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The Disruptors: Hillarys Does the Smart Thing

January 30, 2015 by Judith Magyar 0

The Disruptors is a series of short stories of customer innovation from around the world.

What makes a smartphone smart, and why is a UK manufacturer of window dressings so successful with its new smartphone app?

The smartphone has been one of the biggest disruptors worldwide in recent years, completely changing the way people live, work and play. But what exactly makes a smartphone smart?

Watch this video by The Guardian and SAP to find out what people think and what the experts say, and read the story of a UK manufacturer that did the smart thing when it came to developing an app for their field force.

Award-winning app, a favorite in the field

Ever notice how one size blind does not fit all windows? Hillarys, a UK manufacturer of made-to-measure window dressings, offers over four million size permutations and half a million product combinations.

So how the heck do their sales reps keep track of it all, even off-line when there’s no data signal? Well, they have SAMSON, a new Android app that runs on the SAP Mobile platform and is accessed on Samsung Galaxy devices. The app, which is tied into the company’s SAP systems for ERP and CRM, was developed when Microsoft announced it was discontinuing support for Windows Mobile.

“As an all-SAP outfit, it made sense to take advantage of SAP’s Afaria, to provide the security we needed via this mobile device management platform,” says Julian Bond, head of ICT at Hillarys.

The app is also popular with Hillarys’ salespeople,who bring their own device (BYOD) as the basis for the company’s enterprise app.

“With the Samsung Galaxy devices for accessing SAMSON,” says Bond, “advisors are more likely to use the smartphone for both work and personal use. By contrast, the devices they used to access the previous solution were usually left in a desk drawer outside of working hours.”

Using Agile software development techniques together with its SAP partner, AgilityWorks, it took Hillarys just six months to develop and go live with SAMSON. In fact, the company’s use of the Agile SCRUM methodology earned it a nomination in the 2014 UK Agile Awards, and Hillarys won the TechWorld Awards 2013 – Enterprise Software Project of the Year. Not bad for an app to measure curtains that didn’t need Windows.

Watch how agility works at Hillarys

Top image: Shutterstock

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