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New Apps from Old: No Genie Required


Picture55.jpgOne of the most popular Pantomime shows is Aladdin, where one of key scenes is when the sorcerer offers Aladdin’s wife "New Lamps for Old" to secure the magical services of the Genie of the Lamp. For some reason, my mind made the leap from “New Lamps for Old” to “New Apps from Old”.  Aladdin unleashed the genie by polishing a tarnished old lamp.  The magic here is not just “polishing up” your applications by adding a mobile wrapper but “mobilizing” them to extend their use and address new requirements.  


Let me give you an example from HP Software’s own enterprise application portfolio, HP Quality Center.  We have recently made Quality Centre mobile to address the fact software is no longer just the domain of computers, phones or tablets, but embedded in everything from fridges to forks.


In fact, much of today’s product differentiation comes from software.  Nowhere is this more evident than with the car industry. I read a recent MIT Technology Review article about modern cars and how the majority of today’s cars have over 100 million lines of code embedded in them.  


On top of this motor industry has led the way in offering mass customization, with customers able to select from a wealth of features when ordering a car, meaning almost every vehicle is different. Checking every component is configured exactly as specified by the customer along with the increase in this embedded software has introduced a critical new quality challenge for car manufacturers. This is where the “New Apps” of mobile Quality Center can make a difference.


Several large, global car manufacturers are already using HP Quality Center to manage the quality process of their applications. One customer has used HP Quality Center extensively and is now investigating how it can extend its application beyond the test lab and vehicle pre-production testing and directly onto the production line. By extending Quality Center to mobile devices, via HP Anywhere, the customer now seamlessly integrates software quality processes and performs functional testing as a standard part of the production line.


Customized configuration checklists are now downloaded for execution by quality engineers for each vehicle on the line. This not only means configuration sign-off documents can now be stored digitally, but if the testers are connected to the network, as items are updated or added the information is updated in real-time, saving valuable time. If the user is offline, tests can still be accessed via mobile devices, which will sync as soon as they re-connect to a network.


In addition to this, software defects can be captured, using both text and pictures of defects, and documented on mobile devices right from the production line, with feedback provided to developers as part of an integrated application quality lifecycle process. If the field engineer wants to speak with a developer to fix an issue they can use the collaboration capabilities native to the HP Anywhere platform to have an instant conversation with the developer, making the experience not just mobile but also social. This feature is not limited to internal stakeholders; it can also be extended to notify third party suppliers.  


So what does this all add up to? It means teams can work with a common tool, all the way to final vehicle assembly. Embedded software can now benefit from the strong traceability, stringent defect remediation and quicker time to resolution traditionally provided by HP Quality Center. I can foresee similar use cases for industries like healthcare, engineering and banking.


With mobile apps growing at such a rate, the genie is well and truly out of the bottle and I am so excited HP software is spreading outside of IT and helping other parts of the business. So why not give your magic lamp a polish, and see what magic your workforce could perform when you set them free in 2014? Visit the HP Anywhere page to learn more and sign up to our free “Try Now” environment to see how others are using HP Anywhere to “mobilize” their own and third party applications. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about mobility, why not leave them in the section below?   

About the Author


Rafael Brugnini (Rafa) joined HP in 1996 and has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in the IT industry. He lives in Madrid with family, and in his spare time he enjoys windsurfing.

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