Whether you want to read your e-mails in a café or create a sales order on a train journey by logging onto the company network, accessing the mobile Internet is child’s play nowadays. Originally intended for military use, many users now see it as a standard part of their lives. Today, most hotels provide free WLAN access. And with UMTS, you can whiz through the Web at the speed of DSL using the mobile telephony network.
Smaller, lighter, more versatile: Not only the technologies have matured considerably over the past years, the mobile device market has developed, too. With its applications and intuitive touchscreen, the iPhone now easily keeps pace with the BlackBerry, while netbooks and mini tablet PCs have become just as much the norm in the business world as expensive subnotebooks. An increasing number of providers – including Nokia and Google – are developing their own products for mobile surfing.
This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed at SAP, either. Although SAP was initially hesitant about the mobile Internet, pressure is increasing for the company to provide solutions in this area, too. “We can’t and don’t want to turn a blind eye to this development,” says Daniel Falk, Solution Manager, Mobile Applications Suite at SAP. But SAP doesn’t want to take this new task on alone. Above all, it’s relying on its partners. SAP wants to cater to customers’ needs by cooperating with NEO Business Partners, RIM, and Sybase. “We’re not going to push this new development. We’re just reacting to the demands of the market. That’s why we’re developing easy-to-use mobile business solutions – because we want our customers to be happy,” Falk says. SAP expects its partners from the ecosystem to take the initiative in developing the mobile solution. SAP NetWeaver remains the central platform and cornerstone.
At the Mobile Business Conference, SAP showed that it definitely hadn’t missed the mobile Internet trend and presented its products for mobile customer service, plant maintenance, and sales and distribution, including live demonstrations of SAP CRM on BlackBerry, the SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.1 component, and SAP Business Suite for mobile devices for the external sales force. Watch this space on SAP.info for more news soon.