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Nadia Brasseur, a Regional Group Specialist working for SAP in Canada focusing on Mobile, and myself have gained quite some experience taking part in a large number of mobile projects. We have learned that mobile environments are different from traditional IT environments and add a new dimension in complexity as a result of the distributed environment and the various technologies involved. We would like to pass on some of the knowledge we gained in these projects to you. Therefore Nadia and I have created this blog together that provides you with a few basic guidelines that should help you with your mobile implementations. 

Following the guidelines can make a major difference – and turn your project into a success. These guidelines have been created by taking into account the experiences gained by customers and project teams in a large number of mobile projects. True, the guidelines cannot guarantee a successful project – however, if followed, they increase the likelihood that a project is going to be a success.

 

Buy-In: Mobile requires a shift in the way a company does business and project implementations. Due to the various technologies that make up a mobile landscape, many different stakeholders are involved. Buy-in of all parties is required for a project to be successful.

End User Acceptance: End users are a key factor in the adoption of the mobile application. If end users enjoy using the mobile application and see an advantage in this new way of working, this will immensely contribute to the success of the project.  

Therefore, involve your end users as early as possible. This is especially important when selecting devices and adjusting the user interface to suit end users’ needs. Involvement of end users from the very beginning is a key factor for the success of the project. This will ensure that the delivered solution matches the needs and expectations of the users.

Device Selection: Performance, stability, as well as look and feel are heavily influenced by the mobile device you select. Choosing a device that is too slow results in frustrated end users. Selecting a device that is not robust enough results in a lot of downtimes.

If the wrong device is chosen or if the choice of hardware is based on economizing, this could affect the performance of the application. Therefore, evaluate a variety of devices and choose one that fits your needs. Invest time in this activity, especially when dealing with handheld devices.

Project Team Expertise: Whether the implementation is being driven by the customer, a partner or SAP, it is critical to involve expert resources in the project team since mobile is a relatively new technology. This will ensure adequate expertise as well as proper knowledge transfer for a successful implementation and enable customers to operate and maintain the landscape themselves after go-live.

Quality Management: QM is very important since it could be a challenge to address issues in a mobile environment. Once the application has been rolled out, it is not always easy to access devices that are out in the field. Keep in mind that the number of devices can be very high.

Proper planning is essential, especially when it comes to defining strategies for dealing with potential issues.

Support Process: Invest a high percentage of your time and resources in support and ensure that your support personnel is able to access devices either directly or through remote login. If this is not possible, develop simple procedures to enable users to re-install their devices themselves to solve issues.

Sizing: Make sure that server sizing fits the requirements and that the performance is adequate. This keeps synchronization times low and ultimately makes the end users happy.

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5 Comments

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  1. ImamHussain Makki
    mobile implementation is not soo easy as it look like,
    it is not like doing asap ….

    it involue many time testing with different scenario..

    many scenarios are there which has till now not been in business ….

    so it is challengeable job

    but it can be done as already the defence agency of american has implemented … mobile infrastructure

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    1. ImamHussain Makki
      i would like to intereact with the people doing the mobile implementation … so we both can gain more knowledge ..

      right now i m doing mobile implementation in retiail industries .. so if there are any college want to have a discussion pls do it .. we can have more knowledge on the subject

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      1. Karsten Strothmann Post author
        Hi Mohammad,

        Feel free to contact me if you have questions regarding mobile or would like to discuss things. You can find my email address by clicking the link on my business card.

        Regards,
        Karsten

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  2. manish salvi
    could you come up with your BKM’s for selection of devices. What decives have you used in your implementation. Most devices come in with windows 05 and are slow. How do you determine which one will work best with MAM where most work is off line and needs to store pictures and information related to those picture which would help in creation of work orders.
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    1. Karsten Strothmann Post author
      Thanks Manish 😉

      We’ve used a number of different devices in even more projects: Laptops, Tablet PCs, Custom made tablet PCs, PDAs, Smartphones … What device to choose depends on a lot of factors. And performance is one of those factors, but not the only one. I’ve written a blog on device selection some time ago. I think you’ll find more regarding this subject in there.

      Since you seem to be primarily focusing on xMAM on PDAs, the advice that I can give you is to pre-select a number of PDAs that seem to fit your needs and to then test those. Most hardware manufacturers are willing to provide you with their device for tests. Running the application on the device gives you the best impression. Make sure that you include your end users – they have to work with the devices on an everyday basis and should be able to give you valuable input. A pilot project with some end users and different devices might not be a bad idea … I understand it’s some additional work, but it’s well worth it.

      As for SAP, we are currently in the process of developing a benchmark tool for PDAs on xMAM basis. Meaning you will be able to run this tool on a PDA and the tool will provide you with feedback on what the performance of the device is for xMAM. This feedback will be given in a number format and you will be able to compare two or more devices based on the results given for the devices by the tool. This tool should be available in September.

      Hope this helps.

      Karsten

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