Dan Ortega is Sr. Director of Product Marketing and Product Management for Sybase, an SAP Company, and an expert in mobile strategies for the enterprise.
The SAP Mobility Insights Webcast Series is designed to orchestrate a conversation that addresses questions from SAP’s customers and community about our strategic direction for 2011. Beyond this foundational webcast, subsequent webcasts will address topics such as designing a mobile strategy for your company, mobile solutions from SAP and its partners, the Sybase Unwired Platform, device management – plus share customer successes.
Dan is leading the first webcast in this series: Unwiring Your Enterprise with SAP – Mobile Strategy, Trends and Lessons Learned. In this blog, I interview Dan to get a preview of how this webcast will address fundamental questions posed by our customers and partners.
Gail: Dan, How long have you been with Sybase?
Dan: I’ve been with Sybase 10 months, although I have spent my career in the mobility domain in product marketing and product management, going back over 20 years.
Gail: What can customers and partners expect to learn from you about SAP’s mobile strategy during the webcast? What are the highlights?
Dan: The core message here is 1) why is mobility not just important, but critical, 2) why is it critical now, and 3) why is Sybase/SAP the best choice when looking at the transformational possibilities that mobility can offer.
Gail: What has the synergy between SAP and Sybase delivered to customers that enables them to mobile their processes and workforces more effectively than was possible with the 2 companies simply working as partners?
Dan: We have much tighter integration now between development, product management, and product marketing groups. We have a common customer perspective; we have a common competitive framework. There are simply better efficiencies of execution now that the two companies are not just aligned, but fully integrated from an operational point of view.
Gail: Companies have been employing mobile strategies – extending key processes and mobilizing their sales and field service teams for nearly a decade. What new market trends are forcing companies to update, upgrade and expand their previous plans?
Dan: The market shift we’re looking at is driven by a combination of 1) a critical mass of users; globally we now have over 6 billion mobile devices in place, over 4 billion mobile users, and over 1 billion mobile workers, 2) we have a significant increase in bandwidth, which allows more robust interaction with on-line resources, 3) we have a significant improvement in the end-user experience with the rise of smart phones and tablets—which has also led to higher user expectations, 4) we also have a vast movement of our culture onto an on-line paradigm, best example? Facebook. 500 million users putting their entire lives in minute detail on line, that’s more than the combined population of the US and Canada, more than the entire population of Europe. And that’s just one example, the list goes on and on, but you get the picture.
Gail: What should be the enterprise mobility strategy for customers, partners and developers looking to invest into mobility?*
Dan: The strategy begins with envisioning mobility in your enterprise. What do your workers do now, while sitting at their desks, and how can mobilizing them make them more effective? What happens when that efficiency is extended to workgroups, and to the workflows they support? Try to envision where you want to go and what are realistic expectations of this transformational shift. Think about access and security. You’ll soon have all your employees accessing everything you have while they’re on the move. How do you secure all these different devices, as well as the applications that are either on the device, or being accessed through a back-end system? What are your governance policies in terms of who has access to what, and how do you plan to implement changes as you operational requirements evolve? There is a tremendous amount of detail that needs to be thought through, but it all starts with the vision.
Gail: What is the strategy behind the prioritization of the release of additional mobile solutions for our customers – what solutions on the roadmap that you can disclose?
Dan: We are looking for the maximum impact across the broadest spectrum of use. So one example would be the introduction of mobile Business Intelligence applications. This is the type of application that crosses all industry lines, and nearly all functions within any given company. This is an example of the next level of mobility beyond the earlier extension paradigm we saw with e-mail, this is the start of the transformation phase of mobility, where workers and workgroups can begin gaining vast efficiencies of scale in their day to day work.
Gail: How has the proliferation of mobile devices, e.g. beyond smartphones to iPads – beyond iPhones to phones operating on the Android operating system – had on the complexity of implementing a mobile strategy for our customers?
Dan: On the customer side it’s become much more complex. Not difficult, but complex. We are no longer in a monolithic model (that is, Blackberry-centric), and consumer/employees now have a much wider range of choices when it comes to mobile access to enterprise applications. The key requirement is that IT be able to support their users regardless of the device; iOS, Blackberry, Android, etc. This is where a flexible and robust mobile device and applications management solution comes into play, and this is one of our core competencies. By using the Sybase/SAP framework for mobility, IT is now in a position to become an enabler and driver of mobility, rather than being the guys who historically always said no.
Gail: Any parting thought before the webcast 2 weeks from now?
Dan: Yes. Mobility is the new framework for accessing information, and there is no going back. Enterprises HAVE to mobilize, and they have to do it now. If you don’t, and your competitors do, you will fall so far behind you will never catch up. On the other hand, if you move now and your competitors don’t, you’ve just gained a huge advantage. What would you like to do?
Thanks for that preview Dan. I am intrigued and eager to hear more on the 29th. Please join Dan, Andrew Borg of Aberdeen and Praveen Gautam and Kathy Murino of Tellabs for this seminal webcast.