SAP on BlackBerry, Soon on iPhone?

Feature Article | June 25, 2009 by Frank Völkel

Mobile access to SAP customer data (photo: SAP.info)

In the business world, Research in Motion (RIM) is the undisputed favorite among managers and decision-makers thanks to its range of BlackBerry devices. What counts for this customer segment is the ability to send and receive e-mails – anytime, anywhere. BlackBerry delivers with its sophisticated QWERTY keyboard, long battery life, and renowned push technology. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) compresses the data in the back office, sending it to the smartphone in portions.

BlackBerry Bold 9000 with high resolution graphics

BlackBerry Bold and Curve – Ready and able for SAP CRM

The joint offering from SAP and RIM goes one step further, as demonstrated at SAPPHIRE Orlando in May of this year. Thanks to the BlackBerry sales client for SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), it is now possible to access the application directly. Data is synchronized using push technology so that users can display and change information such as contact data, order status, and key financial figures. When it comes to accessing data on the move, this could make the traditional laptop obsolete.

Wireless delivery of the BlackBerry client for SAP CRM keeps the pressure off IT administrators. And in terms of integration, the general consensus at SAPPHIRE was that additional investment in IT infrastructure would be minimal. Of the BlackBerry product range, Curve and Bold can now be delivered with SAP software. Here you can see the products in action,

To receive a demo client, register here.

iPhone with good conditions for business graphics

iPhone 3G S: An indirect route to mobile CRM

The leader of the pack in the smartphone market is the Apple iPhone – currently available in the 3G S model. Business functionality is on the up thanks to firmware updates to version 2.xx and, more recently, to version 3.0. The last means for older devices 2G and 3G. When it comes to mobile Internet, the iPhone is also a clear winner and, according to market research, leaves the competition in the dust. This is a credit to the iPhone’s exceptional display quality and its unique user navigation.

A direct comparison with the BlackBerry is revealing. The mini screens are similar, at least in terms of their technical specifications, and both the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G S have resolutions of 480×320 pixels – a good basis for the graphical display of CRM processes. However, at 2.4 inches, the BlackBerry screen is considerably smaller than its competitor’s 3.5 inch display.

Although the iPhone uses similar push technology to the BlackBerry, there is no direct access to SAP software. Only through a connection with Sybase iAnywhere technology is it possible to retrieve SAP customer data.

In terms of graphics, the iPhone undoubtedly has the edge over the more text-based BlackBerry – and graphics are what counts when it comes to mapping processes on smartphones. Whatever the comparisons, the race between the two is certainly hotting up. The common goal – mobile access to the full spectrum of an organization’s business processes.

iPhone: Virtual keyboard only

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