Our latest release continues an evolution to a multi-persona application that transforms the work of maintenance, service, and inventory professionals. Boosting the efficiency of these workers translates to prolonging the life of assets, improving asset reliability and performance, and providing excellent customer service.
I am always impressed with our team and the determination it takes to deliver so many exciting features for our customers, and this release is no different. We have much more on the road map and I encourage you to learn more about our product direction.
The first thing you will notice, is our new name and icon. Please read on to learn more.
New application name and icon
The latest release introduces a new name to SAP Service and Asset Manager reflecting support for both service and maintenance technicians. This is not a new application, only a rebranding, and the standard technical upgrade process applies as with previous versions of the application.
Last year, SAP announced a new mobile strategy and we are starting to roll out some of the visual updates in this release. SAP mobile applications are being updated to the SAP Fiori Horizon theme (more on this below) with a fresh, modern design and identity. Our new app icon reflects this new direction.
We are always looking for ways to improve the mobile experience for our users by reducing clicks and optimizing user flows. Several enhancements have been made across the application toward these goals.
SAP Fiori with Horizon Theme
This release incorporates many updates from the next iteration of the SAP Fiori design system. The SAP Fiori Horizon theme has a modern and fresh look with a new vibrant color palette that meets WCAG Level AA accessibility standards. Also, the mobile application now uses the award-wining SAP 72 font, bringing consistency to the type seen in SAP Fiori web applications.
You will see more updates over the next year designed to create a sense of focus with more contrast, space, and visual hierarchy. Consistency across all platforms will be a key focus with new icons and simplified aesthetics for an easy-to-learn and coherent experience.
Light and dark versions, named Morning Horizon and Evening Horizon, are both supported.
Scrollable data tables
Viewing complex data in a table format can be challenging on a mobile device, especially a phone. Traditionally, table data has been transformed into a list format, allowing you to see all the data but you lose the context of column alignment.
Data tables are now scrollable, up and down, left and right. Tables in the application, such as historical Measuring Points, Characteristic Values, and Object Lists, have been updated to improve the experience on small devices.
Inline signature capture
We have integrated a new inline signature capture component from the SAP mobile development kit. The component improves usability when recording confirmation signatures from technicians and customers.
We added Swedish and Thai for now a total of 28 languages.
Maintenance technician features
The majority of our features are suggested by our customers and we are committed to meet their needs. All of the maintenance features in this release were prioritized based on conversations with our customers and learning how the features will enhance efficiency in their workflows,
Create and edit geolocation data
Location tracking has been added to the application to enable new map features.* Technicians often need to create notifications based on their locations. For example, a leaking pipe or downed power line may affect an area that needs to be reported.
Using the map view, a technician may center on her position and use new drawing features to mark a point, a line, or a polygon directly on the map. The location data is added to the notification or work order.
She may also edit the geometry of existing technical objects. This may be expanding the geometry of the flooded area after arriving on site and seeing the pipe leak is worse than first expected, Or even updating functional location and equipment geometry, which is common on roadways as landscaping and natural forces force the movement of signs and markers, for example.
Create assets and functional locations
Some customers require that technicians create functional locations and equipment. Continuing with the examples above, a crew may be installing signs and markers on a new roadway. Or a maintenance crew may establish a staging area for a large project. These can all be done via the mobile application.
There is now an option to add new functional locations and equipment on those list pages; this can also be done directly from the map. The location can be specified as a point, a line, or a polygon.
There is a lot of data associated with a new object, so templates can be set to copy object attributes, classifications, measuring points, documents, etc. from reference equipment and functional location. The user can choose which existing object matches the one being created.
Support material batches and split valuation
Parts are now labeled with batch number and valuation category on the detail page. When adding and issuing parts, the user may set the batch number and valuation category by selecting the value, searching, or scanning in the batch and valuation lists.
Inventory clerk features
We introduced support for the inventory clerk persona in the 2110 release, and we continue to evolve the experience and features.
User experience improvements
The product team worked with customers to gather feedback about the initial release. We identified several areas where the process could be optimized, and we redesigned parts of the application to speed up the clerk’s often repetitive tasks.
The overview page is redesigned with an always-present search bar enabled for text input and scanning; documents are organized in tabs for inbound, outbound, physical inventory, and recent documents.
