Mobility and innovation in business management are facilitating mobile workers at a rate not even seen with the rise of the laptop. And, it’s only the beginning says Martin Robinson, business development manager at Bluekey Software Solutions, a local technology company specialising in the implementation of SAP Business One.

“It is incredible to see how prolific smart phones and other hand held devices are in business nowadays. Soon people carrying laptops will be outnumbered by those brandishing iPads, smart phones and the like. These devices are just as clever and they fit better into a mobile worker’s lifestyle than a cumbersome laptop, wires and plugs ever could.

“Companies like them better too,” he says, “Instead of forking out huge amounts to equip the top echelon with laptops, companies can afford to allow more employees to do their jobs on the move by leveraging smart handheld devices.

“And, what would your smart mobile device be without applications? We are seeing a proliferation of applications which apart from fueling the shift in the way that people access internet-based content and resources, make using these resources from a small device easier, better and less finicky. These applications are in part what make smart devices as smart as they are.”

Cognisant of this shift, vendors like SAP have been quick off the mark to develop applications that are designed to enhance users’ experience when accessing business critical services from a mobile device, while delivering the same level of functionality that they get from a desktop.

For instance, the full functionality and power of SAP Business One can be easily enabled with applications that are downloadable on numerous different devices. They are used with ease and typically have the same look and feel as users are accustomed to on a PC. Due to the ease with which SAP Business One Mobility is enabled and the high degree of flexibility and functionality it makes available, the solution has massive potential to enable worker mobility and help companies achieve their mobile ambitions.

While on the move, or sitting in front of customers, sales people for example can immediately tap into SAP Business One from an iPad and a few other handheld devices to check stock availability, review customer details and payment terms, place and process orders, generate quotes, check customer account balances and track the status and progress of orders.

There is no need to scribble down notes and then spend hours on end when back at the office generating quotes and processing orders, causing obvious backlogs and delays. Employees are also able to intelligently answer customer queries “on the fly” because they have immediate access to live, up-to-date information. All actions taken by the employee on their mobile device are in sync with the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and automated seamlessly.

“Instead of being bogged down with admin, paperwork and calls back to customers when they are back at the office, employees can spend more time on the road seeing customers and performing their core function. This translates into a more informed, more productive employee.

“The impact on the customer side is obvious because an employee who is informed enough to answer questions and take decisive action quite simply delivers a better service,” says Robinson.

Robinson says that companies that have already installed SAP Business One 8.8 and 8.81 can utilise the mobility function in place.

“A number of our clients have enabled SAP Business One on mobile devices. We expect this trend to gain pace. Aside from lack of awareness of what you can do with SAP Business One on a mobile device, I don’t think there’s much else stopping companies already using the solution from leveraging it to promote their mobile workforce,” he concludes.