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SAP launches application for mobile data

John-Paul Kamath

SAP has launched a mobile software application and has added mobility features to its existing applications to help companies provide business information to remote workers.

The products are designed to give mobile workers - from salespeople to service technicians - access to enterprise data through a variety of mobile ­devices.

The latest version of SAP Netweaver Mobile will allow organisations to build customised mobile applications using service oriented architectures.

Support for geographic information systems and radio frequency identification technology have been added to SAP xApps composite applications for mobile business. These enhancements are designed to allow mobile service workers to plan travel routes and track time spent at each job, which could improve service and efficiency, said SAP.

SAP Netweaver Mobile and ­xApps integrate with SAP Business Suite and can be combined with non-SAP systems so that developers can select the exact data their remote users need.

Other capabilities provide delivery personnel with simpler payment processing and inventory control to help validate the cash and product flow from their vehicles and provide up-to-date inventory information.

"Mobile investment for sales force automation and field service management are growing dramatically in this environment because every major customer relationship management [CRM] initiative can be enhanced by mobile," said William Clark, research vice-president at analyst firm Gartner.

Gartner has predicted that by 2009, 70% of customer-facing enterprises will offer wireless connectivity to services that are also available through traditional channels.

"Enterprises should solicit feedback from end-users before, during and after the pilot and deployment of mobile CRM applications, hardware and network connectivity. Choose hardware and networks that best reflect the coverage, input and physical requirements of the work sites," said Clark.

Enhancements for SAP xApp Mobile Sales and SAP xApp Mobile Asset Management are available now. SAP xApp Mobile Service for Handhelds is expected to be available in 2008. SAP Mobile In-store Inventory Management is expected in the autumn, and SAP Netweaver Mobile is due to be released on a ­restricted basis in November.

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