A few years ago, the necessity to access work information from anywhere other than my office computer wasn’t all that dire. From 9am to 5pm, I worked at my desktop, and when it was time to go home, I left my work there.
Not only did the world have to assimilate to a new working environment twenty-one months ago; as a whole, we’ve realized just how possible it is to work from places other than an office, or even on an office computer. We’ve experienced a complete and drastic shift in working culture, and with the entire world being on the same, remote page, we opened the doors to new possibilities.
Now more than ever, the ability to work from anywhere at any time is essential. This past August, SAP responded to this need as it introduced SAP Mobile Start, a native entry app for accessing applications and content.
Native Mobile Applications
Before diving into what SAP Mobile Start is, let’s briefly define what native mobile apps are.
Native mobile apps are developed and optimized for a specific operating system or platform. This is opposed to hybrid apps, which combine both native and web application features, and can operate on a variety of platforms. Unlike hybrid apps, native apps can run without the use of additional technologies or browsers because they have an embedded connection on the operating system. Since hybrid apps are dependent on the browsers speed and tend to perform slower, native apps are usually preferred. You can access and download native apps from app marketplaces such as the Apple App Store or Google Play—for example, our mobile e-reader app was developed for and accessible on both platforms.
Some benefits of native mobile apps include high speed and performance, enhanced user experience, reliable security, and the ability to use device features within the app (such as an iPhone’s camera or microphone).
SAP Mobile Start Capabilities and Features
SAP Mobile Start allows users to access their SAP business data from a mobile device. It runs on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), providing quick access to apps and contents and offers a simplistic and centralized overview of business processes from a smart device. Users can add widgets to their home screen, having 24/7, on-the-go access to their SAP business processes and software. The search feature on Apple products is also available for finding and launching apps.
According to SAP, 70% of enterprise interactions this year have been through mobile devices. The pandemic has caused work styles and environments to be altered substantially, not to mention the times in which we work. The world is adapting to this mobile-centric work life and in order to keep up with day-to-day processes, we need technology that can also adapt. The SAP Mobile Start app does just that by eliminating the need to sit at a computer to access data or apps, especially when time-sensitive actions are required.
SAP Mobile Start acts as an empty vessel in which you must use the SAP Launchpad Service to configure the apps you want to display. It can be tailored to fit your business needs, so when you log in, you’re only seeing contents specific to your particular job. For example, project managers can benefit from a push notification that alerts them any time a change is made, monitor project data using the home screen widgets, and be immediately notified when they need to take action on a request. If we’re looking at it from a retail perspective, store managers can monitor real-time inventory and store performance, and also divvy out tasks to employees right from their smartphone or tablet. So whether you’re on an early morning walk with your dog, or you’ve just taken off on a long flight, you’ll have immediate access to notifications and important business information. You’ll always be in the know on the latest updates, and can respond quickly and easily to urgent action items.
Another great feature about SAP Mobile Start is that it’s optimized to show you your most relevant business information. Rather than sifting through apps that you don’t use that often, your most important information is handy when you need it, since it’s displayed based on usage patterns.
In order to set up SAP Mobile Start, you should be prepared with the following prerequisites:
- SAP Launchpad Service: This is the access point to all the apps displayed in SAP Mobile Start. The app itself is a blank slate, so the SAP Launchpad Service is where users will configure the mobile experience in order to make content available.
- SAP Mobile Service: SAP Mobile Service is used to develop, configure, and manage mobile applications. Users can access app configuration for SAP Mobile Start within SAP Mobile Service.
- SAP Alert Notification Service: Users need the SAP Alert Notification Service in order for the SAP Launchpad Service and the app to receive enterprise notifications from products like SAP S/4HANA.
Currently, the supported backend systems for SAP Mobile Start are SAP S/4HANA On-Premise 2020 (or newer) with the embedded front-end server on SAP Netweaver Application Server for ABAP, version 7.55, along with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2108 or newer. SAP Mobile Start version 1.0 is available for iOS users and can be downloaded here.
SAP Mobile Start provides a seamless and easily accessible experience for users, especially those who are always on the move and need to respond to business updates immediately. Even if it’s not a time-sensitive instance, it’s beneficial to be able to quickly glance at business notifications and stay on top of processes, rather than have to wait until you can make it to your computer.