At the African SAP user group's biennial conference SAPHILA 2014, held from 9-11 June 2014 at Sun City, Jon Schmidt, global VP for Mobile Sales and Solutions at SAP, led the talk on mobility.
"Although it is difficult to predict what will happen in the next two to three years, one thing is certain: the number of mobile devices is increasing and mobile technology is a catalyst for both business improvement and innovation.
"The predicted growth of mobile devices, from 2.5 billion today to 50 billion by 2020 and that mobility is changing how the world operates. Mobility is a significant disruptive force, just like big data and cloud, equally transforming the IT and business landscape."
He adds that the two main benefits that mobility has shown is an average of 84% productivity gains in the workforce and 74% gains in revenue. The key, he explains, is to implement mobility in such a way that it is easily adopted.
"Mobility should be seen as a user experience and not an application. In any mobile strategy, the user comes first. Moreover, never assume you know how a customer works. When developing a solution for a client, always bring them on board to thoroughly understand what is needed and how it can best be represented for ease of use."
Five mobile priorities
His presentation highlighted the following five mobile priorities, deemed by the group to be essential for customer adoption: business value for mobile investments, delightful user experience, security, flexibility and continuous business transformation.
Showing how its mobile enterprise asset management and field services solutions have made a real-life difference in driving value across operations where they have been deployed - in particular in terms of safety, compliance, governance, visibility and productivity, his presentation showed that:
workforce incidents reduced to near zero
work capacity increased by 20 to 30%
labour productivity increased by up to 50%
idle time and overtime reduced by 40 to 60%
first time fix rates increased by 15 to 20%
In term of assets, the SAP mobility solutions showed:
reduced down-time/ production delays by 20 to 30%
preventable failures reduced by up to 90%
maintenance backlog reduced by up to 60%
inventory carrying costs reduced by five to 10%
Trends, currently facing the world in which we work and live, are quickly paving the way for further innovation in the mobility space. Schmidt concluded his presentation by showing future group innovations: geospatial integration, 2D and 3D visualisation, predictive maintenance and augmented reality.
"The new workforce is one that has grown up with mobile devices. To attract this new talent, a high level of technology must be met," he concludes.