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SAPPHIRENOW: Some Cool Mobile Business Apps Demo-ed & Video-ed

I stalked the Mobile Campus of SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando on Monday, looking to shoot video of some of the most interesting enterprise apps on display.

There was no shortage of candidates. SAP announced nine new mobile apps on Monday. View the screenshots here and let us know if we’re achieving our goal of making beautiful/gamified user interfaces.  And there were 90+ apps on display by SAP partners – evidence that we’re wooing developers and on track to meet our stretch goal of having 80% SAP mobile apps built by those in the ecosystem.   

At the Test Drive Tables on the Mobile Campus, I captured videos of six apps.

This was the coolest-looking app I saw. The topic is mundane – helping factory and plant warehouses prevent parts shortages. But the UI had a colorful, cartoony feel that reminded me of 70s kids shows like Sesame Street. That’s intentional, said mobility architect David Parker of Liquid Analytics, which created the app. The simplicity but directness of the UI – there are traffic lights that turn red when parts are in extremely short supply – drives the point home to time-pressed supply chain managers.

Sybase 365 is the market leader in mobile messaging that is also pushing strongly into m-commerce. For SAPPHIRENOW, SAP and Sybase 365 engineers built native app front-ends connecting to Sybase 365 services. Achim Hebestreit, telecom solutions manager for SAP, showed me two of those apps. The first is a mobile banking app for telcos that turns your iPhone into a debit card. Perfect for parents who want to parcel out cash to teens, not unlimited credit card/bank account access. The second app is basically a turnkey solution for telcos that want to offer a Groupon or LivingSocial-type coupon service.

Lots of workers can’t do perform work until they’ve passed industry or governmental certifications. Think medical workers or field service technicians in regulated industries. This E-learning app from SAP shown to me by Jason Palmer, director for Oil and Gas solutions at SAP, could help workers take their courses and pass necessary tests 15-20% faster.

Outages are the bane of power companies, whether they operate in the Hurricane Belt or the Earthquake Zone. Lisa Dalesandro DiCristofer, a principal in the utilities industry solutions group at SAP, gave me a demo of a new app running on iPad that could help field techs fix problems faster.

SAP’s Value Engineering consultants advise companies on how they can wring process improvements out of their use of enterprise software. Smartsoft Mobile Solutions built an app to help these consultants better show relevant data to enterprise IT, including generating and e-mailing a PDF immediately after the wrap-up of a meeting with potential customers, according to Edward Krufka, senior vice-president for product management at SmartSoft.

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