The enterprises are always looking for solutions to enhance their performance and profitability, whether it is through marketing activities or by utilizing the latest IT solutions. One of the proven strategies for maximizing profits is applying better management techniques through well-constructed management tools and software that allow the employees to manage their day-to-day as well as critical activities in an easy and organized fashion. One important aspect to be considered while developing an Enterprise Mobile Application is the Middleware Approach.
Like all, we do take pride in what we do and it bring immense satisfaction to sharing our success stories. This article is about one such success stories. Right from identifying the business problem, to finding an innovative solution, to successfully launching, to getting end users on board, to creating business impact - the complete process cycle helped us achieving this success.
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Firstly, Identifying Business Problem:
How difficult it would be if you have to walk back to your office from offsite to raise a Purchase Request? With the millennial workforce, how hard it would be to ask someone to wait for approval as the boss is on travel? L&T Construction as part of its Digital transformation initiative was looking to enhance process efficiency by providing a mobility platform for raising any approval request, deliberate/chat on the context with all stakeholders and approve them on the fly using their smartphone.
An approval process typically took about three days due to multiple Email chains and the need for data to make informed decisions. As is, the process was done in the Web ERP platform and it fueled the delay as the approvers travel frequently. Due to the delays, end-users had to put the project/process on hold till the approvals - in turn, ended with time, effort and financial escalations. Besides millennial workforces were looking for productivity tools on their mobile devices to collaborate with enhanced user experience
The primary scope was to build an enterprise mobility platform, that is scalable for about 10,000+ users with enhanced user experience considering millennials in mind. It should integrate seamlessly with backend ERP via API services with in-built chat platform.
Secondly, Providing an innovative Solution:
The mobility platform, branded as Converse, is integrated with L&T’s existing ERP platform via API services for workflow automation. The platform enables users to access key workflows, approve or decline requests (like PO), text chat with any employee to inquire about a request, receive alerts and notifications, view dashboard on the activities that need their attention, etc. The platform is used by about 8000+ employees of L&T across different levels with extensive patronage. The driving factor for adoption is the blend of social and mobility factor with workflow management using chat and user experience.
The Converse platform enabled the approval process for the user to approve or reject any requests raised as part of the ERP application. The chat interface can be invoked from a specific request detail interface and group chat can be initiated to discuss context-specific details and get additional data as needed to take actions. Users were provided with the option to append or share documents or photos as part of the interaction to accelerate the decision-making process. The end result was an enterprise mobility platform with excellent user patronage, enhanced user experience and productivity tool in the hands of every happy employee.
Most Important Factor - Business impact of the solution:
The immediate impact has been on the reduction in duration for approval process which in turn helped for seamless project execution and reduced project duration overshoot. The platform helped to remove the agony and need for continuous follow up over approvals and for the decision-makers, it enhanced their ability to make the right decisions backed by data, anywhere, anytime. The social collaboration via productivity enhancement has a long-lasting impact on the organization culture and this will pass on to the upcoming generations. The platform also helps L&T to be digitally ready to meet the challenges of the millennial workforce by providing a mobility platform where they can interact and collaborate with the rest of the workforce globally. The patronage via the app download and continuous engagement of the users with the mobility platform illustrates the tangible benefit, as we think that is a critical measure and RoI for any initiative.
The potential for the solution is huge. The solution has relevance to many legacy applications that have usability issues for the millennial generation that has been addicted to social behavior via chat and other means. The platform can be integrated with any ERP applications via API services and the workflow for approval can be configured via the backend API.
The global enterprise mobility market is predicted to balloon to $500 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Zion Market Research. According to Statistics MRC, the Global Enterprise Mobility Market is accounted for $206.13 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $1225.78 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 21.9% during the forecast period.
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