SAP and Apple: Engaging a New Generation of Enterprise Users

Like many people, I love Apple products and whilst I had never used a Mac until a few years ago, I was introduced to the iPod when it was first released. Since then, and many Apple devices later, I am practically on a first name basis with Siri (I jest). On a more serious note, we do have a lot of devices at home and my youngest child learnt to use an iPad at 18 months old.

No judgement please on toddler screen time. Part of the appeal is largely to do with the fact that the device (and underlying apps and software) encourages intuitive ease of use and innovation.

With that frame in mind, you could possibly understand how excited I was this year, when at SAPPHIRE NOW 2019, Apple CEO, Tim Cook shared the stage with our CEO, Bill McDermott to announce an expansion of partnership between the two brands. This partnership sees an integration of Apple’s Core ML – on-device machine learning technology – with the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, which will enable businesses to create iOS apps.

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We saw a vision of this with demonstrations of Machine learning models will automatically sync with devices to allow native offline use and dynamic online updates, while augmented reality will be leveraged in manufacturing and retail tasks such as store-shelf stocking and machinery repair. This significantly extends beyond the relationship when SAP and Apple first announced a collaboration in 2016 on mobility and apps.

Today, SAP mobile apps for SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, and SAP Asset Manager run natively on the Apple operating system, with expansion plans for native iOS to SAP’s wider product suite, beginning with SAP Ariba.

A common history and vision

While the two companies officially announced an initial partnership in 2016, their shared history goes back to some of Apple’s most challenging years. “When Apple was at its lowest in ‘97-98, we turned to SAP for the infrastructure of Apple and it was a key catalyst enabling us to turn the company around,” Apple CEO, Tim Cook revealed.

Partnering the knowledge and capabilities of these two technology giants opens a whole new world of possibility in the areas of augmented reality, intelligent ERP, and machine learning. The companies’ shared interest in data protection demonstrates a clear understanding of consumer needs and the changing nature of business intelligence. To learn more about the partnership, please watch the discussion between McDermott and Cook at SAPPHIRE NOW.

The intelligent choice for enterprise

By supporting Apple’s platform, SAP demonstrated a portfolio of applications and resources to facilitate the intelligent enterprise by integrating Qualtrics and various corporate data points on SAP HANA. “In giving people an agile and intuitive business experience, we empower them to know more, care more and do more,” said SAP CEO, Bill McDermott. “By combining the powerful capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP S/4HANA, together with iOS, the leading and most secure mobile platform for enterprise, we will help deliver live data to people wherever and whenever they choose to work.”

In Australia and New Zealand, many organisations are looking to unlock business processes and make SAP solutions more accessible to new categories of users for new industry specific processes. Together with our partners and Apple, SAP is bringing a new generation of consumer-grade apps for the Enterprise to wearables and devices as we continue to innovate to help our customers run at their best. That makes me really excited as it impacts the world my children will grow up in.