Inventory documents are not assigned like work orders, and it is not normal for a clerk to have all documents locally on their device. Therefore, fetching documents from the backend is critical and should be seamless. Now when searching, if the document is not on the device, it will be auto fetched and downloaded to the device.
The application also now supports split valuation and serialized and batch materials.
Count physical inventory
A regularly occurring task is to count inventory in the stock room, and this feature is a major addition for this release. The clerk may view a list of physical inventory documents and drill into the details of each item.
Item counts are shown in a tab view separating those already counted. The counting dialog page supports serialized and batch materials and includes a button to easily jump to the next item. Scanning material numbers and serial numbers is also supported to speed up the counting process.
Additionally, the clerk may add physical inventory documents if needed.
Field service technician features
This release introduces support for a field service technician persona. The workflows of maintenance and service techs are different even if the tasks they complete are similar. So, we created a new interface designed specifically for the service technician.
The application architecture checks for a persona assignment, based on SAP standard role assignment, and loads the appropriate interface.
We integrate with SAP Field Service Management planning board and show the current status of orders and tracks technician’s location to facilitate scheduling and dispatching.
Field service experience
The home page shows the technician an overview of today’s orders with stops and routes on a map; driving directions are available using device map applications. He can view orders and easily find additional details along with parts lists, documents, customer contacts, etc.
The application integrates with SAP Field Service Management planning board showing current status of orders and tracking technician’s location to facilitate scheduling and dispatching.
Execute service orders
When customers rely on service technicians to show up on time, it is important for planners and dispatchers to know their status and location in the field. For each service order, the technician may choose to accept or reject the order, and then track her progress through en-route and on-site status updates. These are automatically sent to the backend along with her location.
Once on-site, the technician may view details of the service order and operations to be completed. She may add and issue parts to complete the work, as well as edit the order, add a new order and notification, add notes, reminders, etc. directly from service order page.
Manage vehicle stock
Having the right parts in your mobile stock room is critical to success, and we enable vehicle stock in the application. Whether parts are procured daily from a warehouse or delivered by mail to remote locations, the technician may view a list of all stock and counts in the vehicle.
He may Initiate transfers of stock to and from the vehicle including supports serialized and batch materials and add stock to orders as needed. The application also supports an online parts search for finding stock in other locations.
Generate service report
Customers expect a record of the work completed. Upon completion of service order, the technician may generate a report. Both the technician and customer sign off on the work and the signatures are recorded on the report. The report is saved as a PDF to the service order and may also be shared via email or text message using the device sharing capabilities.
The report uses an HTML template that can be customized by customers to include their logo along with the data they wish to report.
Report expenses and mileage
When completing an order, the confirmation process included screens to report expenses and record mileage. Expenses may be viewed and managed on a dedicated page.
There are several important updates with this release related to application and persona configuration.
The application metadata now includes all components — Field Operation Worker, Crew Reporting, Meter Management, Customer Service — which were previously installed separately; and these may be enabled easily in the config panel.
The config panel includes additional levels of control designed to give you flexibility to enable or disabled specific features. You may toggle features on/off globally or by persona, and you may also toggle oData Mobile Data Objects (oMDOs) related to those features. These updates will allow our customers to optimize performance more easily by enabling only those features and objects required.
Read Configuring Features and Personas in SAP Service and Asset Manager for more detail.
Commercial licensing model
To enable flexibility for customers who use the application to support only one persona, two, or all three, we now use a Full Use Equivalent (FUE) model. FUEs are not specific necessarily to individual users and can be assigned as needed; and a single user may be assigned multiple personas and switch inside the mobile application.
Let me explain how this works.
Full Use Equivalent (FUE) valuation
We now refer to types of usage.
One (1) FUE give you access to the features of all three standard personas. For example, the use can be allocated to one standard user assigned as a maintenance technician, field service technician and inventory clerk.
One (1) FUE can be allocated to two standard users, each assigned as either service technician (1/2 FUE) or inventory clerk (1/2 FUE). A customer using only inventory functionality may use one (1) FUE to cover two users; same for those using only field service.
Customers also may create custom personas, combining the in-scope features available in the application for a max one (1) FUE per user.
The application is publicly available and includes an offline demo mode for viewing and testing the extensive functionality with maintenance technician, field service technician and inventory clerk personas included.
* Users must opt-in to location tracking on their device.