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SAP AG has long led three huge markets for enterprise applications: ERP, CRM and business intelligence.

At SAPPHIRE NOW on Monday, SAP executives confirmed the firm’s naked ambition to take over the small-but-ready-to-explode market for enterprise mobile apps.

SAP senior vice-president Nick Brown showed off a slew of new apps in four areas: retail execution, general worker productivity, field service and analytics.  Available for iOS and Windows Mobile devices, the retail app helps   salespeople better manage store inventory, audit for compliance reasons,   and, ultimately, boost revenue, said Brown.

The field service app, meanwhile, was co-built with Cisco Systems.   It includes Near-Field Communications (NFC) capabilities, video   collaboration and visualization. It is being released on Windows Mobile   immediately, with Android and iOS versions to follow.

The new apps add to SAP’s two previously-existing mobile apps, co-created with Sybase: CRM and workflow. SAP plans to unveil 30 more apps within the next six months, said Sybase senior vice-president Raj Nathan.

They include apps in the areas of sourcing, human capital management, sales and service, cross-topics, vertical industry-specific apps and financials, said Brown.

Sybase CMO Raj Nathan: SAP plans to release 30 new apps in next six months.

In addition SAP also unveiled a trio of customizable mobile apps in the areas of expense management, time entry and system alerts.  SAP calls these ‘app accelerators‘, according to Jeff Chua, a manager in SAP Consulting, for two reasons.

First, while all of the other SAP apps are being built by SAP’s   Mobile Business Unit housed inside Sybase, the app accelerators were   built by SAP’s Consulting team.

More importantly from the enterprise point of view, customers do not   license and pay maintenance for SAP’s ‘app accelerators’, but instead just pay for the cost of customizing and implementing them, said Chua. All of the apps and app accelerators discussed above run on top of the Sybase Unwired Platform.

Similar to how Microsoft builds both platforms and applications on   those platforms, SAP is aggressively pursuing partners to build apps   that connect with its server applications and run on top of the Sybase   Unwired Platform. In that way, it hopes to build a pie large enough to   sate itself as well as its ecosystem.

SAP has already garnered support for this approach, with at least a dozen apps on display from third-party vendors.  One example was Accenture, which showed off two apps: a mobile app   store and device manager for enterprises, and another app aimed at field   service technicians.

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  1. Bjorn Vilhjalmsson
    If Sapphire attendees now go back and want to get started, educate their people and get support to get started, estimate and plan for both a strategy and prototype building they will expect SAP to be ready to support them.  A simple and concrete example of SAP not being ready is with regards to access to trial/developer versions of the sybase solutions.  Hopefully it will not be too long until Sybase is better integrated into the SAP organization but at the moment there are a lot of customers waiting and more will join the queue in the coming weeks. 
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