Over the past year we've increasingly seen announcements about how SAP and the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) can transform businesses through the wonderful technology called mobile. So we read this and it sounds good, but what does it actually mean for us? Is SAP suddenly going to be available on mobile devices? And is this something we even want? In this blog I hope to show exactly how we should be thinking about enterprise mobility and how it can benefit us.
So what is 'mobile'?
Mobile is a very generic term in enterprise. Strictly speaking, our laptops provide us with mobile access to our systems. However, is that really mobile? Or how about using our smartphones' web browser to try to log in to our company portal to log expenses? If anybody has tried it, I'm sure they will agree that mobile has to be better than that!
For me mobile is a combination of three things...
The ability to perform everyday tasks on the moves
Re-designing a process so that it's easier to complete on a mobile device
Providing easier ways to access these systems.
If we can successfully enter our timesheets or expenses on a train without having to worry that a tunnel is fast approaching, then surely this epitomises what the mobile should be about.
What should be mobile?
Not everything, thats for sure! There's no point in me telling you that entire finance process could be made mobile as there is little point. And would that really help your business anyway?
However, tasks like entering timesheets and expenses or workflow approvals, are crying out for a mobile solution. If it takes 30 minutes for a manager to realise that something needs approval and then approve it via the usual route, think how much time could be saved if approval request arrives as a mobile alert which can be actioned within seconds.
Similarly, with CRM mobile applications you can give your sales executives the edge by having up-to-date information about your customers in the palm of their hands. They have immediate access to a customer's history and can also log orders then and there.
By removing the barrier between your employees and the tasks or information they need, then you are allowing them to concentrate on the more important things like what to do with that information.
Mobile is something consumers have embraced with open arms and it is now firmly entrenched in everything that we do, so surely enterprise mobility should be the same. In my next blog in this series on mobile, I aim to take you through the Sybase Unwired Platform and show exactly how it can benefit your business.
We need to remember that "Mobile" is not just about being small and portable, it's about being smart and creating a norm for our businesses that is efficient and seamless. As my colleague Steffen Schwark said in his blog series on workflow - Let the work flow!