SAP launches Business ByDesign for the iPhone

Todd Morrison

While there may not be as many Business ByDesign users as SAP would like, those users can now access a smaller version of the application just about anywhere -- as long as they have an iPhone.

This week, SAP launched a slimmed-down version of Business ByDesign designed for the popular consumer device.

The move reflects the growing convergence of mobile technology and enterprise applications, according to Ray Wang, an analyst and partner in the San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group.

The application offers roughly 20% of what’s accessible on a desktop computer, Wang said, but that portion includes basic tasks those out in the road need most. 

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“The main thing for them is to get business intelligence out to the field as quickly as possible.  These are mobile field workers, these are sales people on the road, these are executives checking in on the status of things,” Wang said.

“It’s about simplification,” he said. “You don’t have much time to hunt, peck and search.”

 The application is geared toward providing content for management and sales leaders, according to SAP.  It allows users to access personalized mobile reports for the company’s operations, as well as approve, reject or forward items that require immediate attention, including payment approvals.

Features for sales representatives include account and activity management, as well as mobile lead and opportunity management. Those same sales reps can check a particular product’s availability online and then create a sales order as a follow-up.

While the application is currently only available on the iPhone, the software vendor said that it plans to make the next version of Business ByDesign available on other devices, including BlackBerry, Android devices and Windows Phone 7.

The application is available for free to all customers of the 2.5 feature pack 2.5 for SAP Business ByDesign, and it can be downloaded through the iTunes store.

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