Four key success factors mobilizing your business
-Ease of use and accessibility contribute strongly to the demand, use and benefits of mobility in the enterprises
As consumers, we are used to apps to facilitate our daily lives, making us more efficient and pleased on the road as we have our device at hand all the time. In example verifying the latest train schedule, get restaurant recommendations, search for phone numbers, posting a picture of our kids, buy tickets or just check the latest weather forecast.
We use our mobile devices, especially mobile phones and tablets, increasingly, and the technological development means constantly offered new opportunities, functions and features. The contrast is vast to the use of personal computers in most companies where the development of both content and hardware is clearly slower. Companies also retain their employees’ computers longer, usually at least three years, which amplifies the difference in the rate of development compared to mobile devices.
As we increase the use of mobile devices in our daily life, it increases the requirements to be able to do the same in our daily work. Why shouldn’t I be able to check the in-stock availability on my mobile or the latest sales forecasts on my tablet? Do I really have to be at the office to do it? The demand for mobility has increased dramatically in recent years as companies realize the benefits of both real-time access to information on the road and the ability to process data from our handhelds. The companies already mobilized their business process reports great business benefits from it.
Based on our customer experience, we have identified four key success factors for starting mobilizing your enterprise:
First. Start with mobility in an area where the benefits are great and immediate.
Start with mobility where the benefits for the company and employees are immediate, such as to enhance the performance of the sales force, reporting or access real-time in-stock situation. The great benefits of mobility become clear in such situation which encourages use in other areas as well where the actual financial returns may be harder to quantify.
A study by the Aberdeen Group showed that mobility doubled employees’ use of business system reporting function among 277 companies in the survey. But an even more important result was that the decision-making process considerably shortened, in some cases down to one-sixth while workers freed more time for productive work. In conclusion, mobility provides a high financial return.
2nd. Make the first implementation an iterative process with instant feedback from the test group.
In a recent user study with one of our clients, we asked them about the users’ qualitative experience of enabling SAP on their mobile devices. 70 managers were asked whether their new mobile SAP functionality in HR streamlined their administrative processes. Among the 70 managers at a telecom company the respondents rated 5.3 on a scale of 1-6 where 6 are “very much” on the question of whether mobile functionality in HR streamlined the administrative processes. The same group of users rated 5.6, where 6 is “very happy”, when asked if they wanted more SAP functionality available on their mobile. This study was therefore remarkably clear on how well received mobility is from a user perspective.
3rd. Ensure ease of use
Enterprise mobility in not about directly accessing your ERP system through a link from your phone, mobile applications should be designed for mobile devices. You navigate by using your finger, just as if you were playing Angry Birds or select a song on Spotify. This means a whole new way of thinking, for example; how should the UI of creating a sales order in SAP (VA01) look on a smart phone? This is a very important distinction. We have seen several examples of companies trying to take shortcuts by replicating ERP functionality and UI directly to their mobile devices, and the result is not really user friendly. Instead, you are now actually able to create a completely different user experience, strengthen the UI, experience and use of your business system.
Mobility provides clear business benefits if it is made available in the right way for relevant users, such as through improved process efficiency and time savings. Another very obvious advantage is how user-friendly functionality is embraced by low-frequency users. All organizations that have experienced various degrees of frustration in low-frequency users appreciate positive user feedback. Our experience is that such positive feedback is given with minimal or no effort in training and user support.
4th. Use a technology that is suitable for all types of mobile devices.
The reality in most companies is that there are a more or less a large number of different mobile devices and operating systems. This means, at best, different operating system versions, depending on the age and OS upgrades, but also completely different operating systems to maintain. The risk of ending up in a high maintenance solution that makes it both expensive and difficult to support is high.
At one of our customers they use Motorola devices to register goods receipts and Android and iOS devices in the administration and sales organization. On top of that of course there is a mixture of phones types, but also tablets, with various versions of the operating system. This customer uses a central development platform within SAP for coding of all applications; the applications are directly available on all mobile devices with the same look and feel. It maximizes the reusability and minimizes maintenance, support and operation.
Enterprise mobility is a natural extension of the existing SAP business processes in your back-end system. The investment is marginal compared to the clear quantitative and qualitative benefits. We are pleased to see an increase in the implemented and live SAP enterprise mobile solutions, including enterprise-wide deployments.
Ensure the fastest and most predictable, cost efficient and secure way to SAP mobility. With Neptune Software you are able to instantly integrate your business processes with your handheld devices.
SAP enterprise mobility with Neptune software