Mobile business applications firm Formotus is to launch its first product on March 26, 2007. The software/service utilizes Microsoft technology to enable companies to generate and deploy mobile applications over-the-air to smart phones and other wireless devices. This ability is already proving beneficial to a multi-national firm, and should open up opportunities for others using wireless systems.
Formotus is set to launch its first software as a service mobile business application.
Up until now, creating mobile applications has, more often than not, needed software programming expertise and the involvement of the IT department, making it a costly and time-consuming undertaking for most organizations. The Formotus solution makes it easier to deploy mobile data applications with a click-and-deploy approach, which can be done without writing a single line of code, enabling organizations to better exploit the ruggedness, convenience, long battery life, and low cost of smart phones and mobile devices.
The software as a service (SaaS) exploits Microsoft Office’s eForm product InfoPath, enabling non-technical workers to create, deploy, and manage applications for wireless mobile devices that can be integrated with existing enterprise systems using web services.
A multi-national oil company is using the Formotus solution to replace a paper form used when carrying out on-site maintenance evaluations at remote refinery and drilling locations. The company has converted the manual form to an eForm that can be deployed on a wireless handheld device.
The oil company is also exploiting the ability of the Formotus technology to work with data when the device is either online or offline. When the device reconnects to the network, it is possible for the data to be synchronized with enterprise back-end data systems. This capability is important to the oil company as many of the remote sites have poor wireless coverage.
The solution offers the flexibility to view and manipulate data without the need to develop custom mobile applications. This easily deployed functionality increases the practicality of the device many-fold, something that has been missing up until now. The industry should reconsider whether the approach of developing custom software or utilizing additional middleware is really what is required, or whether they look at alternative innovative mechanisms of improving the way mobile data applications are created and deployed.
The ability to easily widen existing enterprise systems to embrace wireless devices will enable a new channel for companies, especially smaller organizations. This will open up many new opportunities to re-engineer business processes, allowing the removal of reliance on paper forms and more freedom for employees.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)