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Author's profile photo Milja Gillespie

Talking Mobility at TechEd: iPhone in the Enterprise

It’s been a great week for enterprise mobility at TechEd in Last Vegas. We’ve been having great in-depth conversations with customers and partners on an incredible variety of topics. I’ve had a few opportunities to present our enterprise mobility management story to customers and its exciting to see how far the SAP community has come in the psat year.

At the moment, I’m in the iPhone and iPad in the enterprise discussion session. These are the sessions that I love to be a part of – it’s an interactive discussion on issues and opportunities of iPhone and iPad in the enterprise. Mostly everyone here is either already building apps for iOS devices or are gearing up to do it.

Last year I delivered more than 10 iPhone seminars across the US and found it interesting to watch the changing conversation from when iPad was first released until today when it has millions and millions of devices sold. As an avid iPhone and iPad user, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this session.

The reason this topic is so popular is that Apple simply makes devices that are easy to use. As consumers we simply want them. So much so, that we are willing to purchase them ourselves.

The session moderator, Sybase’s Bryan Whitmarsh, has been using iPhone since it first came out. In the past he used to carry two devices – a ‘functional’ work device and a ‘cool’ personal device. Now he’s only got one – an iPhone. And of course it’s both cool and functional.

With the popularity of these devices, the issue at hand for most enterpises in securing them. And so we talk about the issue of theft.  A wireless carrier in the room indicated that iPhones are stolen more often than any other mobile device. Luckily SAP delivers a solution to secure iOS devices with out Afaria product.

In the session we also talked about the corporate owned vs. personally owned model. About 60% of the people in the room we already allowing personally owned devices (specifically iPhones) to access data on the network. This is exactly in line with the industry average.  Some are paying the full monthly service bill and others are looking at a stipend policy (where user buys the device and company pays a certain amount for a monthly data plan).

SAP’s story for iPhone is much more than simply securing the devices. If you want to know a bit more on our solutions for iOS, including application development and more, visit

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      Author's profile photo Bjoern Weigand
      Bjoern Weigand
      I'm really looking forward to the evolution of the mobility topic in the enterprise. Together with two other developers we released the SAP Mentors Outreach iOS app recently and I believe devoutly that there will be more and more opportunities in the near future. BTW, I really love your blogs about mobility; they put it in a nutshell and always worth reading.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I will analyze the benefits of the iPhone in an upcoming blog titled "iPhone: Tool or Toy?". It is evident that the lacking adherence to standard diminishes the iPhone's capabilities for business. Stay tuned.