Mobile Apps: Overview and Roadmaps

December 16, 2011 by Christiane Stagge

Mobile SAP software isn’t just available in the form of apps in the iTunes Store. Some SAP applications have special mobile versions, which work in combination with the back-end software. And they can be used on any mobile device, from iPhones and iPads, through BlackBerrys, Windows Phones, and Android-based smartphones. What’s more, SAP assures a consistent look and feel across all devices. To use these mobile versions, the corresponding software needs to be installed in the back-end system. The data is synchronized with the mobile device. And if users make any changes while they’re on the road, these are automatically fed into the back end.

So that the mobile software can function, a WLAN or data connection to the mobile telephony network is necessary. There are, however, hybrid applications, which also work when an Internet connection isn’t available.

SAP’s mobile software targets three different types of user:

  • Process users, for example, for the applications for sales and service, mobile asset management, yard management, and retail execution
  • Knowledge users, who chiefly wish to perform analyses. Here, it is important to have all the important data available immediately. Knowledge users work with applications such as travel, medical records, HR, approvals and procurement, analytics, and business intelligence.
  • With consumer users, the focus is on the end points. Offerings include a citizen reporting application and mobile banking.

For service technicians and logistics experts, it is crucial that the processes they use can be mapped with the software, while managers are more interested in mobile dashboards, analyses, approvals, and workflows. Sales staff, on the other hand, need to access customer and other data while out of the office and prepare for upcoming appointments.

Other applications are focused on procurement management, HR, and financials, as well as other industry-specific mobile software. At SAPPHIRE and SAP TechEd 2011 in Madrid, participants had the opportunity to view a selection of mobile applications, including roadmaps, which you can read more about on the following pages.

On the next pages, you can read more about some selected applications, with road maps, too.

SAP CRM Mobile Sales mobile app

With SAP CRM Mobile Sales – formerly known as Sybase Mobile Sales – marketing and sales staff can equip themselves optimally for their next visit to a customer. The application gives you access to accounts, contacts, opportunities, leads, and activities while you are on the road. You can view orders, generate reports, and monitor workflows. And if you don’t happen to have an Internet or data connection, the software still works, because SAP CRM Mobile Sales also supports offline functions.

SAP Retail Execution mobile app

SAP Retail Execution mobile app is optimized for field sales representatives who pay visits to retailers. Using the software, customer visits can be prepared and you can access market studies. You can also access photos and maps while on the go. SAP Retail Execution is based on the Sybase Unwired Platform. The software works on Apple iOS for iPhones and on Windows Mobile. Some of the functions are available offline. In 2012, the software is slated to be enabled for iPads and Android devices. Furthermore, enhanced functions for service requests, reporting, and ordering are planned. In 2013, features for route planning and accounting are set to follow.

SAP Field Service mobile app

This application is designed for service technicians in the field. SAP Field Service mobile app accesses data from SAP CRM Service. While out of the office, technicians can enter their changes using a mobile device. The data is then synchronized with the back end.

Google Maps is integrated with SAP Field Service. Alerts inform users of important events. In addition, the software works without an Internet connection. Currently, only devices that run on Windows Mobile are supported. In 2012, SAP Field Service will also support Android devices. In 2013, the app will be enabled for iPhones and iPads. What’s more, functions for knowledge and contract management are slated to be available in two years’ time.

SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Work Order mobile app

This software is also designed for service technicians working in the field. Using the work and service order management function, service orders can be viewed, created, and processed. Notification management enables maintenance employees to create their own notifications and tasks. Using the SAP EAM Work Order mobile app, orders can be assigned, order information can be transmitted, invoices can be created, and customer feedback can be entered. Technical equipment and work stations can also be displayed. It’s even possible to use the app to manage an entire mobile warehouse.

 

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