“The mobile revolution is now!” declared Syclo CEO and founder Rich Padula at the start of the Eighth Syclo Mobile Conference (SMC). Over 450 attendees were at the event, which took place in Chicago on July 11. The annual user conference brings together Syclo customers, partners, and experts to experience and learn about the company’s latest apps and technologies first-hand. This year, there was an additional focus – namely, the acquisition of Syclo by SAP in June 2012. Representatives from both companies took this opportunity to share their joint plans with customers and partners, gather feedback on SAP’s mobile strategy, and provide insight into the future of enterprise mobility.
“Mobile is the new desktop”
The program began with a keynote speech by Rich Padula, Sanjay Poonen, President & Corporate Officer of Global Solutions and Head of the Mobile division at SAP, and James Cook, President of Business Solutions & Services at CSC. They got right to the point. “Mobile is the new desktop,” stated Poonen. By 2014, most mobile workers will be using their smartphone or tablet as their primary communications device.
That shift is simultaneously putting enterprise apps in the spotlight. As Padula says, “Phones are getting smarter, tablets are taking over, and it’s all about the apps.” Analysts predict that by 2016 the worldwide apps market will be $52 billion with 44 billion mobile app downloads. According to Padula, companies need to embrace the mobile revolution and adopt mobile technology within their own organizations.
These opening statements fairly summed up what the whole conference was all about. The mobile revolution is now, and Syclo and SAP are on the front lines.
Did you miss the conference? Watch the replays here.
Syclo is the leading provider of mobile asset management and field service solutions. Their expertise is in mobile solutions for the utilities, oil & gas, life sciences, and manufacturing industries. Even before the company was acquired by SAP, it already offered preconfigured mobile apps for SAP ERP and CRM systems. Now that Syclo has joined SAP, customers stand to benefit from even more seamless integration between the two companies and new opportunities for innovation.
Acquisition means access to more apps
Syclo’s existing IBM Maximo and Oracle customers, for example, now have access to the full breadth of SAP mobile solutions, capabilities, and innovations. And companies that aren’t already using SAP products can now leverage the SAP mobile platform to build and deploy mobile apps. This greatly extends the value of their existing back office applications.
But we didn’t just take the keynote speakers at their word. We also spoke directly with some Syclo customers what they think about SAP’s acquisition of the company:
- Coca Cola Bottling: “As the largest US independent bottler that makes, sells and delivers beverages, we use mobility from all different aspects. We implemented our first app, Inventory Management, with Syclo a few years ago. And we’ve always been early adopters of SAP technology. We believe we’ll have access to more apps, great technology and innovation with this acquisition.” – Paris Fogle, Mobility Lead Specialist
- Grainger: “We used Syclo’s Agentry platform to mobilize our sales force, and recently went live with a custom Syclo CRM application. We are a big SAP customer, so SAP acquiring Syclo is a validation for us. Their technology and value complement each other. It gives us the opportunity to build out more functionality for our apps, making us even more successful.” – Paul Neal, Business Systems Manager
The future of enterprise mobility
In a separate keynote speech, Jeff Keblan, executive vice president of Alliances at Syclo, discussed the rapid pace of change in the mobile industry. He touched on some powerful mobile technologies that bring concrete benefits to users, such as near field communication and augmented reality. At the moment, these technologies are mostly being adopted in the private sector, but companies also need to make them part of their business, says Keblan.
- Near field communication (NFC): NFC is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other. This is done simply by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. The possibilities for application are numerous: contactless transactions, easy payment processing, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi.
- Augmented reality: This is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Augmented reality technology could enable any number of revolutionary applications. By combining streaming video, pictures and audio, for example, companies can radically improve remote expert support.
- Windows 8: Windows 8 is blurring the lines between the desktop and smartphone. It features a new user interface based on Microsoft’s Metro design language, similar to that on the Windows Phone. The new interface is designed to better suit touchscreen input, along with traditional mouse and keyboard input. It is changing the way we think about desktop design.
- Machine2Machine (M2M): M2M refers to technologies that allow systems to communicate with each other. For example, a sensor, meter, or other device will capture an event, such as changes in inventory level or temperature. This event is then relayed through a network (wireless, wired, or hybrid) to an application that is able to translate the data into meaningful information. It might say that items need to be restocked.
The expansion of wireless networks across the world has made it far easier for M2M communication to take place. It has also lessened the amount of power and time necessary for information to be communicated between machines.