How can you give mobile workers flexible, full-featured digital tools that allow them to work seamlessly as part of the modern digital enterprise aligned with the specific needs of your business and your workforce? The SAP® Asset Manager mobile app allows companies to reimagine work by providing workers with cloud-based mobile functionality for supporting enterprise assets.
A panel of specialists unpack how the collaboration between Deloitte and SAP, and SAP’s partnership with Apple has given rise to innovations and extensions that leverage native device features, enhance workforce safety and experience while unlocking new value for the business.
If laptops began the mobile revolution, smart phones and tablets drove it to incredible heights and made it consumer-driven. With apps that allow us to track our latest online purchase or automatically drop an upcoming service call for a home appliance into our calendar, our expectations as users is clear: full visibility and convenience. “Mobile innovation has become about transforming the human experience at every touchpoint,” says Vincent Kruse, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting.
For Robert Wassermann, head of Product Management, SAP User Experience, Mobile Center of Excellence, the consumerization of mobile is embedded in the work environment at every level. End-users require flexibility, and to not be tied to one specific office or workplace. “This is as true for the people who work in the business as it is for people in the warehouse or shop floor. The current pandemic has shown this is an absolute must. Companies want to ensure everyone can work everywhere and whenever they want.”
Simplicity is a governing principle of mobility, particularly user experience (UX) – and something Ron Wagner, managing director, Deloitte Consulting, submits should be the primary objective. The consequence of not designing seamless, intuitive apps is poor user adoption, and therefore, inefficiency. “What we've found with mobile users is if we don’t get it [the design] right, they just decide ‘This doesn’t work for me’, will toss the device, and go back to paper or some other way that does."
Apple, in close partnership with SAP, and in collaboration with Deloitte, creates toolsets that make it easier for developers to build theoretically-complex business applications. For developers, the SAP and Apple partnership uncovers the functionality and features that Apple brings to the development suite, and makes it simple to build native applications into SAP Asset Manager.
Cloud-based tools that seamlessly integrate with SAP and GIS spatial views native to the mobile app are becoming more widely available, as is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality. This, Wassermann offers, is the tip of the iceberg for the mobile asset management innovation.
Kruse concurs, citing a current extension project to help an asset-intensive customer contain repair costs – including getting out in front of fraudulent ones. By integrating with a mobile device’s camera and GPS, and applying AI, the extension can identify the asset, it’s location, “scrape the asset number or name, and, through the native on-device machine learning capabilities, provide a real-world recommendation as to what the cost of the repair would be.”
In Wassermann’s experience, worker safety is a top concern for many customers when it comes to asset management, which is why work clearance management features are on the SAP Asset Manager roadmap. He offers as an example of the ability to list steps that must be completed first to ensure maintenance and repairs take place in a safe and secure environment.
Workforce safety is where automation plays a key role. Geo-fences make it possible for an alert to sound if a worker breaches the border of a safety zone to indicate a hazard is nearby. The app should not require somebody to be looking at the device walking around in a dangerous area and potentially create a problem.”
Implementing intelligent, well-designed solutions can help improve work safety and transform in-field mobile asset management.
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