In a clear sign of the influence consumer mobile devices are having in the enterprise Oracle has flagged that it plans to make available iPad- and Android-compatible versions of its traditional ERP and CRM suites as well as its latest Fusion apps.
Speaking at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco, Steve Miranda, SVP, Oracle Applications Development said mobility was a major theme in Oracle's application strategy.
"Our strategy in mobile is two-fold: first, it is a set of mobile/telephone device applications [in] beta and a set of iPad applications. I think just about every product in the suite has either an iPad or smartphone/mobile device [version], including the Fusion applications," Madden said.
"In addition our investment in terms of mobile technology is a common-goal technology platform that is independent and will take advantage of HTML 5 ... and will not only run iPad but Android devices..."
Jon Schiff, VP and General Manager, JD Edwards World, and Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, Oracle CRM On Demand, also signaled that mobility was a part of their individual software strategies.
"[Siebel] leverages a lot of the Oracle technology and one of the big areas is around mobile," Oracle's Lye said. "So those in resources, those in sales and service are increasingly using their smartphones and now their iPad.
"One of the things we have announced this week is a piece of middleware which allows any of our Siebel customers or CRM on Demand customers to connect their applications through to their iPad based applications."
"We feel very strongly that people are looking to mobilise ERP as well so we now have full support for the EnterpriseOne product on the iPad," JD Ewards' Schiff said. "We have specific gestures for ERP to make it easy so you don't have to do a bunch of typing on the iPad.
Oracle customer Australian Financial Group (AFG) executive director, Malcolm Watkins, said mobility was an essential part of the white label CRM business it offers its insurance and third party broking firms.
"Mobility is very much one of our key focuses," he said. "...We were already running our own CRM on Demand and now the next step is to take it to the iPad.
"A broker needs to work faster and more efficiently to be able to email [their customers] a password and a log in, start collecting information on a customer, suck it into their [CRM] system, and flick it over to their iPad so [the broker] can sit down with a customer over the iPad, validate the information they are given, then transfer that back to CRM and have it reflected on their iPhones so that when they are on the road they don't have to log back in. "Ultimately where we want to be in the first quarter of next year is having a broker apps so a broker can [access our CRM system]... it's all about this Gen Y connectivity. Mobility is a huge focus for us."
Oracle partner and customer, Presence of IT's Oracle practice manager, Duane Thompson, said mobility was also important in managing its base of consultants.
"Being able to get people to do transactions on the fly -- apply for annual leave, look at their calendars, or have managers look at their calendars -- and to capture time -- clocking on using your iPhone -- are key," he said.