Piecemeal mobile ‘not a solution’

Taking your enterprise applications mobile in a fragmented fashion simply adds to enterprise IT complexity, warns HansaWorld.

The global enterprise is going mobile, and users want all their most business-critical applications available on their mobile devices. But taking solutions mobile in a piecemeal fashion is not the solution, says Taryn Cromie, channel and sales manager at HansaWorld South Africa.

Cromie notes that to be effective, full blown ERP and CRM suites must be available in an integrated fashion across multiple mobile devices and operating systems.

“This is where HansaWorld is ahead of the market,” she says. “HansaWorld’s new Enterprise 7.2 suite is the first in the world to deliver a full ERP and CRM system for mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows 8 and others.”

The company believes that good tablet and mobile solutions are crucial in leading the ERP market, not least in relation to the next generation of users and usage trends.

“Ubiquitous Internet has moved from a vision to reality,” says Cromie. “And smart phones have long led the mobile market. According to IDC, in 2012 there were 122 million tablets sold, up 74% from the 68.7 million units sold in 2011. IDC expects 2013 to have sales for 172.4 million tablets. Meanwhile, sales of PC units are in strong stagnation.”

“With this rapid uptake of smart mobile devices, the market is unambiguously indicating that users want ERP and CRM systems on their mobile devices,” she says.

“Users bring their mobile gadgets to work and expect to be able to use them for all work functions. Many are disappointed,” says Cromie.

She says there are many examples of simple enterprise solutions, such as time keeping, offered as an app; and many vendors also offer user interfaces with web based technology.

However, the main practical and technological differences to working on a complete ERP / CRM client versus in a web-based interface are that the web-based interface provides the same navigation capabilities as a client but cannot be integrated with the operating system as a whole, so it is possible only for a limited mobile client.

“Employees also have different needs, so to keep ahead in the long run you need to offer apps with simple functionality. For example, managers, project managers, account managers and financial officers who are constantly traveling need to follow the company and its control processes in real time from their mobile devices,” says Cromie.

Key to the future success of enterprise applications – whether mobile or not – is their simplicity, adds Cromie. She believes HansaWorld is ahead of the game in terms of delivering ease of installation and use. “ERP systems are often associated with complex installation processes and costly maintenance.”

“Based on our lengthy experience, we have developed applications that are world-leading in their sophistication, yet simple to install and manage,” says Cromie. Installation of the company’s system is done mostly by customers downloading the software from the web and clicking ” Install”. Likewise, a tablet app is available for downloading from the AppStore, Google ‘s Play, iTunes and Windows Marketplace.

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Piecemeal mobile ‘not a solution’