Mobilizing Maintenance Work with SAP: Which Application Best Fits Your Needs?

Many maintenance organizations are still leveraging paper-based processes to manage field work and are seeking mobile solutions to put data electronically in the hands of field workers. Goals are better transparency, faster processes and higher maintenance efficiency. Same time, organizations that have software systems in place today often struggle with user adoption due to complex, difficult to understand user interfaces based on complicated and not harmonized technology.

SAP currently offers two mobile applications for maintenance technicians and field workers: SAP Work Manager and the newer SAP Asset Manager. Both are intended to provide workers in the field with easy access to necessary information they would otherwise need to print on paper or access in the office. However, the two apps differ in terms of functionality, deployment options, and prerequisites.

While SAP Work Manager is the mature legacy mobile application, SAP Asset Manager is a newer native iOS application that follows the SAP UI design principles and is built using the SAP Fiori for iOS Design Language. Today, it comes close to providing feature parity with SAP Work Manager and can be extended easily. While the initial version could only integrate with SAP S/4HANA, the latest version can also connect to an SAP ERP backend system. Additionally, an Android version is available with features being continuously enhanced. The middleware is situated on SAP Cloud Platform. The app can be used in both an online and an offline fashion.

While SAP’s mobile apps offer many useful features, SAP has not migrated all of the EAM UI to SAP Fiori. There are Fiori apps available in the meantime as part of the Digital Core (SAP S/4HANA, not SAP ERP), but realizing on a web-based interface, there is still a harmonized mix of WebDynpro and Fiori.

This is even more true for SAP ERP while for new applications from SAP’s Intelligent Asset Management portfolio (namely AIN, ASPM, PdMS) the UI has been completely built on Fiori. Consequently, there is no consistent UI technology in use from desktop via tablet to phone on all operating systems. Companies might move from SAPGUI to WebDynpro/Fiori and its launchpad for desktop use, but on mobile devices utilizing some apps for online use with Fiori while relying on native applications for heavy offline use.

An Asset Management Solution for Multiple SAP UI Platforms

Then, there might be companies who would like to mobilize asset management related processes, but may struggle with cloud-only deployments, want to avoid a relatively big footprint and license cost implications as well as a non-uniform UI between desktop and mobile who may consider going with a more lightweight application that follows the Fiori design principles, is available for online and offline use, and can be used on desktop, tablet, and phone. These are the characteristics that are delivered through Vesta Hydrogen.

Vesta Hydrogen Architecture SAP Asset Management mobile

Hydrogen is a modern, simple and flexible Fiori-based application which provides the same ease of use and role-based SAP EAM user interface across desktop, tablet, and phone on Windows, iOS and Android. It supports maintenance activities and data collection including work orders, notifications, measurement documents, operator rounds and more. The solution is lightweight, very configurable and can generally be implemented in weeks.

Hydrogen is built using OpenUI5 technology, currently moving to SAPUI5. Offline storage is being allocated by means of local SQLite databases on all platforms. Hence the application can work in an online and offline fashion while connecting to the backend (SAP S/4HANA or SAP ERP) via SAP Gateway or the Vesta JSON Adaptor without the need for additional middleware.

Leveraging Vesta Hydrogen users can capture issues when they see them, update order status immediately, streamlining work processes, ensuring accurate data capture and reducing paperwork. The solution allows for quick data inputs for efficient notification creation on the go.

Further enhancements are being planned, like integration with OpenText Extended Enterprise Content Management (xECM) and the SAP Geographical Enablement Framework (GEF) for connecting to GIS.

Vesta hydrogen SAP mobile roadmap

One Unified Experience Means Happy Workers

With Hydrogen, there is no need to switch to another mobile solution, making life easier for workers in the field. That leads to better user adoption and overall happier employees.

In the case you have not yet mobilized your asset management processes, contact Vesta to help you examine what SAP mobile solution best fits your organization.

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