Top 5 Apps for October

Feature Article | October 8, 2012 by Alexander Roth

1. “StreamWork Brainstorming” from SAP

2. “Business ByDesign Active Sales” from SAP

3. “Minute Taker” from Florian Mielke

4. “IDC Tracker Charts App” from IDC

5. “Visual Budget” from Kiwi Objects

Screenshot: App “SAP StreamWork Brainstorming”

1. “StreamWork Brainstorming” from SAP

There are two ways to go about brainstorming in the business world. There is the traditional, unstructured approach, using office whiteboards and scraps of paper. And then there’s SAP StreamWork Brainstorming. The iPad app from SAP is intended for users who want to share their ideas with the team and see some tangible results.

The app links back to SAP’s own collaboration software, SAP StreamWork. Those who are signed up for the software can use the app, which is currently available only in English, to carry out all of the most important functions on the platform. New brainstorming sessions are quick to start, and it’s easy to invite other users to join.

One example: Say a user is looking to develop a name for a new product or activity. They can suggest their idea in a session, and other colleagues can add their ideas, too. Every single action that occurs in the session is displayed with a time stamp for others to see.

Later, participants are able to rank the different suggestions, make comments, or simply vote “yes” or “no” on the idea. An analysis tool shows the current rankings for each idea.

It is also possible to track and save the actions in each session, and import and export content.

Platform: iPad

Link to the app

Screenshot: App “SAP BusinessByDesign Active Sales”

2. “Business ByDesign Active Sales” from SAP

SAP recently released an update with several new functions for its still new iPhone/iPad app “Business ByDesign Active Sales”. The app, a mobile extension of the SAP Business ByDesign platform and intended for sales employees, allows users to browse product catalogues, present products, and initiate new orders directly from the catalogue. As long as the user is online, all information about product availability will be delivered in real time.

The offline function is also practical. This makes it possible to carry out previously prepared presentations and create customer orders offline. The next time the user goes online, the data is synchronized automatically. Users can also use copies of previously created orders or customized templates in order to initiate new orders in seconds.

SAP has also improved a few of those everyday tasks. For example, there is now the possibility to add private customers to the system. Here, users have more freedom in the address entry process.

Platform: iPad/iPhone (iOS 5 or higher)

Link to the app

Screenshot: App “Minute Taker”

3. “Minute Taker” from Florian Mielke

The iPad is seen ever more frequently in business meetings. Why not use the device more effectively right there in the meeting? With the “Minute Taker” app from programmer Florian Milke, that is now possible. The app helps users quickly create meeting reports and makes it possible to share content and results with other users. “Minute Taker” works like this: once the program is opened, users have the possibility to start a new session or open an existing report. For each session, users can set the date, time, location, and meeting participants, who can also be imported directly from the contacts list on the iPad. Then, simply add the meeting minutes.

Here, users can define the person responsible for each action point and define the status later  on, whether it’s open, in work, or done. The minutes are easy to reorganize and format later on. It is also possible to import documents from Microsoft Office or Dropbox and add photos with the iPad’s camera. After the report is finished, users can send it to their fellow meeting participants in an email as a PDF attachment. Calendar entries can also be created.

The app “Minute Taker” costs 5.99 euros and can be used in German and English.

Platform: iPad

Link to the app

Screenshot: App “IDC Charts-Tracker”

4. “IDC Tracker Charts App” from IDC

It is impossible to work in the IT industry without coming across the big market researcher, IDC. Hardly any sales discussion, investment, or industry opinion occurs which is not based on their current trends and insights. As one the biggest market researchers in IT, IDC regularly publishes statistics that deal with the most important questions in the industry. Individual manufacturers are as much a focus as complete product and service groups.

The free app for the iPhone and iPad (an Android version is planned) summarizes all of the current IDC reports, providing an excellent overview of the IT industry. From printers, to software, to smartphones, every aspect of the industry is covered in this app. Which manufacturer came out ahead last quarter? How is this or that device selling at the moment? Especially practical are the filters that IDC has built in: all charts can be sorted according to region and product area.

The date range of available charts spans the past year, and IDC promises to keep the app up-to-date with the latest news and graphics. The only drawback? A text search capability is not yet available, and an export function is also sorely missed.

Platform: iPhone /iPad

Link to the app

Screenshot: App “Visual Budget”

5. “Visual Budget” from Kiwi Objects

Whether for personal transactions or a business budget, the german-language app “Visual Budget” for the iPhone and iPad is suited for the job: it sorts and records finances. The program provides numerous functions that go above and beyond the standard range of small-scale bookkeeping. Integration with CSV data (table calculations) or OFX data (online banking) even bring external accounts into the realm of possibilities with this app. Users can manage and group several accounts at the same time. They can customize the cost/income categories according to their individual needs, or use a predefined budget outline if desired. All transactions are easy to carry out, and the most important bullet points are always displayed.

“Visual Budget” also makes it possible to assign transactions to certain accounts. Practical functions, like the ability to set up repeat transactions and edit/correct records after the fact, make this app suitable for professional use. Finally, the app supports a comprehensive reporting and analysis tool that gives users insights into their budgets and new developments. The full version of the app costs 3.99 euros.

Platform: iPhone/iPad

Link to the app (German only)

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