Personal Computers might not be dead yet but they are surely becoming just one of the many computing devices we use regularly in our daily lives. According to Gartner, only 12% of the 2.5B devices sold in the world during 2014 will be desktops or laptops. The other 88%? An eclectic mix of smartphones, tablets, hybrid ultramobiles (e.g. Microsoft Surface), clamshell ultramobiles (e.g. HTC shift), and phablets (e.g. Galaxy Note). And while these numbers are impressive, the mobility explosion doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Wait until new mobile categories like ‘quantified self’ devices, smart watches and wearables become mainstream in the next years.
In the enterprise world, things are not moving as fast as many mobile-minded employees would like. Even though the impact that mobility can have on employee engagement, satisfaction and productivity seems to be a given, many companies are still very reluctant to take the plunge. Why is that?
The most common concerns that we hear about are that deploying mobile apps will be too expensive and too complex to manage. I am not sure where these preconceptions came from (maybe because people are still thinking about them mainly as enterprise applications?) but reality is that things are very easy already with SuccessFactors Mobile and they are going to get even easier.In our February 2014 release we have put our focus on further simplifying mobile deployment and providing even more control over mobile configuration.
Simplified Mobile Deployment
Manage and deploy mobile from a single place
To make things straightforward from the very beginning, we have created an Administrator panel exclusively dedicated to mobile. All administration tools related to mobile can now be accessed from a single icon on the main ‘Administration tools’ screen.
Reuse existing permission groups to grant mobile access more rapidly
Prior to this release, whenever you wanted to rollout mobile you had to give access either to everyone or no one. Although this makes things very simple we also heard from customers that they wanted to take a more phased rollout approach: test mobile first with a small group of early adopters and once everybody became more confident about the rollout process, they would extend access to a larger set of users.
With the new permission role based activation you now have more granular control over who gets access to mobile. Customers with role-based permissions RBP implementations can reuse existing permission role lists or create new ones to define the group of employees that will be granted access to SuccessFactors through their mobile apps. For non-RBP customers, a different interface is provided with very similar capabilities to precisely handle mobile access down to the employee level if necessary.
Activate/deactivate mobile access to modules and features
When your company is using many SuccessFactors solutions managing what can and cannot be accessed by mobile can get a bit intimidating. The new mobile settings make activation transparent by consolidating in one single screen access to activation/deactivation of all modules and key platform functionality. As a result, you don’t have to go anymore into every application module to see whether mobile access has been activated or not.
Have full control of who is running mobile and on which devices
If you are like many of our customers who have tens of thousands of devices running SuccessFactors Mobile, checking the pulse on mobile adoption can take a bit of effort. To make things more tangible and easier to control, administrators can now manage all mobile users and their activated devices. Administrators can deactivate and wipe out devices remotely, a list of mobile users can be downloaded, and activation emails can be resent to employees to make sure adoption goals are met.
Allow users to activate their mobile device over mobile email
So all things mobile are getting very easy for administrators; great. But just because you can now provide mobile access to your workforce in seconds does not mean that adoption will happen instantly. Communication is key when aiming for a successful rollout. Up till now users could only activate their mobile devices through the web application, mainly for security reasons. With the new email mobile notification, employees that are been granted mobile access are notified about their new access rights and they have the option to activate mobile access exclusively from the mobile device. This will definitely benefit companies with a large part of their workforce who is constantly on the road and might not even have a laptop.
Tighter control over mobile configuration
In addition to streamlining the fundamentals of mobile deployment and management, we now offer the possibility to control additional mobile features.
Personalize theme and look and feel of the app with your company brand
It is no secret to HR professionals the impact that brand consistency can have in employee engagement. Providing a seamless employee experience across HR touchpoints (email and phone support, HR applications, etc.) can have tremendous effect on how the company is perceived by its own employees. Following the same principles of visual customization that we have implemented in our web application now you have the option to theme our mobile apps by adding your logo and your corporate palette to its look and feel.
Customize where employees’ on-device support requests go to
The cloud delivery model brings interesting new questions to vendors and customers: who should be responsible for providing support to your mobile users? People at your company? Or your vendor? We acknowledge different HR departments have different opinions when it comes to controlling the experience their employees have when interacting with HR applications. That’s the reason we are introducing the ability to customize where employee mobile support requests are directed.
With the new on-device support feature you can configure in-app support functionality so your users’ support requests are directed to your company instead of to SuccessFactors support. In terms of which channels they can use you have two options: you can direct users to a custom email address of your choice or if you prefer, you can direct them to a URL of your choice where they might access a web site with support information or a ticketing system where they can enter a support request.
Get started today
All these new mobile administration features are optional in this February release but will be universal for all customers in May 2014. If you are already using mobile and don’t want to wait until May to benefit from the new mobile administration panel you can activate it today through the upgrade center. If you have not activated mobile yet and want to do it now, you don’t need to do anything to start using these features: as soon as you enable mobile in your instance you will be offered the new mobile administration panel automatically. If you need help or have any questions please contact customer support and they will gladly help you.
Jumpstarting your mobile deployment
If you are a SuccessFactors customer and have not deployed mobile yet we want to help you make the most of your SuccessFactors investment. To jumpstart your deployment, we have prepared a deployment playbook and a how-to video that present best practices and a step-by-step guide on how to activate SuccessFactors mobile at your company. In order to access it please go to the SuccessFactors Community for SuccessFactors Mobile (login required): http://community.successfactors.com/t5/Mobile/ct-p/Mobile
SuccessFactors Mobile at HR 2014 in Orlando
Are you attending HR 2014 in Orlando next week? Want to know more about SuccessFactors Mobile? If you answered yes twice then you should attend the session “Best practices to deploy SuccessFactors on mobile devices”. We will give an overview of SuccessFactors mobile unique capabilities, discuss deployment best practices, demo a live step-by-step deployment and answer any questions you might have. Don’t miss it!
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Availability: All product updates are available to Enterprise Edition customers on Friday February 21, 2014. Please note that for customers on the Premium release schedule, these features will be available March 21, 2014. For Professional Edition customers, some features may not be available or may become available at a later date.