Talking with innovative companies is always fun and interesting, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in my role helping partners to onboard their offerings on the SAP App Center – the SAP digital marketplace where customers can buy solutions directly from SAP partners.
One of the newest offerings available is from a company called BlueBoot, headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay. I spoke with Alejandro Scaramelli and Federico Gómez, the co-founders of BlueBoot, to learn about BlueBoot apps, which are designed to allow users to interact with the plant maintenance component of SAP ERP from anywhere and from any mobile device.
A Young and Informal Team
One of the first questions I asked them was about the origin of company name, because I figured readers would be as interested to know about it as I was. Alejandro had a quick answer, doubtless because he’s often been asked. “We are a young, informal company, so we wanted a name to match,” Alejandro said. “The visual element is important, so we chose the color blue, and to suggest software, we went with the word ‘boot,’ as in ‘boot-up your computer.’” Knowing how hard it is to come up with a new brand name, I was impressed with its clarity and simplicity.
And the next obvious question I asked was, “How did you come up with this product idea?”
Federico explained that they had been working as consultants, helping companies integrate software from Microsoft and SAP. In exchanging ideas with customers, it became evident to them that maintenance people in the field could get their work done a lot faster and more easily with a mobile app that provides access to work-order management in SAP ERP.
“Maintenance users need to execute their plant-maintenance workflow from outside the office in different locations,” Federico explained. “They need a simple app, one as easy to use as Facebook or Twitter, and that they can use without having to read a user’s manual.”
The timing was right, because the idea coincided with the 2014 launch of SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Fiori for cloud and mobile app development.
“I was visiting SAP Labs in Brazil and saw the potential of the platform to support nontraditional, truly agile development,” Alejandro noted. “It was obvious that it would become what it is today. SAP clearly was offering options for new technologies to give us ways to build apps that look like Microsoft apps – for users familiar with everyday business applications – and that are accessible from anywhere. The SAP road map is excellent, and made it easy to shift our business model from consulting to product development and sales.”
With the suite of BlueBoot apps, workers in the field can create maintenance notifications and work orders, confirm and close work orders, work offline, and even get 3D visualization, all via their mobile devices. It’s applicable across industries, wherever there’s a need to improve efficiency in plant maintenance: aerospace, automotive, chemicals, mill products, mining, oil & gas, retail, utilities – and the list goes on.
Sales are brisk, Federico added, and the company now employs about 25 people. Currently, customers are located primarily in Chile and Brazil, but with the launch of BlueBoot apps on SAP App Center, they expect to attract a broader following.
What challenges does BlueBoot face?
“Customers are still not fully aware of how simple it is to mobilize existing SAP transactions, and that just implementing the apps will achieve this without customizations and with a lightweight footprint,” Alejandro noted. “With these tools, you can create a user-friendly front end that connects via any network with the back-end data residing in SAP ERP, and present it for visualization on a single screen.”
What’s Next: Emerging Technologies
I was curious to know what Alejandro, Federico and their team have on the drawing board.
“We have an interesting pipeline,” Federico remarked. “We are following SAP’s recommendations, and can see where the company is going with emerging technologies – including blockchain, machine learning, Internet of Things – and expect to be able to offer some innovative new solutions within two or three years by building on them. There’s a lot of creativity on our team, and we’re excited about the potential.”