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We just ran another mobility workshop at the SAP for Utilities conference in Huntington Beach. It is always an opportunity to get the latest trends, product updates and road maps and also hear about implementation experiences. I wanted to share some highlights with you:

General

Our overall strategy and direction for mobile solutions has a focus on user experience, evolving the platform further to the cloud, and at the same time evolving existing apps like the work manager and creating next generation apps like the asset manager for iOS and S/4HANA.

The paradigm for user experience is SAP Fiori. While we have now over 800 standard Fiori apps, Fiori also became the design pattern and tool set for all new and renovated applications, including mobile solutions. Fiori 2.0 brings a number of new features and design guides, more details are in the community, for example here:

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/08/21/the-structure-of-sap-fiori-20-apps-from-work-centers-to-overview-pages/

The typical utility runs different apps (off the shelf, tailored and custom), different development style (native, hybrid and web) and use different deployment methods (cloud, on premise and hybrid). The SAP mobile platform supports any of those constellations. What is very clear is the continued strong trend to the cloud for mobile infrastructure, mobile services and mobile development.

 

Mobile solutions for Assets and Field Service

The SAP work manager for maintenance and field service has further evolved, we have seen several implementations now integrating GIS, document management and location awareness features.


(work manager with GIS)

(work manager with location awareness)

We presented a strong road map for the work manager, including the integration of rounds functions, vehicle stock enhancements and in the future enabling IoT scenarios, predictive maintenance and quality management features just to name some. We have also extended the standard maintenance until 2022.

On the other side, the new SAP asset manager will be one of the first applications built as a result of the SAP and Apple partnership. We expect a first version mid 2017 available for iOS and S/4HANA, over the following years the functionality will grow adding functionality for utilities processes, linear assets, crews and more. Stay tuned for further details.

 

Customer implementation story

Marc Rosson from the Snohomish PUD presented a great example of a workmanager 6.3 implementation including GIS and ECM. One of his lessons learned was: Create a process help desk for field workers. They have issues like ‘I don’t see the order on my device’ and it might not be a technical issue. A typical IT desk would not be able to check work order assignments, status, dispatch etc. but this is need, help on the entire process.

 

Mobile solutions for customers and employee productivity

We briefly touched on the MCF roadmap confirming that MCF is included in S/4HANA. We also showed the extended customer engagement picture going beyond a standalone self service app. Utilities can offer a better overall mobile and web experience and a nice shopping portal for frequent use cases, for example a customer move. Customers use a commerce platform like hybris commerce to shop for energy and other products and programs. The self service options provided by MCF are then embedded into the commerce solution.


(commerce with utilities self service)

SAP technology and strategy

The SAP mobile platform supports mobile solutions backed by on premise infrastructure as well as cloud. All cloud offerings are available through the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). The main services are tools for discovery and design (www.build.me), authentication services, deployment and operations services, app and device management, SAP Fiori services and integration services. For details please check: mobile capabilities in HCP, https://hcp.sap.com/capabilities/mobile.html

In a nutshell we can also say:

  • Mobile apps are better
  • We want features, not technology
  • Seems like mobile technology has lost it’s limitations, complexity and risks
  • Security, scalability and performance can be challenging
  • Mobile infrastructure goes to the cloud
  • Mobile technology life cycles are short

And… me and my colleagues can continue to rework the mobile workshop material at least twice a year, there is always lots of change. Maybe see you in the mobile workshop in Lisbon in March 2017.

Cheers,

Robert

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  1. Jennifer Lawrence

    Mobile utilities have improvised over time and SAP is emerged as an efficient platform in creating the best mobile applications. I would like to add here that the fast track mobile application development and deployment provided by SAP is excellent in making customer friendly mobile applications. The MEAP technology used by SAP is effective in creating robust applications.

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