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A lot of you might know this situation: you were at a customer site for some time and after making it back to your office you have to enter your travel expenses and your time information into the SAP system. Needless to say that in a most cases you already had to pay for the hotel or the taxi and you would like to get your money back as soon as possible. So back in the office you spend the first minutes of your working day with entering the data into the backend system using the appropriate SAP backend transactions like CATS. And since it has been some time since you arrived at the customer’s you might have already forgotten when exactly you arrived. Some of you might even still have to use excel sheets or paper based processes to report their working times and their travel costs.

The “traditional processes” used result in:

  • inaccurate or incomplete data results
  • slower billing cycles for service providers
  • decreased employee productivity and dissatisfaction
  • Multiple errors due to paper processing
  • Lost or poor information
  • Due to these shortcomings of the traditional time and expense processes SAP has come up with a solution named “SAP xApp Mobile Time and Travel” to facilitate these processes by making the existing backend functionalities available offline. Offline in this case means that you can enter all your data even if you do not have a connection to a SAP system, for example right there at the customer site, and then once you have a connection again synchronize your data to the SAP system.

    This possibility to enter time and travel data offline results in:

  • Timely information on project costs and project status
  • Faster services billing
  • Compliance with corporate travel policy
  • Timely recording of times and expenses
  • Ease of use
  • Faster turn-around of expense claims
  • So both the employee and the company have advantages from using Mobile Time and Travel. xMTT creates a Win/Win situation.

    Let’s have a quick look at the technology used:

  • xMTT runs on the Mobile Infrastructure 2.5 that takes care of everything required to operate a mobile landscape.
  • It is Laptop based. Most consultants do have Laptops anyway so that there is no additional costs for devices.
  • Starting with MTT 2.0 the mCAF is supported. mCAF stands for mobile Composite Application Framework and is based on the Model View Controller concept of software development. mCAF allows for easy enhancement of mobile applications. As a result of using this concept xMTT is very easy to enhance and you can change things like the UI, which is JSP based, in an easy and straightforward manner
  • To store data on the client xMTT uses serialized persistence
  • So how long does it take for xMTT to generate a decent ROI ? Let me give you an example of a typical xMTT project:

    7000 consultants are going to use the app. It’s stable, easy to install and very easy to support since it’s Laptop based. The hardware is already there – every consultant already has a laptop anyway. In addition to that the company has already been using a SAP backend system. So there is basically just an investment into the middleware and into the software plus some project related costs. That’s it. So how long do you think does it take to get a decent ROI if you can bill your customers a few days earlier for 7000 consultants ? If your 7000 consultants stick to your travel policy more closely ? If there are less bills with wrong data in there ? And most important if you need less people to process time and travel data on your side ?

    To sum things up: xMTT is beneficial both for employees and for employers. It creates a Win/Win situation.

    But enough for today – I will talk some more about xMTT in the weeks to come …

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