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Without Mobile, There Ain’t No Real-Time Enterprise

It’s undeniable that the PC is superior to a smartphone or tablet for many things. Desktop publishing or extensive data entry, for example. But cynics forget that the converse is also true: mobile devices are better than PCs, even laptops, in a whole mess of scenarios.


All of these revolve around the convenience of mobile devices, which are way more portable, start up more quickly, and run longer without a charge than PCs. That makes them a necessary ingredient for enabling the coming real-time enterprise.

Take the large consumer packaged goods (CPG) company that is now able to process 460 billion point-of-sale transaction records in 60 seconds using SAP’s new HANA in-memory technology, according to a demo by SAP CTO Vishal Sikka at the SAP Influencer Summit today.

Processing that data so quickly is academic, unless it can get to the right managers quickly. That requires mobile devices in the hands of managers, and mobile extensions to these applications.

SAP (full disclosure, my parent company) knows all of these components need to be place. Which is why HANA data can be viewed on iPad today, and why it evangelizes the use of tablets for mobile Business Intelligence, to the point that its executives are all using Business Objects Explorer on the iPad to show that the company, as the saying goes, eats its dogfood.

Similarly, SAP senior vice-president Sanjay Poonen is looking forward to a future when SAP’s Human Resources application is brought to mobile devices.

And it’s why statements like “Mobile is the desktop of the future” by Sybase executive vice-president Raj Nathan aren’t hollow marketing hype, but actually ring true.

As Nathan pointed out in his keynote, there are already more than 5.2 billion mobile phones worldwide, versus 2.2 billion toothbrushes.

In the Mobile 1.0 era, companies merely extended things like e-mail and calendar and rudimentary apps to mobile devices, said Nathan. That boosted efficiency.  But it wasn’t transformative, not in the way a company like the CPG firm quoted above will be able to gain leapfrog competitors if and when it deploys the tools to become a real-time enterprise.

That’s the opportunity for enterprises in the coming Mobile 2.0 era.

Analysts like Forrester Research analyst Robert Karel and IDC’s Dan Vesset seem to agree.

Nathan closed his speech by declaring that based on Sybase’s recent mobile customer wins as well as the coming pipeline, the premium that SAP paid for Sybase will be recouped within 3 years.

That may seem ambitious, considering that SAP paid $5.8 billion for Sybase. But it’s not outlandish at all when you consider that Google was willing to pay even more than that for two-year-old e-mail coupon site.

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      Author's profile photo Shankar Agarwal
      Shankar Agarwal
      Definitely mobile apps are going to be wave of the future and with Project Gateway coming next year i hope developing apps on popular platforms would not be an issue.
      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki
      I keep hoping that SAP remembers that their each products has two groups of users: Business and IT, and that SAP will be providing not only mobile access to business, but to IT as well for monitoring and runing SAP applications.
      Author's profile photo Yogesh Patil
      Yogesh Patil
      Indeed.. it become a need of mobile apps to IT for monitoring and running SAP applications where many companies with their business with 24x7 support. Its great idea to monitor jobs on Mobile apps than on laptops/desktops to keep close eye on enviornment.

      Yogesh Patil

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      there is no need to separate the two. with minor adjustments mobile safari users can access all of SAP WAS via webgui. not all buttons work all the time, but i'm sure it can be resolved.

      btw, a lot of 'so-called' business users have taken the lead and put together their own apps with no help from SAP.

      i would compare today's mobile apps to the early days of web when everyone was rushing to create their own page, only to get the experience of dealing with new technology of the day. SAP needs to bring some order to this anarchy just like it did with SCN replacing newsgroups and the plethora of homegrown support web sites.