Excerpt from the book Self-Services with SAP ERP HCM: ESS, MSS, and HR Renewal by Jeremy Masters, Brandon Toombs, Kris Bland, and Justin Morgalis. Used with permission of SAP PRESS. All rights reserved.

 

In this blog, take a look at different mobile solutions and the strengths of each.

 

Deployment Options and Why It Matters

 

How you deploy mobile solutions is a vital part of your strategy, because it impacts the user experience for your end users. An organization with a modern HR portal instead of a noticeably antiquated one will inevitably reflect positively on the company for its employees. Portals and self-service applications that are accessible via mobile devices are even better.

 

There are generally three methods available to deploy mobile solutions:

 

Directly via a web page: This isn’t really a formal strategy. Web pages, including a company’s intranet and portal, can be accessed via a URL directly, constituting a typical “pinch and zoom” experience. The figure below shows a consumer example of a website deployed via a mobile device that has not been designed with mobile in mind.

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Via a mobile or native application: These applications are typically downloaded from a store or marketplace online (e.g., the Apple Store or Google Play). When using this method, the mobile application is deployed locally on the device, and access to the device’s hard-ware functions (e.g., camera or contact list) is native. These applications do not use a web browser on the device. One example is the Twitter app, shown in the figure below. From within the Twitter app, the user can take pictures with the smartphone’s camera and send a tweet.

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Via a mobile web application: Accessed through your device’s web browser, web pages are built and optimized for viewing on a mobile device. As shown in the figure below, web pages conform to size of the device and feel like a native application, but the screen is not, in fact, being accessed through a native app. Typically, the browser URL is redirected. For example, a URL could be automatically changed from www.company.com to m.company.com. Yahoo’s website becomes m.yahoo.com on a smartphone or www.yahoo.com/tablet on a tablet.

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The following table compares some of the important features, functions, and technologies that support both mobile apps and mobile web apps.

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Mobile applications are native to the operating system of the smartphone or tablet and therefore have more inherent hardware capabilities. Mobile web apps, by contrast, leverage the web browser and do not have as much device control but do make up for it in other areas. A major advantage of mobile web applications is on the support and maintenance side, because an enhancement can be implemented centrally and doesn’t have to be downloaded as another release on a marketplace.

 

So how about you? What kind of mobile solution does your organization employ?

 

Excerpt from the book Self-Services with SAP ERP HCM: ESS, MSS, and HR Renewal by Jeremy Masters, Brandon Toombs, Kris Bland, and Justin Morgalis. Used with permission of SAP PRESS. All rights reserved.