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Transform Your Business with High-Value Mobile Apps

Seamlessly Combine Usability and Security

by Ranjeet Vidwans | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 3

July 14, 2015

The possibilities of mobile technologies to transform business are endless. Find out how to deploy more complex, business-specific applications that go beyond mobile email and will take your business to the next level.

 

Over the past few years, many organizations have invested significant human and financial capital into mobilizing their workforces. For the majority of these firms, little has been achieved beyond providing access to email and calendar functionality, and possibly company documents. While these are certainly important capabilities that help organizations remain functional, they are hardly game changers that elevate how those companies operate.
 
SAP offers a broad portfolio of mobile apps with an SAP Fiori-based user experience (UX), covering a range of functional areas and industries, to help companies go beyond the bare bones of mobile usability. Deploying even the simplest of these apps can help you streamline your organization by accelerating day-to-day processes common to all businesses, including expense submissions, vacation requests, travel management, and more.
 
However, by deploying more complex, business-specific applications, you can truly mobilize your employees and your extended enterprise — including contractors, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and sales agents — fundamentally transforming your business by activating new process workflows and empowering your staff to do business in entirely new ways.

Mobile email has been a real game changer for my company.

— No One, Ever

Usage Is What Matters

Technology can only transform the enterprise when it is enthusiastically used by the targeted workforce. We can all cite examples of tools that our IT departments have rolled out that we never use, and thus have little to no impact on the business.
 
Most organizations have not yet grasped that it is the actual usage of enterprise mobile apps, rather than simply their existence, that delivers the return on investment (ROI) expected from mobility solutions.
 
Driving usage requires that two key criteria be satisfied, each serving two completely different user populations, IT and end users:

  • Deployment: Does your IT organization have the tools and trust required to put mobile apps into end users’ hands?
  • Adoption: Are your enterprise mobile apps as easy  for end users to access as the most popular apps on iTunes and Google Play?

Deployment requires deep confidence on the part of your organization that the apps and data you’re putting into the hands of users, even those on unmanaged devices, are safe. This trust needs to be established to the satisfaction of your information security organization, or the apps will never be given to users in the first place.
 
Unfortunately, the small subset of companies that cross that first hurdle then struggle when it comes to getting users to actually consume those apps on a regular basis. The very security requirements that allowed those apps to be issued paradoxically render them too cumbersome for end users to adopt (see the “Adoption Prevention Checklist” sidebar).
 
Successfully transforming your organization through enterprise mobility requires both of these requirements to be addressed simultaneously, to the satisfaction of both IT and end users. 

Adoption Prevention Checklist

To ensure that users will not use an app regularly, include the following mechanisms:

  • Container unlock/login
  • VPN login
  • Check soft token
  • Time out of VPN login
  • Reinitiate VPN login
  • Sign into transformative business app

Do each of the above the dozen or so times a day someone needs to use one of your apps.

Security to Protect Your Organization

Security is foundational for protecting your organization and your brand. If your security requirements aren’t met, your apps will not be approved for deployment. The Mocana Atlas platform delivers ironclad security that is trusted by the biggest and most security-conscious organizations in the world, including banks, consumer brands, and governmental organizations.
 
With Atlas, your apps are not just wrapped with business-level security policies for enforcing data leakage prevention, user authentication, and compliance warnings, for example. They are also code-obfuscated, digitally signed, and rendered tamper-proof, so that your chief information security officer can have every confidence that your apps are safe.
 
Atlas offers a second level of FIPS-certified encryption above and beyond that of the native device key store. This is possible because in an Atlas deployment, the private key (the heart of the security model of public key cryptography) is generated on and never leaves the device.
 
Similarly, with Atlas, your app makes a true per-app VPN connection to your network. Most other solutions offer a “timeshare” model for the device-level VPN that is more vulnerable to attack. Atlas ensures your app data does not intermingle with other apps that share the device-level VPN, and you’re safe even if the device is compromised.
 
These capabilities, among many others, have given some of the largest organizations with the most stringent security needs the confidence to mobilize their mission-critical and business-critical apps for their employees and their extended enterprise (see the “Transformative Use Cases” sidebar).

Transformative Use Cases

The Mocana Atlas Platform simultaneously maximizes usability, security, scale, and visibility for your connected mobile apps and can help you transform your business to work in entirely new ways.
 
One of our clients recently spoke to Forrester Research about how the company achieved both a 300% annual ROI and a short payback by mobilizing their employees and sales agents with Atlas.* It provides the customer-facing workforce with key data and business functionality at the times when they most need it. Employees are now able to handle requests and approvals and provide relevant information lookup in real time when they are away from their desks.
 
The biggest effect, though, has come from being able to give product pricing and inventory data to sales representatives, including third-party agents using mobile devices not managed by our client. The ability to access this information while interacting with clients has had a dramatic effect on order accuracy, customer satisfaction, and inventory turnover.
 
Here are some other real-world examples of how companies have taken advantage of the mobile platform:

  • An auto lender provides a mobile loan approval app used by car sales reps to preapprove purchases in real time with a customer.
  • An insurer enables adjusters to validate claims data in real time from the field.
  • A retailer eliminates cash registers, showcases devices, and improves the customer experience by deploying point-of-sale apps on tablets.
  • A field service organization stops deploying $1,400 laptops for its nationwide workforce and switches to $400 tablets.
  • A global consumer packaged goods firm puts real-time pricing and inventory data in the hands of its sales agents, improving fulfillment rates and customer satisfaction.

 

* Forrester Research, “Forrester Study: The Total Economic Impact of Mocana Atlas” (2015; www.mocana.com/forrester-total-economic-impact-study).

A Consumer-Grade User Experience from Start to Finish

The key is usability. Atlas empowers you to meet strict security requirements and still drive a consumer-grade user experience. Three crucial aspects make this happen:

  • Enrollment (first time ever): Atlas masks the enrollment experience by triggering it the first time a user tries to access a secure app. There is no agent or Atlas app that the user needs to know about or learn to use. When accessing the app, the user is quickly taken through a simple registration process and then delivered directly into the app. There are no calls to the help desk, no instructional emails to read, and no need to launch a special client.
  • Tap and go (first time each day): When trying to access an app, the user will be asked to authenticate using a well-known credential, typically the Active Directory login, within the app itself. Once Atlas verifies the password, it leverages the certificate generated during enrollment as a second factor, and the user is transparently connected to the per-app VPN and signed into the SAP app.
  • Always on (the rest of the day): From that point forward, the user simply taps any secure app and it opens immediately and securely, providing the same connectivity experience into your secure SAP apps as personal apps.
Learn More

To learn more about what the Mocana Atlas Platform delivers for SAP mobile apps, visit Mocana.com/SAP

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Ranjeet Vidwans
Ranjeet Vidwans

VP of Marketing
Mocana



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