Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Advice for Mobile Start-Ups: Working with SAP, Part 2

There are several different categories of mobile applications that work with or integrate with SAP.

  1. Those that provide real-time mobile views of complete SAP applications
  2. Those that provide mobile queries and reports on SAP data
  3. Those that provide custom mobile forms for subsets of SAP business processes based upon roles and responsibilities
  4. Complete, disconnected mobile applications (like work orders) that synchronize with a field force automation solution (e.g. Sky Technologies, Sybase, Syclo, ClickSoftware, etc) on the backend where it is integrated with SAP
  5. Custom mobile applications for inspections, assessments, plant maintenance and other niche requirements that may be synchronized with custom databases that are integrated with SAP databases.
It is important to understand which category or categories your solutions fit, and how this impacts your ability to leverage the SAP sales and marketing organizations to help grow your business.

The different categories of mobile solutions and architectures listed above often have different users. A field service technician needs a connected/disconnected mobile application, while the administrator may simply need mobile access to the SAP ERP. You must recognize who your user is before you start marketing. What department's budget will pay for a white collar worker's mobile access? Who are the decision makers? What are their priorities? Is it saving money, making money or doing more with less?

Can you think of other mobile application categories that I missed?

Read Advice to Mobile Start-Ups: Working with SAP, Part 1 here, Part 3 here and Part 4.

Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobility Consultant, Wireless Industry Analyst and Marketing Consultant
twitter: @krbenedict