Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Christopher Campbell, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Brad Anderson, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Wireless, Java, SOA & WOA, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal

Wireless: Article

Workflow Apps for Business Managers

Siemens Brazil blazes a best practices path to deliver work flow applications on mobile devices

As enterprise IT departments scramble to meet demand for more mobile applications, many are charting entirely new terrain. Lessons from applications development and support from PCs and notebooks don't necessarily provide a guide for the mobile tier.

Indeed, mobile apps are very different in what end users expect from them. So how to learn new best practices and simultaneously meet the demand for rapid mobile apps development?

Siemens Brazil in São Paulo has learned several valuable lessons from its mobile app development experiments and subsequent full roll-out of high-demand work flow apps for business managers.

BriefingsDirect had an opportunity to learn first-hand how Siemens Brazil has succeeded at its initial mobile apps at the recent HP Discover 2013 Conference in Barcelona when we interviewed Alexandre Padeti, IT Consultant and Applications Integration Technician with Siemens Brazil. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Tell us about what Siemens Brazil. Then let's learn about your transition to mobile applications.

Padeti: Siemens Brazil is a public utilities engineering company in Brazil, responsible for 50 percent of the energy transmission in Brazil. With the mobility scenario within Siemens Brazil, we’re just starting right now to implement them in our field applications.

Padeti

Gardner: What types of applications have you targeted first for moving out to the mobile tier?

Padeti: The main applications that we are working with at the moment is Workflow Approval, which integrates with our back-end SAP ERP system. We’re trying to give the managers mobility, the option to make their approval on an ongoing daily basis in a different way.

Real-time basis

Gardner: So it's more important to have workflow approved and managed on a real-time basis, wherever these individuals are and whatever device they happen to be using?

Padeti: Yes. These are the main points of the solution. We’re trying to give this especially to our managers, who are used to being in meetings or moving from one place to another. They gain the ability to make this kind of approval on the go.

Gardner: Why didn’t you just make these applications internally, customize them, host them, and deliver them? What was missing from your being able to do this all yourselves?

Padeti: In the beginning, we were looking for a tool that gave us the freedom to develop for any device. That's the main reason that we chose HP Anywhere. We have the freedom now to choose -- or give the freedom to the users to choose -- the device.

Gardner: Tell us a little bit about that process of adoption. You've had a proof of concept (POC) phase?

Padeti: Initially we had a POC with HP Anywhere together with HP Brazil and a local partner. From the beginning, it was well-suited. So we decided to go with HP Anywhere in production, and now we’re running a project that will cover nearly 200 users by the end of January.

Gardner: Do you think this will lead to more applications and more mobile users? Does this seem to be a larger undertaking with movement toward even more mobility?

We’re quite sure that 90 percent of the devices will be running on Android and a small percentage on iOS.

Padeti: Yes, that's for sure. This will become bigger in Siemens Brazil, because it's a change of the mindset of the users. They will begin to change the way they’re thinking about requesting solutions from the IT department. In the future, I believe that we’ll have a lot of requirements to develop more such mobile applications.

The standard for Siemens Brazil is based on Android. So we’re quite sure that 90 percent of the devices will be running on Android and a small percentage on iOS.

Gardner: As you've gone through this process, are there any lessons learned that you could share for other organizations? What lessons have you learned, or what advice could you offer them?

Small processes

Padeti: The first one would be to think first about smaller processes. At Siemens Brazil, we’re starting with a not-so-big process. We’re using a not-so-complex one to start. This is a good thing to engage the users and allow them to be comfortable, and furnish proof of use on the solution.

The next one would be to talk a lot with the users, because in our case we have requirements that the user could not think of before. We're learning constantly about what is possible with mobility.

When you give to them the freedom with the mobility, new ideas will come up.

I really advise you to talk with the users and know what they want, because most of the times they don’t come up with an idea until they use mobile, because they’re only thinking initially of desktop or notebook PCs. So when you give to them freedom with mobility, new ideas come up.

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Simply defined the SDDC promises that you’ll be able to treat “all” of your IT infrastructure as if it’s completely malleable. That there are no restrictions to how you can use and assign everything from border controls to VM size as long as you stay within the technical capabilities of the devices. The promise is great, but the reality is still a dream for the majority of enterprises. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, EVP, Data Center Tech, at SUPERNAP, will cover where and how a business might benefit from SDDC and also why they should or shouldn’t attempt to adopt today.
MapDB is an Apache-licensed open source database specifically designed for Java developers. The library uses the standard Java Collections API, making it totally natural for Java developers to use and adopt, while scaling database size from GBs to TBs. MapDB is very fast and supports an agile approach to data, allowing developers to construct flexible schemas to exactly match application needs and tune performance, durability and caching for specific requirements.
APIs came about to help companies create and manage their digital ecosystem, enabling them not only to reach more customers through more devices, but also create a large supporting ecosystem of developers and partners. While Facebook, Twitter and Netflix were the early adopters of APIs, large enterprises have been quick to embrace the concept of APIs and have been leveraging APIs as a connective tissue that powers all interactions between their customers, partners and employees. As enterprises embrace APIs, some very specific Enterprise API Adoption patterns and best practices have started emerging. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will talk about the most common enterprise API patterns and will discuss how enterprises can successfully launch an API program.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
Today, developers and business units are leading the charge to cloud computing. The primary driver: faster access to computing resources by using the cloud's automated infrastructure provisioning. However, fast access to infrastructure exposes the next friction point: creating, delivering, and operating applications much faster. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Bernard Golden, VP of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss why solving the next friction point is critical for true cloud computing success and how developers and business units can leverage service catalogs, frameworks, and DevOps to achieve the true goal of IT: delivering increased business value through applications.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.