Enterprise mobility is transforming the way businesses and industries harness the collective power and insights of both their onsite and remote workforce, utilizing mobile technologies to increase the efficiency of business processes, improve decision-making in the office and in the field, and deliver (and collect) accurate information, all in real-time. More and more, employees are using mobile devices—laptops, tablets, and smartphones—as well as cloud services, to perform essential work tasks away outside the office. The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies has also shown to be a major benefit to the enterprise by reducing IT costs and providing the flexibility today’s talent expects.
While the exact definition of enterprise mobility—the utilization of mobile-connected devices to perform work outside of the workplace – is simple, in practice, enterprise mobility really means greater freedom, flexibility, and productivity for a wide variety of remote workforces around the world. Today, enterprise mobility is being utilized in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.
This has resulted in far greater business intelligence for the entities that take advantage of these technologies—be it a multinational corporation with a global workforce, a salesperson on the road, or even a farmer tending crops. Businesses and organizations large and small have discovered that when the flow of data from mobile devices is captured and put to use, it can also mean great leaps forward in workforce productivity.
This dedicated content will examine enterprise mobility in detail, including a look at four enterprise mobility examples at work today, in different contexts and at different scales. The best way to understand enterprise mobility, and grasp its power and promise, is to take the journey with organizations that are already making it work to their benefit. That promise of a truly mobile work paradigm is only beginning to be realized, both for business and for mankind.
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Being a leader in mobility is a priority for Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile communications business with more than 400 million customers, and with operations in more than 30 countries and network partnerships in 50 more.
Accenture helped Vodafone develop innovative enterprise mobility apps for rollout throughout the organization, empowering Vodafone employees to do more on the move.
The company was keen to ensure that its employees could make use of their new system—with advanced capabilities across finance, HR and supply chain—and most important, make it as easy to use.
Speed, simplicity and trust
These have always been the hallmarks of Vodafone’s approach to enterprise mobility.
And while employees in their private lives are used to using their mobile devices to carry out a whole range of activities, accessing services and information on the move, a corporate environment makes it more challenging to deliver the same degree of mobility.
Vodafone decided that rolling out enterprise mobility apps on employees’ smartphones was the best way to achieve that goal.
Three new enterprise mobility apps for Vodafone
These apps deliver common HR processes directly from employees’ mobile devices:
Leave Request enables employees to check their leave status, requires time off and coordinate timetables with colleagues.
Timesheet offers employees the ability to record their hours on the move.
Travel Receipt Capture makes the tedious and time consuming task of recording expense receipts simple and fast. Employees simply take a picture of a receipt with their smartphone camera and upload it to the ERP system for processing.
The results of the project are already evident. For example, one of the applications, Travel Receipt Capture, has cut the time taken to file travel expenses by two thirds. With 13,000 users already using the mobile apps, Vodafone has plans for larger future rollouts and extending mobility into finance and CRM.
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Mobile technologies can help increase food production 70 percent by 2050.
With an estimated 9.6 billion people on the planet by 2015, overall food production will need to double in a relatively short period of time to meet the demand. What if we could transform the agricultural process by gathering field data using mobile technologies, then use precision technologies to vastly increase productivity and profitability?
We already can, and these enterprise mobility technologies are showing enormous promise in closing the food production gap.
Mankind’s earliest and most basic factory
The farmer’s field is one of our oldest methods of mass production. Today, for the individual farmer or cooperative, data-based operational decision making can optimize yield and boost revenue while minimizing expenses, the chances of crop failure and environmental impact.
Enterprise mobility in the fields can help the farmer decide precisely when to harvest. For example, it can send an alert that a particular plot might be ready for harvest earlier than expected. The farmer can also see how each scenario would affect the crop’s profitability. And this has the potential to increase overall profitability by $55 to $110 per acre.
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Wearable computing in the oil and gas industry
When workers and their equipment are positioned in remote locations and that work is physical in nature, introducing enterprise mobility through wearable devices offers enormous promise in keeping those remote teams well trained, productive and safe.
Wearables range from head mounted devices to smart watches and smart clothing. One of the main uses for wearables is in over-the-shoulder-coaching, where a mobile worker in a remote location can see what the trainer sees and hear what they hear.
There are also heads-up displays, where a worker has real-time process information and location information streamed to their field of vision, so they can follow a detailed maintenance or training procedure while they’re doing the work.
Full augmented reality in the field.
Better decision making in remote locations - this is the net gain from wearable technology in the oil and gas industry. Workers can examine a complex piece of equipment or a dial or gauge and overlay real time information to make more productive decisions, and at times even life-saving decisions.
With these capabilities on hand, companies today are reimagining their processes and looking at the role of enterprise mobility to augment their workforce, and turbo charge productivity.
Innovation Lead, North America Energy
Selling from the app
A leading global insurer recognized that its legacy paper-based distribution systems were hindering business growth and were cumbersome and time-consuming, which led to slowed communications, difficulties in verifying data and issues with costs and efficiencies.The insurer wanted a digital solution to enhance agents’ capabilities and improve the conversion rates in the field when selling insurance products. The eAgent iPad enterprise mobility application provided insurance agents with features for rating and quoting, electronic policy application capturing, along with signature, payment, offline credit card reader support and insurance policy submission.
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The “appification” of business is gaining steam
As companies ramp up their pursuit of enterprise mobility apps for employees, many are finding that developing and managing their apps can be a challenge.
Companies who have been able to gain broad adoption of apps across their enterprise identify a formal structure with six key elements to success that have helped them build and maintain a more cost-effective and rationalized portfolio of apps.
Managing the growing applification of business infographic
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App versus paper is no contest.
The eAgent iPad enterprise mobility application was successfully launched in 30 U.S. states, with 12 additional states deployed at the end of 2014—resulting in more than 1,670 connected agents.
Agency efficiency and productivity has improved, and the number of days to get an application from the agent to the home office has declined from 7.2 days to 1.9 days.
This improvement has helped generate an annual premium value of approximately $4.5 million, with an average weekly increase of $240 per agent using the eAgent iPad app versus paper.
Organizations believe in enterprise mobility
In fact, between 30 and 40 percent of executives globally indicated plans to adopt all types of enterprise mobility applications within the next two years.
The most pervasive of these applications focus on productivity, such as those that enable report updates or access to sales data, or those that allow employees to complete time sheets or book office space. There’s also enthusiasm for management apps, such as executive dashboards, and customer-facing apps, such as those that support sales or customer service.
As enterprises large and small around the world are finding, harnessing the transformative power of mobility is key to their ongoing growth and competitiveness.
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