Demand for mobile ERP solutions and mobile technologies is evolving rapidly, defeating enterprise attempts to standardize on a single software approach or tool. So, ERP users shall select a partner whose core focus is on mobility and has a vast portfolio of experience to meet their organization’s mobility needs.
Mobile ERP Solutions is the Core Focus
ERP users shall select vendors whose primary focus is enterprise mobility. Though your ERP integrators may deploy the solutions that your enterprise needs, they may not be helpful in the long run with the ever-increasing complexity of mobile technologies. However, companies whose primary focus is on enterprise mobility can play a major role in improving their business processes in relatively less time as they are already familiar with the latest technologies, and the chances that they have solved a similar problem is relatively high.
Applying the Alignment Filter
Enterprises create business strategies to tackle business challenges, meet specific goals and run business effectively. Enterprises define well-defined ERP strategies that respond to the disruptive problems created by changes in business strategies. Similarly, an enterprise mobile strategy should adapt to the organization’s needs. Hence, a shift in business strategy should not be the main reason to prevent the employees from using mobile devices and cut down their productivity. So, once you figured out the mobile-focused companies, select vendors that align best to your organization’s mobile strategy. Know this by asking them questions such as the number of implementations performed in the last one year, the backends they have experience integrating with and so on.
Evaluate the Tools
The consumer market is driving the mobile industry, and enterprises are catching up by leveraging mobile technologies that suit their requirements. So, enterprises should not ignore the trending mobile technologies in the consumer market and should possibly choose a technology that will continue to evolve in the future. There are reasons to support a mix of mobile development architectures that include mobile web, hybrid and native. Mobile development architectures including mobile web, hybrid, and native are recommended for specific applications; native is best suited for user-facing or externally interacting applications. However, they are insufficient as they use unfamiliar languages, APIs and paradigms. Also, application development & maintenance is costly if the app needs to support multiple platforms. Hybrid provides good portability across devices and more standards-based development. Most companies require mobile web for portal-type apps and consumer sites.
Choosing open-source technology with a high degree of portability reduces rework and enables for engineering transformation when needed. To accomplish this, you need to confirm expertise with related endeavors and assess program shop and promote evaluations. Also, ensure that the owner’s road map aligns with your corporate strategy’s future vision.
Minimizing Risk and Cost
Mobile applications require different skill sets. Data synchronization and the consequence of thousands or millions of host requests require security and integration from those who understand the consequences. There’s a need for design individuals who know user experience and OS capabilities. Understand the various skill sets required to develop mobile solutions to gain a better idea of the costs involved.
Thinking Long Term
The pace of innovation in the mobile space will continue to increase. As mobile requirements grow, companies will require a large number of mobile apps going forward. There will be a need for a mix of internal and external apps and sites, all with different requirements. So, end-users shall maintain long term relations with the existing ones to minimize risks and reduce the search for new vendors.
Checklist For Selecting the Right Mobile ERP Solutions Partner
Here is a list of questions and details, provided by Gartner, you need to know about mobile app implementation vendors before you finalize one:
1. Understanding the Developer Strength
How many vendors are in the product professional services organization? This is an indicator of the strength of the company and how many projects they can deliver.
2. Understanding the Partner Strength
In the enterprise market, if a mobile company does not grow a robust partner ecosystem, they are not likely to grow at pace with the market. Ask how much they do with partners and who their partners are. You want a good mix of technology and sales partners.
3. Handling Data Synchronization
How do they handle data synchronization? In some cases, an app requires an offline data store so it can run without a network connection. Apps that do nothing when there is no connection are often criticized.
Can the vendor handle any internal customization that may be required? An example might be alterations to web services.
4. Experience Integrating with Backends
What backends do they really have experience integrating with? Many apps combine two back ends in an organization’s data center. Your chosen vendor must have prior experience with the back-ends you wish to deploy.
5. UI & UX Design Services
What design services do they provide? Style and design services usually do not focus solely on the visual appeal of the program. Additionally, they focus on flow, usability, and use of things like gestures to boost user knowledge.
6. Platform Support
Is the platform cloud-based? What is the largest user base supported in a current implementation? Are there any additional costs to scale? With the pace of change, cloud services are an excellent method for reducing infrastructure and support costs for a given solution. Usage tiers can help protect from surges in bills for highly utilized applications. Make sure that there are no charges for additional hardware or software to scale.
7. Pricing Models
Know about the pricing model. Is it a one-time fee or a monthly charge? How are enhancements handled? Another area that can quickly destroy your development budget is costly enhancement expenses. Mobile apps ought to be adaptive and enable upgrades. Apps that do not conform to these basics will not have perhaps an existence or adoption.
8. Developer Skills
What developer skills are required? Too much custom skill requirement will mean non-transferrable skills and vendor lock-in.
9. Size of the Developer Community
Precisely what does the programmer community seem like? Is it an active and large group? Are there public code community discussion boards, libraries, and also training? Get trial access to the applications and tools.
10. Training Availability
What training is available? How long are the courses? You should be able to quickly on-board new developers to scale the team as needed.
11. Usage Metrics
What kind of metrics and reporting do the programs provide? This is a very invaluable capability. However, it will become the next area of enhancement fees if charged to produce plenty of custom-made reports.
12. Amount of Rework in Case of a Change in Vendor
Would it be 20% rework or 80% rework if you moved to another vendor? Use an experienced mobile developer to evaluate the development tools and the code that they create.
13. Support for New Devices
How quickly are new devices or OSs supported? And how fast are new features supported? As the OSs add features like Passbook and Android Wallet, it is essential to understand how quickly initial support and more in-depth support are typically available.
As per the aforementioned information, it is pertinent to have a thorough checklist, as outlined above to make a prudent decision to choose the right vendor that not only takes care of your present enterprise mobility requirements, but also be future-ready to meet any emerging challenges. The parameters outlined above are exhaustive, which should be a ready reckoner for any organization to strike the best deal – in any case, your investment in mobile applications is precious. Moreover, you need to consider your organization’s capabilities, manpower requirements, current infrastructure and more to minimize the cost and risk, while accomplishing the desired goals by going mobile.
Propel Apps, an award-winning enterprise mobility solutions provider, designs custom mobile strategies for organizations using Oracle and SAP ERPs. With over 100+ mobile app project implementation experience, Propel Apps helps organizations redefine business processes across various industries, including wholesale, retail, manufacturing, finance, transportation, and logistics.