By Garth Liebenberg – ERP Technical Services Consultant.
As a company, what is your mobile strategy? Do you use mobile applications? A good mobile strategy not only allows companies to compete and differentiate, but also enables employees to work anywhere, at any time, improving employee productivity and performance. How can you meet the demands of mobile working in a quick, secure and cost effective way?
The starting point for most companies will be SAP Fiori. SAP Fiori is built on the principles of being role-based, responsive (fits to any screen size, thus any device), simple (no training should be required to use an app), coherent (seamless across applications) and aims to delight the user. SAP Fiori makes use of its own launchpad which is the mobile portal to all the Fiori applications. There are over 300 Fiori applications across all industries written by SAP and the number will keep growing. It is also possible to create bespoke applications as needed. SAP applications are mainly based on the traditional SAP Backend solutions (any enhancement pack level for most applications), but there are also applications based on SAP HANA. SAP S/4HANA is also built using Fiori as its UX and there are over 200 applications currently available for S/4HANA on-premise or cloud editions.
The best part of SAP Fiori is that it’s free as long as the employee has an existing user license in SAP. For example, if the user has an Employee-Self-Service license already they can use SAP Fiori for free. This increases the ROI of the SAP software almost instantly. The SAP Fiori use case is for simple online applications, and can be accessed using any modern internet browser or using the Fiori Client app available on the iOS/Android/Microsoft app stores.
SAP Fiori requires the SAP Gateway to host the Fiori applications and to communicate to the SAP Backend systems. SAP Gateway can either be a standalone system (called a hub deployment), which all backend systems connect to, or the SAP Gateway can simply be activated on an existing SAP Backend system. The recommendation is always to have a standalone SAP Gateway system but many clients often do not want to invest in additional infrastructure especially if they are only looking at providing Fiori apps for one specific SAP module.
SAP Fiori is a great starting point but has several limitations:
- Limited security mechanisms
- No off-line capabilities
- No push notifications
- No usage analytics
- No lifecycle management
- No third party integration
To address these limitations, a more advanced solution is needed and this is where SAP HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services (or the on-premise version SAP Mobile Platform) can provide an alternative solution. Find out more in part 2, or request more information on SAP Fiori & HANA cloud platform mobile services.