One aspect of this is how people are using social network platforms like Facebook and Twitter to access information and engage with companies over time. Yet, enterprises are still finding it difficult to determine the tangible benefits of being more active on these platforms. While some have had success in building their brands on Facebook, others see it as superfluous due to the nature of their business being ultimately more focused on business-to-business. For its part, SYSPRO has been using LinkedIn for some time and has a number of active forums on the platform. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as the SYSPRO blog have proved really effective in increasing discussion and involvement with our customers and providing them with unique insights into enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Optimizing the mobile trend:
It is not only social media that is leading to changes in the enterprise. The question around mobility and how to benefit from it is increasingly being discussed at a boardroom level. Mobility moves far beyond simply sticking an application on a mobile device and hoping for the best. Mission-critical software like ERP requires re-thinking how mobile devices can be effectively used in the workplace. If you consider the manufacturing environment, the value of the mobile device in this segment lies in the aggregation of information. A person on the factory floor or in the warehouse can input data that can provide invaluable feedback when it comes to order processing and any potential delays in customer fulfillment.
Another part of this mobile trend is the growing importance of push notifications and how people use them to interact with their devices. These push notifications contribute as part of the aggregation of information. Software is also changing to become optimized for touch devices with Windows 8 expected to be a game changer when it is released in October 2012. With the touch interface going to be the norm for the next few years, tablets are becoming more than just entertainment devices.
Collaboration and sharing:
In the past, the SYSPRO forums were used as a great repository of information for customers and staff. Everything from troubleshooting to tips and tricks were discussed and shared between members across the world. Unfortunately, there was no interface to connect these elements and allow people to publish applications in a way that could solve some of the problems that were raised and to share the solutions with others more quickly.
Enter the SYSPRO App store. Through this, we are providing our customers and partners with the opportunity to add additional functionality and features that they require from our software. In this way, we are giving our users the opportunity to engage with one another and develop workable solutions that solve their specific problems, while at the same time making the same solutions available for people anywhere in the world to download.
The era of collaboration is here and enterprises need to realize that they have to embrace this changing dynamic to become part of this business evolution. While it might require a cultural shift, the long-term benefits will far outweigh the initial resistance.