Smart phone have now become a part of our lives. Checking mails to twiiter, facebook to foursquare, everyday people are doing more and more on their smart phones. Every tool is running in the race for building a mobified version of the product. Given below are some such features which BPMS mobile front end should support. I compiled this while working on the Savvion Mobility Platform savmobify.
1. Launch Processes
The mobile interface should have the ability to initiate processes. For example a Sales representatives meets a new client and would like to initiate a quotation process for the client. He should be able to talk to the client, fill in the form and submit there itself. Implementation of this could be tricky given the complexities involved in dynamic forms, validations etc. If only one application is exposed it should be easy but when you have multiple applications (and that too evolving very often) having an interface which supports latest features with minimal maintenance becomes difficult.
2. Ability to Action – Approve/Reject
The system should allow users to action requests. A senior manager always busy in meeting should have a way to approve stuff while in the lobby or between meetings. The platform should be configurable enough to provide for business specific button groups like – Approve/Reject/Need More Information or lets say Return/Forward/Hold. This feature would also be useful for other people mostly on the move.
3. Access native features
Native features like contact book, camera, geolocation could also be helpful. For example a construction worker who wants to report a rework on a site could take a picture and initiate the work permit processing easily. Another use case could be for a client to report a car breakdown and ask for help. If the Device is GPS aware, it could track down the location and assign the task to the nearest service team.
4. Reports and Graphs
Reporting on cellphones would always be required. Senior managers should be able to track something as huge as a balanced scorecard or their units current workload on the go. If work is getting delayed or they foresee a possible delay, they could immediately assign more people before its too late. Companies involving lot of fieldwork like logistics, manufacturing could make use of mobile technology and improve their operating efficiencies.
5. High configurability
The system should be highly configurable. Some clients might need few processes while some might need all of them on the device. Reports and graph requirements could change very fast as the business scenario changes. The mobile product should be configurable enough to change with changing requirements.
6. Support major platforms
The solution should support all major platforms like Blackberry, Apple iOS and Android. Android Tabs and Apple Ipad are become very popular and finding a large number of uses in the business world. Manufacturing companies are using tabs to control large plants rather than PC’s. With the new Android platform coming on new species of mobile devices the possibilities are endless.
7. User Experience
Mobile applications are sleek, nice features, touch and slide feels. Your application should leverage these for better user experience. Simple browser based applications not making use of these great features could have tough time penetrating the userbase.
8. Interact with 3rd Party applications
The systems should allow users to interact with 3rd party applications. For example your BPMS could have an account servicing workflow which has just the account number. To get more details like customer information, account history your application might need to talk to these other systems.
9. Push configuration
Push configuration is a great feature to have. If a task gets assigned there should be some way to indicate it to the user. This one could be come tricky if you are using an HTML5 based browser system.
10. Authentication and Authorization
Since devices would be running in various networks and uploading and downloading information, mostly via internet, it becomes essential to have a good security around. Only authorized devices should be allowed access. Another challenge could be to integrate these applications with the firmwide directory/access control system
11. Data Transfer Speed
Business process are dynamic. A lot of data will be required to be uploaded and downloaded. The data transfer speed along with the right set of logics to improve user experience becomes absolutely essential.
Hope these are helpful.