Had I written this a few weeks ago I would have dwelt on the forces at play I happened to observe at SAPPHIRE Now 2010. I am certain others have already spoken to that. So, in this post, we will focus on another set of dynamics that promise to shape the SAP ecosystem.
There is an emerging convergence in the arena of enterprise mobility – one which has to do with two significant SAP acquisitions – Business Objects and Sybase (OK, the Sybase acquisition is still pending but let’s assume it is final for the sake of this discussion). SAP has focused on providing enterprises the ability to run their businesses using an analytics-based approach with the BusinessObjects offering. Unlocking the potential of data locked up within its Business Warehouse (BW) solution and elsewhere, an enterprise can now more readily use actionable analytics to achieve competitive advantage, or at least be better informed to thwart the aggression of a competitor.
The Sybase impact allows SAP customers to take advantage of a robust platform to put the power of their enterprise investments literally within the palms of their hands. This is where solutions will tend to converge. Specifically, this means that if the suite of enterprise offerings is brought to life by BusinessObjects-driven analytics, then the ability to use a smartphone application bringing the solution literally into the hands of an executive completes the dream. Only, this is no longer a dream – it is fast becoming a reality.
What does this mean for the SAP customer?
If you are an SAP customer that also uses Sybase (or intends to), look for applications that will leverage the BusinessObjects and Sysbase offerings in ways that empower the smartphone user with actionable insight only a few finger-taps away. This is the nirvana state for SAP customers who have put their faith in the offerings from SAP. You have already invested in these SAP (and, related) offerings. Now, invest in an assessment exercise that results in providing you an enterprise mobility strategy (including a roadmap) and guides you to the right set of solutions that will unleash the power of your enterprise investments through smartphone devices. These solutions will likely come from within the larger ecosystem and not from SAP and Sybase alone. Look for the right vendors/partners who can provide proven applications that fit with such an approach.