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Putting the Business in the Palm of Your Hand — Literally: With the SAP Business One Mobile Application for iPhone, On-Premise Functionality Becomes On-Device

by Hande Bolukbasi | SAPinsider

January 1, 2011

iPhone users already thought their devices were smart, but now, with the SAP Business One mobile application for iPhone, they can access alerts, approvals, inventory information, customer data, and reports in real time, while away from the office. Uncover the advantages of this new offering, which extends the functions of the on-premise SAP Business One 8.8 release to benefit companies small and large.

More and more companies, especially small and midsize enterprises (SMEs), are turning to smartphones to run their business from any location, at any time. And as this trend continues to grow, so does SAP’s commitment to mobility.

The latest example is a new mobile application that extends SAP Business One, a solution that is best-fit for small companies looking to integrate their end-to-end business operations while also valuable for larger enterprises that have subsidiaries, branch offices, and vendors. The SAP Business One mobile application for iPhone (and, by extension, iPad)1 provides fast access to the key functionalities of the solution’s newest release — SAP Business One 8.8 — enabling users to stay connected to business and customer data in real time while they are away from the office. Let’s explore the mobile application’s main features and how they complement the on-premise solution.

5 Key Facets of the SAP Business One Mobile Application

With the SAP Business One mobile app for iPhone (see sidebar), users have real-time access to important data and can easily navigate, respond to, and initiate remote processes (see Figure 1). Highlights include:

  • Alerts and approvals. Sales managers, for example, can receive alerts on specific events, such as deviations from approved discounts, prices, or credit limits, from their mobile device. They can also easily approve requests on the go.
  • Inventory monitoring. Managers can check on-hand inventory and access detailed information about products in stock.
  • Access to customer and partner data. Sales reps can easily retrieve and update customer records that reside in the on-premise SAP Business One application, as well as manage their appointments, tasks, and notes in real time.
  • Real-time reports. Users can access built-in reports enabled by SAP Crystal Reports and share results via email from their iPhone.
  • Customization. Thanks to a flexible add-on feature, SAP partners can create supplemental functionality — such as opportunity management — that meets their customers’ needs.
Figure 1 The SAP Business One mobile application for iPhone provides access to approvals, alerts, inventory, customer data, and reports (left); for example, users can view sales information (right)

SAP Business One 8.8: Innovation for Companies Small and Large

These functions in the mobile app complement and extend those of the on-premise SAP Business One application. SAP Business One integrates the entire business across financials, sales, customer relationships, inventory, and operations, and delivers innovations in user experience, performance, and more. The latest release, SAP Business One 8.8, includes a personalized work space, integrated dashboards, Web 2.0 functionality, built-in SAP Crystal Reports software, analytics, and cloud-based applications that could be easily switched on and off (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 SAP Business One features a personalized work center that consolidates information into an interactive view — including integrated dashboards, commonly used transactions, Web 2.0 functionality, and more

SAP Business One adapts to new ways of doing business in a globalized, mobilized, information-packed world, where customers expect Apple- and Google-like usability and the ability to respond to information quickly. With SAP Business One, SAP is strongly committed to delivering innovations for smaller businesses — innovations that fit with their budgets and resources. And with our new iPhone app, we’re already delivering an important innovation — mobility.

While SAP Business One is a key part of SAP’s SME solution portfolio, it’s also valuable for larger customers. It enables them to provide the same level of operational excellence they have at headquarters to their smaller subsidiaries, distributors, and business partners, and, at the same time, get the visibility they need to make better, faster decisions company-wide. With a best-in-class integration framework that comes with prebuilt integration scenarios, SAP Business One enables quick, affordable, network-wide integration with SAP and third-party applications and harmonization of business processes across the network.

Hundreds of large organizations have deployed SAP Business One in their subsidiaries and local divisions. For example, LORD Corporation (a leader in adhesives, coating, and vibration and motion management) uses SAP Business One in its manufacturing facilities and subsidiaries worldwide. By integrating its entities, LORD can now execute in a coordinated fashion. It has achieved 360-degree customer visibility, data reliability, and greater control over its order taking, manufacturing, and financial operations at a low TCO.

Beyond the iPhone

Whether large or small, companies looking to streamline business operations with an integrated, innovative solution will benefit from SAP Business One. And now, with the mobile application for iPhone, business users can bring those benefits to the dentist’s office — or wherever their smartphones take them. But the iPhone is just the beginning. In the months ahead, SAP is planning to release new versions of the mobile application for other devices as well.

Hande Bolukbasi ( manages the solution marketing for SAP Business One at SAP. She draws on over seven years of marketing and sales experience with small and midsize businesses, and brings with her an investment consultant’s perspective from the financial world. Hande holds a BA in economics from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and an MBA from the University of California at Davis.

1 Note that the SAP Business One mobile app requires that these devices have real-time connection to a server. [back]

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