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Author's profile photo Milja Gillespie

Top 6 Sessions from the Mobile Campus at SapphireNOW

SapphireNOW last week in Orlando was an outstanding event for SAP’s mobile team. An army of the company’s mobility experts were on hand in the mobile campus to deliver presentations, panels, microforums and discussion on an incredibly wide variety of topics. In this blog I’ll share summaries of a few of my favourite sessions. My main area of interest is thought leadership topics that cover broad industry trends and issues facing companies today. Several links are provided below to watch ondemand videos of the sessions. Registration is required once to access all sessions – but its worth it!

  1. Mobile for Employees and Consumers: I enjoyed an excellent discussion with our customers doing mobile. In the session “Mobile Strategies for Consumers and Employees: A chat with Coca-Cola”, Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated and Doug Busk, Mobile Strategy for Consumers at Coca-Cola engaged in a great conversation with moderator Eugene Signorini of Yankee Group. The panel discussed mobile technologies for both employees and consumers, talking about best practices for how to build solutions for both audiences. I liked a comment from Onyeka in which he said people come to work not just as employees, but as consumers. Both organizations have created advisory groups and mobility center of excellence to partner with the business to address mobility within their organizations. The 30 minute session can be viewed online.
  2. The Impact of Consumer Technology: Another session that stood out involved a panel discussion with three customers who have had their business transformed by the impact of consumer technology in the enterprise. Three customers; Walther Fisher from Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), Manish Choksi of Asian Paints and Georges-Edouard Dias of L’Oreal joined SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann for a great discussion on using consumer technology to succeed in a dynamic, consumer-driven world. Each of these three companies has embraced new technologies and new ways of doing business – truly transforming their industries. L’Oreal is digitalizing the enterprise, while Asian Paints is seeking new channels to reach customers, and SBSA is reaching the unbanked with mobile. While their experiences were quite different, they share many common challenges and successes. The full video can be viewed online .
  3. Defining your Mobile Strategy: SAP’s head of mobile strategy, JP Finnell, delivered a great session on defining your mobile strategy. JP looked at getting from Mobile 1.0 (simply extending the enterprise) to Mobile 2.0 (truly transforming the enterprise). His use case examples help to tell the story of mobilizing your business. There are two things I really like about this presentation; first, JP’s “spider diagram” which gives a great visual to explain how four enhancers (repoting, knowledge, workflow and transactions) can help define your strategy, and second his Keurig platform analogy. This is a great session to watch and can be viewed online.
  4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): The hot topic of the year in mobility has been around the concept of BYOD. Every conference I attend has a session or panel on the topic. At SapphireNOW, we were joined with three customers at different stages of considering BYOD adoption. John Dutsar from Pepperidge Farm is considering BYOD, Mark Reynolds from Fossil has just started a rollout, and Mike Golz, CIO of SAP Americas has firsthand experience of rolling out BYOD in 10+ countries around the world. This diverse panel, moderated by Philippe Winthrop of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation, made for a great conversation from three different perspectives. Why are these customers adopting BYOD? They agree that they don’t have a choice – employees want it and they see it as a way to manage a work-life balance. A newly released “BYOD Policy Guidebook” was created by BYOD experts at SAP including SAP’s Global IT team who managed the internal rollout. If you are interested in a copy of this guidebook
    please contact me via email. The full session can be watched online.
  5. Organizing for Mobility: A great benefit of attending SapphireNOW live is the ability to join the many microforum sessions moderated by experts. One of my favorites was a session on organizing for success with a “Mobility Center of Excellence.” SAP’s Vishy Gopalakrishnan hosted this session and shared best practices from his whitepaper on the topic (which can be downloaded here). Customers were eager to learn the important steps including securing executive sponsorship, partnering with the business and including them in an advisory capacity, keeping end users involved, starting with a straw man strategy, and evolving over time. Some attendees, including Coca-Cola Bottling from the panel above, already have active Advisory Boards, while others were exploring how to structure one. Overall a great session. If you are interested in listening to a webinar on the same topic, it can be played on-demand from the same Mobile Sense website.
  6. COPEing with Mobility: One final microforum session that deserves comment is one that I co-moderated with Philipp Winthrop of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation. COPE (short for Corproate Owned Personally Enabled) was discussed as an alternative to BYOD. Everyone who attended the microforum was concerned with the security implications of allowing employees to bring their own devices into the workplace. We spent 30 minutes debating the pros and cons of various strategies. Interestingly, there were a couple of organizations that saw the need for a mobile policy – but didn’t
    have one in place. Attendees of the microforum liked the concept of COPE because it was a win/win situation. The IT department doesn’t feel like it’s losing control and the employees get to pick whatever device they want. One attendee made a great comment that spurred Philippe to write a blog post on the topic. “You have to look at it like Costco. You’re not going to necessarily have all the options available to you, but usually, it’s going to be great quality.” I really like this analogy as it related to BYOD or COPE. It’s not about opening up the doors to any device – it’s about providing employees with choice – a good selection of devices that the IT can manage securely.


Overall, SapphireNOW was an outstanding event. I encourage you to watch these sessions, and the dozens of others that were held in the mobile campus. For those of you who were onsite – thank you for visiting us. And if you didn’t make it this year, I hope to see you either in Madrid in November or in Orlando next year.

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