At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, SAP partners introduced an array of mobile apps for the enterprise. Most demos were done on the iPad, although some partners did demonstrate their products on RIM and Android devices. The apps we explore below all run on the Sybase Unwired Platform. On the following pages, you’ll find out how these five apps are unwiring the enterprise:
You can see the apps in action in the video replays from SAPPHIRE NOW.
Everything in email: L&T Infotech
SAP partner L&T Infotech is an IT services and solution provider. Using an iPad, they demonstrated their app, eApproval, which allows users to view and approve purchase orders directly from a mobile device. Here’s how it works: when a purchase order is created or changed in the SAP system, an email is sent to the business user responsible for approval.
Within the body of the email is all the necessary information the user needs to approve or reject the order, including the details of the order, the line items associated with the order, and real-time analytics of the vendor’s performance and spending profile. With this information at hand, the user is able to approve or reject the purchase order directly from the body of the email.
In addition, by clicking on a link in the email, the user can launch the application and view a complete list of pending orders. These are color-coded according to size and price for quick prioritizing. The analytics section illustrates each vendor’s overall performance, taking into account price variations over time, the quality of the product, and the vendor’s ability to make on-time deliveries.
Smart selling: Infosys
The IT consulting company and SAP partner Infosys has three mobile solutions for the retail industry. They showed how one of these solutions, a mobile catalog, works on the iPad. Customers can flip through the pages on their mobile device, click on an item for details on price and size, and read reviews. If the customer is interested in purchasing the item, he can choose from a few options: store locator, online wish list, or online purchase. There are also several options for customization, such as language settings, filters for different types of catalogs, and the option to automatically or manually download new catalogs.
For businesses the real value of the app lies in the back end. The application analyzes customers’ browsing patterns, not only what pages they view but also how long they stay on a particular page, if they click on an item for more details, and if they make a purchase. This way, businesses know exactly which items interest each customer. And this information directly powers the second mobile solution from Infosys: the guided selling app.
The guided selling app provides salespeople in stores with customer-specific information. Based on a customer’s past purchases in-store and analytics gleaned from the mobile catalog app, salespeople can suggest items that are more likely to interest the customer. The third mobile retail solution from Infosys is a mobile point-of-sale app.
Putting the fun back in function: Liquid Analytics
Liquid Analytics, a design partner for SUP 2.0, delivers mobile applications for Apple, BlackBerry, and Android devices. The company used an iPad to demonstrate how their app, Liquid Decisions, combines analytics and communication to resolve work order issues.
In this scenario, an executive receives a notification on her iPad about an outstanding work order. By clicking on the notification, she accesses the company’s BusinessObjects data in the form of a bar chart. The chart breaks down the different types of work orders, such as upgrades or leave requests, that must be carried out.
On the back end, a mashup server combines Business Intelligence information with data from the SAP Plant Maintenance system so the executive can take a closer look at each type of work order, view exact tasks, and see which ones are high, medium, or low priority. She is even able to change the priority, or update the status to resolved, directly on the device.
The app also integrates several forms of communication technology, including instant messaging, audio, and video conferencing. After receiving the notification and taking a look at the problem, the executive can contact a manager in the field to delegate tasks directly from the device. The app was designed with technology used by game developers to make sure that the Liquid Decisions is not just user-friendly, but actually fun to use.
Service updates in real time: CSC
The IT consulting company and SAP partner CSC offers an app called CSC 4 Service Management. This solution transforms the way field service technicians work. Using an iPad, CSC demonstrated how the app functions in a field service scenario.
The main screen displays the customer visits scheduled for that day with estimated start and end times. The technician can update the schedule throughout the day with actual start and end times, and since the app is tied into SAP ECC Service Management, any changes made in the app are automatically integrated into the ECC system.
When the technician clicks on a particular customer visit, he will find additional information, such as a map showing the customer’s exact location and specific tasks or instructions for the visit. These notes can also be updated in real time, which comes in handy if the technician needs to order a part or authorize an order. He can even pull up a picture of the required part along with an installation description and diagram. The technician can also access information on customer satisfaction and address any unresolved issues.
Data at your fingertips: Deloitte
Deloitte, the international accounting and consulting firm and SAP partner, demonstrated a new CRM-based app on the iPad. Watch the video in which a Deloitte representative personally introduces the app to SAP.info.