Oracle is responding to an ever more mobile customer base with the rollout of 57 mobile applications for its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne business software suite.
"JD Edwards is one of the fastest-growing parts of Oracle's business," said analyst Ray Wang, founder and chairman of Constellation Research. The new apps are "a response to what customers have asked them to do."
While Oracle has a number of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software products, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is popular in industries such as agriculture, distribution and food production, where many workers are mobile in fields or on factory floors, rather than sitting at a desk.
The applications are available from Google Play and Apple's App Store. They cover a range of functional areas, such as field service, project management and asset tracking.
But Oracle's goal wasn't to deliver full-blown renditions of JD Edwards ERP on mobile phones and tablets, according to Wang.
"Each of those 57 apps are short burst tasks that address the spirit of mobile," Wang said. "Mobile is about getting stuff done in motion. Users can complete tasks in less than 2 minutes."
Still, the applications appear to provide a fair amount of depth. For example, one called Project Status provides the ability to comb through lists of projects and dig into the financials and timelines for each one. It's also possible to update information about projects from the mobile app, according to its description.
The applications are supported with the use of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne version 9.1, and can be accessed at no additional charge by customers who have licensed the base software.
Oracle's move stands in contrast to SAP's initial approach to Fiori, a large and growing set of lightweight mobile apps that tap processes from its flagship Business Suite.
SAP initially wanted to charge extra for the Fiori apps, resulting in an outcry from customers who cited SAP's dismal track record with user interfaces for the Suite. In the end SAP relented, announcing in June that Fiori would be included as part of customers' annual maintenance payments. However, SAP is offering paid implementation services for Fiori.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com
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