Skip to Content
Author's profile photo John Moy

SAP Mobility pre-SAPPHIRE Roundup

A few days ago SAP Mentor Jon Reed organized a cross-continental discussion with John Appleby, Oliver Rogers (from Bluefin Solutions) and myself to tap into our pre-SAPPHIRE thoughts and opinions on the current state of play with SAP mobility and what we would like to see from SAPPHIRE NOW 2012 in Orlando.

As Jon was short on time, I took up his offer to post this to SCN on his behalf.  I should say that we had no end of connectivity drop-outs and issues with this recording – big kudos to Jon who pulled an all nighter to edit it into something cohesive.

00:00     Introductions

01:25     Setting the pre-SAPPHIRE agenda

02:10     Field perspective of an SUP implementation (John Appleby and Oliver Rogers)

04:18     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – The customer’s mobility roadmap

07:50     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – CIO directive “make people’s lives easier”

10:50     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – Project next steps

14:00     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – Is SUP scaleable for large projects?

15:30     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – Lessons learned

18:16     Field perspective of an SUP implementation – The problem of IT silos

20:30     SAP mobile skill challenges

23:30     Building up SAP mobility competencies 

27:10     Engaging seasoned mobile app and UI developers from the field

28:00     Mobility user experience demands are high

30:30     Thoughts on SAP’s recent announcements to incorporate new mobile developer communities (Sencha etc.)

35:30     Is developer outreach too dependent on SAP NetWeaver Gateway?

39:30     SAP’s intent to open up the mobile developer ecosystem

41:48     Removing all points of friction – John Appleby’s challenge to SAP

46:20     John Appleby and Oliver Rogers – last words before getting kicked out of their room

47:15     John Moy final comments, including initial thoughts about Syclo

51:20     Jon Reed’s SAPPHIRE mobility goals

As an addendum, I should mention that during the discussion I queried how many large-scale SUP implementations are live right now.  I neglected to mention SAP’s own internal rollout of mobile apps based on SUP.  But of course stories from customers rather than the vendor would be much more compelling (if you have some, please feel free to mention them in the comments).

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Jon Reed
      Jon Reed

      John, thank you for getting this added here as I was not sure I'd get it in before Sapphire, now I don't have to. 🙂 A couple things to mention here: first, John was up at 12-1am Australia time to make this happen and was a big help with a backup recording file that ended up being the go to file....also, John, your series of outstanding mobility blog posts on SCN was a major inspiration for this taping.

      To explain a bit more context on this video. I talked to John Appleby about doing a new mobile video before Sapphire, but I wanted to do something more than just talking about developer engagement - though that's an important topic in its own right. Pricing was a little bit off limits only because SAP should have a lot more to say about pricing at Sapphire and beyond, so makes sense to hold off and hear their formal plans there on solving some of the mobility pricing questitons. So what would be a fresh approach?

      John and I decided that a good way to go about this would be to start the taping with a discussion of on-the-ground realities of SAP mobile projects. In particular we talked about a project Bluefin has in the works that Oliver Rogers has been heads down on. That spilled into a really interesting skills discussion and then to the mobile developer ecosystem topic that many of us feel passionate about. We're all hoping SAP has more good news for us on this topic and we've been told by Sanjay Poonen's team that some news on a more accessible NetWeaver developer license is coming pretty soon, though perhaps not at Sapphire - we'll see. Oh, and after John and Oliver got booted from their conference room and off the taping, John Moy and I wrapped with a short interesting epilogue about his interest in the Syclo acquisition and some other thoughts on mobile versus HANA, etc.

      At any rate, I'm hopeful this video sets the stage for the conversations and announcements we hope to hear at Sapphire. Thanks to John, John, and Oliver for a great discussion....

      oh, and p.s. for those who would prefer an audio-only version of this talk, I'll be adding it to the JonERP iTunes feed in the next couple of days...

      Author's profile photo Martin Lang
      Martin Lang

      Thanks John, John and Oliver as well as Jon for putting this video together. An excellent watch, that I can only highly recommend for all folks interested in SAP Mobility right now.

      Would have loved to see that BS detector go off, but am not surprised it didn't. 😆

      Took an action item to talk to Bonnie and tell her about a better process to get receipts into the system. We actually have an app travel receipt capture since more than a year already for iPhone as well as Blackberry. However am admitting this Travel Receipt Capture app that's available currently is not using SUP/Gateway yet. We are working on a successor that does.

      For those of you who don't know me, I work in SAP's internal IT organization (where we run SAP for SAP), please read my comments below as my personal opinion, am not commenting in an official SAP capacity.

      Last year we tried a few different things in terms of how to bring mobile experiences to end-users with and without SUP, with and without Gateway, with REST services as ICF nodes, even consuming SOAP and also leveraging mobile optimized html/javascript frameworks.

      One thing we experienced is that while all these technologies and potential architectures work and can lead to desirable results we also had tons of "friction" with concerns e.g. about some of the unknown from various other areas such as Security people, Data Protection, Legal (also in respect to BYOD), Enterprise Architecture, but also our Operations colleagues, that ultimately support our internal processes. They were rightfully concerned in saying if we don't settle one one architecture at least as a default, how are we ever going to scale up in deploying apps, but also maintaining them over the years through device OS upgrades, SAP Updates e.g. through EhPs etc, bug fix releases etc. Also how to ensure a somewhat common deployment and initial setup/configuration process from a user experience perspective. Another question that stood out was how to have mobile users be able to use apps that access in-house services without a VPN connection, requiring a VPN kind of ruins the user experience.

      It happens, that now a few months down the road and quite a bit of trying things out, SUP and Gateway actually have become this common platform for us. The involved teams are comfortable with the architecture especially after some internal and external audits to validate it's security promises.

      Not saying we've found a golden key or something that works for everybody, would encourage all to keep looking, however SUP and Gateway definitely have matured much over the past 1 1/2 years and while in some situations it still may not be the best approach, there is certainly tons of merit in settling on one common architecture, not just for building apps, but also for supporting them down the road.

      For those of you coming to Orlando, I'll be happy to show you some of the apps we have deployed SAP internally, some of them to several thousand actual users.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Martin, do you have a session at Sapphire? If so, what is the session number?



      Author's profile photo Martin Lang
      Martin Lang

      Don't have a session, but will be pretty much full time in the Mobility Campus at what's called the SAPrunsSAP Clinic. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I will try to drop by if I have time. 🙂

      Author's profile photo John Moy
      John Moy
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks heaps for sharing your views.  Nice to have a good honest perspective on the merits of SUP and NetWeaver Gateway.  It would be great to also hear from customers on their large-scale rollouts of mobile apps on SUP/NWGateway.

      Enjoy your time at SAPPHIRE.  Sorry that I can't be there.



      Author's profile photo Dennis Howlett
      Dennis Howlett

      I'll come to the campus on Monday for a tour and hopefully get some video done.