One of the justifications proponents of a move to the cloud use is that of workers needing mobile access to applications. It’s always be easier to enable access for devices across multiple platforms when the application is served from the cloud. Of course central hosting is only the first step and vendors still need to facilitate mobile by providing mobile applications.

To this end, OnlineOne, is today unveiling (at least outside of their existing limited market) their oneScan iPad application for NetSuite. The application is a mobile solution that has, according to the blurb, brought the first cloud ERP suite to Apple’s iPad (this is a debatable contention – as FinancialForce would argue). Built using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform, and an indication of the value of a move beyond thinking of business software as applications but rather as a platform, the new oneScan iPad application enables wholesalers and distributors to access NetSuite and manage business processes on the iPad.

Despite OnlineOne being an Australian company, oneScan will be available to wholesalers and distributors around the world. I spoke with Don McLean from OnlineOne to hear about their thoughts around the application. McLean was pretty bullish about the potential for the application, and for iPad point applications generally, he believes that the software vendors will generally leave mobile application development up to third parties and that there are many point solutions (inventory, sales etc) that absolutely lend themselves to a mobile interface.

The UI has been designed to be a familiar experience for the users, who will generally be mid to late adopters and therefore les likely to respond well to a new user experience.

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The key here is that oneScan takes a disconnected and, oftentimes error prone function, and connects it in realtime to enterprise data. As such it should increase efficiency, reduce errors and remove manual/paper-based processes – all of which drive down costs, an attractive promise in this economy. Interestingly, oneScan is a native web application, meaning that it is accessible from multiple mobile devices rather than only iOS hardware.

Applications like oneScan serve a dual purpose beyond the operational gains – they demonstrate the value of enterprise software being built with a platform perspective and they also show the gains to be built from enabling a workforce to interact with software in ways that are in context to their particular situation. oneScan may just be a simple app – but it tells the story of the future.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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