Mobile...make it smart!

12 October 2011

Brenton O'Callaghan

Brenton O'Callaghan

Global Head of SAP Innovation

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...

  1. The ability to perform everyday tasks on the moves
  2. Re-designing a process so that it's easier to complete on a mobile device
  3. 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!

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About the author

Brenton O'Callaghan

Global Head of SAP Innovation

Enterprise technology strategist and emerging technology evangelist

I'm a globally experienced SAP expert based in Ireland and I’m currently responsible for creating and bringing our SAP Innovation & Leonardo practice to market. My day job involves helping our customers to solve actual business problems in a rapid fashion using tools such as design thinking, SAP Leonardo and much more. I'm also responsible for exploring how emerging technologies and concepts can be applied within our customer base such as Machine Learning, Blockchain, DevOps and AI.
I've a background in computer science and have spent the last 9+ years in the SAP space across a wide range of industries across EMEA and North America. I'm a big believer that the best consultants have a mix of technical knowledge, industry experience and empathy and that is what I bring with my team to my customers. It's all about bringing about positive and relevant business change with the best possible technology.
Outside of work you can find me supporting the Irish Rugby team and the Boston Red Sox as well as my new found hobby - golf!


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