SAP ERP and More on Your Smartphone

Feature Article | August 8, 2011 by Christiane Stagge

Access SAP ERP and SAP CRM functions with your smartphone (photo: Frank Völkel)

Access SAP ERP and SAP CRM functions with your smartphone (photo: Frank Völkel)

From energy corporations and utility companies to repair shops, service providers specializing in technical service and maintenance can use the mobile applications in NEO Mobile Suite to map processes involving the SAP components for maintenance (PM), customer service (CS), quality management (QM), and utilities (IS-U) and use them while on the go. An interface to SAP Customer Relationship Management has also been available since early 2011.

NEO Mobile Suite is designed to enable service technicians working on-site for customers to create and manage orders, changes, and forms right from their smartphones or laptops. Employees’ entries are then immediately synchronized to the corresponding back-end system. The suite also makes it possible to exchange documents, generate PDFs, create digital signatures, and access SAP ERP – to check inventory or account balances, for example.

With NEO Mobile Suite, data is even available when users are offline. Any changes made to documents or master data are promptly synced whenever Internet access is restored. This process runs in the background, which ensures that service technicians always have the latest information and aren’t hindered during their work.

The only middleware: Sybase Unwired Platform

With SAP having bidden farewell to SAP Mobile Infrastructure (SAP MI) following its purchase of Sybase, NEO Mobile Suite now runs on Sybase Unwired Platform, which is to serve as the basis for all of the suite’s applications from now on.

NEO Mobile Suite is the first maintenance software to be based on Sybase Unwired Platform. It runs on any smartphone or PDA classification, and even supports operating systems like Google’s Android. As an additional benefit, Sybase Unwired Platform is the only required middleware for large companies whose employees use multiple devices with their mobile software (smartphones and laptops, for instance). The back-end interfaces and data models are also the same.

Next page: How NEO Mobile Suite works

NEO Mobile Suite’s main menu (screenshot: NEO Business Partners)

NEO Mobile Suite’s main menu (screenshot: NEO Business Partners)

Enter and confirm working time (screenshot: NEO Business Partners)

Enter and confirm working time (screenshot: NEO Business Partners)

The functions of NEO Mobile Suite

With NEO Mobile Suite, users can manage and confirm orders from SAP ERP and SAP CRM, trigger billing processes, and enter measurements to document machine and system conditions. It also aids in compiling inspection checklists and viewing open items for different customers.

Here’s a broader overview of NEO Mobile Suite’s functions:

  • Order management
  • Notification management
  • Time recording
  • Business partner management
  • Measurement recording
  • Inventory management
  • Inspection data recording
  • Device management
  • Workforce management integration

Order management involves the provision and modification of maintenance and service orders. Employees can also call up past customer feedback – if complaints have been received, for example – and enter material confirmations for orders, including goods confirmations. Following completion, NEO Mobile Suite generates digitally signed order reports.

With NEO Mobile Suite’s notification management functions, users can view central notifications and enter new ones. In doing so, the suite factors in all of the available catalogs and code groups.

The suite’s time recording feature accounts for variables such as time worked and spent traveling to and from jobs. Its business partner management component, meanwhile, makes record not only of every partner and contact, but of all the partner roles involved in an order, as well.

Installing new devices – meters, for instance – is part of maintenance employees’ average workday. Luckily, the device management functions in NEO Mobile Suite can help them monitor processes in installation and disassembly, as well as the corresponding orders. The suite also enables technicians to enter all of their equipment in a central location. Every on-site change, no matter how small, is then synced automatically to the back end of their technical inventory.

NEO Mobile Suite also makes it possible to enter and manage measurements, including measuring points for technical objects and measurement documents. The software can also display older documents.

In addition, the suite supports inventory management, such as in posting goods receipts and issues, carrying out physical inventory counts, and handling material stock transfers.

Customers can also seamlessly integrate their own special add-ons into NEO Mobile Suite.

The rough-and-ready Panasonic Toughbook is ideal for assignments in the field (image: NEO Business Partners)

The rough-and-ready Panasonic Toughbook is ideal for assignments in the field (image: NEO Business Partners)

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