Mobility Advantage: Becoming an Unwired Enterprise

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1 white paper Mobility Advantage: Becoming an Unwired Enterprise Business mobility means competitive advantage. Is your business ready to be a mobile enterprise?

2 TABLE OF Contents 1 What Is So Transformative About Business Mobility? 2 Mobility s Unique Operational Advantages 3 Consumer Mobility Impacts Business Operations Too 3 Haven t We Heard All This Before? 4 How Mobility Changes the Way You Do Business 5 Accelerating Business Processes 6 Becoming More Responsive to Customers and Markets 6 Extending Mobility Through the Enterprise 8 Planning and Implementing a Mobility Strategy 10 Notes

3 What Is So Transformative About Business Mobility? It is clear that smartphones and other mobile devices are becoming a part of day to day business operations. Information workers who are driving this trend often take mobility for granted. But managers who worry about the real costs of mobilization as well as the security of critical business information need to know if mobility is merely a passing fad, or a genuine business advantage? Industry analysts suggest that well thought-through and implemented mobility strategies improve efficiencies and lower operational costs. But how does mobility do this? What is the unique business value offered by mobility which is not available in other ways? And most important of all, does mobility simply make things happen faster, or does it completely change the way you do business? To answer these questions, let s look at a common business process that is based on an actual case. One of the largest media companies in the world recently implemented a simple mobile workflow application to help with travel approvals. This company authorizes many thousands of trips each year. Often, the approvers are themselves traveling, resulting in delayed approvals that then require paying premium prices for last-minute bookings. Here is how a simple mobile workflow application changed this company s travel approval process: This very scenario, which plays itself out thousands of times every year, now reduces the media company s travel expenditures by more than $1,000,000 per year. This case also contains the key elements that are unique to mobile business processes. Let s see what those are. 1

4 Mobility s Unique Operational Advantages In the previous example, it s pretty obvious why this mobile workflow saves money. By speeding the approval process, this company avoids paying premium prices for last minute bookings and takes advantage of early bird discounts. Travel approval is a simple example, but it shares elements common to most business processes. There are many dependencies that need to come together; people need to make informed judgments, and the timing needs to be just right. All this is complicated by the fact that key people in the process are on the move. In reality, the actual time spent reviewing information and making a decision is very brief. Most of the time is spent finding decision makers, communicating with different people in the process, getting necessary information, and finding appropriate times to perform these tasks. If one link in the chain breaks (for instance, an administrative assistant being out), the entire process grinds to a halt. When a process like this is mobilized, most of the time consuming pieces vanish. People have instant access to each other, and they have instant access to information. Additionally, mobile devices (in this case, smartphones) are convenient and always on. That means Bob s manager can review information and make a judgment at any time, even while walking between meetings. Because of this, people are more likely to make information-driven decisions immediately, rather than push them off to another dependency in the process. These, then, are the key attributes that taken together are totally unique to a mobile process: 2

5 Consumer Mobility Impacts Business Operations Too Information workers are not the only ones who benefit from these mobile process enablers. Consumers do as well. They benefit in ways that can dramatically change how businesses manage certain operations. Consider how mobility can change your customer relationships: Access You have direct access to customers for target marketing, delivery of certain kinds of services, and associated behavioral analytics; customers have direct access to you through response marketing and mobile applications; customers can view product information, price compare, and collaborate with each other in real time on the purchase of products and services. Insight Customers have real time access to information that influences purchase decisions, such as product reviews, price and location information, and financial information. Convenience The same advantage of convenience that mobility gives to information workers is also available to consumers. Consumers own commerce-enabling mobile devices are always on and always in hand. Haven t We Heard All This Before? Business mobility is not a new idea. Ever since laptops and wireless connectivity became commonplace, businesses have weighed the value of mobility and built IT infrastructures to support mobile computing. But today s mobility is different. It is built on high-powered, hand-held communication devices. It is based on technology that is always on, always connected, and in the hands of 80% of the people on earth. 1 Today s mobility is also changing how we communicate and what we do with our mobile devices. The world reached an important milestone in December 2009 when the amount of cell phone bandwidth devoted to mobile data surpassed that used for voice communications. 2 This means people now use their mobile phones more for sourcing information than talking to each other. Analysts estimate that by 2013, more Internet traffic will go to smartphones and tablets than to personal computers. 3 And by 2015, it is estimated that 4 billion people will have broadband mobile accounts. 4 This represents a permanent and transformational shift in the way people communicate, share, and find information that impacts the decisions they make about buying goods and services. It represents an enormous change in the way people work and live. 3

