Top 5 Apps For January

 By Alexander Roth

A sales optimization tool, an elegant electronic notebook, and an all-in-one travel assistant. Our first bunch of recommended apps for 2013.

 (Photo: istockphoto)

 (Photo: istockphoto)

A new year means new apps! To help you get a flying start to 2013, we’ve selected five new apps that will save you time and make your life easier. Paper, the “iPad App of the Year 2012,” lets you transform your iPad into a stylish digital notebook.  If you want to enter orders immediately during a customer meeting, then i-Deal is definitely the app for you. To optimize sales, store managers need constant insight into shelf availability. SAP On-Shelf Availability Store Manager provides an overview of shelf availability issues on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis.

Here’s a list of our top 5 apps for January:

SAP On-Shelf Availability Store Manager by SAP AGPhoto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Having products available on the shelf at all times is a vital success factor in the retail business. To optimize sales, you need a constant overview of the current situation at the point of sale so that you can resolve stock outages fast. SAP On-Shelf Availability Store Manager for the iPad gives store managers all the information they need on their tablets. The app shows them which products have already had or are currently having shelf availability issues per department – on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis – along with details of how the store associates resolved each of the issues. Based on this information, store managers can plan their resource scheduling and inventory management to ensure optimized shelf availability for all articles.

One of a store manager’s key tasks is to check the weekly statistics for shelf availability issues by department. Functions for drilling down to daily and hourly views help analyze the route causes of stockouts. By drilling down to details of how each issue was resolved, the management team gains a clearer overview of the processes involved and can make appropriate adjustments to optimize them.  The app shows how vendors, business processes, or employee performance may be affecting the on-shelf availability of an article in the store.

To use the SAP On-Shelf Availability Store Manager app with their business data, users must have SAP POS DM 1.0 implemented on an SAP HANA database, with mobile services enabled by their IT department.

Platform: iOS

Find out more on iTunes

i-Deal from L-mobile

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

If you work in a sales force, you’ll be familiar with this scenario: You’ve had a long day of meetings with customers and you need to document the results online. You can’t do it on site, so you often spend the evening in front of your home office PC. This is where i-Deal, an app for iPhone and iPad, comes in handy: It is specifically designed to let you enter and process orders and quotes immediately during a customer meeting.

The app can be used offline and offers a wealth of functions that sales force and field personnel need on a daily basis.  Alongside a customer database and scaled-down CRM system, i-Deal lets you import photos, data sheets, presentations, and films in all the major Office formats to create your own product catalog. You can also preconfigure the order form and invoice to match your requirements and export them via a PDF, XML, or CSV interface or by e-mail. i-Deal also has a large number of built-in interfaces to popular business systems such as SAP Business One, Sage Office Line & CRM, Lexware, Outlook, and Microsoft Navision. The price of the app depends on the functional scope required and the number of users. A free test version is available.

Platform: iOS

Find out more on iTunes (app available in English; description in German only)

Paper by FiftyThree

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Named “iPad App of the Year 2012” in the productivity category, Paper transforms your iPad into what numerous mobile end devices promised and failed to deliver: a digital notepad. Whether you work with your finger or a stylus – drawing, coloring, writing, and sketching are all child’s play with this app. If you’ve got a minute, check out the Madewithpaper Web gallery for a selection of quick jots and sketches created using Paper, as well as some genuine mini-masterpieces.

Users can place their notes and sketches into one or more journals, depending on their preferences. Tapping the “Plus” button lets you duplicate either whole notebooks or individual pages.  To share your ideas with others, you simply tap the “Share” button to access platforms such as Tumblr and Facebook or send an e-mail straight from the app.

A highly practical feature of the app is the “Rewind” function, which lets you trace your creative process back to the beginning and pick it up again in a different place.  However, there is no zoom function and no “Undo” button; you have to use the eraser instead.  The free version of Paper includes a fountain pen:  A lead pencil, marker, ink pen, paintbrush, and color mixer can all be purchased separately. The “Essentials” package, which contains all the writing implements and the paintbrush, costs €5.99.

Platform: iOS

Find out more on iTunes

Travel App Box from Cerasus Media

screenshot_travelappbox

Photo: screenshot

Cerasus Media describes this app as a Swiss Army knife for travelers. The Travel App Box for iPad/iPhone brings together 15 handy tools for business and leisure travelers, including a currency converter, flight status function, subway timetables and maps, dialing codes, and pretty much everything you need to get by on a trip abroad. The app is tailored to global travel and provides key information about over 30 countries and 40 major cities. Travel App Box can be used offline, although an Internet connection is required for the flight status function and the route planner. A quick look at the function list tells you that the programmers are seasoned travelers who know exactly what will come in useful, be it a clothing size converter, a unit calculator, emergency phone numbers, or a picture dictionary for situations where the linguistic going gets tough. The app costs just under €2 and, according to the vendor, will be supplemented with additional material on an ongoing basis.

Platform: iOS

Find out more on iTunes

Video Photo Looper from ArmorActive

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Video Photo Looper provides a quick and convenient option for creating and presenting video and picture shows on your iPad or iPhone. It’s an ideal app for sales force personnel and other field employees who need to display content to customers in the form of digital signage. Initiated by tapping the screen with seven fingers, this app is simple and intuitive to use, particularly because its functional scope is limited to creating video and photo sequences. Files are imported by accessing a folder on the local device; a Dropbox interface is sadly not yet available. The app, which is available free of charge, lets you define individual end pages for your video and slide shows, but offers no further options.

Platform: iOS

Find out more on iTunes