Cloud Computing Comes to SAP, Mobile Handheld PDAs and EDI, B2B Users
Google has just announced they will be offering synchronization and support for Cloud computing for mobile and wireless handheld PDAs and smartphones users including those using the:
Why is this important? It demonstrates a trend that people are moving away from the view that their desktops or laptops are the center of the universe, to a view that Cloud Computing – their online Google or Yahoo Accounts are the center.
Google has now enabled synchronization directly through any wireless connection to your online account(s). Your contacts and calendars and other Google Apps no longer must be synchronized through a desktop, iTunes account or laptop. This is big news! This functionality permits the concept of a truly untethered mobile computing environment for handheld PDAs and smartphones. The home or work desktop is no longer the anchor weighing you down. You are free to move around the world and have access to your valuable content and applications.
I can’t emphasize enough what a monumental change this is for mobile users. The advent of the iPhone and other convergent multi-media mobile handhelds along with synchronization to the Cloud where hundreds of Google Apps exists changes everything.
How does this announcement relate to Cloud computing in the context of EDI and B2B? A similar revolution is happening in the world of EDI and B2B e-commerce. Companies like SAP are untethering the mapping scripts and methodologies traditionally used by EDI translator vendors. This year SAP is delivering new technologies and strategies for EDI and B2B. They are delivering new integration options via SOA (service oriented architectures) models and enterprise services repositories on their Netweaver XI and PI solutions. These technologies will enable SAP users to use external managed services in the Cloud much easier.
SAP’s industry components such as SNC (supplier network collaboration), TMS (transportation management systems) and many more are going to be released with pre-built connections into the world of cloud computing. This will allow the complexity and complication of EDI standards, formats and mappings to be uncoupled from the SAP system and placed in the cloud environment where economies of scale and the network effect can be maximized for cost savings and efficiency. This is actually a very interesting study!
SAP’s BPO (business process outsourcing) organization is currently working with SAP BPO partners to utilize these Cloud computing models and strategies to enable SAP users to connect to external EDI and B2B managed services through Netweaver PI connections when it is determined that the TCO (total cost of ownership) for operating an internal EDI operation is too high or inefficient.