On the Pre-Conference day at SAP Teched 2011, there has been a lot of discussion on SAP Mobility. It was quite a useful deep dive into the area. Some interesting observations from the same:
The popularity of mobility apps is no longer in the press / media, companies are aggressively looking at mobility applications
There are close to 100 mobile apps that SAP has in the works at this time, Lots of partner apps are also going to be there. Cant help but wonder how customers are supposed to identify the wheat from the Chaff.
Though we didn’t get to see the whole list we saw a partial list with some apps with interesting names were Virtual Boardroom & CIO Dashboard.
Over 80% of companies expect to outsource mobility app development.
Given the wealth of APPs that SAP seem to bringing to the market place, I cant help but wonder why they don’t go with the Razor/Blades business model for the SUP platform (Razor) and the mobility apps (Razors).
Though its interesting that SAP is going to provide the source code for the mobile apps and the mobile business objects they will be using in the apps for customization and extending by the end users.
AFARIA is the ace in the hole for SAP mobility product set, It offers a wide range of capabilities at the same time, I think there could be some concerns that it puts true big brother capabilities easily into the hands of the enterprises. I think organizations that are going to deploy AFARIA on all their employee devices will need to have new privacy contracts drawn up with them.
Some interesting stats - 54% report at least one security breach in the last year, 33% report using data encryption on mobile devices, 61% report that business use of smart phones is their top security concern, 33% report requiring advanced authentication for corporate network access
Mobile Application - Business Case evaluation variables – Positioning, Target Users, Business Impact, Implementation Cost, Device dependence, Confidentiality & Accessibility.
Not being a cost center or bring more of a profit center has been the holy grail of IT organizations, I think mobile apps is a good way for them to go about doing that. They need to behave like startups rethinking the enterprise value chain particularly with the end customers.
Clearly defined interoperability strategy, One of the things that never stops to be discussed or confuse people going down the path is the whole discussion on interoperability. SAP is now clearly defining the interoperability mechanism of each of the Netweaver stack items ( Like BPM, BRM, Portal, MDM etc.).
SUPs value proposition – Detailed Device management, Reusable Mobile business objects, Online/Offline capabilities, Backend integration capabilities, Multi device support (current / future).
SUP Pre Generate CRUB UI interfaces for the device model selected for the MBOs.
SAP Gateway – There seems to be an increased focus on Gateway, and is being looked at as an established mechanism to access the SAP systems from SUP. Allows non SAP familiar people to build external apps without underlying SAP system knowledge. Focused to address the challenges of accessing the ever complex underling SAP system. Provides easy easy ways to generate gateway objects – Needing no coding. Basically exposes business suite content as simple non SAP specific / REST API’s. Typically used for UI applications (not A2A stuff). This is a core piece of the strategy to get to 1 billion users. Support OData (XML). SAP Gateway is built completely on ABAP. Not good to expose other systems (Generators go against SAP systems only).
SAP SUP Roadmap: