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Kenyan firm launches iPad application

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – A Kenyan software firm has introduced a solution that integrates with Apple’s iPad and iPhone, giving managers and business owners instant access to key processes and communications.

The SAP Business One – Mobility Solutions suite was launched by Bluekey Software Solutions.

“Increasingly, business users are expected to handle critical tasks and decision making in real-time, no matter where they are,” said Mala Bhatt, the Managing Director of Bluekey Kenya. “So this new SAP Business One mobility solution will free MDs and CEOs from the computer as they can now manage their business on the go.”

Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Mrs Bhatt said with growing penetration of iPhones and iPads, the trend-setting mobile gadgets from Apple, businesses can increase efficiency and speed execution of processes by integrating them with the SAP Business One management software.

SAP Business One is a global market leader in enterprise resource management solutions for small and medium enterprises and is resold locally by Bluekey.

“Kenyan CEOs have a lot of interest in technology and are always on the move,” said Kevin O’Brien, a director of Bluekey. “Others own chains of companies and have been relying on email and cellphone, which are not up to the minute.

“SAP Business One Mobility effectively transforms the ERP solution into a business platform, which generates analytics reports and a dashboard view of the business. With it managers can execute a number of things, including approvals, while on the move.

“You get exceptional alerts wherever you are like when someone exceeds credit limit, if there’s a shortage of raw material at the factory, you can monitor production orders and review sales targets,” Mrs Bhatt said. “The potential is limitless.”

On his part Derek Kudsee, the director of SME at SAP Africa, said businesses need software that automates their operations and gives them access to information that can be used to develop a competitive advantage. “It’s alarming how few SMEs know how much productivity they are losing by having staff focused on manual and administration related activities,” he said.

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“Things are moving pretty swiftly and as the mobile workforce expands, so mobile devices are getting smaller and smarter.”

Bluekey, based in Nairobi, has significantly grown its market locally and serves big accounts like Kapa Oil Refineries, Heay Vehicle and Plant Suppliers, Crown Foods, Ogilvy and Mather, Deloitte, Nokia Siemens Network Kenya and Mali, among others.

Mrs Bhatt said there will be no extra cost for existing SAP Business One customers, as they will only need to acquire the iPhone or iPad and install the software. “They only need to get the underlying code that derives the mobile solutions, which can be expanded to capture different items.”

By 2013, more than 1.19 billion workers worldwide will be using mobile technology, accounting for 34.9 percent of the workforce, according to IDC research, creating a growing market for mobile software integration.

“With the growing use of smartphones and devices such as the iPads for business, advanced workflow applications will have to be open to mobility so that the same level of functionality you get on a PC at the office is available anywhere, via mobile any mobile device, no matter how small,” Mrs Bhatt said.

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