Our approach to mobile for project and operational metrics

Sabisu iPad Project Management


“How do I get the Sabisu app?”

I shift uncomfortably for a minute.

“Um, you don’t. It’s not an app.”

It’s the start of a discussion that may take some minutes. We haven’t built an app for Sabisu yet for certain uses we do offer offline data storage. So why no app?

Well, for a start there’s just no need. We can do everything we need to through an HTML5 front end. It’s consistent with the desktop browser version and we can leverage the same middleware and back end to make it easier to maintain.

That’s key for us because easy maintenance translates into lower costs for the customer. Sabisu has always been disruptively priced and cost is never an issue in the procurement process, which we like. Were we to start maintaining multiple apps on multiple platforms it would get pretty expensive.

Obviously, apps have their place. They are fabulously fast and allow offline data storage. In general, our customers are connected all the time anyway – very rarely are they totally ‘off the grid’. We were sent a photo of Sabisu connected over wifi at 38,000 ft last week, which is a great example of how increasing connectivity is a fact of life.

When our users are ‘off the grid’, we do have a solution for certain uses where we can persist data offline without using an app. We use this in the operational environment where wifi or 3G can be unreliable on large plants (given they’re made mainly out of metal and steel reinforced concrete).

There is another compelling reason not to use offline data too much, which is that our users are usually decision makers and they trust Sabisu to be up to date. If data changes for some reason, better that they know this and don’t make decisions based on old data. So offline data storage is used with caution.

But we know these are our concerns. Such in-depth analysis is not interesting to the project executive who has other things on his mind.

“It’s not an app?”

“We can put a shortcut on so it looks and feels like an app?”

“Great! Let’s do it.”

A few seconds later, they have the Sabisu icon on their Home page, ready to go. They’re happy and so are we.

As always if you have any questions or suggestions, head over to our LinkedIn group and share your thoughts.

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