Oracle is introducing three new mobile applications as part of its PeopleSoft HR/financial management suite. The mobile solutions were unveiled at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

The new Oracle PeopleSoft applications -- Mobile Expenses, Mobile Approvals and Mobile Company Directory -- provide access to data via smartphone, tablet and desktop. Based on HTML5 and CSS3, the solutions do not require download but are accessible via standard login and provide a user experience tailored to the specific user device.

Mobile Expenses operates in conjunction with PeopleSoft Expenses to manage the complete expense support lifecycle in a mobile environment, while Mobile Approvals streamlines the review and approval process for HR and financial requests. The Mobile Company Directory provides mobile access to all talent within the organization.

Taking Expenses Mobile

Oracle is not the first IT vendor to see the value in mobilizing the expense management process. In July, iDatix released iSynergy 4.5, a mobile enterprise content management solution that includes a mobile expense app. The app allows a user to remotely capture information, and then to directly submit it into the document management repository and iDatix’s workflow automation system, called Progression.

As foreseen by iDatix, on a smartphone, the user will open an electronic expense report that is already pre-populated with their basic information. Then they will photograph their receipts, which are automatically attached. While the photographic abilities take iSynergy’s capabilities beyond that of PeopleSoft Mobile Expenses, it is worth mentioning that the Oracle solution does not require app download but actually enables mobile access directly to the main PeopleSoft 9.1 Suite, with an optimized user interface.

Oracle Survey Indicates Need for Mobile Efficiency, Security

As reported in InfoWorld in October 2011, a survey Oracle conducted of 3,000 global mobile device users showed significant increases in broadband usage and widespread user concern about the security of information on their mobile devices. At the time, Oracle advised that applications “cannot be overly chatty and consume an inordinate amount of network bandwidth,” and said developers must focus on security and efficient broadband usage.

Oracle appears to be taking its own advice with the new mobile PeopleSoft offerings. By eliminating apps entirely and providing direct mobile access to a central solution, Oracle is greatly reducing bandwidth usage. In addition, security is enhanced as data is not actually residing on the mobile device or in an app, but in a robust, platform-based piece of software.

Current PeopleSoft 9.1 customers can automatically use the new mobile tools with no additional software or middleware as long as they already have the corresponding applications. All versions of PeopleSoft are fully supported on the iPad.