As part of SAP CRM on-demand consultant group, a question that has been discussed a lot in the community is how should consultants who have been working on SAP CRM on-premise solution react to the SAP Mobile that is being discussed everywhere. It is now a well-known fact that SAP is concentrating a lot on expanding its offering for SAP Mobile solutions and a good chunk of the new offerings and developments would be done for CRM. It had discussed a lot in SAPPHIRE (Sybase SAPPHIRE) and SAP is targeting to come up with 30 mobile apps in next few months (SAP aims to lead enterprise Mobile App Market) .
I attended one of the SUP sessions a few weeks back that gave me a good overview about how Sybase development is done, creating mobile business objects, communication to mobile devices and different ways of communicating to SAP backend or any other database directly such as using JCo (JCO End-to-End Process Flow ), web services Configuring an SAP Exposed Web Service MBO , project gateway (SAP Influence Summit).
There is quite a lot to learn and one can pick whether to stick to creation of Web Services, mapping of BAPIs and other way of mapping data from SAP to Sybase if one feels more comfortable in sticking to core SAP work, or there is an option of moving towards SUP Mobile Business Object development which is done using eclipse platform and has various components for administration, connection to device/SAP which come along when you do SUP installation, or there is an option of learning any of the front end programming language depending upon one’s interest, resources available and market demand (objective C for iOS, Java for blackberry, .Net for Windows Mobile) and get involved in client side/device side UI development. Then there is AFARIA component that is related to Device Administration and has a great hold on market.
Coming back to the initial question, is it really important to jump into this mobility bandwagon from on-premise solution offering of SAP CRM or is it good enough to keep learning new enhancements that SAP keeps throwing at us with every enhancement pack or latest release that it comes up with (CRM 7.0 EhP1 new features)
I would keep it as an open question for the time being and invite the larger community to answer. To end, on a positive note, it is a win-win situation for the consultants to learn new technology and add a feather to existing skillsets. With SUP coming up with the new releases at regular intervals (SUP 2.1 to have focus on html5: Mobility at SAPPHIRENOW 2011 ), SUP roadmap extending support for Android, frameworks such as Adobe Flex integrating with SAP CRM ( RIA Flex for SAP CRM ), it is time for the developer community to grab the opportunities and scale up themselves to the fast changing technology.
In upcoming blogs I would try to touch more upon the technical side of the SAP Mobile architecture in relation with SAP CRM. For the developer community, here is a nice blog to start up with – New SUP Developer Resources and resource page detailing Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM Sybase Mobile Sales .