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TOMY boosts toy orders with SAP-based mobile sales app

Anh Nguyen | April 21, 2014
TOMY, the world's fourth largest toy company, is rolling out a mobile app for its sales team that it says has already helped some early adopters achieve a 20 percent increase in customer orders.

TOMY's IT operation is based in Devon, where the SAP system is hosted. Prior to SAP, the toymaker had an "old, traditional, small ERP system" and a B2B website.

"We were the first toy company to give [business] customers a chance to order toys online," said Kahn.

He has also been working on mobility for 10 years, "since HP brought out those tablets", and the company had a mobile platform, but it had to wait for the web platform to "catch up".

As well as an SAP back end, the app comprises Sybase and Microsoft ASP.NET middleware and a local device database in a sybase hybrid web container front end. TOMY worked with mobile consultancy itelligence on the app, with itelligence concentrating on the Sybase end, while Kahn's IT team worked on the development.

"We drew a line in the sand and said it has to cost this much money. We worked in partnership with itelligence. They shared the cost of development. They just can't sell it to another toy company for a year," Kahn said.

Next steps

TOMY is now working on a second version of the app, to include things it couldn't get into the first version on time, such as the ability to add a comment to the order. This is a feature already available back in the office.

In terms of future IT projects, TOMY is weighing up the options for going to virtualised servers or moving to a cloud-hosted solution.

"We need to upgrade. Our servers are getting old. They're seven years old. We're expanding," said Kahn.

The company is also bringing in SAP BusinessObjects this year, to run alongside its SAP Business Information Warehouse installation.


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