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Author's profile photo Muralidharan Surendran

Mobility & Productivity

This blog is just a random thought of how mobility truly increases productivity. I have been in SAP Mobility area for 8 years now (starting from MI to NW Mobile/ DOE, SUP) and I often wondered how mobility increases productivity of people. If you come to think of it, its like switching from the paper based era to PC era for performing tasks. so there you go Viola you have the answer to that question. But some times you really need a more personal story to embrace and truly believe that Mobility is here to stay and more and more people will adopt it to perform tasks and increase their productivity. Below are 2 personal stories that help confirm this fact.

If you have ever lived in Sydney you will know how difficult it is to get a place to live. (obvious market reasons less supply more demand & to top it if you have specific requirements then it gets harder) Every Unit/House/Apartment is open for 15 minutes of inspection (usually on Wednesday & Sundays) and you need to see the place and apply with all the necessary documents and depending on whether the landlord likes the application or not you get the place. To top this its even tougher if you don’t have a rental history (which was the case with me as I was new to Sydney).

So one Saturday (the inspection day) I  made a list of all the places available for inspection and went to see them. I saved all this in my iPhone calendar with details of which train to take and the directions to see the place (of course using maps on the iPhone).  I soon realized that I finished some inspections earlier than expected and had time to see other places. Luckily for me I had a mobile app which helped me look up places available for inspection and because I could see this data in real time and on the go I was able to reschedule my plan dynamically and be more productive and see more places than initially planned. Now imagine the above situation without a smart phone and a mobile application. In which case I would have a plan and would have to stick with it and might have missed out on opportunities to see more places. You bet I am hell a lot more productive with the mobile application available.

I recently joined a runners group in Sydney. After the run we went for a beer. I was casually chatting up with a Geologist and he mentioned that he uses the SAP applications a lot especially for  Purchase Request & Approval. He wished that he had a mobile app to complete this process as that would entail him to be more productive to raise request and approve them there by giving him more time to focus on his core tasks which was trying to find Copper Ore 😆 . Its fascinating to be able to relate to how Mobility is increasingly helping people become more productive. I had the privilege of experiencing this first hand and also from the experiences of others.

I have met a few customers and often I see a lot of reluctance in adopting to Mobility, some of them want to take a wait and watch approach. All of them are valid and have reasons. However I strongly believe that the time has come to adopt Mobility and we will see more and more people using mobile devices to perform tasks. Mobility is here to stay, it will help make people more productive.

PS: Though its hard to find a place in Sydney eventually you will find one so stay put and keep trying. I found one after a month 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for the post.  You touched upon 2 key qualities of mobility, location based/dynamic services and alerts/workflow type, both are perfect examples of getting a huge benefit from mobility.  I do know that many people fear that instead of their inbox being filled with mails, their workflow inbox on the mobile will be filled instead.  That is very possible but what the mobile app should give them is an easy way to approve/reject/created workflow requests, meaning they might be able to handle a large volume of tasks during time when they are not productive (waiting for a meeting to start, travelling etc).  Freeing people from their email "processes" in this way will for most people free them to spend more time on more productive/strategic tasks or more time not working so I do expect this to be a welcome change for most, including the employer.  The key here is also to make the apps smart, including the option of building some rules, even pre approvals into the app itself to speed up processes and further reduce the dependency of user interaction.  It is going to be interesting to see the workflow apps vs the email inbox war going forward, I have no doubt who will win if the investment and vision is there from customers.

      Author's profile photo Tom Van Doorslaer
      Tom Van Doorslaer

      Nice stories!

      In the end, these may seem simple use cases, but they perfectly prove the beneficial impact of mobility.

      I'm a believer

      Author's profile photo Muralidharan Surendran
      Muralidharan Surendran
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Bjorn & Tom,

        Thanks a lot for the comments. Regarding the point of email, I look at it this way. Email is a primary means of communication between people. My guess is the following when workflows came into the picture people might have had a separate application to look at the approvals but soon the Business realised that hey we want this information pushed to the end-user so that he/she need not open an application to view his/her approvals. What was the best way to get this push done email since push was already available. But now we have applications that can handle push and notify users I am certain that this will be the way forward. Lets see how it goes forward.