4 new toolkits to help mobile application developers develop applications faster for use on handheld PDAs and Smart phones. This is a market in which I am intimately familiar. The challenge with the market for mobile application frameworks and SDKs is that very few developers want to spend money on an SDK from a small vendor, and even fewer companies want SDKs or are willing to fund long term custom development and support projects internally. Companies want a finished product that works with their ERPs, database and accounting applications. They don't want to invest in a non-standard mobile framework. They want mobile extensions to their enterprise applications. SAP is addressing this with their NetWeaver based mobile infrastructure. This provides SAP users with a standardized method for exte

Hosted or Non-hosted Mobile Software Applications for Handheld PDAs and Smart Phones

Many companies have asked whether a hosted or non-hosted enterprise mobile software application would be best for them. The answer may be best determined by the following questions: Is the enterprise software application in the office that you want to communicate with, via mobile handhelds , an off-the-shelf application like SAP, SAGE, MS Dynamics or Quickbooks ? Is the mobile software application simply a mobile front end (GUI) to the back-office application? Does it do basically the same thing you would do on the office application, but in a mobile environment? If the answer is NO to any of the above, then you are into a custom development environment that is difficult to support in a hosted model. Companies that host applications need volume and reusability . Custom projects may be uploaded to a hosted data center, but there is no business case for the software vendor/developer to pursue this as a business model. However, if the mobile software application is custom, but the datab

Technology Blogger Kevin Benedict Receives Top Contributor Award from SAP

Boise, ID (OPENPRESS) August 21, 2009 -- It was announced today that prolific technology blogger, Kevin Benedict was awarded the rank of Top Contributor by SAP SCN. This award was for the "contest year" which ran from August 1st to July 31st and was based on the participants rank within one of the specific categories on the SAP Community Network (forums, blogs, wikis, eLearning, downloads, etc.). As a result of this award, Benedict joins a select group of alumnus in the greatest contributors "Community Hall of Fame" which includes a dedicated "wiki profile" on SAP's SCN. In addition, Benedict is invited to join the "Top Contributor" forum, a place for alumni to provide feedback and suggestions for making SCN a better and stronger community. Benedict will also be receiving the "Top Contributor Quarterly" a newsletter reserved for Top Contributors that will provide advanced notices of new technologies and programs. As a Top Contri

Rugged iPhone Cases for Mobile Workers

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The iPhone is a beautiful mobile device. The recent software announcement by TomTom turns the iPhone into a turn-by-turn navigational device. Barcode software that utilizes the camera in the iPhone converts it into a barcode reader. Mobile software applications are being uploaded to iTunes weekly for the iPhone that provide companies with an increasing number of business applications. However, none of these cool software applications help the iPhone survive in the rugged outdoor working environment. Last week I went into a store that specializes in Apple products. It is the closest thing to an Apple store that we have in downtown Boise. On the rack I saw a ruggedized case for an iPhone from Otterbox . I got excited! I have been working with Otterbox cases for years in the context of PDAs and mobile handhelds and have always very impressed with how they can engineer rugged cases so precisely. Most are water resistance, padded and dust proof. These are all great steps

TomTom and the iPhone Turn by Turn Navigation Application

Today, TomTom announced the released, to Apple's iTunes online mobile application store, of a $100 iPhone software application that provides turn by turn voice navigation for iPhones using OS 3.0. The car kit will be available to order later this month and will include a charger and add hands-free calling to the iPhone. This is significant. The iPhone operating system and the iPhone itself are powerful enough to run applications which in the past were reserved for specialized GPS devices. This is one of those Tipping Point moments where entire industries (dedicated GPS devices) can be impacted. In the past I have written about the convergence of different applications and mobile devices. This is another giant leap forward in this area. It is also very interesting to me that a company, TomTom , that manufacturers dedicated GPS devices had the courage to release a software application to a convergent device like the iPhone that is bound to take business away from their dedic

SAP and Cronacle Mobile Alerting Service

The following press release was issued today concerning Redwood Software's announcement of a mobile application for IT staff to receive and respond to real time alert notifications on their mobile devices. This software application works with SAP and other ERP systems. This announcement follows an earlier one that is stated to be the first iPhone business application for enterprise process automation. I am a strong believer that the future of enterprise mobile applications must include a business process automation component as discussed in this article . MORRISVILLE, NC -- 08/17/09 -- Redwood Software, an industry leader in delivering enterprise and mobile software, today announced immediate availability of the Cronacle Mobile(TM) Alerting Service for the iPhone(TM) and iPod® touch. The Cronacle Mobile Alerting Service enables IT staff to receive and respond to alert notifications in real time on their mobile device. With Redwood's new service, customers' IT department

Mobile Workflows in the Field, SAP and Other ERPs

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The way business processes are designed, implemented and standardized within a company can often mean the difference between success and failure. If often takes years of trial and error, and sometimes flashes of brilliance to come up with just the right business process that will mean success and competitive advantages. Once the perfect business process is proven it needs to be implemented and automated. Why automated? Because humans are forgetful and have even been known to be from time to time lazy. They want to cut corners and avoid that which is tiresome. Automation enforces and manages the perfect business process. For years software vendors and ERP developers like SAP have developed applications that help design workflows and workflow engines to run them. These provide the technology infrastructure within the enterprise to automate these business processes and to ensure they are followed, however, once an employee exits the building and drives away in a company van to perfo