An article written by Andres Richter, Priority Software CEO, published in Israel's most exclusive newspaper "HaAretz" on June 2015.

"Many businesses are adopting mobile apps in order to improve efficiency, speed-up processes, upgrade customer service and enable work from anywhere. How mobile is changing the way we work

In addition to big data and cloud computing trends, the latest buzz is around the ins and outs of integrating mobile apps into everyday ERP business processes. For those of us who have been using mobile technology for several years, it seems natural to access files and procedures from anywhere. However, the transition of businesses to mobile is not merely transferring the desktop to the phone or tablet; it means much more than that.

Today's up-to-date user spends a good part of his/her day connected to various mobile devices. As a result, his/her standards and expectations and those of other users and managers in the company, have changed. People are used to Google's, Apple's, Facebook's and Amazon's user experience and they demand it from all their applications. According to global surveys, at the present, about half of all digital content is used on mobile.

We're used to immediacy and mobility. We're used to ubiquity – doing everything from everywhere. When an important part of our life, such as our work, doesn't allow this, we feel significantly limited. This is not only true in our private lives; it's also true in regard to applications and ERP tools as well. As such, many companies are adopting mobile strategies and are implementing them in ERP programs in different ways. The advantages of implementing mobile capabilities into ERP programs are varied. Here are a few examples:

·         Increased productivity. Businesses adopt mobile apps to improve productivity, speed up work processes, improve and expedite decision making, meet the needs of business processes in real time as well as improve control capabilities.

·         Better service. For service-based businesses, mobile services can increase the satisfaction of customers who are already familiar with mobile interfaces, and are used to making digital transactions and receiving immediate response. But that's not all. The ability of technicians, or any other service provider, to provide better service, increases when they have access to information about the customer or other relevant data. This leads to an increase in customer satisfaction as well.

 In commercial settings mobile apps have become game changers in areas such as customer recognition and quick payment via NFC or other means of mobile payments. Mobile cash registers allow sales reps to bill customers anywhere in the store (no more waiting on line at the counter).

·         Immediacy and improving work processes. In a world where everything happens now, immediacy is very important. The ability to quickly access information affects overall performance of work processes and business management. Notifications are an example of real time information that has evolved with mobile apps. For example, if a sales rep needs approval of a special discount, he no longer has to run after his manager, or wait till his manager reads his email or text messages. It can easily be defined in the ERP system that anything with an urgent status sends an automatic warning to the relevant manager's mobile device. It can be done via sophisticated widgets that display the relevant data so that in one click the manager can send his response.

·         Work from anywhere. Whether you're a field technician, sales rep or a work from home employee, mobile will do you a great service. For starters, it's easy to sign in from anywhere with an attendance module that is integrated into the ERP system and may also include GPS tracking - an important feature for delivery and logistics reporting.

·         Mobile isn't transferring your desktop to a cell phone or tablet. The way the concept of mobile is implemented determines the extent to which the enterprise will benefit. There is no such thing as "Generic Mobile Applications". Strong emphasis should be placed on planning and defining functions and understanding the situations where mobile apps are used. Every app has different characteristics. There is a difference between the role of a field technician or a field sales rep that centers on visiting customers, showing them a catalog and taking orders, and a role that up to now was carried out in the office, such as approving a purchase order, that can be performed outside of the office as well.

·         Multiple devices with connectivity. One of the main questions that must be answered when planning mobile ERP is which devices will be used? Will the apps be installed on dedicated field devices, tablets or smart phones? Each of these devices has different capabilities and the interface must be adjusted accordingly. Although it was once believed that a single device would replace all other devices, this hasn't happened. Every one of us has several devices that are connected and the variety of devices is growing.

·         What does the future have in store? Today's approach is "Mobile First", that is, instead of adapting programs for mobile, new apps will be designed especially for mobile devices. It is possible that very soon we'll be seeing apps and functionality available on mobile devices before they are available on your office desktop (if they ever will be). This will affect the management and flow of organizational processes.

·         The next stage of the digital and mobile organization is the "Internet of Things" which means that not only people will be connected anytime and anywhere, but objects will also be connected. This will have a big impact on organizational and operational processes, but we'll talk about that next time."

Excerpted and translated from Haaretz, Mobile, June 2015