Mobility is important for EAM companies. The ability to access and enter data outside of an office is key, as many workers are in the field or on the factory floor. However, there has been a consistency between business pressures and IT challenges involved with mobile EAM solutions. As technology has evolved to be better, those issues still exist. We discussed these challenges in the recent Vesta webinar, “SAP EAM Usability: Back to Basics.”
On the business side, there is pressure to move off manual, paper-based processes. Even now, many companies that have sophisticated EAM systems still have a process or two that isn’t electronic, and still has employees filling out forms and jotting down notes and paper and throwing them in filing cabinets.
Limited or no connectivity is also a major issue for EAM companies. Field workers will often be in locations where wireless service is unavailable, or there can even be dead spots within a warehouse. That makes it challenging to access data, and mobile apps require offline capabilities to be useful.
Training employees to use mobile apps also requires time, something that many often don’t have. That can also be an even greater challenge when user interfaces are different from desktop to laptop to handheld devices.
Finally, a mobile application may provide too much information for an employee. They may have to sift through things that have nothing to do with their job. A good tool will ensure that only the important data is presented.
IT Challenges for Mobile EAM
When it comes to building, installing, and maintaining mobile EAM solutions, IT can also have its hands full. Customizations bring extra work, extra maintenance, and require alignment with the business.
Employees will also access applications on multiple devices, so IT staff is required to support applications potentially for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Similarly, mobile apps add complexity to an IT landscape—new servers, new applications to maintain.
Then there is the overarching challenge of security, that ties in with many of the other challenges. Giving employees mobile access to company data opens up many more vulnerable points, and that requires greater education for employees and greater security from a development perspective.
Finding a Solution for EAM Mobility
In order to meet the mobility challenges listed above, Vesta has developed Hydrogen—a role-based SAP EAM user interface that is usable across multiple devices and offers fully functional offline support.
Hydrogen is an SAP Fiori application that works with both SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA. It connects to those ERP solutions through Vesta’s own custom JSON adapter or SAP Gateway, so there is no need for additional middleware.
The offline operation allows employees to access data and capture new events while in the field without connectivity, and the role-based feature automatically creates a screen layout and actions based on a user’s configured role. That means no information overload for the employee, and no programming burden for IT.
For customization, plugins allow extensibility without changes to the core applications. Extensible features include Quality Management, GIS Mapping, Stock Overview and After Event Recording.
Hydrogen can be deployed into an existing SAP EAM landscape and supports iOS, Android on mobile, and Mac, Linux, and Windows on desktop or laptop. It also adheres to SAP Role Based Security, provides support for single sign-on, and provides encrypted data transit and rest.
For more on mobile EAM challenges and the Vesta Hydrogen solution, including an extensive demo, check out the webcast “SAP EAM Usability: Back to Basics.”