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This week I was getting ready to write a much overdue post on the Sapphire Now experience last month. I would have touched on HANA, NetWeaver Gateway, and Enterprise Mobility for sure. But just then I happened to stumble across a news story in the New York Times (H.P. Tests Mobile Technology in Fight Against Malaria By Nick Bilton; June 6, 2011). This caused me to adjust my approach to this post.

This article carries a description of how a nurse in Botswana (arguably, not the hub of sophisticated technology) uses a new app on a smartphone to detect and track malaria. The story tells us that the “goal of this information is to help officials and doctors deter a huge malaria outbreak as it begins spreading through an area.” It informs us that the “data will be collected through an app that stores pictures, video, audio and GPS information, all of which can be stored and visually monitored in a larger database.”

The story also informs us of ongoing trials in Singapore to monitor cardiovascular disease using smartphones. This example actually gets us into the realm of machine to machine communication as well because there is no keying-in of data involved – messages are transmitted from monitors and devices to other mobile devices.

As I read this I was reminded of the growing activity of SAP in the Healthcare arena. For example, the Better treatment with SAP Mobile Apps video tells us of the impact SAP’s Mobility thrust is having in the aspect of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) – an essential facet of healthcare going forward.

What does all this mean? Processes and models that used to be very manual and driven by conservative thought are being revolutionized dramatically. While it is forcing us to re-think security and privacy issues, there is no stopping the revolution of people-centric technology taking hold across domains. And, mobile devices are in many ways leading the charge. In many cases there is also need for significant data storage capability in the background to make this effective. And, for me, this was essentially the message at Sapphire Now last month – the convergence of SAP’s Enterprise Mobility prowess and In-Memory capabilities, and that they should both be harnessed in tandem to get a bigger bang for your buck.

If you are looking for a game changing opportunity, then challenge the status quo and evaluate if mobility could revolutionize your business. I am not speaking of necessary and convenience apps such as time and expense entry, but of those that can turn processes on their heads yielding improvements in cycle times, costs, revenues or some combination of these factors.

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