VAI Taps Xpedium for .NET-Based Mobile Phone Software
April 20, 2010 Alex Woodie
VAI customers were given another way to obtain mobile access to their ERP applications and data last week when VAI announced a partnership with Xpedium. The partnership is expected to yield a direct integration between S2K, VAI’s suite of ERP software, and xMobility, the suite of .NET-based software for executing certain business processes on mobile phones.
The rush to mobile devices is in full swing, for consumers and businesses alike. As people flock to devices like the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile phones, they are discovering a world of new useful applications that are un-tethered from their PCs. Businesses, which usually lag consumers in the technology adoption curve, are maneuvering to take advantage of the technology breakthroughs that are occurring in the mobile computing space, and figuring out ways to make their businesses more profitable or efficient by enabling access to certain processes from mobile phones.
VAI–which is one of the most forward-looking ERP vendors in the System i space, by virtue of its pledged support for RPG Open Access, its adoption of SaaS application delivery, and other reasons–is also looking to give its customers a relatively easy path to mobile computing.
The integration of S2K and xMobility will bring VAI customers benefits in several areas. One of these is the electronic capture of signatures, pictures, and other data. Integrating the data capture and workflow into VAI through the xMobility software can help to eliminate paper costs and increase cash flow, the companies say.
In addition to capturing data, the xMobility software allows users to enter orders, perform shelf audits, and process cash collections and invoices. The integration of the two products maintains a record of transactions, and workflow is linked to the i/OS-based VAI software on a real-time basis through a Windows-based middleware component called xLink.
Xpedium, which is a subsidiary of Hauppauge, New York-based Numeric Computer Systems, gains hundreds of potentially new customers with the VAI partnership. Many of VAI’s customers are medium size companies in the distribution and service industries, which typically deploy many employees into the field. These are the types of companies where smart mobile phones can have the quickest impact.
The partnership with Xpedium provides a .NET-based alternative to the Java-focused approach to mobile phone support that VAI previously offered. In the past, representatives for the Ronkonkoma, New York, software developer said the Java-based WebSphere Portal, which integrates with S2K, was a key product to enable mobile phone support. Using this route, an iPhone interface to S2K was introduced in 2008 with the launch of S2K 5.0.
“VAI had been looking for a partner for its S2K Enterprise to enhance our mobility offerings, and seized the opportunity to work with NCS on its platform to deliver this functionality,” stated Joseph Scioscia, director of sales for VAI. “This relationship will provide a complete mobility solution that is comprehensive, integrated and scalable.”