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Thursday, October 30, 2014

@hand Announces SAPHRON, a Mobile-First Application Suite for the Enterprise

 
Press Release

Oct 30, 2014 – Austin, TX - @hand today announced the first release of @hand SAPHRONTM, a mobile-first application suite that optimizes field-based business processes, enhances mobile workforce productivity, and improves data integrity in backend systems of record.

With SAPHRON, @hand is offering two distinct solutions: SAPHRON for Asset Optimization and SAPHRON for Inventory Optimization.  Both solutions can be integrated to any backend data source and offer mobile applications that function online and offline.

SAPHRON for Asset Optimization addresses asset-centric business requirements, with mobile applications that empower field workers to manage business processes such as work order management, meter reading, asset information tracking, and inventory control. 

SAPHRON for Inventory Optimization is a fit-for-purpose solution designed to optimize the product inventory managed by field sales teams.  This solution includes features for capturing orders, managing field inventory movements, and performing audits.

“SAPHRON is aligned with the future direction of field applications,” according to Mike Loos, @hand’s Chief Technology Officer.  “As an independent application suite that focuses on users’ work process needs rather than just backend system requirements, SAPHRON has advantages in usability and user adoption that application extensions for mobility cannot match.” 

SAPHRON is based on the @hand Adaptive Mobility Platform, a powerful and patented software architecture that enables cross-platform enterprise mobility apps on iOS, Android, and Windows.  The platform also provides data synchronization, rapid design tools, an open development framework, and mobile application deployment and management services.

@hand is working with early adopter customers to implement the first SAPHRON solutions.  With its industry-proven functionality and flexible architecture, SAPHRON is effective as a focused, single-purpose application, as well as a foundation for mobile innovation across the enterprise.

Friday, July 18, 2014

IBM and Apple announce partnership to offer enterprise mobility solutions on iOS hardware


Earlier this week, IBM and Apple announced a partnership to offer standard enterprise mobility solutions on iOS hardware. While neither party has revealed the details of the business arrangement, this announcement appears to represent a significant step forward in mobile strategy and go-to-market aggressiveness for both companies.

 

For Apple, its marketing department is quick to point out that individual consumer preferences have pushed iPhones and iPads into the enterprise in large numbers. But those of us that speak to business decision makers on a regular basis know that many organizations continue to be wary of operationally-focused business applications on Apple. Concerns range from security to manage-ability to device durability. With the IBM partnership and supported by the enterprise-grade sensibilities of IBM’s software infrastructure and services, Apple’s proliferation in the enterprise should increase more rapidly, and we should see increased deployment of line-of-business apps on iOS devices. All of this just means good things for Apple – more companies buying more Apple products in larger numbers.

For IBM, the benefits are numerous. Clearly, it’s an opportunity to make a big marketing splash – both with the announcement and with the ongoing ability to market and sell Apple products. IBM offers numerous high-value products for big business. But let’s face it, IBM does not sell many “cool” products. Adding Apple devices to the portfolio allows IBM to complement its pragmatic software and services portfolios with attractive and high-quality products that many individuals within their customers want anyway - and now through a trusted enterprise-friendly partner. That’s just good business.

Another benefit for IBM is the standardization of hardware options for the solutions that will be included as part of this initiative (those are unidentified at this time). By minimizing the complexity of the hardware option, IBM is reducing the costs associated with development and especially testing. This may be a pragmatic response from IBM, amidst a market backdrop that clearly values cross-platform mobility and alignment with corporate BYOD policies. A cross-platform application inherently offers more access and investment protection compared to platform-specific applications. Still, cross-platform is complex and therefore expensive. One wonders if IBM has experienced some of the potential pains associated with cross-platform mobility in real production scenarios, and they may be looking to associate specific initiatives with specific platforms in the spirit of focus and complexity avoidance. Going forward, as IBM continues to evolve and grow its “MobileFirst” portfolio, look for the company to continue to invest in technologies that advance the state of the art in IBM’s ability to develop, deliver, deploy, and support cross-platform applications.

Many have remarked about the “exclusive” nature of the IBM-Apple partnership. This particular initiative looks to have an exclusive nature to it, but as an organization IBM will almost certainly continue to implement solutions that support other mobile platforms, specifically Android and Windows. The market for those products is too large for IBM to ignore them. By defining this particular strategic initiative as one based on Apple products, IBM is establishing themselves as the technology solution provider with a specific focus on Apple alignment. Although Apple has a storied history as a successful organization, big players in the technology solutions market were unlikely to compete over the attention from the Apple aficionados, largely the design/education/consumer niche. We live in a different world now. Apple products are mainstream and businesses want to figure out how to incorporate Apple hardware into productive applications. It was a matter of time before someone of IBM’s pedigree delivered this shot across the bow to the market.

One thing is certain. In conference rooms of IBM’s competitors across the globe, executives are planning a response.

The enterprise mobility arms race may have just begun.

Jason Lanier
VP Products, @hand

Thursday, June 26, 2014

@hand Announces TYRIAN Mobile Application for PeopleSoft Customers

 
Press Release

June 25, 2014 – Austin, TX - @hand today announced the first release of TYRIAN™, a mobile-first enterprise application that interfaces with Oracle PeopleSoft’s Maintenance Management (MM) and Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) modules.

TYRIAN is pre-integrated to support critical PeopleSoft maintenance and asset management transactions, while delivering easy-to-use applications in the hands of mobile workers such as technicians and maintenance managers. With this first release, the application offers best-in-class work management functionality, with support for the following features:

  • Create, manage and execute Work Orders
  • Complete Tasks and manage Checklists
  • Collect Labor time entries, including both Elapsed and Punch Time
  • Capture Failure information using the Problem, Cause, and Resolution hierarchy
  • Manage Asset information, including Hazards and Warranty data
  • Enter and collect Asset Meter readings
  • View and add Work Order Task Notes

“As with many @hand product initiatives, we are innovating with our customers,” according to Rob Beauchamp, @hand’s Vice President of Field Operations. “For this initiative, @hand is currently working with a strategic partner in the real estate services market to deploy TYRIAN applications to many of the world’s leading facilities. The next time you visit a large corporate facility and see a technician using a smartphone to process work orders, there’s a good chance that may be an @hand TYRIAN solution.”

TYRIAN is based on the @hand Adaptive MobileTM Architecture, a powerful and flexible software platform to enable enterprise mobility apps on smart devices such as iOS, Android, and Windows. @hand’s patented platform technology provides data synchronization, mobile application deployment and management services, and a mobile transaction hub that provides a controlled interface for PeopleSoft integration.

With @hand’s robust architecture as the foundation, TYRIAN offers secure support for both connected and disconnected use cases. TYRIAN can also combine PeopleSoft-aligned features with customer-specific functionality, providing a tailored solution that meets precise customer needs.

About @hand
@hand provides mobile applications and an enabling mobile architecture for enterprise customers. Since 1998, @hand software has powered and delivered numerous business-critical applications in asset management, field service, mobile sales, and supply chain environments. The @hand Adaptive MobileTM Architecture includes a patented data distribution engine that enables mobile applications to function online and offline, as well as an open application framework that supports iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.

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