At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, SAP announced the arrival of new tools for developing Android, iOS, and Windows 8 apps with SAP Mobile Platform. The new development environments allow applications to be created for all three operating systems with the same program code. SAP is collaborating with Xamarin and Service2Media for this purpose.
Xamarin offers a development environment for native apps that is based on Microsoft Visual Studio. A new software development kit (SDK) will link this environment to the on-premise and cloud variants of SAP Mobile Platform. According to SAP, more than half a million developers in 111 countries and 150 consulting partners are working with Xamarin. Xamarin founder and CEO, Nat Friedman, expects the collaboration to make it much easier to develop apps that process business data. This integration will allow apps to be developed more quickly and at less cost, says S. Somasegar, SVP of the Developer Division at Microsoft.
New SDK, Test Cloud, and Certifications
In collaborating with Xamarin, SAP is aiming to achieve the following initial goals:
– A new package of developer tools (SDK)
– A test cloud with which developers can perform automated tests on hundreds of devices simultaneously
– A certification program to support Xamarin consulting partners who use both Xamarin and SAP tools to develop apps
– A Xamarin University at which developers from companies can learn how to develop Xamarin apps that can be connected to SAP Mobile Platform
SAP’s other collaboration partner, Service2Media, has added a new module to its app lifecycle platform, M2Active, which enables it to be connected to APIs of SAP Mobile Platform. This provides M2Active users with access to new tools and cloud services for developing apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. This means that SAP Mobile Platform data can be fed directly into the development processes of M2Active, says Marcel E. Smit, CEO of Service2Media.
The first provider of cloud services for SAP Business One Cloud on SAP HANA was also presented by SAP at the event in Barcelona: Portugal Telecom has created a cloud environment in which partner firms can host the solution for their customers. SAP Business One Cloud is aimed at midsize enterprises or subsidiary companies and allows them to quickly gain an insight into sales, financial, or accounting data. SAP promises lower IT costs and more agility to companies that take advantage of the services offered by Portugual Telecom. Customers pay a subscription price per user for the out-of-the-box solution. SAP and Portugal Telecom also offer a developer version of SAP Business One powered by SAP HANA.
Mobile World Congress: SAP Awards Prizes to IT Talent
At the Mobile World Congress, SAP also announced the winners of two competitions for young researchers – a clear example of how it secures IT talent. In the Global Connected Car Contest, SAP acknowledged six teams for their innovative ideas in the automotive industry. These included a team of researchers from the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in South Carolina. Their app, ParkinGain, allocates specific parking spaces to drivers, irrespective of their location, the distance to destination, and parking charges. This parking service is also interlinked with discounts at local stores, navigation aids, and various payment options. From SAP’s perspective, the app is an example of how both driving comfort and quality of life in cities can be improved simultaneously. The winners of the Utility of Tomorrow Innovation Contest included a team consisting of three postgraduates who created an app for reducing peak loads in electricity grids. Consumers agree with their electricity providers, for example, to operate their washing machine at unconventional times in return for financial rewards (more details about the winning team will be published soon on SAP.info).
SAP also announced new customer projects at the Mobile World Congress:
Saudi Telecom plans to deploy SAP software for its network management. The company hopes that this will reduce costs and streamline operations.
U Microfinance Bank Limited (UBank) in Pakistan is using SAP Mobile Inclusive Banking to build its branchless network. According to SAP, the bank has integrated more than 17,000 accounts into the banking initiative, Upaisa. Since the program started last July, the bank’s customers across 210 Pakistani cities can use banking services on their smartphones through a network of around 15,000 agents. Up to now, 2.4 million money transfers – equivalent to 106 million US Dollars – have been processed. Two out of three Pakistanis have access to a cell phone, but only one in ten has a traditional bank account, reports SAP. Upaisa will make it possible, for example, for everyone to pay their electricity bill without using cash or to withdraw cash at stores using their smartphone.
SAP has concluded agreements on the mobile radio standard LTE with the mobile communications providers MTT Russia and Telenor Norway. SAP puts this down to meeting the high global demand for 4G/LTE. The aim is to provide mobile network customers with LTE network access in more and more countries.
18 million spam text messages intercepted in just two months
Success in the fight against spam text messaging was also reported by SAP at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. New protection mechanisms in SAP SMS 365 – mobile services from SAP – had detected and intercepted almost 18 million spam messages in the past two months alone. SAP has integrated Cloudmark’s mobile security solution into SAP SMS 365. Compared with conventional anti-spam services, the combined product from SAP and Cloudmark is twice as effective, say partners. Numerous mobile network providers in the USA and in other countries are using the solution.