6 We are seeing this now in mobile applications that are becoming essential in the work place. It is far more than phone-based . Mobility is impacting every aspect of information-driven business process. In addition to changing how people work inside the company, mobility is also changing how companies relate to their customers. Some traditional business services are becoming mobile applications running on customers smartphones. Here are a few examples: Mobile medical applications enable remote monitoring of patients via smartphone or tablet devices. Technology not only enables people to become more active participants in their own healthcare, it delivers better care at lower cost. Insurance companies have downloadable mobile applications that enable customers to get quotes, buy policies, and submit insurance claims. There are two essential questions facing enterprises today: 1. How does mobility change the way you do business? 2. How should you manage mobility in your organization? Let s begin by looking at how a mobilized enterprise works differently. how mobility Changes the Way you do Business Better access, deeper insight, and at your finger tips conveniences do more than change how workers and customers use business information. Mobility alters the fabric of that information itself. Business information is core data that everyone (executives, mangers, workers, customers/consumers) depend upon and share in real time. This core information flows in both directions. Data coming in from field sales reporting, remote operations, customer activity, financial activity, and other sources becomes immediately accessible to those who depend upon that information for their own decisions. To illustrate these points, consider operations within a fictional global enterprise called ABC Inc. which manufactures and sells highly popular widgets. 4

7 Accelerating Business Processes In the example of ABC Inc., enterprise mobility impacts business in very specific ways. One of these is business acceleration. By having more convenient access and insight into information and people throughout the organization, business decisions happen faster. The same advantages realized in the real-life workflow example we examined at the beginning of this paper extend to other mobilized business processes. For example, consider these simple scenarios: Field Sales Scenario: A field sales person calls on a customer. On the way to the customer location, this sales person uses a smartphone or tablet to review that customer s recent purchasing activity. Upon arriving at the customer site, he finds that the customer is angry because the last shipment was incorrect. The field sales person immediately contacts his sales manager who immediately checks the distributor s bill of materials and discovers the error. Meanwhile, the sales person works out a deal that credits the customer account for the error and initiates a new, larger order. The sales manager approves the order remotely. RESULT: The issue is quickly resolved, a new order is confirmed, the customer is happy, and the new sale immediately becomes part of the sales report. In a non-mobilized version of this scenario, the sales person would return to his office to resolve this issue while his customer remained angry. He would get the sale eventually (if a competitor did not get it first), and he would likely have added it to his sales report before the end of the month. Damaged Shipment Scenario: A distributor receives a damaged shipment of widgets from the overseas manufacturing facility. The distributor flags the electronic bill-of-materials and immediately reports, via a mobile device, to both the factory and the distribution manager at corporate headquarters. The distributor s report includes an estimate of damages and images of the damaged goods. Within hours, a rush shipment of replacement widgets is on its way from the overseas factory to the distributor, and a claim has been filed with the shipping company. In most cases, accelerated business means lower operational costs and more competitive operations. That, however, is only part of the mobility advantage. 5

