What to consider in enterprise mobile solutions for JD Edwards
In today’s world, mobile computing is an accepted business norm and the benefits of enabling the mobile workforce to quickly & efficiently execute tasks are well documented. Staff are accustomed to using mobile apps to manage tasks in their personal life and increasingly they have an expectation of being able to do the same professionally.
Myriad IT is often asked by its customers what should they consider when they are looking at enterprise mobility solutions for JD Edwards. In Part 1 of our JD Edwards Enterprise Mobility series we examine some of the key themes:
Out of the box or customised?
Oracle offers over 70 mobility applications for JD Edwards out-of-the-box for Android and Apple devices. These solutions provide easy access to mobile functionality. They are however, generic by nature (role/function based) which limits the case for selecting them as functionality cannot be easily augmented.
Mobile applications are best where they deliver bite-sized pieces of functionality to improve productivity and access to information. The ability to access the exact fields, search precisely and function quickly is critical for maximising productivity gains and user adoption. It is critical to be able to choose how much information is needed so as to effectively use the on-screen real-estate and present it in digestible pieces. These pieces of information should be in a hierarchy, enabling the end user to drill down and access a range of JD Edwards attachments, not just text.
Having worked with a number of clients in Australia and overseas to develop custom mobility solutions, Myriad IT has found that mobile apps, tailored to suit a particular business provide the best fit and functionality.
A good mobile application needs to be easy to use for workers without the need for training. Users should be able to download the app to their device and start using it intuitively. Custom applications can add particular value in this regard as end users see only the field they need and recognise and workflows can be built in to reflect operating processes.
Device choice, deployment & BYOD
A further consideration is what devices your workers will use. The ability to utilise the same codeset, regardless of the device is critical to achieving low cost mobility particularly with the trend towards a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) workforce. Myriad IT’s applications can be supported on most mobile platforms including Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry.
Tablet and smartphone applications for iOS and Android can be deployed via Apple’s App Store and Google Play and support flexibility for employees bringing their own devices.
In addition, your application should leverage the features of the device – such as utilising GPS tracking or making use of the camera to save context sensitive images against JD Edwards data.
When looking to implement an enterprise mobility solution, licensing costs need to be taken into account. Users will need a JD Edwards licence for the modules they need to access but you should look out for hidden licensing costs (such as Mobile Application Framework) when considering out-of-the-box solutions. Myriad IT’s custom applications attract a flat per user fee with no additional licences beyond JD Edwards required.
Most enterprise mobile applications offer off-line capability but it is important to ensure this is the case if you need to enable your workforce to view and edit data while disconnected from the network or the internet.
Applications of enterprise mobility solutions
There are a myriad of ways in which mobile apps can add value to an organisation such as:
- Improved efficiency for order fulfillment
- Improved responsiveness to health and safety incidents
- More efficient sales and maintenance workforce
- Increased efficiency for field workers
- Reduced expense report processing time
- Anytime access to customer, supplier, and employee contact information
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