Being mobile has taken many shapes over the years. Being able to talk to your customers while not at the office was a great step towards Mobility. However, mobile phones didn’t take our business mobile, but it gave us some flexibility around getting salespeople on the road and in front of clients.

We then entered the “we want to scan” phase. Again, don’t get me wrong, scanning is a great way to sort out typos on capturing information, but it doesn’t really make things mobile. If you haven’t invested in the correct hardware and have a USB scanner connected to a laptop on a trolly in a warehouse, you might still not understand Mobility.

Smartphones and Apps – “This is it! If it’s not an app, we don’t want it…” or so people thought. Reality is, when app development began to take shape, it had to be done on multiple platforms, with functionality and options not being available on all, this saw some interesting times when you had an organization not agreeing on a single mobile operating system. This seems to have subsided somewhat, and developers have amazing tools to develop cross-platform, and roll out to anyone, regardless of their OS preference.

We also need to put responsive web interfaces in the mix. You can’t do it on an app, but you can have a website linking to your information, re-sizing on your mobile phone screen and you just need to be connected to the internet. Being connected doesn’t seem like a big problem, the SA infrastructure is well set, but mobile data isn’t cheap, and in some areas we’re still reliant on a telecoms provider that has more staff replacing cables than people sorting out their accounts.

So, what is business mobility? My take is simple, being able to successfully and easily do your day-to- day operations from anywhere practical.

Systems have evolved tremendously, and harping on the last 2 years, even more so. People have the need to stay productive, whether it’s in your office cubicle, your study at home, or your favorite coffee shop. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways.

We had:

  • On-premise applications sitting on a hosted server, accessible from anywhere.
  • Applications on your office server, connected via an app or web interface.
  • Sales reps at customer sites able to process orders on tablets, feeding back to the office as soon as they’re connected.
  • People shopping online after hours, and store operators, just picking it up on their system the next morning, ready to deliver.

All things that were part of the building blocks getting us mobile.

Now we’re starting to really take things to the next level. Our reliance on AI and ML (machine learning, everyone knows what AI stands for), is growing by the minute. Capturing information is no longer bound to 08:00 – 17:00 and the volume is increasing. People are mobile, they’re able to work at any time, in any time zone, from anywhere. We don’t have time to print out journals to be signed off before processing it – No, we have an algorithm telling you where you need to correct it and it feeds through to the numbers. Placing an order is a process that if needed, can be authorized by a user while on the golf course, then sucked into the supplier’s system, and processed without a user clicking a key. Sounds a bit farfetched, but it’s a reality.

Our drive at Thyme is to assist in this journey, whatever you decide your mobility is. By taking products like Sage Intacct into our list of offerings to our clients and rolling out our own Thyme Evolved to extend the reach of historic on-prem only systems, we’re doing our bit.

We might not always have the budget to go that far and interacting with people will always be important to some of us, but remember, being flexible and mobile is as important as breathing in today’s environment.

What’s your Business Mobility?


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