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Partner TechTip: How Mobile Data Access Improves Business Operations

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Mobilize your data; diversify your business.

 

Think about this: The number of mobile endpoints worldwide is greater than the global population. With over 7 billion endpoints in 2013, it seems nearly everyone in certain parts of the world now has a smartphone, a tablet, or both, and these devices aren't just for fun and games. Organizations have seen how new hardware categories are changing the business landscape, and they're putting devices to work in the drive to streamline processes, gain insight into operations, and ensure continuity.

The Rise of Mobile Business Intelligence and Access to Critical Information

With high-speed 3G and/or 4G LTE data connections now more often the rule than the exception, employees in the field have new options for accessing critical information wherever they are. Mobile business intelligence solutions enable workers to view reports, tables, and documents, as well as analytics about mainframes and other IT systems, in views that are optimized for modern endpoints and web browsers. Real-time access to critical assets translates to faster decision-making, regardless of where employees are located.

Companies are making the most of smartphones and tablets. For example, Tony's Fine Foods of Sacramento, California, uses SEQUEL, with SEQUEL Web Interface, to stay on top of expense and exception reports by pushing data to mobile devices. This level of continuous access enables the company to more efficiently manage its ledgers and stay profitable. Plus, it demonstrates how mobile endpoints can be turned into essential business tools.

 

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Figure 1: SEQUEL Web Interface allows users to view data in a variety of visual formats.

"[A]s these organizations seek to maximize the investment they've made in their mobile strategies and truly take advantage of the mobile devices their employees are carrying, accessing documents and deploying custom apps are rapidly becoming the next major area of focus."

—Good Technology Mobility Index

Mobile Data Access Can Replace Email and Less Efficient Processes

Going forward, expect mobile to become one of the main platforms from which organizations access important data. IBM recently predicted that by 2015, 40 percent of business-oriented endpoints will be mobile devices. So, why are businesses moving so quickly to implement mobile strategies?

For starters, mobile data access means that businesses can replace legacy communications processes such as email with something more efficient. Companies may have once stayed in touch about HR operations via lengthy email chains, but they can now use applications such as social networking tools to keep up to date on applicants and materials. For example, Healthcare staffing firm ZurickDavis is able to use mobile data to complete executive searches and fill positions 25 percent faster than it can with just email.

The rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies has given organizations even more incentive to implement comprehensive mobile data access. Once they do, businesses stand to benefit from more flexibility in pushing important reports and documents to employee-supplied endpoints anywhere in the field.

How Mobile Access to Data Has Improved Operations

There is an impressive range of use cases for mobile data access, both as an upgrade over legacy processes and as a fresh way of drilling down into reports to improve specific operations such as sales and inventory management. At the same time, being able to tap into server infrastructure and IBM i systems has made it more feasible for organizations to improve customer engagement.

Dusty Rivers, GT Software Principal Technical Architect and four-time IBM Champion, outlined how companies around the world have re-architected their IT systems to maximize the benefits of mobile data access. For example, a South African financial services enterprise gave developers the ability to tap into mainframe data, with which they quickly developed new web applications. The resulting solutions now process more than 500 million transactions per day across all channels, and the firm saw a return on investment in only 12 months. Similarly, a regional United States bank was able to meet a tight deadline for delivering mobile banking services by turning to new tools that enabled rapid development of user-friendly software.

Mobile access to data is no longer a luxury but a requirement for businesses that have complex operations to run and maintain. While smartphones and tablets are still novelties and could be security risks in the eyes of some IT departments, organizations can leverage secure solutions such as SEQUEL with browser access capabilities to view and interact with reports and other information.

From dynamic executive dashboards to easy data distribution, SEQUEL with SEQUEL Web Interface is a friendly, interactive, and powerful interface that provides secure mobile data access for all end users. Run views, reports, tables, and scripts directly from your mobile device browser just like you would on a PC.

Want to see SEQUEL and SEQUEL Web Interface in action? Check out this quick demo.

Mike Stegeman

Mike Stegeman is Sr. Data Access Consultant for SEQUEL Software, a Help/Systems company. He can be reached at 847-273-1047, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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