The proliferation of smart mobile technology in the hands of almost a billion people in Africa is providing the commercial sector a new way of doing business.
The 2015 Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that by the first quarter of 2015 there were more than 910 million mobile subscriptions in Africa. Many of these mobile users were already using smart devises that gave them instant access to apps and information, in turn giving organisations new ways to interact with employees, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Benefits of mobilising enterprise resource planning
Keith Fenner, senior vice-president sales, Sage ERP Africa says mobile workers are able to access important information that can help them react to opportunities and problems more rapidly.
“We’re seeing many organisations mobilise their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Workers and managers are increasingly able to access ERP data on the road to serve customers, speed up decision-making, and save time.”
Fenner gives an example of how a salesperson can now easily check whether a product is in stock, capture customer’s details and initiate the order from a tablet or smartphone without leaving the customer’s premises.
Accounting solutions on the move
Sage Pastel Accounting General Manager, Daryl Blundell says mobile has also had an impact on SMEs’ accounting processes.
“Employees with mobile devices can be productive many more hours a week because they can work from anywhere in the world and can maximise what might otherwise have been wasted time waiting in airports and reception rooms,” he says.
According to Blundell, enterprise mobility can also help achieve a healthy work-life balance since employees do not need to be in the office to catch up with work.
Streamlining HR functions across mobile devices
“Companies can now offer employee self-service (ESS) across mobile devices to streamline HR processes and engage employees more effectively,” says Gerhard Hartman, head of Sage HR and Payroll’s International Division.
“With mobile ESS, companies can enable employees to file leave applications, doctor’s notes when they’re ill, and expense claims – all from their mobile devices,” he adds.
“They can look up their payslips, change their personal details, and more, all without needing to do paperwork or phone the HR department.”