Earlier this year we witnessed a shift in the computing world where the number of mobile devices accessing the internet surpassed the number of laptops and PC’s used to go online. It was a matter of time with laptop and PC sales figures dwindling as more users around the world have taken to smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. The scenario is no different in the corporate world where enterprises are seeing a sharp and steady increase in mobile devices used within the organization. Sales and marketing professionals rely heavily on their smartphones and mobile devices to access and send customer information and data on the move. Customer service organizations are using them increasingly and so are supply chain, procurement and other areas of the enterprise. This brings up a critical question for companies that are looking at migrating their ERP, planning on upgrading or considering switch: Is the ERP in question equipped to support the increasingly mobile enterprise landscape? Should mobile ERP be at the top of every CIOs agenda for the coming year?
Having worked extensively with companies migrating to Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP, we’ve found Microsoft to be actively making advances in the mobile devices space. Mid 2013, the company announced a series of mobile applications which would connect to the Microsoft Dynamics AX backend and offer a clean, purpose designed mobile user experience for users on their smartphones and tablets. Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP among others have also put a lot of emphasis on providing mobile components for CRM which puts them in a strong position with respect to mobile compatibility.
Just this March during the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence conference, Microsoft pushed its mobile apps and mobile features with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 stressing that a significant percentage of the workforce rely on mobile devices and as much as 80% regularly do tasks outside the work place. Dynamics NAV has also seen some really interesting advances in the mobile domain.
With the need to be connected and not be restricted to a particular place within the office increasing within work culture globally, any ERP migration project needs to keep this factor as a top priority while evaluating, planning as well implementing a new ERP. Specifically areas such as enterprise content access, dashboards, reports, metrics, communication, CRM and collaboration require consideration when it comes to ensuring mobile applications or components that will enable the organization to keep a few steps ahead of curb with the ERP objectives.
In fact, if your current ERP doesn’t have the capabilities or the framework to build in mobile components, it may be the right time to consider an alternative ERP system. Whether it’s an upgrade or migration, ensure “mobile ERP” is at the top of your considerations.