SAP Partners Keep the Apps Coming

Feature Article | January 19, 2012 by Heather McIlvaine

In 2011, the SAP Co-Innovation Lab and the Sybase Mobility Unit kicked off the Partner Delivered Mobile Application (Padma) program, an initiative to provide SAP partners with tools, training, and support for developing mobile apps on the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP).

Partners chosen to participate in the program learn to build powerful business apps on the latest SUP release and receive expert guidance from SAP and Sybase on the technical aspects of SUP, such as the relative merits of different architectural approaches. In this way, SAP hopes to more quickly expand its portfolio of mobile applications.

The first wave of the Padma program focused on developing heavyweight apps on SUP 1.5.5. Some of these apps are now available on the SAP EcoHub. See “5 Mobile Apps from SAP Partners” for more information.

The second wave, on the other hand, emphasized lightweight apps. These partners worked with the 2.0 version of SUP and therefore were able to make use of the software development kit and hybrid Web containers included in that release. See “What’SUP 2.0?” for more information on the release SUP 2.0.

On the following pages, you’ll get a preview of the second wave of apps developed in the Padma program, including which mobile devices they support, which industries they’re suited for, and use cases. These apps include

AkaaRa: Manufacturing Insight – Production Order Confirmation (native Android app)

AkaaRa: Manufacturing Insight – Production Order Confirmation (for multiple devices)

Arteria: Mobile Depot app

Arteria: Mobile Inspection app

Bosch: Manage Your Collections app

Bosch: Track Your Material app

Cognizant: Merchandiser Procurement Optimizer

Some of these apps are still going through the process of receiving certification and are not yet available.

Next page: AkkaRa Manufacturing Insight – Production Order Confirmation

AkaaRa: Manufacturing Insight – Production Order Confirmation

In the manufacturing industry, a communication gap between the plant and company headquarters can make it difficult to know the current status of operations, cause delays in responding to manufacturing requests and issues, and lead to an inefficient use of resources. Ultimately, such projects are at risk to be delivered overdue and over budget.

Manufacturing Insight – Production Order Confirmation, an app from AkaaRa Consulting, addresses these problems by connecting plant supervisors to operation information wherever they are. Supervisors are able to confirm production orders and operations, manage quantities for an order, and see the expected yield of an order – all from their mobile device.

AkaaRa developed two Production Order Confirmation apps in the Padma program using different architecture approaches. The first is a native app that runs on Android-based devices and uses SAP NetWeaver Gateway Framework to connect between SAP ERP and the native mobile application. The second app uses a hybrid Web container architecture, which is designed to run on multiple devices like iOS and Android-based devices.

Next page: Arteria mDepot

Arteria: mDepot – Mobile Depot app for Warehouse and Distribution Centers

In the second wave of the Padma program, SAP Partner Arteria developed the mDepot app, an SUP Hybrid Web Container application that can be used on multiple devices. It allows depots to record goods receipts, outbound deliveries, and goods issues to keep track of the movement of goods from their remote work locations. The application helps organizations get near real-time updates on inventory levels at their warehouses, leading to better planning and improved order fulfillment.

At many depots and warehouses, the transaction of goods received and sent is often recorded manually and then updated in the SAP ERP system. This process, however, is prone to manual errors and often involves old information. The inventory reflected in the backend ERP system can sometimes be incorrect and out of date.

With mDepot, warehouse employees are able to record a goods receipt directly in the ERP system when material arrives at the warehouse. Subsequently, when the regional sales team requests a dispatch of goods in the SAP system, the warehouse is automatically notified and employees can use mDepot to carry out the goods issue. This process ensures that manufacturers get accurate and timely updates on inventory at warehouses and are able to improve order fulfillment and customer satisfaction.

Next page: Arteria mInspection

Arteria: mInspection – Mobile Inspection to manage quality inspections on the go

Arteria also developed the mInspection app in the Padma program. This app enables quality inspectors to plan their inspection visits and record results while on the go. It is a native Android application and uses the SAP NetWeaver Gateway to connect to the ERP system. It is suited for all industries with inspection components.

With mInspection, quality inspectors receive their assigned inspection lots on a mobile device. They can plan their inspection visits and post-inspection tasks, record results, and define their usage decision process directly in SAP ERP. This in turn expedites the process of issuing inspection advice and inspection reports to vendors. And since vendors now receive inspection advisories in near real-time, they do not need to wait to ship goods to the manufacturer.

Next page: Bosch MYCMobile

Bosch: Field Collection Empowered with MYCMobile

In the second wave of the Padma program, Bosch developed a mobile application for field collection agents called Manage Your Collections, or MYCMobile. This solution runs on BlackBerry, iPhone and Android-based devices, and can be implemented in all industries.

For collection agents, it can be a challenge to access important information from the field such as a customer’s outstanding balance, pending shipments blocked due to credit exposure, and checks pending for banking. This makes it difficult for collection agents to collect receivables effectively, and ultimately it delays cash flow for the company.

MYCMobile allows collection agents to access account statements, check receipts, and view an online update of the customer’s credit limit. Agents can bank collections on their mobile device, which results in a faster cash flow for companies and improved compliance in accounting.

Next page: Bosch MobileTYM

Bosch: Subcontracting Process through MobileTYM

The second app that Bosch developed in the Padma program is called Track Your Material, or MobileTYM. This app runs on any Android-based device and is intended for use in the manufacturing industry.

With MobileTYM, manufacturers are able to track their materials throughout the subcontracting process, checking for quality issues and gaining visibility of production and shipment from subcontractors in real time. In addition, subcontractors are able to confirm receipts, communicate quality issues during production, and provide shipment information of finished goods.

This transparency in the subcontractor supply chain process enables more efficient planning for the subcontractor and ensures on-time delivery to customers.

Next page: Cognizant Merchandise Procurement Optimizer

Cognizant: Merchandiser Procurement Optimizer

In the retail industry, the initial cost of merchandise is a decisive factor in a merchant’s overall profit margin. Equally important, is the relevance of that merchandise for the customer. Cognizant has developed a mobile app that allows merchants to make more intelligent and informed decisions during their purchase trips, decisions that ultimately help to increase profitability.

Cognizant Merchandiser Procurement Optimizer runs on the Apple iPad and was developed specifically for the retail industry. It allows merchants to conduct assortment analyses on the go, giving them insights into more profitable and customer-relevant assortments. Users can also look at vendor history prior to placing any orders.

In addition, the app integrates with SAP IS-Retail on the backend, so that merchants can update information in real time. SAP NetWeaver Gateway is the middleware that facilitates access to the backend SAP system.

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