"The use of the SAP Unwired Platform (SUP) positions us to capitalise on
rapidly evolving mobile technology, rather than continuing to be a hostage to it."Julian Bond, Head of ICT Hillarys
When advances in mobile device hardware left the current application stranded on an operating system which was no longer supported in the market, Hillarys faced some difficult questions about the future role of mobile technology in their business.
There was a stark choice to be made; seek a simple like-for- like replacement of the current application and ignore the broader questions that would be posed by defining a business strategy around mobility; or tackle these questions head-on recognising recent and on- going advances in mobile technology.
Through a short series of workshops, the overall business vision and strategy was considered. We evaluated the potential value of mobile through the eyes of the customer, the in-field sales consultant, sales management and, crucially, the competition. As market leader, with over 90% of sales made in customers’ homes, the strategy had to deliver a sales application that maintained Hillary’s number one position in this highly competitive sector.
Realising the business vision and strategy. Agility Works worked closely with Hillary's in exploring all options available to them.
Those options ranged from partnering with an established mobile solution vendor, to building a custom application without a middleware, to developing a fully open source based messaging framework.
A primary objective for this phase was to avoid arriving back in the situation that had caused this project to be considered in the first place, namely obsolete technology necessitating a new solution implementation.
Having defined a business strategy for mobile, it was clear that further applications would be developed in the future. Delivering these applications using a common set of technologies and a consistent underlying platform would undoubtedly bring a range of benefits. Selecting the SAP Unwired Platform provided a single unified architecture for mobilising business process and information in all future solutions.
SUP also provided the required insurance policy against future advances in device technology; applications developed once on SUP can be redeployed to a range of device types (such as iOS and Android) without needing to redevelop from scratch each time.
The initial stage of device selection shortlisted the Android and iOS (Apple) platforms after initial usability trials were conducted. A comprehensive evaluation process followed which assessed a range of factors including compatible hardware options (available smartphone and tablet options), total device cost, user experience, deployment options, maintenance costs and printing. After the evaluation process was completed the Android platform was selected.
A specific Android device was chosen to minimise support footprint after taking into account the following factors: cellular communication capability: device security; wireless communication capability; battery life; corporate application deployment options; GPS capability; size / weight; durability; display quality & resolution; user interface; support for central device management.
The use of the SAP Unwired Platform (SUP) positions us to capitalise on rapidly evolving mobile technology, rather than continuing to be a hostage to it.
Head of ICT Hillarys