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In recent years the focus of enterprise mobility has been on device support, UX and the novelty of spinning wheels, swiping screens and supporting various keyboard designs in mobile UIs.  I believe the novelty of this will soon wear off with the introduction of more standards, policies, HTML5, etc, and the focus will again turn to developing increasingly valuable mobile applications that are user-specific.

One of the Mobility Experts that I interviewed earlier this year advised that mobile application designers should NOT start from the perspective of what can an ERP extend to the mobile workforce, but rather what can mobile technologies offer the mobile workforce.  What does the mobile workforce need, in the field, to more effectively deliver on their mission/assignment?

If the mobile workforce is the center of the universe, rather than the ERP, then there will be different priorities.  The mobile workforce may need mobile applications that are not part of the ERP, and are a mash-up of various web services that together provide unique benefit for the mobile worker and the company.  Here is a scenario to consider:

A field services technician needs to order parts and have these parts delivered before repairs can be completed on a piece of equipment.  What would be useful information for this mobile field service technician?

  • Which vendor has these parts in stock?What are the prices?  How can you get approval to order?
  • When can the parts be delivered?
  • How can these parts be purchased?
  • Is there a customer account number to use?
  • Do we have a discount plan with the vendor?
  • Who in the company is certified to install the parts?
  • Who is available to install the parts when they arrive?
  • Who will notify the customer when the repair will be complete?

The answers to the above questions would be very useful to the field services technician.  There are many scenarios like this that would benefit the mobile workforce, but are often overlooked by those inside the four walls of the enterprise.

What do you think?

*************************************************************

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant

View Linkedin Profile

Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

About Kevin Benedict
Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

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