I’m an old school SAPer.  Now in my 16th year here at SAP, I’ve had the pleasure of working with our ERP package and extended solutions for a very long time.  In fact, I spent over 10 years as a Solution Engineer demoing Plant Maintenance and Service Management to just about every industry you can imagine.

Only a person that has dug deep into the system can truly appreciate the depth and breadth of functionality of these solutions, as well as their robust integration to the other modules.  I can honestly say that I was still learning the solution’s vast capabilities after 10 years.  When addressing a client’s maintenance and service requirements, it was never a question of whether or not SAP’s solutions could functionally meet the requirements:  but often, the question of usability came up.  Not everybody was enamored by our screens.  Lots of clicks.  Lots of end-user training.  Not so intuitive.  The solutions were amazing, but there was room for improvement. 

Recently, SAP change the game in a big way.  What do you get when you combine all the rich functionality and deep integration of SAP with a mobile device?  You get SAP Work Manager and SAP Service Manager.

These two mobile apps mobilize SAP Plant Maintenance and SAP Service Management work on just about any device and on any operating system, and the screens are every bit as gorgeous and intuitive as you would expect from a mobile application.  The usability issue has been solved – but that’s just the beginning of the business value to be gained when you mobilize resources.  Think about it:  your mechanics are no longer tethered to a terminal.  All of the information they need is sitting at their fingertips so they can do their job quicker, safer, easier and more accurately.  Reduce equipment downtime, improve first-time fix rates, reduce spare part inventory, reduce overtime, increase work order capacity, increase service revenues and so much more.  Plus take advantage of native device capabilities such as GIS, camera, barcoding/scanning and more.  Not only do these solutions allow most companies to streamline their operations, but they are seeing a return on their investment in 6 to 9 months from Go-Live!

Do I have your attention?  Please join me as I dig deeper into these topics in two upcoming webinars.  You’ll hear how these solutions can transform your business, you’ll see live product demos and you’ll hear case studies from reference customers. 

Register Here for the event “Deliver World Class Field Service powered by Mobile Solutions from SAP” on May 1st.

Register Here for the event “Drive Excellence in Asset Maintenance and Inventory Management with Mobile Solutions from SAP” on May 7th.

I look forward to seeing you.


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  1. Jan Laros

    Hi Rick,


    I agree with you on the huge step that SAP has taken in enhancing the usability of EAM and Service Management functionalities.


    However, if you look at SAP Work Manager as a standard product, it is still not
    intuitive enough out-of-the-box. An end user (most likely a mechanic or engineer who has never worked with SAP before, as he was used to filling in paper forms which he would then send to a back office) is dazzled by the number of actions he has to perform. He has to manage work orders, look at notifications, work on equipments and functional locations, type in causes and activities, register his time, etc. These are all separate screens and this means that you must not underestimate the power of training and guidance.

    You need to pay a lot of attention to change management, both IT as organization
    wise, when you run a SAP Work Manager project. The people will eventually benefit hugely of mobile solutions, but you have to make sure that they embrace the new solution. Shipping an iPad with a nice mobile application to them and sending them on their ways, just won’t cut it. You have to guide them. And for that you need very good understanding of the general processes in EAM and service management and of the custom implementation of those processes at the specific customer site.

    We have just finished our first SAP Work Manager and Agentry implementation and I must say: This platform and these applications are a joy to work with. Quick set up
    out of the box and great possibilities to customize. We were able to build new functionality for our customer, enhance the user interface and enhance the application flow based on the specific process flow of our customer. This made it much easier for an engineer to work with the application and we could fully fit the application to their functional needs.

    So, SAP provides a very solid and stable product that can work out of the box, is
    highly flexible, so it can be enhanced to whatever customer needs you are facing. With the proper business implementation and the right amount of process knowledge the SAP mobile apps are a recipe for great success!


    Jan Laros

    1. Rick Imber Post author


      What a thoughtful response. I agree with your comments! 

      I certainly did not mean to imply there was no end user training – but it is worlds better than navigating through traditional SAP screens.   And your point about change management is spot on!  I also like what you say about custom implementations.  It’s key to understand what has been customized on the core side so you can address on the mobile side.  Good news is, as you elude to, Agentry and Work Manager can handle it!

      Congrats on your successful implementation!



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