8 Becoming More Responsive to Customers and Markets Mobility can fundamentally alter the businesses relationship with customers. Mobile devices enable sophisticated target marketing, and they lower the threshold for customers to respond to marketing incentives. Target marketing can be geography and location based. It can also be individualized based on buying habits, demographics, and other analytic drivers. Customer behavior becomes data that is an integral, immediate part of business process management. Consider these scenarios: End-to-End Product Development and Marketing Program: Marketing observes a sustained spike in sales of widgets. This increase tracks directly to a loyalty campaign targeting the many customers who have downloaded the ABC-widget application. Using this data in real time, business planners decide to refine the marketing strategy, redirect sales efforts, and step up shipments of widgets. Retailer/Sales Partners are pleased that ABC sales people show up in time to fill new orders in the face of a rush on widgets. They plan to devote more shelf space to widgets. Customers remain loyal to those stores because they know (from promotions they receive through the ABC app they ve installed on their phones) where they can get widgets. Entirely New Marketing Capability: ABC builds a commerce-enabled mobile application that allows consumers to get product information and make purchases. Partners in ABC s sales channel can apply their brand identity to the application. Part of ABC s co-marketing arrangement with its partners is making the branded apps available on popular app stores and collaborating on mobile marketing campaigns. Whether your customers are businesses or individuals, the bottom-line impact of mobility for them is better service. As these examples show, there are clear advantages in mobilizing certain business operations. However what happens if instead of thinking about mobility in terms of the specific processes it can approve, you think about mobility as an enterprise-wide IT strategy? Extending mobility Through the Enterprise The following illustration shows how mobile access to information impacts operations across an enterprise. In this example, ABC Inc. manufactures and sells a popular widget. ABC has a global operation with overseas manufacturing, international distribution, and sales in the world s largest retail outlets: 6

9 7

10 Planning and Implementing a mobility Strategy Whether corporate and IT management is ready or not, information workers are bringing mobility into the work place. Mobility is taking hold because it gives workers an edge. It enables them to accomplish more. It enables them to deliver better service. It provides them with better information. As more powerful mobile devices and higher speed networks come to market, there will be even greater demand for extending lines of business applications to mobile devices. New business applications will increasingly take advantage of new device capabilities such as: More camera- and image-enabled applications Real-time anywhere video conferencing Accurate voice recognition that vastly alters the data input capabilities of smartphones and other mobile devices New device form factors like slates, tablets, and more specialized devices More integration between mobile devices and back-end information systems Unified collaboration applications with mobile conferencing and data share More powerful mobile commerce capabilities for consumers and business This means that planning for mobility is planning for change. To take full advantage of what mobility can do for business operations, to mobilize the entire enterprise, organizations need to think outside the department. They need to consider mobility strategies that not only provide access to business information across the enterprise, but also capture valuable business data at its source. 8

11 In the same way that IT infrastructure and systems depend on strategic planning and development to effectively serve business processes, organizations need to think about mobility strategically. Mobility is not just a loose collection of devices and applications. It is a system that supports and integrates a wide variety of devices, applications, and back-end data systems. When planning for mobility, there are two fundamental considerations all organizations must keep in mind: Security: Protecting proprietary and confidential information is paramount. In addition to having security policies in place, organizations need to consider the tools and functions they will use to extend their security policies to the mobile network, right down to the device and application levels. Some features that are important include: User authentication Password or PIN user authentication prevents unauthorized use of a device. Remote lock and data wipe This makes it possible to remotely lock and wipe data from a lost or stolen device even if you do not know where the device is. Data fading If the loss of a device is not discovered right away and therefore no lock and wipe procedure is initiated, the device can be configured to automatically destroy its sensitive information after it has not connected to the network for a period of time. Data Encryption Prevents interception of data as it is transmitted over the air. Platform: Many organizations approach mobility by adopting devices and applications on a pilot and departmental basis. This can quickly lead to an unmanageable situation because every device or application has its own configuration and management tools. A platform strategy allows an organization to plan for its mobility holistically, so that all devices (even new, over the horizon technology) can be managed from one console using one set of management tools. A platform strategy is essential for maintaining control over a mobile environment with many device types and diverse security requirements. For more information about building secure and manageable mobile business solutions, click here, or contact a Sybase or SAP representative. 9

12 Notes 1. Hans Vestberg, Keynote Speech at the Monaco Media Forum, November 12, Ericsson Corporation Press Release, Mobile data traffic surpasses voice, March 23, Gartner Press Release, Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations and Users in 2010 and Beyond, January 13, Hans Vestberg, Keynote Speech at the Monaco Media Forum, November 12, For information on our comprehensive Consulting and Education Services to support your Sybase technology initiatives, visit us at Sybase, Inc. Worldwide Headquarters One Sybase Drive Dublin, CA U.S.A sybase Copyright 2011 Sybase, an SAP Company. All rights reserved. Unpublished rights reserved under U.S. copyright laws. Sybase, and the Sybase logo are trademarks of Sybase, Inc. or its subsidiaries. indicates registration in the United States of America. SAP, and the SAP logo are the trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 04/11

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