SAP’s Mobile Strategy

Photo:, sinuswelle

If you use a smartphone or tablet in the workplace, chances are it didn’t come from your IT department. According to the April 2012 Webinar, “Mobile Government? Trends, Realities, and Strategies,” put out by market intelligence firm IDC Government Insights, 55% of mobile devices used for business are employee-owned. So even though 50% of recently surveyed companies say they already have a mobile strategy in place, it is clear that many companies still require assistance in this area.

That should come as no surprise. Even though it might be hard to remember how the business world functioned in the pre-smartphone era, the mobile market is, in reality, still fairly new.  The iPad and iPhone are only two and five years old, respectively. But market immaturity doesn’t necessarily mean slow adoption. Over sixty million people already rely on SAP Mobile Platform solutions.

This has resulted in an environment where businesses are under pressure – from employees and the competition – to adopt mobile technologies quickly. And they don’t always have a framework in place that will allow them to manage the devices, apps, and security risks that come along with that. “Mobile tears down walls, reshaping business processes,” says Tony Kueh, vice president, Mobile Strategy at SAP. “SAP is one of the few companies with the full set of solutions for business transformation.”

SAP, fully mobilized

How is SAP prepared to help its customers unwire the enterprise? For starters, it is the company’s goal to build mobile leadership, not just extend the SAP Business Suite of applications. This can be seen in the fact that 70% of mobile new hires have native mobile experience and will be trained on SAP. At the same time, SAP provides platform support for seven years, an eon in mobile worlds, but crucial for customer success.

“We want to make it easier and faster to develop richer apps, integrate with SAP and non-SAP, on-premise and in the cloud, allow IT to manage the infrastructure for business transformation, and make sure customers can run apps and services on the latest, greatest devices,” says Kueh. He adds that SAP HANA, the company’s in-memory computing solution, goes hand in hand with mobile.

Read on the next page: The 3 parts to SAP’s mobile strategy

SAP’s mobile portfolio consists of three parts:

1. A platform to build mobile applications, and secure and manage devices and applications.

The Sybase Unwired Platform and SDK simplifies and saves costs for developers who want to build mobile applications for any device that integrate securely to back-end data sources. SAP Afaria helps bring centralized order and security to mobile devices and apps. Upcoming capabilities include enhanced security, 3-D location-based services, and content management. Also expect to see the significant strengths of Syclo merged with the Sybase Unwired Platform.

2. Customized and downloadable apps that run on iOS, Android, and Blackberry OS.

Close to 90 apps are available in the SAP Store. Customers use them to improve medical care, keep citizens informed, fix equipment faster, make shopping easier, manage people and sales pipelines, and much more.

SAP’s objective is to have 80% of the mobile applications coming from partners. Kueh says SAP is the only global company with an open, elastic platform that gives developers the amount of control they want. The latest perks include a free 30-day trial to explore the SAP mobile platform and SAP ERP application, as well as a free license on Amazon Web Services.

SAP also offers a suite of mobile applications that bring employees information on their devices from software in the cloud. Full integration to on-premise applications allows companies to manage people, suppliers, finances and customers anytime, anywhere. Additionally, Kueh says by yearend SAP will deliver a pure cloud-based offering for its mobile platform.

3. Services for companies to manage relationships with their customers.

Sybase 365 is the global mobile messaging leader, reaching 5.5 billion subscribers worldwide—that’s 78% of the earth’s population. Banking, telecommunications, utilities, retail, and consumer packaged goods companies use this award-winning solution to change customer engagement.