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Author's profile photo Former Member

Play-Pause-Stop: Time tracking

Recently i came to know that SAP Time Management solutions has a provision to track distance. Though small, this is a very important feature for a user with a consulting profile. He travels a lot and wants to charge the customer on the basis of his travel.

Today, (as per my limited knowledge), a standard SAP user can fill in the distance details of his travels; but he has to keep a track of the distance as he travels. This triggered a thought in my mind. And after a brief discuss with Priti Dhingra(Duet Solution Manager at SAP Labs India, Bangalore) I came up with the the following high level outline.

Every decent mobile phone, these days, has an inbuilt GPS. If not, it utilizes the augumented GPS of the mobile network. How about attaching this GPS capability of the mobile with a SAP application which tracks the distance traveled by the user for the whole working day? The same application can also be used to track the time spent on his work.

It can be a play, pause and stop kind of a time recording application which is always available at an arms distance from you. The user needs to play to start recording time. He may pause if he is doing his personal work and stop if he is done for the day.


  • Consulting profiles(traveling)
  • Time tracking for telecon services
  • Services which are shift intensive and account for minutes if not seconds.


User Level:

  1. This will help the user to concentrate more on his work and not worry about tracking.
  2. Uplanned adhoc working hours can be tracked with minimum effort.

Organizational level:

  1. Better policy implementation as the user doesnt enter any value. it is the sytem which tracks by itself.
  2. Unplanned adhoc working hours are also accountable.

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and in no way a portray of my employer’s view.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I agree that this would have very nice benefits in large areas: analytics, reviews, find improvements, tracking, improving availability, resource utilization, planned and unplanned activities, etc.

      But there are a lots of kinds of smart devices out there, having many versions of the software, hardware which could even be upgraded. e.g. I know of the S60 platform which would need many versions of such application.

      To develop such applications, we need skills and features of wide range. e.g.
      people who know the architecture of the interfaces the devices. There will be many applications that would share the location information, so the correct ways to collect the information automatically will be a challenge. The other conditions may need to handled like, while the device is inside a building, while the batter of the device runs out, or is less. Ways to include the information manually and track it.

      The information collected should be systematically supplied to various components, the same way the publish and subscribe uses it.

      In case you find any initiatives please do let me know.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thanks a lot for the response, Prashant.
      I agree that the mobile world is quite diverse in terms of the hardware and software standards. There are challenges on the very basic level; e.g the form factor of every mobile device differs, leave aside the versions, etc. But I guess, these challenge are generic and will be a hurdle for any mobile application which we come up with.

      But, as you mentioned a common approach for all applications sharing or utilizes the geo-referenced information (situational) is a bigger challenge and is in SAP’s direct domain to address.

      The manual feeding of information will and should never be replaced by this ‘play pause stop’ feature. It will always be extensively used by some specific user profiles and scarcely by others.

      thanks again as your thoughts helped me to think on another level.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This is a nice idea Rakesh. And it would be easy to implement on a BlackBerry or an Android smartphone for instance. These devices have a good Java API.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      This appears to be quite encouraging.
      I will try to dig more into this. Please do let me know if you are aware of any more details regarding the technicalities involved in this. (Especially for blackberry and android)