Today, all businesses recognize the value in optimizing mobile business processes through technology solutions that can track, measure and monitor field events, improving work efficiency and visibility. However, many businesses still lack an enterprise mobility strategy. According to an Infosys whitepaper, there are 5 challenges that inhibit the effective use of enterprise mobility:
1. Technology Challenges: Many of the enterprise mobility solutions found in the market today are optimized for a homogenous environment and a low or moderate level of complexity. These solutions can provide a short-term answer for the midsize company or for a department-centric solution. However, the complex, heterogeneous enterprise often presents a unique set of challenges. For example:
- Multiple back-end data sources with distinct data access protocols
- The need to manage not only structured data but also unstructured contact such as schematics, procedural documents and field ticket forms
- A client device mix/roadmap that includes multiple form factors and operating systems, such as rugged handhelds, laptops, and smart phones
- Application requirements that include not only standard workflows from back-end systems, but workflows executed by the workforce that have no direct analog in the back-end
- Multiple business divisions with common and unique technical and functional requirements
2. Lack of user adoption: Applications are inflexible and designed to conform to backend data structures rather than mobile business processes. Most solution providers lack usability expertise or they fail to focus on usability as a primary success criteria.
3. Slow time-to-market: The application configuration process often represents the tip of the iceberg. Many projects are slowed by complex integration tasks or unplanned compatibility issues with hardware or networks.
4. Products are difficult to manage: When an enterprise selects a mobility solution, the software requires excessive development resources and esoteric skill sets for ongoing support of applications. The enterprise struggles to take ownership of the ongoing configuration.
5. Lack of future proofing: The solutions are difficult to iterate, based on changing work process needs.
The solution, according to Infosys, is a solution-centric software framework that delivers mobility as an enterprise system. Calling it a “Field Mobility System,” Infosys states that this form of enterprise mobility combines common solution workflows with a comprehensive mobility architecture, delivering unique system capabilities. The result is an enterprise mobile software framework that offers a balance between solutions and technology.
At the core of the field mobility system is a robust mobile architecture, which manages infrastructure processes such as data synchronization, application deployment, and device profile management. The architecture also includes a configuration environment with code-free development options. An open framework provides compatibility with peripheral mobile wireless technologies in barcode scanning, GPS/GIS, electronic signatures, and RFID.
Along with the workflows delivered as extensions from back-end systems, a field mobility system, according to Infosys, can also integrate self-sufficient and independent workflows. A robust, server-side workflow engine is available to manage the lifecycle of each independent process. Furthermore, with a web-based management console to view and manage time-sensitive mobile activities, a field mobility system provides a dedicated interface for field operations to view and manage field work. Most importantly, perhaps, this is a self-sufficient system architecture, offering applications as a platform. Applications features reduce development work and technical complexity while platform capabilities provide an extensible architecture to configure, customize, and evolve solutions. It is optimized to serves as a hub for multiple integration points, with an independent server-side data tore and workflow engine. Thus the design offers a high level of resiliency to future changes in technology and in business processes.
About Uniphore: Uniphore Software Systems is the leader in Multi lingual speech-based software solutions. Uniphore’s solutions allow any machine to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines. Uniphore operates from its corporate headquarters at IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai, India and has sales offices in Middle East (Dubai, UAE) as well as in Manila, Philippines.